I have lived and worked in Nanaimo for over 20 years and have compiled a list of ten of my favorite things to do here during the summer months. You can enjoy many of these attractions year round, however these are my top choices for the summer months. Hurry up – summer is (sadly) coming to an end!
Top 10 Things To Do in Nanaimo
- Visit Neck Point. This stunning lookout just off Hammond Bay Road is a short little hike with ocean views, and a lovely path through a forested area.
- Spend an afternoon at the Nanaimo River. Swim, tube, lay on the beach or take a walk around. The river is the perfect place to spend a sunny summer day.
- Piper’s Lagoon. Another beautiful lookout along Hammond Bay Road.
- Dinghy Dock Pub. Take the small passenger ferry from Maffeo Park to Protection Island to enjoy Canada’s only floating pub. A $9 round trip (adult ticket) gets you to the quaint pub with delicious food so you can enjoy 360 degree views of Nanaimo’s downtown and the surrounding islands. Watch seals splash in the water as you enjoy a cold drink on the patio.
- Get ice cream on the boardwalk. A walk along the boardwalk in the summertime is incomplete without an ice cream cone in hand.
- Deep Fried Nanaimo Bar at Pirate Chips.
- Zipline at Wildplay.
- Blueback Beach Access. Walk along the beach when the tide is out to view thousands of sand dollars scattered along the sand. Even though there are many stairs climb up after you are done spending the afternoon at the beach (the way down doesn’t seem so bad), it is worth it. Think of it as two birds with one stone – a beautiful view AND your exercise for the day.
- Cedar Farmer’s Market. Although technically not Nanaimo, Cedar is a suburb on the outskirts of Nanaimo. On Sundays from May to the end of October, vendors gather in the field near Crow & Gate pub to sell goods ranging from fresh cut flowers to handcrafted soaps to fresh, local produce.
- Westwood Lake Park. You can swim in it, walk, bike or run around it, or just lounge on the beach. It’s perfect for everyone. Westwood Lake Park is a family friendly, peaceful place that I highly recommend.