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Guidebook for Nanaimo

Dawn

Guidebook for Nanaimo

Food Scene
This is our regular and some of the staff have got to know us well. We just love the atmosphere here and the variety of food is great. When the grandkids are in town we can take them into the lounge upstairs and when it is just adults we like the bar downstairs. They have a courtyard patio which is fun downstairs and a veranda patio upstairs.
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Longwood Brew Pub
5775 Turner Rd
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This is our regular and some of the staff have got to know us well. We just love the atmosphere here and the variety of food is great. When the grandkids are in town we can take them into the lounge upstairs and when it is just adults we like the bar downstairs. They have a courtyard patio which is fun downstairs and a veranda patio upstairs.
Good food and wine but it is a chain! Great atmosphere and I particularly like the sun room to sit out on.
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Browns Socialhouse Nanaimo North
6338 Metral Dr
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Good food and wine but it is a chain! Great atmosphere and I particularly like the sun room to sit out on.
Quite the happening restaurant. It is always buzzing with people. I love it when I catch 'Happy Hour'! I just love their Bellini's.
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Cactus Club Cafe
5800 Turner Rd
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Quite the happening restaurant. It is always buzzing with people. I love it when I catch 'Happy Hour'! I just love their Bellini's.
A cute little coffee shop that John found. It is tucked away but they have the cutest little cups and saucers made for dolls! I cannot wait to take my grand-daughters here when they next come for a visit!
Cafe Today
5771 Turner Rd
A cute little coffee shop that John found. It is tucked away but they have the cutest little cups and saucers made for dolls! I cannot wait to take my grand-daughters here when they next come for a visit!
Fresh bread and cakes baked daily. They also have great sandwiches too. A lovely small run business and the owners are up at 3am to do the baking for the day! Now that is what I call customer service!
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Bodhi's Artisan Bakery
5299 Rutherford Rd
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Fresh bread and cakes baked daily. They also have great sandwiches too. A lovely small run business and the owners are up at 3am to do the baking for the day! Now that is what I call customer service!
I love the vegan items here! I buy their desserts as they are just yummy and good for my health too!
Rawmbas
I love the vegan items here! I buy their desserts as they are just yummy and good for my health too!
When we take a little drive out during the winter months we like to stop here for a cozy intimate lunch or dinner. They have a lovely fireplace.
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Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre
1155 Resort Dr
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When we take a little drive out during the winter months we like to stop here for a cozy intimate lunch or dinner. They have a lovely fireplace.
A lovely Greek restaurant but definitely make a reservation as it is really popular with the locals. They have a lovely sun room here.
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Asteras
347 Wesley Street
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A lovely Greek restaurant but definitely make a reservation as it is really popular with the locals. They have a lovely sun room here.
Locals believe this to be the best sushi restaurant on the Island! Make a reservation as this is a very popular place.
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Nori Japanese Restaurant
6750 N Island Hwy
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Locals believe this to be the best sushi restaurant on the Island! Make a reservation as this is a very popular place.
Friendly staff and great coffee. My favorite place to buy the famous Nanaimo Bar. John and I love to sit at the window and watch the goings on in the harbor. Love watching the sea planes land and take off too.
Javawocky Coffee House
Friendly staff and great coffee. My favorite place to buy the famous Nanaimo Bar. John and I love to sit at the window and watch the goings on in the harbor. Love watching the sea planes land and take off too.
A lovely restaurant with vegan/vegetarian options on the menu. Fresh and tasty. My husband loves the breakfasts here.
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Gabriel's Cafe
39 Commercial St
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A lovely restaurant with vegan/vegetarian options on the menu. Fresh and tasty. My husband loves the breakfasts here.
This is the old train station. Good old English food here with a whole vegan/vegetarian options on the reverse of menu. I had vegan sausage and mashed potatoes with caramelized onions. I wanted to lick the plate it was so good!
Coach and Horses
321 Selby St
This is the old train station. Good old English food here with a whole vegan/vegetarian options on the reverse of menu. I had vegan sausage and mashed potatoes with caramelized onions. I wanted to lick the plate it was so good!
Love going here for a great cup of coffee. Fun and vibrant atmosphere.
The Buzz Coffee House
1861 Dufferin Crescent
Love going here for a great cup of coffee. Fun and vibrant atmosphere.
Great coffee and great service.
Starbucks
Great coffee and great service.
