Escape to Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park, an island steeped in Coast Salish First Nations history that is a quick ten-minute boat or ferry ride from Nanaimo. Residents can enjoy the island’s many hiking trails, campsites, beaches, and fishing spots. Mallard Lake, located on the island, is also a great spot for bird watchers.
Nanaimo is host to the famous annual World Championship Bathtub Races and Marine Festival.
Visitors from the mainland headed for the legendary Cathedral Grove are most likely to hop a ferry to Nanaimo before taking the Alberni Highway that bisects Vancouver Island.