ADD TO LISTNanaimo is Vancouver Island's second largest city, and also the arrival point for ferries departing from Horseshoe Bay from the mainland, as well as a hub for numerous surrounding islands. The city first started as a trading post in the early 1800's.
Travel Tips from people who've been to Nanaimo
Nanaimo is a great spot for cold-water diving. It's relatively easy to get to from Seattle (drive north, cross the border, cross the ferry, and you're there. Maybe 5 hours?). Clear waters, wrecks, deep walls, and a chance to dive with seals. Trouble is the water is COLD. I don't dive Canada tho my husband does. Nanaimo is FUN for non-divers too. The fun starts with the 2-hour ferry ride which includes a playground. Be sure to check out the uber-park near the marina which has, count them, THREE different kinds of swings in addition to a merry-go-round, jungle gyms, and more. Also don't miss the aquatic center. For just a few bucks your youngster can walk into the zero-entry pool with a pirate ship jungle gym made of water pipes that spray you. Lazy river, water slide, and lap pool are available for older kids. I couldn't get my youngster away from it! Small town feel where everyone seems to walk everywhere. US dollars accepted tho change will most likely be in Canadian. US chain restaurants available for the picky child who will only eat a plain cheeseburger and fries.
Visit The Queens downtown on Victoria. Live music 7 nights a week. Good atmosphere.
You can sleep in the parking with your camper even if it's not allowed
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