Love the owners John and Dawn! Yes we share the same names and Dawn shares the same birthday as me! My daughter works there too!
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Serious Coffee Parksville
1209 Island Hwy E
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Love the owners John and Dawn! Yes we share the same names and Dawn shares the same birthday as me! My daughter works there too!
Parks & Nature
This is one of my favorite places to walk my dog. There is the ocean with little secluded beaches. When the storms are in I love to watch the water crash against the rocks. There is a wooded area with fairy doors. Some of the doors open and inside are little items that the locals take and leave a small item. It is all on the honor system.
Neck Point Park parking lot
1029-1031 Morningside Dr
This is one of my favorite places to walk my dog. There is the ocean with little secluded beaches. When the storms are in I love to watch the water crash against the rocks. There is a wooded area with fairy doors. Some of the doors open and inside are little items that the locals take and leave a small item. It is all on the honor system.
Another fun place to take a hike. Great views of Shack Island too.
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Pipers Lagoon Park
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Another fun place to take a hike. Great views of Shack Island too.
Very quiet and peaceful spot. Be warned there are a lot of stairs to walk down.
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Blueback Beach Access
6300 Icarus Dr
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Very quiet and peaceful spot. Be warned there are a lot of stairs to walk down.
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Swy-A-Lana Lagoon Fishing Pier
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For an experience rich in history, culture and entertainment, do what people have been doing since the 1930s—hop on a boat to Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park, one of the most intriguing parks in B.C. Bring your own boat or take the passenger ferry from Nanaimo—a 10 minute ride that deposits passengers on Newcastle Island, located just a few hundred metres offshore from Vancouver Island. From a distance you’ll see an island shoreline dominated by steep sandstone cliffs and ledges, interspersed with sunny beaches – a marked contrast to the interior of the island, which is studded with mature Douglas fir, Garry oak, arbutus and Big Leaf maple trees.
Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park Campground
For an experience rich in history, culture and entertainment, do what people have been doing since the 1930s—hop on a boat to Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park, one of the most intriguing parks in B.C. Bring your own boat or take the passenger ferry from Nanaimo—a 10 minute ride that deposits passengers on Newcastle Island, located just a few hundred metres offshore from Vancouver Island. From a distance you’ll see an island shoreline dominated by steep sandstone cliffs and ledges, interspersed with sunny beaches – a marked contrast to the interior of the island, which is studded with mature Douglas fir, Garry oak, arbutus and Big Leaf maple trees.
Majestic old growth trees, beautiful ocean sunsets and an inviting, wide sandy beach with campsites nestled amongst mature Douglas fir trees makes Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville one of the premier vacation destinations on Vancouver Island. At low tide the ocean recedes almost a kilometre, providing an ideal place for visitors of all ages to play in the sand and explore the shoreline. When the tide rolls in over the sun-baked sand, the warmed water is unbeatable for swimming and salt water fun. Rathtrevor Beach is ideal for a relaxed family outing. Simply sit back and soak up the seaside atmosphere or take a walk through the wooded uplands.
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Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park
1240 Rath Rd
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Majestic old growth trees, beautiful ocean sunsets and an inviting, wide sandy beach with campsites nestled amongst mature Douglas fir trees makes Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville one of the premier vacation destinations on Vancouver Island. At low tide the ocean recedes almost a kilometre, providing an ideal place for visitors of all ages to play in the sand and explore the shoreline. When the tide rolls in over the sun-baked sand, the warmed water is unbeatable for swimming and salt water fun. Rathtrevor Beach is ideal for a relaxed family outing. Simply sit back and soak up the seaside atmosphere or take a walk through the wooded uplands.
Sebastian Beach, also known as Lantzville beach, is one of the nicest off-leash beaches in the Nanaimo area on Vancouver Island. We just love to take our grand-daughters here in the evenings for a stroll.
Sebastion Beach
Sebastian Beach, also known as Lantzville beach, is one of the nicest off-leash beaches in the Nanaimo area on Vancouver Island. We just love to take our grand-daughters here in the evenings for a stroll.
Westwood Lake Park is one of Nanaimo's best loved parks. Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Benson it is a year round destination. There is a 5.51km trail around the lake, popular with walkers and runners. The trail is well groomed and apart from a steep knoll towards the west end of the lake trail is considered an easy walking trail. There are shorter loops available towards the south end of the trail. The main beach area near the paved parking lot is Nanaimo's only lifeguard patrolled fresh water swimming spot (June-August). There is a washroom and changeroom building on site. There is a small playground located at the second beach near the gravel parking lot.
