Take the ferry from Vancouver to visit Nanaimo—the second-largest city on Vancouver Island, with plenty of outdoor activities and adventures for everyone, situated along one of the most beautiful waterfronts in Canada.
Top things to do
Credit: Tourism Nanaimo/Mike Anderson
Enjoy water activities
Kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard, swim, fish or sail in the surrounding waters, or relax along the Nanaimo waterfront.
Drive 30 minutes north from Nanaimo to visit Parksville, offering long sandy beaches, lots of water sports, and plenty of arts and crafts to suit all tastes. Known as Canada's Riviera, Parksville is the perfect destination for romantic getaways and family fun.
Just 20 minutes south of Nanaimo sits the picturesque town of Ladysmith, on the 49th Parallel, where you can take part in a variety of outdoor pursuits or simply relax at a café or restaurant on the harbour, or browse local shops and art galleries. One of the oldest settlements on Vancouver Island, today the attractive little town still has an Edwardian feel.
Drive to Port Alberni for a variety of activities and attractions. Close to Barkley Sound, Clayoquot Sound and the Pacific Rim National Park, Port Alberni is the perfect base for exploring the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Chemainus has won international acclaim for its successful revitalization project, which began in 1982 with the unveiling of five large murals, all professionally painted onto existing downtown buildings. It is also home to great theatre, restaurants and natural beauty.