Top things to do

Top Choice International in Nanaimo

Gabriel's Gourmet Café

An expanded new location for Nanaimo's best farm-to-table eatery (check out the tables made from old bowling-alley wood) means a larger menu of international-influenced comfort dishes. But some things never change, …
Top Choice Pub in Nanaimo

Crow and Gate

With Nanaimo's decidedly underwhelming bar scene, it's worth heading out of town (with designated driver, of course) to BC's best Brit-style pub. With a dark, wood-beam interior and a lip-smacking menu of housemade …
Cafe in Nanaimo

Vault Cafe

A cavernous former bank building colonized with mismatched old sofas, junk-shop knickknacks and some striking local artwork, the Vault is a laid-back coffeehouse and lunch spot (with bulging toasted sandwiches) by d…
Museum in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Museum

Just off the Commercial St main drag, this popular museum showcases the region's heritage, from First Nations to colonial, maritime, sporting and beyond. Highlights of the eclectic collection include exhibits on Nan…
Park in Nanaimo

Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park

Nanaimo's rustic outdoor gem offers 22km of hiking and biking trails, plus beaches and wildlife spotting. Traditional Coast Salish land, it was the site of shipyards and coal mines before becoming a popular summer e…
Mexican in Nanaimo

Penny's Palapa

This flower-and-flag-decked floating hut and patio in the harbor is lovely for an alfresco meal among the jostling boats. The inventive, well-priced menu of Mexican delights includes seasonal seafood specials (the s…
Area in Nanaimo

Old City Quarter

A steep hike uphill from the waterfront on Bastion and Fitzwilliam Sts delivers you to a strollable heritage hood of independent stores, galleries and eateries in brightly painted old buildings. Highlights include M…
Amusement Park in Nanaimo

Wild Play Element Parks

The perfect spot to tire your kids out, this tree-lined adventure playground is packed with adrenaline-pumping fun, from bungee jumping to scream-triggering zip-lining. Along with its fun obstacle courses, there's p…
Diner in Nanaimo

2 Chefs Affair

Focused on great comfort food at great prices, with a fresh, made-from-scatch approach, this highly welcoming locals' haunt in the heart of downtown is a great spot for breakfast – go the eggs Benedict route. Lunch …
International in Nanaimo

Modern Cafe

This reinvented old coffee shop has cool, loungy interiors combining exposed brick and comfy booths and, for when it's sunny, a ray-warmed street-side patio. The menu includes some great gourmet comfort food – go fo…