By Kim Smythe (CEO- Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce)
With the sunshine arriving, and warmer weather ahead, we’re like you! We’re passionate about getting out and exploring, but now is not the time to travel. Staying local and playing local is more important than ever to follow public health guidelines, and also to support the local businesses and attractions here in Nanaimo. By supporting local, you are helping preserve our business community for the future. For up-to-the-moment updates regarding travel restrictions, google “BC travel restrictions” for more information.
Nanaimo has lots to offer a staycationer, a fact we’ve discovered over the last year. Heading out to the ‘country’ has become a popular weekend activity, with 5 great farms and dozens of artisan shops in Nanaimo’s Cedar-Yellow Point area. Hop over to Gabriola and discover their arts community on a self-guided studio tour. Or take a ferry to the Indigenous cultural learning place and playground at Sayshutsun (Newcastle Island Marine Park) – camp overlooking downtown Nanaimo, hike an ancient forest, or kayak around the channel. Nanaimo’s most-loved hiking trails hold a never-ending list of adventures from casual to challenging. We are lucky to have so many readily available activities such as mountain biking, boating, sailing or kayaking to enjoy our beautiful landscape and adventures like diving, whale watching, and forest adventures.
While restaurants in Nanaimo have pivoted to patios and take-outs, Nanaimo also has 4 amazing “BC Ale Trail” stops with tasting rooms and takeout. Dining with family and friends on patios and organizing picnics, purchasing gift cards, grabbing a coffee for the beach, visiting local attractions or booking a ‘staycation’ at a hotel, resort or campground is a great way to support local tourism and hospitality businesses. The sector has done an amazing job implementing health and safety plans to keep their staff and visitors safe.
This is a pivotal moment in the pandemic experience and we know that change for the better is coming soon. Stay local and play local, and you’re a part of the solution to get us back to welcoming visitors and touring our beautiful province. Until then, hundreds of unique Nanaimo activities are waiting! Check with www.tourismnanaimo.com.
Photo credit: Jamie Penner, V3 Media