Nanaimo - British Columbia

Nanaimo is the second largest city on award winning Vancouver Island, and is British Columbia’s 3rd oldest city. The city is also known as “The Harbour City” because of the strong marine influences that have shaped it over the course of time. The City’s harbour is considered by boaters one of the safest moorage points on the island due to the calm waters of the harbour which are protected by Newcastle, Gabriola, and the aptly named Protection Islands. Newcastle Island is actually one of the few provincial marine parks along the coast and offers wonderful camping, hiking, and beachcombing opportunities. The harbourfront is accessible by way of a 5 kilometre walkway dotted with parks, cafes, and shops.

Nanaimo is a great centre for shopping, dining, and cultural events. Nanaimo is one of Canada’s Cultural Capitals of 2008 and is celebrating this honour all year long. Be sure to check out a local event calendar for information about all that is planned for the year. The harbour city has also recently been named one of the top 3 walking cities in Canada, largely due to the fact that it boasts over 130 kilometres of trail systems. Nanaimo is proud to be home to the world’s largest upright reef system and offers great year round diving. Dive enthusiasts claim that the waters off of Nanaimo are some of the best for diving in North America.

If you visit Nanaimo in July, don’t hesitate to join the locals in a weeklong celebration called the Marine Festival. The festival’s signature event is the International Bathtub Race that has been on of Nanaimo’s claim to fame now for over forty years. The race is starts from the Nanaimo Harbour and continues around Entrance and Winchelsea Islands, the finish line is in Departure Bay. The night before the races Nanaimo harbour plays host to one of the largest fireworks displays on the Vancouver Island.

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Owl BC Ferry near Nanaimo Spring 2007 Lighthouse Speedboat Incoming Spring Storm Small boat
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