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Nanaimo: hub of the island

Attractions, festivals and activities on Vancouver Island

Enjoying west coast living at its finest with mild winters, early springs, long summers and spectacular fall make Vancouver Island most desirable. For more information on specific activities, click on the following links:

Parks Golfing Festivals & Events Water & Sports

Nanaimo Parks

Enjoying west coast living at its finest with mild winters, early springs, long summers and spectacular fall make Vancouver Island most desirable.

Lakeview homesLoudon Park on Long Lake is next door to two of Lakeview Homes' properties..

Enjoy the sandy beach for swimming. Use the public boat launch to launch your watercraft for a fun and exhilarating day of skiing, tubing, wake boarding and more.

The canoe and kayak club offers drop in lessons and rentals.

Enjoy spring with a visit to Bowen Parks, Hailey Rhododendron Grove Garden. The Grove is in bloom from late February – July. The best display is from mid-April to mid-May. A tranquil woodland garden adopted by the Nanaimo Rhododendron Society. The Grove is situated in the Millstone Valley of Nanaimo’s Bowen Park. With over 350 rhododendrons to view it is just truly amazing. Each season has something wonderful to see or do. Sport activities include swimming, tennis, horseshoe pitching and lawn bowling. There are many fabulous streamside and forested trails to explore.

Explore Buttertubs Marsh, an 18 hectare bird and wildlife sanctuary near Bowen Park. Bring your camera and some birdseed for an unforgettable outing. Morrel Santuary offers more of the same. Visit Colliery Dam Park a 28 hectare park, a popular swimming hole for the locals in summer. Wildlife viewed here include deer, grouse, pheasant and king fisher. If birdwatching is something you enjoy, Neck Point Provincial Park is a 14 hectare waterfront park. A fantastic scenic hike to magnificent viewpoints overlooking the ocean. There is a vast trail system throughout the park.

Lakeview homes 2For an unforgettable 180 degree view of Departure Bay and area, trek up Sugar Loaf Mountain.

The hike is well worth the view.

Ammonite Falls can be explored by travelling through the pristine forest to an amazing 85 foot waterfall at the heart of Mt Benson. Guided tours to the falls are offered through Tracks.

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Intricate hiking trails are in abundance here.

Pipers Lagoon offers many oceanside viewpoints
through the old oak trees.


Vancouver island vacation home 1Vancouver island vacation home 2Cable Bay Trail is the perfect hike. In under an hour to catch a glimpse of sealions surfing in the wakes, or sit on rock bluffs and enjoy the scenery of Dodds Narrows.

A great trail to view bald headed eagles on.

Jack Point/Biggs Park is a great kept secret in Nanaimo. The trail system runs along Duke Point. It has excellent views of the Nanaimo River, Protection Island and more. Follow over the wooden stairs to the bluff of Jack Point and watch the ferries set sail.

Vancouver island vacation home 3Walk or cycle around Westwood Lake Park which has a 6km wateside trail.

Enjoy the wilderness terrain in this 106 hectare park.

Many local residents including geese, goslings, ducks, deer, raccoons and more are in abundance here. Lifeguard on duty in July and August at the sandy beach.


Lakeview resort Maffeo Sutton Park, downtown Nanaimo is in the hub of the inner harbour.

Home to many of our festivals and activities. The park includes basketball courts, giant chess boards, a large playground, a fishing pier and a perfect picnic spot. A short ferry ride from the park will bring you to Newcastle Island. You can explore the “jewel” of the Nanaimo Harbour. Newcastle Island is a beautiful sandstone island full of local beauty and much history.

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With the mild climate of Vancouver Island, every season is a season for golf. Nanaimo offers year round golfing, come and visit one of the 19 courses within an hours drive of Nanaimo.

Beautiful terrain mixed with ocean views, lucious greens, mountain vistas make west coast golfing a must. See Nanaimo Golf Club with its majestic course located centrally in Nanaimo with tall evergreens, willow and maple trees with picture perfect views of the Straight of Georgia.

Vancouver island property15 minutes north of Nanaimo in Nanoose Bay, visit the Fairwinds Play on this lush fairway lined by towering fir, oak and arbutus trees.

Granted BC PGA’s Facility of the Year (99). One of Vancouver Island’s top 18 hole courses. Qualicum Beach, 30 minutes north of Nanaimo has Eaglecrest a semiprivate course.

Glengarry Golf Links at 1025 Qualicum Road, Qualicum Beach, stretched out beneath Mt. Arrowsmith for the front nine while the back nine stretches through peaceful stands of the westcoast Douglas fir. Morningstar home of the CPGA Tour is home of the Canadian Tour Qualifying School. One of Vancouver Island’s Premier golf destination.

Vancouver island property 2Check out Crown Isle in the Comox Valley, this award-winning platinum rated course is an excellent Championship course with 11 lakes, views of the Beaufort mountain range located only 1 hour north of Nanaimo.

