If you’ve only ever transited through Nanaimo by way of B.C. Ferries, it is time to explore this coastal community! Residents love the city’s unique balance of urban living and outdoor adventure. Thanks to Nanaimo’s long shoreline locals enjoy sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. Underwater teems with sealife and divers come from all over to explore artificial reefs. On land, Nanaimo is enveloped by forests that are well suited for hiking and mountain biking. With Georgia Straight to the east and mountains to the west, Nanaimo’s horizon is well positioned to see incredible sunrises and sunsets. Here are 8 gorgeous examples.
The sun rises over Departure Bay, Nanaimo. Home to a major passenger ferry terminal Nanaimo is one of the primary gateways for accessing Vancouver Island. Savvy locals know that drivers should arrive early and make reservations in advance when traveling over busy summer weekends.
The sun peeks over the Nanaimo waterfront walkway. In just a couple of hours locals will flood the path for their morning walk, and children will play in the seaside park. The friendly critter in the foreground is the pier’s trademark crab.
Photographer: Tourism Nanaimo/Tristan Van der Werld
Keel Cove Sunset
Keel Cove Sunset. This photo was taken from Sunset Beach at Neck Point Park. As you can see, it was a very dramatic sky that evening and the color didn’t last long.
Neck Point Park affords a great lookout point for catching a sunset. One of the most beloved parks and beach hangouts in Nanaimo, its rocky headland attracts scuba divers. The outcrop or ‘neck’ is teeming with sea life and is said to be home to a friendly octopus.
Photographer: Tourism Nanaimo/Landon Sveinson
This image was taken from a Cameron Island condo, looking back towards Mount Benson. The mountain stands 3,300 feet tall, making it the highest in the city’s proximity. Popular recreational trails include Rock Bottom, Te’tuxw’tun and Lake.
Photographer: Tourism Nanaimo/Cinnabar Vista Productions
Sunset from the deck of B.C. Ferries, departing Departure Bay. This ferry route transits 30 nautical miles across the Georgia Straight, depositing passengers in Horseshoe Bay. Did you know that some Nanaimo residents commute to Vancouver for work?
Shack Island Sunrise. This photo was taken from Neck Point Park on a beautiful September morning in 2013.
Historical tidbit: During the Great Depression hard hit residents moved to Shack Island and constructed cabins because at the time it was a Crown owned island. This meant the property they built on was rent-free. Approximately 20 or so cabins still exist today.
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