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Westwood Lake
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Westwood Lake Park is one of Nanaimo's best loved parks. Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Benson it is a year round destination. There is a 5.51km trail around the lake, popular with walkers and runners. The trail is well groomed and apart from a steep knoll towards the west end of the lake trail is considered an easy walking trail. There are shorter loops available towards the south end of the trail. The main beach area near the paved parking lot is Nanaimo's only lifeguard patrolled fresh water swimming spot (June-August). There is a washroom and changeroom building on site. There is a small playground located at the second beach near the gravel parking lot.
Maffeo Sutton Park is Nanaimo's signature park overlooking our world famous harbour. The park is a central point along the Harbour Front Walkway. The park hosts countless community special events. It is a great year round destination for walking, playground playdates and picnics. Features and amenities include access to the walking trail, Playdock destination playground (limited wheelchair access), Swy-a- Lana lagoon and swimming beach (no lifeguards), Lions Pavillion covered stage, Spirit Square, ferry access to Newcastle Island ferry, and washrooms. There are a number of public art pieces located throughout the park and along the walking trail.
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Maffeo Sutton Park
100 Comox Rd
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Maffeo Sutton Park is Nanaimo's signature park overlooking our world famous harbour. The park is a central point along the Harbour Front Walkway. The park hosts countless community special events. It is a great year round destination for walking, playground playdates and picnics. Features and amenities include access to the walking trail, Playdock destination playground (limited wheelchair access), Swy-a- Lana lagoon and swimming beach (no lifeguards), Lions Pavillion covered stage, Spirit Square, ferry access to Newcastle Island ferry, and washrooms. There are a number of public art pieces located throughout the park and along the walking trail.
Bowen Park Complex is located near the downtown surrounded by the peacefulness of Nanaimo's Bowen Park. The complex includes a gymnasium and stage, two kitchens, activity and games rooms, registration office, a preschool, pottery studio, pool room and is the location of the department's administration offices. The complex hosts a variety of programs for all ages including many of the department's senior programs.
Bowen Park Complex
500 Bowen Rd
Bowen Park Complex is located near the downtown surrounded by the peacefulness of Nanaimo's Bowen Park. The complex includes a gymnasium and stage, two kitchens, activity and games rooms, registration office, a preschool, pottery studio, pool room and is the location of the department's administration offices. The complex hosts a variety of programs for all ages including many of the department's senior programs.
Experience the magic of 28 hectares (70 acres) of unspoiled natural beauty perched on the edge of an oceanside bluff overlooking the Strait of Georgia. Stroll the winding pathways and magical surroundings of an ancient coastal Douglas fir forest. Find peace and tranquility as you meander 4 hectares (10 acres) of woodland gardens lined with rhododendron, cyclamen and trilliums. Enjoy a traditional English tea service while you contemplate the history of the house where the Queen once stayed.
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Milner Gardens & Woodland - Vancouver Island University
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Experience the magic of 28 hectares (70 acres) of unspoiled natural beauty perched on the edge of an oceanside bluff overlooking the Strait of Georgia. Stroll the winding pathways and magical surroundings of an ancient coastal Douglas fir forest. Find peace and tranquility as you meander 4 hectares (10 acres) of woodland gardens lined with rhododendron, cyclamen and trilliums. Enjoy a traditional English tea service while you contemplate the history of the house where the Queen once stayed.
Fantastic views of Nanaimo from up here. Sugarloaf Mountain Park is a natural viewpoint overlooking picturesque Departure Bay. A perfect spot to watch sunrises. Other than the trail and stairway up to the bluff top there are no official trails within the park.
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Sugarloaf Mountain Park
3160 Marion Way
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Fantastic views of Nanaimo from up here. Sugarloaf Mountain Park is a natural viewpoint overlooking picturesque Departure Bay. A perfect spot to watch sunrises. Other than the trail and stairway up to the bluff top there are no official trails within the park.
The park's trail provides access to pristine beaches with excellent views of the Nanaimo River estuary, dowtown Nanaimo, Protection Island and Gabriola Island. Popular for wildlife viewing; bald eagles, sea-lions, seals and even harbour porpoises can be seen from the park. Jack Point is an amazing location to watch the sunset. Most of the 32 acre park is natural and undeveloped with a trail leading from Biggs Park to Jack Point. The trail is mostly chips but there are some stairs and boardwalks over the bluffs. The loop from the parking lot to the tip of Jack point is 2.5 km. This parcel of parkland runs parallel to the Duke Point ferry highway connector.
