This reflection comes from our partners in Nanaimo, Gary and Toni. I asked them for their top three things to do in and around Nanaimo during the summer. As I hope you’ll agree they came up with a wonderful picture of the appeal of this part of Vancouver Island.
Summer in Nanaimo, with its warm sunny days and crystal-clear star studded nights, brings infinite choices for outdoor activities. The city hosts some sort of festival most weekends, the most well-known of which features our famous bathtub races. One thing still on our to-do list that we are looking forward to is hiking to the top of Mount Benson, the giant presence dominating the southern horizon of the city. An experienced hiker can do the trek up and down with a rest at the top to enjoy the panoramic views of the city and the Strait of Georgia in about 2 ½ hours. (We’re thinking slightly longer . . . )
We love to visit the “extreme” west coast with Tofino and Ucluelet and Pacific Rim National Park any time of year, but last summer, we were there with our daughter and a friend just in time for the Pleiades Meteor Showers in August. We lay on Wickaninnish Beach for the light display. As the surfers cleared out for the day, only a few other people remained on the beach. Imagine a virtually 360 degree view of the sky with shooting stars zooming across the space and only the sounds of waves lapping on the beach in the background.
Another unique-to-Nanaimo summer activity we have enjoyed is dancing at Newcastle Island. The 750-acre Island is a Provincial Marine Park accessible only by boat or foot ferry. A resort in a previous era, the Island retains a dance pavilion with fir-sprung floors that hosts a weekend dance camp sponsored by the Nanaimo Ballroom Dance Society and numerous tea dances and other dance opportunities on summer weekends. A dance floor open to ocean views and breezes is hard to beat!