City of Nanaimo
The Nanaimo downtown is an enjoyable place to wander around for an afternoon. There are many shops, mostly unique to Nanaimo and not part of a chain. You can find everything from antiques to books to ice cream.
Dinghy Dock Pub
Protection Island Ferry Dock 151 Front Street V9R 5E2 MAP
Located by the water on Protection Island, it can be accessed by a small ferry. An adult round trip is $9. Ferries leave from the downtown docks 10 minutes past the hour from 7 am to 11 pm and on the hour from the Island.
Maffeo Sutton Park / Bowen Park
Comox Road at Terminal Avenue MAP
Maffeo Sutton Park is located on the waterfront and includes an artificial harbour. It is part of a larger waterfront with various shops, docks and a large promenade. If one doesn’t mind taking a few side streets, it is possible to follow the river that flows past into another park, Bowen Park. Bowen contains a large area of forest with many paths. If you’re lucky, you can see deer, owls or otters, and squirrels are everywhere.
Nanaimo Art Gallery
150 Commercial Street V9R 5G6 MAP
The gallery currently features a temporary exhibit called Black Diamond Dust that explores the social impact of the coal mining industry. The gallery also houses a large permanent collection.
Open Saturday and Sunday from 10 am- 5 pm
100 Museum Way V9R 5J8 MAP
Their exhibits include a replica coal mine, a model longhouse and an exploration of Nanaimo’s harbour. There is currently a temporary exhibit about Canadians in the Pacific during WWII. NOTE: The Saturday evening reception will be held here.
10 am- 5 pm, closed Sunday.
Vancouver Island Military Museum
100 Cameron Road V9R OC8 MAP
Contains displays about the branches of the Canadian Military, women in the armed forces, life on the home front and several of the wars Canada has participated in. It’s the octagonal building across the road from the waterfront.
10 am- 3 pm, closed Sunday.