things to do in nanaimo
Experience the local attractions and seasonal events
Nestled on the east coast of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is one of British Columbia’s most unique destinations. “The Harbour City” is home to breathtaking natural landmarks and a thriving cultural scene – not to mention a year-round calendar of events, festivals and competitions. Explore Nanaimo Museum before spending the afternoon relaxing in Pipers Lagoon.
Learn the history behind the famous – and tasty – Nanaimo Bar dessert. Or explore one of the many seasonal and annual markets that spring up all over town. Need help deciding what attractions to see and things to do? Stop by the front desk and ask us. We’d be delighted to give you some pointers!
Distance from Hotel: 100m
Adjacent to the hotel, this walkway extends through Maffeo Sutton Park and along the waterfront. It’s the perfect way to explore the city, and is also great for a jog.
The Port Theatre
Distance from Hotel: 160 metres
The Port Theatre is one of Nanaimo's premier destinations for the performing arts, with a full calendar including drama, dance and the Vancouver Island Symphony.
WildPlay Element Parks
Distance from Hotel: 12km
Dinghy Dock Pub on Protection Island
Distance from Hotel: 3KM
Enjoy fresh, delicious seafood at this popular destination on Protection Island - the only registered floating pub in the country!
Distance from Hotel: 250 metres
Learn more about the history and heritage of Nanaimo at this museum, which offers a range of interactive exhibits.
Axe & Grind
Distance from Hotel: 1KM
Axe & Grind allows you to experience the thrill of axe throwing! Challenge your friends to a bit of safe, friendly competition.
Breakout Nanaimo Escape Rooms
Distance from Hotel: 350 metres
The Escape Room phenomenon comes to Nanaimo at Breakout, where teams of up to eight people are locked in a room and have an hour to find the clues they need to get out.
Old City Quarter
Distance from Hotel: 1KM
Downtown city neighbourhood with a mix of shops, cafes & businesses in historic & new buildings.
Nanaimo Bar Trail
The Nanaimo Bar Trail takes you to experience the many deliciously creative interpretations of our famous treat.
Distance from Hotel: 3KM
This gorgeous island has an abundance of trails to explore and views to capture. Check out Mallard Lake while you’re there.
Distance from Hotel: 10KM
This historic waterfront park is home to rugged cliffs, pebbled beaches, and winding trails. It's a much-loved destination for scuba divers!
Distance from Hotel: 11KM
Scenic trails, beautiful views - this waterfront park is the perfect place to soak in the splendour of Nanaimo.
Maffeo Sutton Park
Distance from Hotel: 700m
This waterfront park was once used to host events and celebrations. It is also the location of the ferry to Newcastle Island.
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Sport Achievement Awards
Our hotel hosts this annual awards ceremony, which recognizes members of the sport community.
Junior Hockey Awards Banquet
Our hotel is pleased to host the Nanaimo Clippers Junior Hockey Society award ceremony.
This elegant black-tie event is hosted by the Coast Bastion Hotel and features a cocktail hour, sit-down dinner, musical entertainment and irresistible live and silent auctions.
Nanaimo Bathtub Festival - Host Hotel
Nanaimo is proud to be home to this wonderful festival, and we're proud to be the host hotel!
Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival
Watch over 60 dragon boat teams compete in this annual festival, which also features great food and drinks, a market, entertainment and even a beer garden.
Silly Boat Regatta
This unique event takes place in the summer and involves building and racing boats - all in the same day!
Longwoodstock: Beer & Music Fest
Drinks, music and fun are what Longwoodstock is all about. Sample craft beers from over 10 Vancouver Island breweries - as well as wine, spirits and cider.
Nanaimo Museum – Historical Fall Lantern Tours
Learn a little more about the darker side of Nanaimo's history with this guided tour, led by a Nanaimo Museum staff member.
Nanaimo Fringe Festival
The Nanaimo Fringe Festival is dedicated to showcasing Vancouver Island's cultural and theatrical talent.
Vancouver Island Exhibition
VIEx is Nanaimo's place to be. Bring your family for fun, fair events and exhibitions; visit farm animals and enjoy bands and music.
Vancouver Island Market
Discover the best of Vancouver Island at this market, which sells wares from local artisans.
Commercial Street Night Market
Shop after dark at this unique market, where vendors sell everything from food to knick-knacks. Live music provides the soundtrack to your excursion.
This event features a full lineup of great jazz; based at the Port Theatre, it reaches all corners of the community.
Summertime Blues Festival
This event features top-notch blues performers, and reaches all corners of the community.
Located on the harbour, Port Days are a celebration of our vibrant port and waterfront.
Annual Maple Sugar Festival
This festival celebrates all that is great about Maple Syrup - a Canadian staple!
Vancouver Island Film Festival
Located at Vancouver Island University (VIU), this festival is dedicated to the art of filmmaking, with screenings, talks and more.
Held in April, this festival commemorates Nanaimo's transformation to a more sustainable city.
Red Bull Pump Track World Championship
Located at the Steve Smith Bike Park, this exciting cycling event gets more popular every year.
Nanaimo Pride Festival
This event is an amazing celebration and a must attend celebration.
National Indigenous Day
Celebrate the culture and contributions of Canada's First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
Annual 5k foam fest
Don't miss the amazing race in June! 5k Foam Fest has 22 incredible obstacles, including the largest inflatable waterslide in the world and tons of mud pits.
Kris Kringle Craft Market
2021-11-18 00:00:00 - 2021-11-21 00:00:00
This craft market is one of Nanaimo's most popular festive gatherings, with over 150 vendors - as well as great entertainment and delicious food.
Your local guide
How to Travel on a Budget
If you frequently daydream of boarding a plane for far-flung destinations but don't have the salary of a CEO, you may think that a vacation is simply out of the question. However, traveling doesn't have to cost a fortune and in fact, planning an incredible trip that's also affordable is easy with a bit of planning, flexibility and open-mindedness.