Explore south of Nanaimo at Duncan Meadows which is located in the beautiful Cowichan Valley. There is a strong mix of parkland and links style holes on this championship and links style holes on this 18 hole 72 par course. There are many other wonderful golf destinations in the surrounding area.

Local Festivals and Events

Nanaimo has numerous festivals to be enjoyed. The Cadillac Van Isle 360 is a 580 nm. point to point race circumnavigating wild and rugged Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada yearly in June. Sailed in ten legs the course provides inshore, offshore and overnight legs through some of the worlds most challenging and beautiful waters.

Lakeview homes 2The Great International World Championship Bathtub Race with 40 years of racing. Tubbers venture 36 miles across the Straight of Georgia . the "Great RACE" finishes at Departure Bay in Nanaimo covering a very grueling course that leaves Nanaimo harbor circles Entrance Island and then up to and around Winchelsea Island and then back to Departure Bay in Nanaimo. Bathtub weekend, is a great highlight for the Marine Festival which occurs in July every year.

The Silly Boat Regatta is a sport for fun-lovers only. Teams build their boats using great creativity and skill and attempt to allow them to be the last boat a-float. This is great community spirit raising cash for kids through the Nanaimo Child Development Centre.

Vancouver island vacation homeNanaimo’s own Dragon Boat Festival partakes in the ancient Chinese tradition of dragon boat racing. The boat is usually launched with a tradition called the "Awakening of the Dragon" or "Eye Dotting" ceremony, which "awakens the spirit of the dragon". The ritual is performed to rouse the dragons to life. Money raised through this festival is to provide hope and awareness for Breast Cancer Research. Each participant wears a pink carnation and tossed into the water to remember those who lost their fight and those who continue to fight.

Vancouver island vacation home 2For the adrenaline junkies, try Bungy jumping The Bungy Zone is America’s only legal bungy bridge. Over 135,000.00 jumps to date.

Romper Room home to Nanaimo’s own climbing centre for all levels from beginner to advanced.

Horseback riding and mountain biking are other activities which are enjoyed by locals. Mountain biking has ample opportunity for novice to expert level. Mt Benson offers challenging off road trails for all skills levels. On Parkway trail leisurely rides can be enjoyed while taking in the local scenery.

Water & Sports

For the anglers, salt water fishing at its finest. Chinook, Coho, and Pink salmon are readily available in the native waters of Vancouver. Island. Chinook salmon can grow up to 60 pounds or so. Even women enjoy this fascinating sport. Halibut, cod and other species are also readily caught.

Crabbing and prawning are also enjoyed. The highlight is in the catch, as you can eat what you catch. Salmon Charters can be hired locally here through many local operators. If you catch lots, have it locally smoked and packaged. St. Jeans Cannery & Smoke House will process your fish to your personal liking. Fresh water fishing is enjoyed in almost all bodies of water on the Island.

Long Lake is home to wonderful Rainbow trout, bring your rod and test your skill, or luck whichever you prefer. Many of the local lakes and rivers have amazing fly fishing. Some of the local lakes include Nanaimo Lakes, Long Lake, Brannen Lake which are all equipped with easily accessible boat launches.

Lakeview homes Lakeview homes 2 Enjoy the tranquility of the coast while exploring Nanaimo and surrounding area by water . Kayaking is very popular . Guided tours or self-guided tours are available.

Tours are offered through Discovery Expeditions, Sealegs and Wildheart to experience this dance with nature. Exploring Vancouver Island by kayak provides some of the world’s finest destinations.

If sailing is more your speed, explore the coast with a skippered charters through Takuli or experience the magic with Nanaimo Yacht Charters. Either sit back and relax or, for the more adventurous, learn your own sailing skills.

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Nanaimo offers world class scuba diving.

Vancouver Island’s spectacular coastal waters are renowned for their abundant and diverse marine life.

Included are six gill sharks, seals, wolf eels, colourful gardens of sea anemones and sponges.


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Visit Underwater British Columbia Photographic Society to see some phenomenal examples. Nanaimo is home to artifical reefs of excellent caliber including the HMCS Cape Breton and Sasketchewan off Snake Island. The ships are bristling with coral and abundant sea life including cod, scallops, seals, sea urchins, octopus, crab and sea cucumbers. Dodds Narrows is popular if you like to rub elbows with sealions.


Vancouver island vacation home 3Check out Ocean Explorers Diving with Nanaimo rated as “one of the best cold water destinations in the world”, our diving is without question unlike any other on the planet.

Check out the world's largest species of octopus, playful wolfeels, sea lions, seals and thousands of different fish and invertebrates with Sundown. In 2005, Nanaimo welcomed the RivTow Lion, a retired tugboat sunk in Departure Bay to offer a diving experience even for novices.

Tubing on Long LakeVancouver island property 2Long Lake, home to two Lakeview Homes, is close to the boat launch and has plenty of parking for your trailer. Long Lake has excellent water temperatures.

Locals enjoy skiing, wake boarding, tubing and swimming at the sandy beach. Long Lake has a paddling club offers drop ins for canoe, kayak and more.

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