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Jack Point and Biggs Park
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The park's trail provides access to pristine beaches with excellent views of the Nanaimo River estuary, dowtown Nanaimo, Protection Island and Gabriola Island. Popular for wildlife viewing; bald eagles, sea-lions, seals and even harbour porpoises can be seen from the park. Jack Point is an amazing location to watch the sunset. Most of the 32 acre park is natural and undeveloped with a trail leading from Biggs Park to Jack Point. The trail is mostly chips but there are some stairs and boardwalks over the bluffs. The loop from the parking lot to the tip of Jack point is 2.5 km. This parcel of parkland runs parallel to the Duke Point ferry highway connector.
Located on Holden Lake south of Nanaimo, this forested park is popular with local residents, who mainly come here to explore the extensive trail system. The marsh area at Hemer Provincial Park is also a favourite destination for bird watchers and ornithologists. A viewing platform over the marsh, approximately 1 km from the parking lot, provides the opportunity to observe various types of ducks, Trumpeter swans, Bald eagles and turkey vultures, as well as beavers. Approximately 11 kilometres of easy walking trails weave through the park along Holden Lake and through the marsh areas. The trails are forested, primarily with mature coastal Douglas fir, red alder and big-leaf maple.
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Hemer Provincial Park
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Located on Holden Lake south of Nanaimo, this forested park is popular with local residents, who mainly come here to explore the extensive trail system. The marsh area at Hemer Provincial Park is also a favourite destination for bird watchers and ornithologists. A viewing platform over the marsh, approximately 1 km from the parking lot, provides the opportunity to observe various types of ducks, Trumpeter swans, Bald eagles and turkey vultures, as well as beavers. Approximately 11 kilometres of easy walking trails weave through the park along Holden Lake and through the marsh areas. The trails are forested, primarily with mature coastal Douglas fir, red alder and big-leaf maple.
Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park protects features of Vancouver Island’s rich coal mining history. This small, undeveloped day-use park contains the only remaining coal tipple on the Island. This concrete tipple was built in the early 1900s by the Pacific Coal Company, and was the first of its kind in the region. The tipple is all that remains of the Morden Coal Mine, which once thrived here. The first sod was turned at this mine in 1912; in its first year of operation the mine produced 76,000 tonnes of coal.
Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park
Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park protects features of Vancouver Island’s rich coal mining history. This small, undeveloped day-use park contains the only remaining coal tipple on the Island. This concrete tipple was built in the early 1900s by the Pacific Coal Company, and was the first of its kind in the region. The tipple is all that remains of the Morden Coal Mine, which once thrived here. The first sod was turned at this mine in 1912; in its first year of operation the mine produced 76,000 tonnes of coal.
The high concentration of prehistoric rock carvings is the main attraction at Petroglyph Provincial Park, located at the south end of Nanaimo. Visitors can get a glimpse back to a time more than 1,000 years ago, when First Nations peoples created these traditional carvings. This day-use park offers excellent viewing opportunities of these petroglyphs. Locations for rock art carvings were chosen carefully, and were almost always made at places of power or mystery – places where the forces of nature were believed to be especially strong. These areas are usually marked by natural features such as waterfalls, rock formations or caves, and most are near water.
Petroglyph Provincial Park
The high concentration of prehistoric rock carvings is the main attraction at Petroglyph Provincial Park, located at the south end of Nanaimo. Visitors can get a glimpse back to a time more than 1,000 years ago, when First Nations peoples created these traditional carvings. This day-use park offers excellent viewing opportunities of these petroglyphs. Locations for rock art carvings were chosen carefully, and were almost always made at places of power or mystery – places where the forces of nature were believed to be especially strong. These areas are usually marked by natural features such as waterfalls, rock formations or caves, and most are near water.
Arts & Culture
A great museum to learn about the history of Nanaimo. Some great exhibits with a well stocked gift shop.
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Nanaimo Museum
100 Museum Way
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A great museum to learn about the history of Nanaimo. Some great exhibits with a well stocked gift shop.
Our very own iconic building. Open during the holiday season and well worth a peek in.
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The Bastion
98 Front St
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Our very own iconic building. Open during the holiday season and well worth a peek in.
