Travel 30 minutes north of Nanaimo to the laidback seaside town of Qualicum Beach. Boasting 19 km of accessible beachfront, Qualicum Beach is the perfect destination for hanging out on the beach or taking part in a variety of water sports.
Top things to do
Credit: Tourism Vancouver Island/Ben Giesbrecht
Take a caving tour at Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park, or hike, bike or horseback ride along local trails.
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.
Drive 90 minutes from Nanaimo to the heart of beautiful farming landscapes on Vancouver Island to visit Courtenay—the urban centre of the Comox Valley. Downtown Courtenay boasts charming streets filled with art galleries, theatres, shops, artists’ studios, boutiques and gardens, and out of town there are sandy beaches, forests, mountains, parks and lakes. Plus, drive just 15 minutes to the local ski hill.
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.
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.