Nanaimo Journals

Nanaimo - Exploring an Offbeat Town

An August 2004 trip to Nanaimo by nomadcheryl

Lounge at the Painted Turtle Photo, Nanaimo, British Columbia More Photos
Quote: The harbour, an odd house, beautiful flowers, Scottish food - all adds to an interesting weekend in a port town.

Nanaimo - Exploring an Offbeat Town

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Lounge at the Painted Turtle Photo, Nanaimo, British Columbia
Quote:
A quirky town - with beautiful scenery every direction? Sign me up! Nanaimo is 68 miles north of Victoria - but it's very different- smaller, artistic without the 'touristy' feel that can overwhelm in Victoria. The town has a nautical feel that is expressed in its architecture and of course we stayed in a hostel that looked down the street to the port - so we never lost that waterside feel - Nice!The Harbour docks are full of photo ops (and eating and drinking ops for that matter). Sailboats alongside fishing boats (and one funny tiny boat called the Kathryn Ann). There is a long walk (2.5 miles) along the water and a tower to take you up (3 stories or so) for a view - over the water a...Read More

Painted Turtle Guesthouse

Hotel | "Painted Turtle"

Lounge at the Painted Turtle Photo, Nanaimo, British Columbia
Quote:
Located in Nanaimo's Arts district - there is a nice vibe in the neighborhood. It has a great location near the Harbour and it's not far from the Old Quarter - making it a great base. We did city walks and island tours from here as well as several parks that are close to Nanaimo. It has the best of hotel and hostel combined into one. Most rooms are private rooms ($45-75 Canadian) or for a more traditional hostel experience - there are shared "suites" - for $24 Canadian. The friendly Aussie owners, the high speed Internet PCs (and wireless capability) the kitchen, its cleanliness - all add up to the best hostel experience I've had (well there is that one in Flagstaff...) They also have an o...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 28, 2007

Painted Turtle Guesthouse
121 Bastion Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 3A2
(250) 753-4432

Tina's Diner

Restaurant

Quote:
A great little 50s style diner- perfect for breakfast on a cold morning. I'm not one to experiment with frou-frou breakfast entrées. This diner does eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast and coffee -just right, with friendly service. The menu has omelettes, French toast, eggs Benedict and breakfast wraps - for those with a lighter appetite they offer half servings as well.They play and sell CDs by local musicians - I found it enjoyable (and bought one.)There is live music on Saturdays and Sundays during lunch.They serve breakfast all day and though I did not have lunch here - they do serve it until they close around 3pm - soups, sandwiches and salads. They open at 8...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 29, 2007

Tina's Diner
187 Commercial Street
Nanaimo
(250) 753-5333

Quote:
Friendly Scottish owner with only the best foods- cheeses, bread, marmalades, mustards, cookie, teas and lots more. He will entertain you while you shop too. Have questions about the town? He'll fill you in - what is worth your time and what's not.

Did I mention he tells jokes - good ones.

Whether you're buying dinner, picnic supplies, breakfast items or gifts to take home - ask for a taste- we tried a delicious orange flavored cheese with ginger cookies - yummy!

I wish I had one in my town - ordering online is okay - just no jokes come with.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 28, 2007

McLean's Specialty Foods
426 Fitzwilliam Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R-3B1
(250) 754-0100

Nanaimo Harbourfront Walkway

Attraction | "Harbour Walkway"

Harbour reflection Photo, Nanaimo, British Columbia
Quote:
The harbourfront walkway follows a path along the water - the docks with yachts, sailing and fishing vessels, Newcastle Island, Protection Island, waterfront condominiums, small waterfront cafés, and a pub, eventually reaching a city park. There are other paths that connect to this one - but this is almost five miles long and has a lot of variety. On a cool day you might cut it short and save some for another time - especially if you decide to test the pubs and cafes. Each of the islands have more trails which I did not have time to do - though our hostel host highly recommended Protection Island (ferries are inexpensive and frequent).

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 29, 2007

Nanaimo Harbourfront Walkway
Across Lions Great Bridge
Nanaimo, British Columbia

Gabriola Island

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Leaving Nanaimo  Photo,
Quote:
A twenty minute ferry ride from Nanaimo is this sweet little island in the Strait of Georgia. My friend is a writer and had read about the area and was checking out towns she might want to move to. This island was very high on her list. There are only about 4,000 residents. It is known for its arts community - lots of pottery shops - well done pottery though and art galleries - the one we walked through was very low key - we felt welcome and enjoyed just looking. We drove around the island and stopped for walks along the coast at several of the parks - not enough time to do them all. Drumbeg Provincial park has great views and great flowers - with a unique ecosystem called the Garry Oak meadow...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 29, 2007

About the Writer

nomadcheryl

nomadcheryl
Jacksonville , Florida