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Port Theatre
125 Front St
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Vancouver Island Military Museum
100 Cameron Rd
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Chemainus Theatre Festival
9737 Chemainus
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Shopping
Visit the Old City Quarter with its colorful buildings. Lots of little boutique shops, cafes and specialty stores.
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Old City Quarter
281 Fraser St
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Visit the Old City Quarter with its colorful buildings. Lots of little boutique shops, cafes and specialty stores.
Self explanatory I think!
Walmart N. Battleford Supercentre
6801 N Island Hwy
Self explanatory I think!
The biggest Mall on the Island!
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Woodgrove Centre
6631 N Island Hwy
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The biggest Mall on the Island!
Essentials
This is one of my grocery shopping haunts!
Thrifty Foods
This is one of my grocery shopping haunts!
Should you need a pharmacy.
Shoppers Drug Mart
3200 Island Hwy
Should you need a pharmacy.
Our nearest walkin Clinic.
Caledonian Clinic
6010 Brickyard Rd
Our nearest walkin Clinic.
Just in case!
Nanaimo Regional General Hospital: Emergency Room
1200 Dufferin Crescent
Just in case!
Getting Around
Budget Car & Truck Rental
33 Terminal Ave
Arrowsmith Bikes
4906 Wellington Rd
There is a bus stop at the bottom of Yorkshire Terrace.
Yorkshire Terrace
There is a bus stop at the bottom of Yorkshire Terrace.
A C Taxi
835 Old Victoria Rd
Yellow Cab
151 Haliburton St
Tofino Bus The Island Bus Co.- Greyhound Package Express
680 Trans-Canada Hwy
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Nanaimo Airport
3350 Spitfire Way
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Greyhound
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Duke Point Ferry Terminal
400 Duke Point Hwy
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Nanaimo Harbour
160 Front St
Saysutshun (Newcastle Island) Ferry Terminal
Protection Island Ferry
8 Pirates Lane
Great for getting to downtown Vancouver in a hurry. Fabulous views.
Helijet
100 Port Way
Great for getting to downtown Vancouver in a hurry. Fabulous views.
My favorite way to travel back and forth to the mainland. They can take you to the airport or right downtown Vancouver by Canada Place! It is quite a reasonably priced way to travel and the views are spectacular! They also offer tours!
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Harbour Air Seaplanes
90 Front St
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My favorite way to travel back and forth to the mainland. They can take you to the airport or right downtown Vancouver by Canada Place! It is quite a reasonably priced way to travel and the views are spectacular! They also offer tours!
Entertainment & Activities
Vancouver Island Conference Centre
Nice comfy reclining seats!
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Cineplex Entertainment
213-4750 Rutherford Road
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Nice comfy reclining seats!
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Landmark Cinemas Nanaimo
6631 North Island Hwy
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Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks
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WildPlay Element Parks, Nanaimo
35 Nanaimo River Rd
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Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks
I cannot recommend Captain Hans enough! I have been on his tours quite a few times now and just love them. He will throw out the crab traps and cook what you catch. Take you to some secluded beaches and just makes sure you have a fabulous time.
Island Marine Adventures
1000 Stewart Ave
I cannot recommend Captain Hans enough! I have been on his tours quite a few times now and just love them. He will throw out the crab traps and cook what you catch. Take you to some secluded beaches and just makes sure you have a fabulous time.
If you haven't already seen a pod of whales from the shore then there is nothing like taking a tour boat out to see these amazing creatures up close!
Vancouver Island Whale Watch
70 Church St
If you haven't already seen a pod of whales from the shore then there is nothing like taking a tour boat out to see these amazing creatures up close!
Reel Time Fishing Charters
2075 Mountain Vista Dr
Nanaimo Ice Centre
Nanaimo Golf Club
2800 Highland Blvd
Cottonwood Golf Course
1975 Haslam Rd
Coastal Expression
1840 Stewart Ave
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Nanaimo Aquatic Centre
741 Third Street
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See some of the best cold water diving. British Columbia Canada is rated among the top ten cold water dive destinations in the world.
Sink or Swim Scuba
4131 Mostar Rd
See some of the best cold water diving. British Columbia Canada is rated among the top ten cold water dive destinations in the world.
Nanaimo Dive Outfitters
2205 Northfield Rd
Sundown Diving
22 Esplanade
Paddle board rentals
Alternative Groove
6750 N Island Hwy
Paddle board rentals