Honeymoon Destination: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Nanaimo is one of Vancouver Island’s most sought after honeymoon spots thanks to its inspiring outdoor beauty and unparalleled summer climate. The looming presence of Mount Benson in Nanaimo’s backcountry and the Strait of Georgia on its expansive waterfront are only two of the noteworthy natural elements that elevate this city’s inevitable draw. Couples can hike and bicycle through a rainforest or kayak and deep sea dive in the largest manmade up-right diving reef without ever leaving the inlets of the island.
From organic fare at nearly every turn to luxurious accommodations custom-made for honeymooners, Nanaimo Island is one of Vancouver’s most romantic destinations.
Popular Tourist Attractions
Outdoor – Nanaimo is prime real estate for outdoor adventure. Couples can charter a boat across the crisp waters of the Georgia Strait or spend an afternoon snorkeling along the city’s waterfront. With uncrowded beach fronts like Departure Bay, Neck Point, Jack Point, and Snake Island, couples can experience nature while enjoying each other’s company sans rambunctious teenagers.
A local favorite, Newcastle Island, is a short ferry ride and has secluded beaches, nature trails, and cozy waterfront for strolling. For a dramatic plunge, the raging river and falls of Englishman River Falls in Provincial Park is a challenging hike with an amazing payoff.
Watersports – If you consider yourself a deep sea diver, Nanaimo Island is known for its incredible sights. With sunken ships to explore, including the Canadian Supply Ship HMCS Cape Breton, there are three different reefs to scuba through. With enough underwater wonder to keep your imagination busy, couples will love spending the day swimming hand-in-hand through this incredible diving reef.
Whale Watching – No trip to Canada is complete without a whale watching tour. Vancouver Island is known for its orca whales in Johnstone Strait and gray whales in Clayoquot Sound. However, instead of piling onto some ferry boat tour, consider taking a kayak tour instead. Companies like Wildheart Adventures takes couples right to the places where the whales are swimming and breaching to get an up close and personal view of nature’s largest mammal.
Getting Here & Culture Clue In
Surrounded by water, getting to Nanaimo Island is half the fun. Some couples take a floatplane from harbor to harbor or fly directly into the Nanaimo Airport, while others choose simply to take a ferry. Easy to access and centrally located, Nanaimo Island is often referred to as ‘Hub City’ because it truly is in the heart of it all. Named the Cultural Capital of Canada in 2008, and the ‘Weather Winner’ for many years in a row, not only is the theater and nightlife here superb, but the weather is the warmest and most pleasant in all of Canada.
Best Time to Visit
If whale watching is high on the itinerary, then you will want to visit in April since the gray, humpback, and minke whales are at an all time high as they migrate back to Alaska. However, if orcas are your fancy, any time of year is good, but the best time is from May through October.
For general honeymooning, July through October will give you excellent mild weather (the best in the country with the exception of Victoria), and has an average summer high of 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Mid to late October marks the beginning of the rainy season, so pack an umbrella if you plan to head there after that.