Yes, Nanaimo is the place for Nanaimo bars, but it has so much more to discover

If you’re looking for a unique and memorable vacation on Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is the perfect destination for you. This charming city and the region around it offers a variety of offbeat experiences that will make your trip unforgettable. Here are 10 of them:

Sleep in a spherical treehouse at Free Spirit Spheres

For a truly unique accommodation option, book a stay at Free Spirit Spheres, where you can sleep in a spherical pod suspended among the trees. These cozy and whimsical treehouses are surrounded by coastal rainforest and offer a peaceful retreat from the city.

Admire ancient rock carvings at Petroglyph Provincial Park

At this park, you can see hundreds of petroglyphs carved into the rocks by the First Nations people more than 1,000 years ago. These carvings depict human figures, animals and mythical creatures, and offer a glimpse into the culture and history of the area.

Explore miniature worlds at Miniature World

This attraction is home to over 85 mini dioramas and displays that showcase various scenes and themes. You can see the world’s smallest operational sawmill, two of the world’s largest dollhouses, one of the world’s largest model railways and much more.

Challenge yourself at WildPlay Element Parks

If you’re looking for some adrenaline-pumping fun, head to WildPlay Element Parks, where you can zip line, bungee jump, swing, climb and walk on aerial obstacles. There are different levels of difficulty and height to suit your preferences and abilities.

Hotels in Nanaimo

Learn about Nanaimo’s history at the Nanaimo Museum

This museum showcases the rich and diverse history of Nanaimo, from its coal mining days to its present-day culture. You can see exhibits on the First Nations people, the Chinese community, the bathtub races, the Nanaimo bar and more.

Watch or join the bathtub races at Nanaimo Marine Festival

One of Nanaimo’s most famous events is the bathtub races, which take place every July as part of the Nanaimo Marine Festival. This quirky tradition involves racing in bathtubs converted into boats across the harbour. You can watch the spectacle from the shore or join in the fun yourself.

Indulge in Nanaimo bars along the Nanaimo Bar Trail

Nanaimo is famous for its delicious dessert bars made of chocolate, custard and coconut. You can sample different versions of this treat along the Nanaimo Bar Trail, which features 39 stops that offer everything from traditional bars to cocktails, ice cream, cheesecake and more.

Visit a historic coal mine at Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park

This park preserves the remains of a coal mine that operated from 1913 to 1930. You can see the original headframe and tipple structures that were used to transport coal from underground to the surface. You can also walk along the Morden Colliery Trail, which follows the route of the old railway that carried coal to the harbour.

Discover local art at Nanaimo Art Gallery

This gallery showcases the work of local and regional artists, as well as national and international ones. You can see exhibitions of contemporary art in various media, such as painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation. The gallery also hosts events, workshops, and programs for all ages.

Get up close to creepy crawlies at Victoria Bug Zoo

Don’t let the name fool you, this zoo is not just for bugs. You can also see scorpions, tarantulas, Canada’s largest ant colony, and many other fascinating creatures. Learn more about them from the knowledgeable guides and even hold some of them if you dare.

ENS Editors

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