Continuing on with our 48 Hours in Nanaimo, here are all the great things to do on Day 2.
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48 Hours in Nanaimo – DAY TWO
There are plenty of options for you for your second day. So this part of the post will be broken up into two sections: South Nanaimo and North-Mid Nanaimo. If you are travelling home on the Duke Point Ferry (or live South of Nanaimo), utilize the suggestions for South Nanaimo. If you live North of Nanaimo, or are travelling home on the Departure Bay Ferry, use the Mid-North Nanaimo suggestions.
This would include anyone who lives South of Nanaimo, and/or those heading home on the Duke Point Ferry (or leaving Nanaimo via float-plane). Read on for some great ideas to keep you occupied before you head home.
Cedar Farmers Market
If you happen to be in Nanaimo on a Sunday, make sure to take a drive out to the Cedar Farmers Market. You will find over 70 vendors selling meat, fish, honey, baked goods, crafts and handmade wares (plus so much more!). There is always live music to enjoy too.
The market is open every Sunday (May – October), from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. This is a really popular market, so for the best selection, make sure to arrive earlier in the day.
The vendors are located in the large grassy field in front of the Crow & Gate Pub on Yellow Point Road.
Great Eateries in the Area
- The Crow & Gate Pub – This English-style pub serves pints and classic grub in a cozy environment. It was the first built neighbourhood pub in BC and is now a well-known Nanaimo landmark. The decor consists of exposed beams, massive stonework open fireplaces, and heavy wood trestle tables. Scattered throughout the pub, you will also find authentic memorabilia from the U.K.
- Open 7 days a week from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm.
- They are licensed to serve people 19 years of age or older.
- Located at 2313 Yellow Point Road
- The Mahle House – Set in a historic home, this upscale (yet casual setting) eatery serves farm-fresh European style plates. The regular menu is an ever-changing collection of dishes that showcase seasonal offerings from local farms and suppliers. Every Wednesday, they offer an adventurous multi-course menu, which is a favourite among locals and tourists alike.
- They are open for dinner (starting at 5:00 pm), from Wednesday – Sunday.
- The Mahle House is located at 2104 Hemer Road
- The COCO Cafe – This cafe is a project of the Cedar Opportunities Co-Operative. Their mission is to operate a successful social enterprise that provides employment, training, and socialization opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. They also happen to have delicious food and coffee! Menu options include speciality coffees and teas, breakfast items, sandwiches and wraps, soups and salads, and daily features.
- Open daily, from 6:30 am – 4:00 pm (closed on Stat Holidays)
- Located at 4A – 1840 Cedar Road
There are many great trails in the South Nanaimo area to walk off all that fantastic food! The majority of them have already been written about in subsequent articles, so I will leave you with links instead of details.
- Hemer Park – located in Cedar
- Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park – located in Cedar
- Jack Point – located on the way to the Duke Point Ferry
- The Dark Side – located across from the Nanaimo airport
For a Bit of Fear Factor
If you are looking to check off one of your bucket list items while visiting Nanaimo, I highly suggest heading to WildPlay Element Park. This park allows you to take a 150-foot plunge towards the Nanaimo River, traverse obstacles at 60-feet off the ground, and soar through the trees on a zipline (to name a few of the options). This place is not for the faint of heart, but it IS an exhilarating experience one will never forget!
WildPlay is located at 35 Nanaimo River Road.
Need at Place to Stay?
Mountainaire Campground & RV Park – This 40-acre campground offers serviced sites near the Nanaimo River.
North and Mid-Nanaimo
If you live North of Nanaimo or are heading home on the Departure Bay Ferry, this section would be best for you.
This area of Nanaimo has many amazing trails and beaches to explore.
Many of our favourites have already been written about in the post entitled, Top 10 Nanaimo Walks. So if you are looking to stretch your legs, this is the place to start!
Departure Bay Area
One area of Nanaimo that doesn’t seem to get much attention, but should, is Departure Bay. It is such a great little area to explore! There is a short walkway that runs alongside the beach, there are benches to sit and enjoy the view, the beach provides great beachcombing opportunities, and there are some cute shops to peruse through just across the street.
If you are looking to bring home a Vancouver Island treasure, make sure to stop in Islandish. This boutique shop is full of beautiful locally made goods, plus many other great items. You can find them at #4-1420 Wingrove Street (just up from Departure Bay Beach).
If the weather is crummy, perhaps you want to head indoors. The following places will help the kids (and you) burn off some excess energy!
- Airhouse Nanaimo – This is an indoor trampoline, BMX, and skateboarding facility. You can’t help but leave tired from Airhouse!
- Located at 4381 Boban Drive
- Great for adults too!
- Romper Room – Located in the same complex as Airhouse, the Romper Room is a fantastic indoor rock climbing centre.
- Please note: Pre-booking your session is required, unless you are an experienced belayer.
- Jumpin Jiminy’s – Is a massive indoor playground, with a huge play structure, air hockey, foosball, toddler’s area, games room, climbing wall, craft corner, gift shop, and café.
- Best for kid’s 12 and under
- Located at #400 – 2980 Island Highway North Rock City.
Recommended Restaurants in the Area
North and Mid-Nanaimo have some great restaurant choices. Here are a few of our favourite:
- Brown’s Social House – For a fun and upbeat atmosphere that serves upscale pub grub and great drink selections.
- Located at Unit 6 – 6338 Metral Drive
- SimonHolt Restaurant – Offers made from scratch Canadian cuisine and a great by-the-glass wine selection.
- Located at 6582 Applecross Road.
- Nori Japanese Restaurant – For great traditional Japanese food and beverages using fresh seasonal ingredients.
- Located at 203 – 6750 Island Hwy North.
Need a Place to Stay?
The Grand Hotel – This centrally located hotel offers guests premier accommodation and amenities.
Phew! I told you there was a lot to fit into two days! (You should probably just stay a little longer) 😉
As mentioned previously, please don’t try to fit all of this into your 48-hour visit to Nanaimo. Instead, use the ideas mentioned as a guideline to the best activities and attractions of the area.
Do you have anything to add to the list? Let us know in the comment section below.