Top 5 Things To Do in Nanaimo

Here’s a quick list of our favourite attractions that are right close to Vancouver Island Conference Centre!

See the ocean & harbour on the Waterfront Walkway

Lined with shops, restaurants, parks and the Fisherman’s Wharf, this paved 5 km (3 mi) seaside trail is only a few blocks away from the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Start your walk at the iconic Bastion, the most recognizable historic site in Nanaimo. If you’re here through May to September at noon, see the daily firing ceremony of the historic cannon.

Explore the new Nanaimo Museum & Art Gallery

On the first floor of the conference centre building, the Nanaimo Museum tells the story of the city’s coal mining days, our First Nations, Chinatown and more. The Nanaimo Art Gallery is a 5 minute walk away, offering thought-provoking exhibits and innovative programming for all ages.

Shop & dine in the Old City Quarter

Just up the hill from the downtown core, Fitzwilliam and Wesley streets are dotted with unique boutiques and specialty shops. Downtown also offers the widest selection of restaurants in Nanaimo – from scratch cooking with local ingredients to comfort food to international cuisine.

Take in an event or production at The Port Theatre

The Port Theatre is a landmark on Nanaimo’s waterfront, and just a couple minutes from Vancouver Island Conference Centre. The theatre offers a broad range of cultural events, from musical performances to theatrical productions and more. The Port Theatre Society’s Spotlight Series is acclaimed nationally, showcasing artistic excellence and innovation.

Get your game on at Nanaimo Casino

More than 400 slot machines and favourite table games (Blackjack, Texas Hold ‘em & more) are a block away from the conference centre at Casino Nanaimo.

More Exciting Nanaimo Attractions

Feeling a bit more adventurous? None of the above things to do quite your style? Here's eleven more things to add to your itinerary!

Satisfy your sweet tooth on Nanaimo Bar Trail. Follow this self-guided tasting trail to discover all the creative iterations of Nanaimo’s namesake dessert.
Dive into the sea and swim with harbour seals. Take a boat charter from the harbour and meet the playful ocean pups - no gear needed, just bring your swimsuit!
Get out on the water or explore an adjacent island. Charter a catamaran to sail the salty seas, or take a passenger ferry to Newcastle Island or Protection Island.
Relax or have a picnic in one of our beautiful parks. There’s more than 2700 hectares of well-maintained green spaces in the city alone! Find a park that fits your interests.
Take a leisurely stroll or blood-pumping hike. The trail network in the city is over 170 kilometers. From paved urban walkways to intense nature excursions, you’re sure to find something for your activity level.
Check out the biggest shopping mall on the Island. Woodgrove Centre is the largest complex on Vancouver Island - that’s right, with 150 stores, it’s bigger than any in Victoria.
Go way back in time and view prehistoric rock carvings. Petroglyph Provincial Park allows visitors to view rock art carvings created by First Nations peoples over 1,000 years ago.
Get cultural insight with the ultimate artisan experience. ake a self-guided tour of the Cedar Yellow Point Artisan Trail to take in beautiful stops along the way, and visiting farms, local growers and artists.
Charter a local fishing guide for your next big catch. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, our region’s many charters are sure to offer excitement - and even a freshly-caught meal!
Go on a tasty adventure with craft beverages and local dining. Explore craft breweries on the BC Ale Trail, take an estate winery tour, or book a culinary tour of the region’s best restaurants.
Choose one of an array of options for some fun indoors. There’s escape rooms, a freestyle training centre, Clippers hockey games, bowling, ice skating, swimming and more!
STILL LOOKING FOR MORE?
Check out the ever-changing calendar of events, or visit Tourism Nanaimo to see what else you can discover.
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