Top 5 Outdoor Activities to enjoy in Nanaimo

Beautiful Nanaimo Harbour
In no particular order here are the Top 5 outdoor activities you MUST check out with the year round fantastic climate in the beautiful harbour city of Nanaimo.

5. Take in the gorgeous harbour of Nanaimo by visiting the waterfront. You could spend a day exploring the harbour walk way, grabbing an ice cream cone at one of the many local shops along the way. Avid hikers can take the small ferry over to Newcastle Island for a full days exploration. In the summer the waterfront is bustling with outdoor concerts, events and crabbing down at the dock! It’s the place to be in the spring/summer months. An outdoor Farmer’s market happens on Friday in the warmer months. Straight from the sea fishing boats offer the freshest seafood right from the dock!

4. Hiking! Mount Benson is Nanaimo’s mini Grouse Grind. A 2 hour (one way) uphill climb to an amazing view of Nanaimo. There are many starting points but the most popular is at the end of Bensonview Rd, about 15 minutes from downtown. Take in the view, have a picnic and enjoy the feeling of reaching the top! For a less strenuous hike there is also an amazing off-leash dog hike Cable Bay Trail that is just over an hour and brings you down to awesome views of the ocean. Excellent hiking trails are all over the city as well as an extensive parkway trail system starting from the south end and ending in the north. 

View from a peak near Timberlands Lake

3. Bathtub Weekend! The last weekend in July (July 23-26 2015) is an important weekend for most Nanaimoites. It marks the date for the Nanaimo Marine Festival and World Championship Bathtub Race. Tons of free events, beer gardens, food venders, outdoor entertainment at Maffeo Sutton Park (downtown) and a phenomenal fireworks display on the Saturday night. Sunday is the race, with the finish line at Maffeo Sutton. It’s an action packed weekend you don’t want to miss!

2. Nanaimo River swimming holes. Probably some of the best river swimming in British Columbia, the Nanaimo River boasts locations for the rock jumper or calmer family friendly pools along it’s 56 km stretch. There are also ample lakes to cool off in as well, Westwood being the most popular and often has lifeguards on duty.

So many wonderful swimming holes at Nanaimo River!
1. Nanaimo boasts some of the world’s BEST scuba diving sites (some would consider it second only to the Red Sea) with 3 amazing wreck dives, the HMCS Saskatchewan, the RivTow Lion and what is now the largest Artificial Upright Reef, the HMCS Cape Breton. Kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle boards have also become very popular outdoor activities to partake in within the beautiful Nanaimo harbour and surrounding areas. Sport fishing is also very popular with many of the lakes fully stocked with beautiful rainbow trout as well as salmon/cod fishing not more than 15-20 minutes from the Nanaimo harbour. The yearly run of pink salmon can be exciting as people can catch them right in the harbour! 

All these activities and MUCH more can be experienced near the GableCraft Summerhill homes on Dufferin


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