Over the course of this summer we are going to be showcasing each of the 9 Traveller Types, as outlined by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). Last week we wrote about the Authentic Experiencer and this week we’re going to talk about the Cultural Explorer! To find out what kind of traveller you are, be sure to take the handy dandy quiz here!
According to the CTC, if you’re a Cultural Explorer, you:
…seek constant opportunities to embrace, discover, and immerse yourself in the entire experience of the culture, people and settings of the places you visit. Not content to just visit historic sites and watch from the sidelines, you want to participate in the modern-day culture as well. You often attempt to converse with locals, attend local festivals, or go off the beaten path to discover how people truly live.
Cultural Explorers are most likely to be seen exploring heritage sites and museums. CE’s also love to interact with locals while attending local cultural events and festivals, and while spending your night’s stay at B&B’s or hostels.
Museum: Nanaimo Museum
First up, take a walk through the Nanaimo Museum where you can completely immerse yourself in Nanaimo’s proud and diverse culture! Located at the crossroads of Museum Way and Commercial Street, in the heart of Downtown Nanaimo, the Nanaimo Museum hosts a wealth of information on Nanaimo’s past. From First Nations to Coal Miners to Chinese Immigrants, there is so much to learn about our long and fruitful history! The Nanaimo Museum has many permanent exhibits, but they also feature really cool travelling exhibits. For example, until May 31st you can learn all about the Departure Bay area in the exhibit “Discovering Departure Bay”. Over the summer, from June 1st to September 1st, “Canada Day 1″ arrives – a travelling exhibit from the Canadian Museum of Immigration!
Heritage Sites: Historic Walking Tour
Before leaving the Nanaimo Museum, which is located in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, head down to the lower level to pick up one of Tourism Nanaimo’s brochures. Called “A Walk Through Time”, this brochure features 3 great, self-guided walking trails that highlight many of Nanaimo’s historic buildings. The “Railroad Connection”, “Coal Connection”, and “Harbour Connection” trails each tell the historic tale of Nanaimo its origins. We suggest beginning with the “Coal Connection” so that you can explore the heart of Downtown Nanaimo. Then continue on to the “Railroad Connection” as it takes you up to the historic Old City Quarter.
Cultural Events & Festivals: Nanaimo’s Multicultural Festival
Now that you’re in the Old City Quarter, why not check out all the great things that Nanaimo’s original economic core has to offer? Better yet, if you happen to be visiting on June 14th, spend some time hanging out at Nanaimo’s Multicultural Festival! A free one-day street party celebrating Nanaimo’s diverse culture, the popular Multicultural Festival features interactive and educational displays, demonstrations of ethnic arts and crafts, live music and entertainment, and an International Food Fare! This event is sure to whet your Cultural Explorer appetite! This festival runs from 10:30am to 3:30 pm.
Hostel: Painted Turtle Guesthouse
Now that you’ve had your fill of the Multicultural Festival, it’s time to head to your hostel. The Painted Turtle Guesthouse is just the spot for you Cultural Explorers! Located in one of Nanaimo’s historic buildings (along the “Railway Connection”), this Guesthouse offers the perfect atmosphere mixing both old and new Nanaimo culture. A true home away from home, guesthouse owners Bruce and Angie ensure that the Painted Turtle offers a comforting and relaxing atmosphere while inviting you to immediately feel a sense of community with other like-minded people.
Trollers Fish & Chips
Time for the last self-guided trail on “A Walk Through Time”! The “Harbour Connection” follows along Nanaimo’s current-day seawall as the brochure points out such historic landmarks as the Court House, Globe Hotel, and more. If you’re in the mood for dinner, why not stop at one of the harbours many great eateries – Trollers Fish & Chips is a great choice. Featuring local and wild caught fish, Trollers keeps you in tune with local culture. From ling cod to sockeye salmon to the delectable halibut, Trollers offers some of the best fresh caught and local fish. So grab your order, take a seat on their floating patio, and watch as the tide flows in and out, revealing colorful sea creatures!
That wraps up our itinerary for all you Cultural Explorers! The above ideas are merely suggestions for you to consider. There’s much, much more to explore in Nanaimo! Plus, even if you aren’t a Cultural Explorer, why not try out some (or all!) of the suggestions on this list?! There is great fun to be had!
For more information, check out our Cultural Explorer tag for more ideas on things to see and do in Nanaimo!
– Sean & Sarah