I had the best time visiting Nanaimo for 4 days this March! My friend lives there and was an awesome tour guide who tried to show me as much as possible in the time I was there. I even got lucky and had 2.5 days of sunshine! Nanaimo is beautiful and has so many places to check out and the best part is that it’s free to do most of what I am about to share with you!
Sugarloaf Mountain Park
This 10 minute hike is gorgeous with views overlooking Departure Bay. I love how green everything is and how pretty the moss covered steps look that lead to the top. This is something you can do that is completely free and a great place to take some photos.
Pipers Lagoon Park
Take a stroll on this beautiful beach covered with driftwood and a gravel walking path. There are a few spots you can climb the rocks to some gorgeous lookouts. Pipers would be the perfect place to beachcomb. I wish I could spend a day here in the summer.
Maffeo Sutton Park on Nanaimo Waterfront
A great place to stroll the seawall. Beautiful views of the offshore islands and the marina. If you have kids there is a nice park for them as well as paved trails to push a stroller or ride a bike. I loved how many dogs were there with their owners enjoying the sunny day. Grab a coffee and a treat from one of the many cute cafe’s and shops along the waterfront. Get on a ferry to Protection Island or Newcastle Island.
Newcastle Island Marina Provincial Park
This gorgeous island is only accessible by ferry or boat. There are no vehicles allowed on the island just walking trails. This was the highlight of the trip for me! The 8 km trail takes you around the whole island. I would love to go back to camp and kayak. Bring a lunch and sit and enjoy the views. The ferry runs every hour and costs $9 return trip. So cheap for an amazing day of exploring.
Check out some winery’s on the island. We went to Blue Grouse Estate Winery and did a tasting for $4. The building is gorgeous and so is the view from their deck. This winery would be amazing to have a wedding at. The wine was alright but I wasn’t in love with any of them.
We headed down to the road to Venturi Schulze Winery. You pull up to a small older style home and walk into a small tasting room. This was my favourite winery I have been to because they were so informative on how they make the wine and they use only fruit from their own estate which the other winery used some Okanagan fruit. For $5 you got to taste 4 wines, 8 jams and 3 balsamic vinegars. Everything I tasted I loved and bought some jam to take home. I would tell people to go here just to taste the balsamic they make. I learned more about wine in an hour than I had in all my adulthood. If you are a wine lover this is the place to go as they have some very unique blends.
Check out where to eat in Nanaimo http://seastheday.ca/2017/03/27/where-to-eat-in-nanaimo/