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Meeting new people is one of the best parts of travelling, and with 85,000 residents calling this part of Vancouver Island home, you're sure to have no shortage of opportunities.
The provincial capital, Victoria, lies 90 kilometres southeast of this destination, while Extension is situated 8 kilometres south.
If your holiday is all about the entire family, trips to Frank Jameson Community Centre and Brechin Lanes will no doubt put smiles on everyone's faces! Young ones still up for more? Don't stop yet. Keep them busy with a visit to Riptide Lagoon Adventure Golf and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre.
Want to encourage your kids’ curiosity about the world of wildlife? Take them on an outing to Raptors Centre, where youngsters can discover how an animal behaves, the types of sounds it makes and much, much more!
Keen for a more relaxing day of sightseeing? Then visit the Chase and Warren Winery, where you'll learn about the local winemaking process and indulge in a drop or two.
Walking around the manicured gardens and floral exhibits at the Milner Gardens & Woodland feels like gliding through a magical wonderland.
From a friendly ball game to simply stretching out on the grass, there's always a reason to visit a green oasis like the Milner Gardens and Woodland or Qualicum National Wildlife Area. There's also a stack of fun to be had at Heritage Forest and Top Bridge Community Park.
Make the most of your stay in Nanaimo by getting a little help from the experts at Qualicum Beach Visitor Centre. Parksville Visitor Centre and Pacific Rim Visitor Centre can also provide you with an array of useful resources such as maps and guides.
Watch as the dancing waters of Englishman River Falls Provincial Park cascade into the gurgling pool below.
Keep your eyes peeled for interesting birdlife while enjoying a leisurely walk by the edge of the water at Sproat Lake Petroglyphs.
Few things are better than a day spent relaxing by the seaside. You're spoilt for choice around these parts, with Transfer Beach Park and Beach Estates Park some of the best places to plunge a toe in the water. Want to keep adding to your shell collection? Also stop by Canal Beach and Qualicum Beach Community Park.
Slip on some comfortable walking shoes and get ready for an adventure. There are a range of nature reserves in the surrounding area that are just waiting to be enjoyed. The fresh, crisp air and natural surroundings at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park and Roberts Memorial Provincial Park are as invigorating as it gets. Spider Lake Provincial Park and MacMillan Provincial Park are two more that are worth visiting.
Boat construction and navigation techniques have played a huge role in shaping many countries across the world. To find out more about the maritime history of the area, set course for the Maritime Discovery Centre.
Take in the imaginative works on display in the gallery spaces of the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery. If you notice anything that captures your eye, don't forget to ask for some more information about the artist.
Find out about the influence that Nanaimo's past events and characters had on the country, and sometimes the world, at the Alberni Valley Museum and the Nanaimo Museum. For an even deeper peek into the past, also think about visiting the Qualicum Beach Museum and the Craig Heritage Park and Museum.
The McLean Mill National Historic Site and the Bastion are top of your list if you want a deeper understanding of Nanaimo's heritage. If you've got some more time, Petroglyphs at Sproat Lake is also worth wandering around.
Pause for a moment at Nuu-Chah-Nulth Whaling Canoe Sculpture and let your thoughts cast back to the past events and people that have helped mould this city into what it is today.
Listen to the lively student dialogue as you roam around and admire the contemporary architecture at the Vancouver Island University and the Vancouver Island University Parksville Campus.
If there was ever a shopper's paradise, Nanaimo would fit the bill. With a diverse range of shopping plazas to take your pick of, it's not a bad idea to begin with Woodgrove Shopping Centre and PineRidge Farm Market. Next up is Wilde and Sparrow or Coombs Old Country Market, where you'll find plenty more tempting outlets to pursue. After all, a shopper can never have too much retail therapy!
Love a good show? Check out if there's anything scheduled at the Ladysmith Little Theatre or the Village Theater. Both are popular venues, so it might be a good idea to reserve a spot in advance.
You might think there's nothing left to do after seeing Nanaimo's most renowned tourist attractions, but don't head off just yet. There are still lots of things to check out. Why not venture to WildPlay Nanaimo and the Old School House Arts Centre? And there is also Ladysmith Marina and the Rollin Art Centre Gallery.
Secure your Nanaimo hotel today and you can get started working out your amazing new adventures. lastminute.com.au currently lists more than 22 accommodations.
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