NANAIMO (British Columbia)
Directly across the Straight of Georgia from glittering Vancouver, Nanaimo is a rejuvenating escape into nature. The Harbour City is well linked to its illustrious neighbour, and a popular outdoor getaway for the big city's population. Jutting out into the ocean, Nanaimo enjoys water views on three sides and sits before a dense forest backdrop. With beautiful wildlife and natural experiences beckoning, Nanaimo is a thrilling introduction to Vancouver Island's world of outdoors and arts.
Just 35 miles from Vancouver's jagged skyline, Nanaimo invites you to immerse yourself in a land of waterfalls, pine forests, and ocean views - and to explore the scenery below Mount Benson's looming figure. Meet Nanaimo's wonderful wildlife, while cruising over wave crests on whale-watching voyages - where you can encounter orcas, humpbacks and sea lions throwing their weight around. With world-class birdwatching available - from wise owls to beautiful great blue herons, there is a feast of animal activity to witness.
The province’s third-oldest city is a cultural hub of music and art, and varied venues showcase the area’s many artistic talents. Taste fire-smoked salmon, light the fuses of canons at the fort, or work your way through the characterful offerings of the local brewery. Head out to explore the other islands nearby, and admire the totem poles of the Snuneymuxw First Nation people – on Newcastle Island. You'll leave with a newfound respect for this productive natural environment - as you hear of traditions, and absorb the Snawayalth teachings passed on by elders.