Nanaimo is officially known as Harbour City for good reason.
Stretched like a long, lean finger along the east coast of south-central Vancouver Island, British Columbia's sixth-largest city gets its identity, history and a wealth of recreation from a lovely, island-sheltered harbour right in the heart of town. Hiking, boating, kayaking, biking and world-class scuba diving and snorkeling are everyday activities at the bustling waterfront, as seaplanes take flight from sparkling blue waters.
Today, Nanaimo (population 84,228) is a fast-growing urban centre that is no longer merely the premier gateway to Vancouver Island. A boldly revitalized downtown core, delightful harbourfront walkway, sparkling new museum, affordable art galleries, and a wealth of cool shopping and dining alternatives are good reasons to park the car, find accommodations and stay awhile.