things to do in nanaimo

Top 10 Things to Do in Nanaimo

Are you ready to embark on an adventure in the picturesque city of Nanaimo? This coastal gem has something for everyone, from stunning natural landscapes to vibrant cultural attractions. Whether you’re a food lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or a history buff, our guide to the top 10 things to do in Nanaimo is here to help you make the most of your visit. Get ready to immerse yourself in thrilling activities and unforgettable experiences that will leave you longing for more. Let’s dive into this exciting list and discover why Nanaimo should be at the top of your travel bucket list!

Top 10 Things to Do in Nanaimo

1. Colliery Dam Park

Colliery Dam ParkFor a good reason, Colliery Dam Park is one of Nanaimo’s most popular parks. The park is home to a number of different attractions, including a waterpark, a playground, and a variety of hiking trails. The waterpark is the perfect place to cool off on a hot day, and the playground is perfect for kids of all ages. The hiking trails offer stunning views of the city and the surrounding area and are a great way to exercise. Whether you’re looking for a place to have fun or just want to take in the sights, Colliery Dam Park is worth visiting.

2. Newcastle Island

Newcastle IslandNanaimo is a beautiful city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. The city is known for its mild climate, natural scenery, and abundant outdoor activities. One of the top things to do in Nanaimo is to visit Newcastle Island. Newcastle Island is a small island located in the harbour of Nanaimo. The island is accessible by ferry from the downtown area and is a popular destination for picnics, swimming, hiking, and camping. There are several beaches on the island and a network of trails that wind through the forests. Visitors can also explore the remains of an old First Nations village on the island.

3. Pipers Lagoon Park

Pipers Lagoon ParkPipers Lagoon Park is one of the most popular parks in Nanaimo and for a good reason! This beautiful park offers something for everyone, whether you want to spend a day picnicking, hiking, or exploring the beach. The park is home to various wildlife, including seals, sea lions, and birds, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers. There are also plenty of opportunities for fishing, both from the shore and a boat. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Piper’s Lagoon Park is worth a visit!

4. Maffeo Sutton Playground

Maffeo Sutton PlaygroundNanaimo has many beautiful parks and playgrounds, and Maffeo Sutton Playground is among the best. This park is located in the heart of downtown Nanaimo and features a large playground, a spray park, and a variety of other amenities. Maffeo Sutton Playground is the perfect place to take your kids to burn off some energy. The playground features a variety of play structures and equipment, including slides, swings, climbing ropes, and more. The spray park is also great to cool off on hot days. In addition to the playground and spray park, Maffeo Sutton Playground also has a basketball court, a soccer field, picnic tables, and public washrooms. Whether you’re looking for a place to take your kids to play or just want to enjoy some time outdoors, Maffeo Sutton Playground is the perfect spot.

5. Westwood Lake

Westwood LakeNanaimo is a beautiful Canadian city that is situated on Vancouver Island. Nanaimo has many great things to do, and one of the most popular activities is enjoying the scenery at Westwood Lake. Westwood Lake is a stunning natural lake that is surrounded by lush forests. There are hiking trails around the lake and a popular spot for picnics and swimming. The lake’s views are breathtaking, and it is easy to see why it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nanaimo.

6. Protection Island

Protection IslandNanaimo is home to many beautiful islands, including Protection Island. This small island is great for enjoying the outdoors and stunning views. There are many things to do on Protection Island, including hiking, biking, fishing, and kayaking. Protection Island is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The island is full of natural beauty, and there’s nothing quite like a day surrounded by it.

7. Bowen Park

Bowen ParkNanaimo is home to various parks, each with unique features. Bowen Park is no exception! This park is perfect for a picnic or a game of frisbee with friends. It also has a playground and an off-leash dog area, making it a great place for the whole family. Looking for something more adventurous? Bowen Park also has hiking and biking trails that wind through forests and wetlands. Keep your eyes peeled for birds and other wildlife as you explore the natural beauty of this park.

8. Harbourfront Walkway

Harbourfront WalkwayNanaimo’s Harbourfront Walkway is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. Stretching for nearly 2 kilometers along the waterfront, the walkway is perfect for a stroll or a vigorous hike. The scenery is stunning, with views of the harbour, boats, and mountains in the distance. Plenty of places to stop and take in the view along the way, including several parks and picnic areas. The walkway is also home to a number of sculptures and public artworks. It’s a great place to walk any time of year, especially in the spring and summer when the flowers bloom.

9. Neck Point Park Parking lot

Neck Point Park Parking lotNeck Point Park is located in the heart of Nanaimo and offers a variety of parking options for visitors. The main parking lot is located at the park’s north end and offers access to the beach, picnic areas, and hiking trails. A second parking lot is located at the park’s south end and provides access to the dog park, basketball courts, and tennis courts. A third parking lot at the east end of the park provides access to the playground, washroom facilities, and water fountain.

10. Nanaimo Museum

Nanaimo MuseumNanaimo Museum is a must-see for history buffs and anyone interested in the culture of Vancouver Island. The museum offers exhibits and programs showcasing the island’s rich history and heritage. Some of the Nanaimo Museum highlights include the Chinese Canadian Exhibit, which tells the story of early Chinese immigrants to Vancouver Island, and the First Nations Exhibit, which features artefacts and artwork from local First Nations groups. The museum also has a number of temporary exhibits that change throughout the year. The Nanaimo Museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sundays from 1 pm to 4 pm. Admission is by donation.


The city of Nanaimo in Canada has a host of activities that you can do to create lasting memories and enjoy its many offerings. From exploring nature and visiting local attractions to trying out the food, playing outdoor games, or even participating in water sports – there is something for everyone. With such a diverse range of things to do, it is easy to see why this charming city has become so popular amongst travellers worldwide. So now that you know what’s on offer here, plan your trip today and come explore some amazing experiences!

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