NANAIMO: RICH IN HISTORY & TRADITIONS
Rich in History and Traditions
ON THE EAST COAST OF VANCOUVER ISLAND YOU’LL FIND AN OASIS FOR PLEASURE boating, a protected harbour, and a marina known for service, conveniently located adjacent to city amenities and abundant central island activities. Boaters return, as they have for so many generations.
Nanaimo has character. Built on the backs of the coal mining industry in the mid 1800’s and later giving way to a vibrant forestry industry, Nanaimo has developed into a transportation gateway for Central Vancouver Island. Her harbour boasts a variety of transportation options on the water and in the air, for recreation and for the shipment of cargo connecting to global destinations. Some call the “Harbour City” a working harbour, easy to appreciate from the security of a shore-side dock or from a favoured sanctuary “on the hook” between famous Newcastle Island and Protection Island – named because of its offering as a boating refuge.
Once you’ve made your reservation and arrived, there are no shortage of activities to fill your days and compliment your agenda of stress free island endeavours. The Boat Basin is adjacent to downtown Nanaimo, which is full of things to see and do including dining, shopping, entertainment or nightlife. Here are a few suggestions. Walking Tours – Shake out your sea-legs whether you’re visiting for the afternoon or staying for a few days, the downtown has numerous parks, walkways and shopping districts that are easily accessible by foot or by bicycle.
Check out the funky shops on the China Steps, or enjoy a delicious meal in one of the fine restaurants on Commercial Street, voted the “Greatest Street in Canada” by the Canadian Institute of Planners. If you’re craving time to stretch your legs and commune with nature, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the waterfront and pick up a special souvenir. Or spend an afternoon strolling through the Old City Quarter, just a quick 10 minute walk over the Bastion Street Bridge.
Local explorers find that downtown Nanaimo enjoys easy access to the Art Gallery, the Nanaimo District Museum - which features First Nations culture or Cemetery Tours, the Nanaimo Bar Trail and the island’s largest shopping districts. Buskers and street musicians entertain in all central areas. Energetic guests can easily walk the 5 kms of picturesque Harbourview walkway that leads to the Bastion, Maffeo Sutton Park where ferries or kayaks take visitors to Newcastle Island Provincial Park, Protection Island and the Dinghy Dock Pub, or Gabriola Island and the Petroglyphs. Bikes and scooters are available.
For those that want to explore further afield, the most spectacular of all would be to take a floatplane tour and truly soak in the majestic scenery from a higher point of view!
Boaters quickly learn that Nanaimo and region offer infinite possibilities as a central island base camp. Within 20-30 minutes by rental car to the south, Wildplay Elements Park’s Monkido course takes participants into the tree tops and challenges ones mental and physical strength via zip-lines, King swings, and walking on wires.
Travellers will want to step into the Morden Colliery, an historic stop, that will take guests back a century when this area was a thriving coal-producing mine. Ladysmith is a quaint and friendly strolling town on the highway just to the south and the Cedar/yellow Point area has a variety of artists working from their home-based studios, which are open for tours. You can find all the stops listed in the Cedar Yellowpoint Artisan Trail.
Have you ever wanted to go spelunking? Situated about 45 minutes north of Nanaimo, Horne Lake Caves offers family friendly or extreme rappelling guided tours into crystal filled caverns on an hourly basis in the summer. Coombs market, where goats graze on the roof, is an absolute favourite stop for artisan shops, ice cream and wholesome west coast food. Near Coombs, North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre offers a natural outdoor setting where you can visit eagles, owls, falcons, hawks and black bear in various stages of recovery.
Cathedral Grove showcases 800-yearold giant Douglas Fir trees and an awe-inspiring walk through the old growth forests. The foodies in the group will want to join a brewery or wine tasting tour and sample appies at the local pubs and vineyards. There are endless adventures and discoveries that boaters enjoy when you participate in a tradition.
Building on a BC Boating Tradition….. Nanaimo, The Harbour City. Marina Info, Events & Reservations – marina.npa.ca