view of ocean, docks and buildings

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!

Attractions

waterfront walkways in nanaimo

Waterfront walkways

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.

red theatre seats

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.

Family at Wild Play Element Parks

WildPlay Element Parks

Distance from Hotel: 12km

WildPlay Element Parks offers exhilarating adventures, like ziplining, bungy jumping, adventure courses and more. Take the family, or adventure solo.

craft beer and cocktail on boat dock

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!

Interior of Nanaimo Museum

Nanaimo Museum

Distance from Hotel: 250 metres

Learn more about the history and heritage of Nanaimo at this museum, which offers a range of interactive exhibits.

lumberjack holding an axe

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.

neon sign that says escape rooms

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.

boutique shop with clothes and candles

Old City Quarter

Distance from Hotel: 1KM

Downtown city neighbourhood with a mix of shops, cafes & businesses in historic & new buildings.

chocolate dessert

Nanaimo Bar Trail

The Nanaimo Bar Trail takes you to experience the many deliciously creative interpretations of our famous treat.

views from newcastle island

Newcastle Island

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.

woman sitting on rocky ledge with vast sky in background

Neck Point

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!

sunset over pipers lagoon

Pipers Lagoon

Distance from Hotel: 11KM

Scenic trails, beautiful views - this waterfront park is the perfect place to soak in the splendour of Nanaimo.

statue at maffeo sutton park

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.

uniforms at vancouver island military museum

Vancouver Island Military Museum

Distance from Hotel: 500m

Located behind the hotel, this museum overlooks the waterfront and offers a range of interesting exhibitions.

Events

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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.

band playing the violin

Symphony Gala

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.

people on fake horse drawn carriage pedaling on water

Nanaimo Bathtub Festival - Host Hotel

Nanaimo is proud to be home to this wonderful festival, and we're proud to be the host hotel! 

row boat racing

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!

draft beers at brewery

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.

black and white photo of man on stage

Nanaimo Fringe Festival

The Nanaimo Fringe Festival is dedicated to showcasing Vancouver Island's cultural and theatrical talent.

child playing with dad's sunglasses

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.

festival with restaurants

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.

band playing trumpet

Jazz Festival

This event features a full lineup of great jazz; based at the Port Theatre, it reaches all corners of the community.

silhouette of man playing trumpet

Summertime Blues Festival

This event features top-notch blues performers, and reaches all corners of the community.

Port Days

Located on the harbour, Port Days are a celebration of our vibrant port and waterfront.

Western Canadian Motocross

Motocross fans will enjoy this event, held every June.

Annual Maple Sugar Festival

This festival celebrates all that is great about Maple Syrup - a Canadian staple!

movie film tape

Vancouver Island Film Festival

Located at Vancouver Island University (VIU), this festival is dedicated to the art of filmmaking, with screenings, talks and more.

Nanaimo Heritage Festival

Celebrate the rich history of Nanaimo at this yearly festival.

Earthfest

 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.

hands holding a rainbow heart

Nanaimo Pride Festival

This event is an amazing celebration and a must attend celebration.

indian tribe member

National Indigenous Day

Celebrate the culture and contributions of Canada's First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

annual 5k foam fest

Annual 5k foam fest

2021-07-03 00:00:00

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.

red ornaments on christmas tree

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.

ocean with islands and mountains in background

Blog

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