Nanaimo is Vancouver Island’s second biggest city, sitting 113 km away from Victoria. Nicknamed the "Bathtub Racing Capital of the World," bathtub racing is indeed a popular sport in the city. The city began as an important trading post during the early 19th century. An influx of Chinese immigrants came with the gold rush years of the mid-1800s. ... Read more
Consequently, the city has a rich cultural heritage. And somehow, along the way, they found time to invent the delicious Nanaimo bar.
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Nanaimo

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49.16105-123.9402

Nanaimo reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    Family Travelers
  • 9.6
    Adventure Travelers
  • 9.3
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 8.1
    Backpackers
  • 6.6
    Luxury Travelers

Member Reviews(14)

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My husband and I and our children have spent holidays here over the past 40 years.
I can't believe I am living here being such a city person, BUT I LOVE IT!..and so much so that we moved here 2 years ago and bought beautiful Randle House by the Sea in the heart of Departure Bay. 3 steps to the beach and into the ocean! Very grateful!

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFamily TravelersLuxury TravelersAdventure Travelers
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Seattle, Washington, USA

If Victoria is the gateway to Vancouver Island for Americans, Nanaimo is the gateway for Canadians - for everyone else? Just depends on your route of choice. Nanaimo offers access to old growth forests, unique nightlife, waterfront adventures and... well, you could always drive to Victoria...

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San Francisco, California, USA

Next to Victoria, this is the next biggest town on the island. There isn't a whole lot to see or do here, but like most small towns there are a few cute coffee shops and stores to look around at.

Recommended for:Budget Travelers
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First to Review

This functional gateway city is many visitors to Vancouver Island's first port of call.

Recommended for:Family Travelers
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Cotati, California, USA

Nanaimo is a small city that can be a hub/gateway for the rest of Vancouver Island. It is easy to get to with a ferry from Horseshoe Bay just north of Vancouver.

Nanaimo has a bit of history and has a very calm and friendly downtown strip that is great to just sit and relax. There is great scenery along the harbor and at a few small islands nearby, and the locals are very friendly.

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Must visit if you’re on Vancouver Island.

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Penticton, British Columbia

been there 2 many times

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Local from Surrey, Canada
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Great Eccleston, UK
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