Name: In the Halkomelem Indian language the name means "the great and mighty people".
Communities of Vancouver Island
B.C. Travel Regions
Nanaimo, 68 miles / 110 km north of Victoria, is British Columbia's third-oldest city and the second largest city on Vancouver Island. Nanaimo is best known for its meandering walking tours of 19th century buildings and delightful waterfront vistas. Historic landmarks such as the Nanaimo Bastion, a former Hudson's Bay fort dating back to 1853, the Miner's Cottage (1897) and the 1898 elegantly steepled St. Andrews Church, are dotted throughout the city. Summer evenings are commemorated in traditional BC style on the Bastion grounds, replete with Scottish bagpipes and a ceremonial cannon firing.
The walking tour of Nanaimo is generally not complete without a stop at the Scotch Bakery, home of the world-famous Nanaimo Bar confection. There are also numerous restaurants, tea shops and coffee bars to sample in the Old City Quarter, where antique stores and gift shops provide a reflective glimpse into Nanaimo's early history.
These days, Nanaimo's notoriety as the bathtub racing capital of the world gains almost as much attention as the city's historic roots. Started in 1967, the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society's wacky races lay proof to the claim that with enough ingenuity, one can make just about anything float. Scheduled in July, the races are still considered one of BC's more popular festival events.
Nanaimo's rich Native history as an ancient meeting place for five separate First Nations communities can be appreciated at Petroglyph Provincial Park, on the south end of the city. The rock carvings date back more than 1,000 years and can be viewed throughout the park.
Recreation is year-round. Vancouver Island is famous for whale watching, birding and kayaking opportunities. Numerous cruises depart from the Nanaimo area throughout the summer. Winter recreation at Vancouver Island's Mt. Washington includes 1,200 acres of alpine skiing and snowboarding and 35 miles of Nordic skiing trails.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Moon British Columbia: Including the Alaska Highway, 10th Edition (Moon Handbooks) by Andrew Hempstead. Find the best places to eat, where to go skiing and snowboarding, how to get around along with much more through the unique trip ideas recommended by the author. Order now...
Discover Canada (Full Color Country Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet. This book is the ideal guide for planning your trip with all the must see sights and must do experiences through images, insider tips, tailored itineraries and east to navigate content. Full colored maps for the country, regions and cities are also included. Order now...
Frommer's Far & Wide: A Weekly Guide to Canada's Best Travel Experiences by Andrew Hempstead, Pamela Cuthbert, Lucas Aykroyd and Helena Katz. Written by a team of local authors this book has maps of trips along with information about the culture and history, nature, festivals and events, restaurants, adventure and even the quirky Canada. Order now...
Lonely Planet British Columbia & the Canadian Rockies, 6th Edition (Regional Travel Guide) by John Lee. This book helps trip planning with features including insider tips, itineraries, cultural insights, pull-out of Vancouver, information on transportation options and contact information for local businesses. Order now...
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