Some of the more popular activities enjoyed when visiting Nanaimo, BC, Canada include boating, sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, fishing, hiking, golfing, cycling, mountain biking, wind surfing, canoeing, off roading, camping and birdwatching. Many activities can be enjoyed year round as Nanaimo rarely sees any snow fall.
Because Nanaimo, British Columbia is situated on the inside passage of Vancouver Island fronting the Strait of Georgia it is an ideal environment for waterfront parks. All the ocean parks are well maintained, provide fantastic scenery and have picnic sites and hiking trails. Some of the more visited marine parks in the region include Neck Point, Pipers Lagoon and Newcastle Island.
Just off the coast are a few island destinations like Newcastle. Each offers a different experience and provides different services. Protection and Newcastle Islands are accessed by small pedestrian-only ferries. Both islands are explored on foot. Gabriola Island is more developed and is accessed by a vehicle ferry.
Nanaimo BC is a major transportation route for the island. Duke Point Ferry Terminal - servicing the mainland - and the Airport are located south of the community. Departure Bay Ferry Terminal - servicing the mainland and Sunshine Coast - is located in the heart of Nanaimo. And both Highway #1 and Highway #19A travel through the city.
The downtown core and the north end shopping district of are very different. Downtown is historic and holds a nautical past. There are small shops and specialty stores lining the streets. Many businesses housed in older buildings.