Happy Friday, Readers!
Now, I have to be honest, I wholeheartedly welcomed the rain this week. However, if you`re not ready to let go of that summer sunshine just yet, have no fear – sun is in the forecast this weekend! And what better way to celebrate then to have a picnic?
Nanaimo has many great picnic spots, but before we get to those, we should explore some great places to pick up food for your picnic!
I have to admit, walking into Mon Petit Choux first thing in the morning, smelling the cafe’s freshly baked artisan loaves, is enough to make me want to buy every piece of bread in sight. If you’re looking for delicious sandwich bread for your picnic I suggest their rosemary focaccia. It. Is. To. Die. For. Too lazy to make your own picnic lunch? Order one of their delicious made-to-order sandwiches to go! Looking for something sweet for dessert? Mon Petit Choux also makes delicious in-house desserts including their famed Gluten-free Nanaimo Bar!
At ‘Vancouver Island’s Premier Cheese Shop & Specialty Foods Store’ you can find an array of cheeses (over 100 to be exact!), various imported foods (including British, European and South African food), specialty meats, and delicious lunches (eat-in or take away!). If you’re looking for a unique picnic lunch, make sure to stop in at McLean’s Specialty Foods. I suggest picking up some charcoal crackers with applewood smoked cheddar – delicious!
Looking for a mouth-watering dessert to go along with your tasty picnic? Make a pit stop at A Wee Cupcakery. Shop owner, Medina, makes the most delicious, moist, decadent cupcakes. Have dietary requirements? Medina bakes gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan cupcakes as well! The Vanilla Coconut is my personal favourite, but with over twenty-nine creations it’s hard to love just one!
Now on to picnic locations!
This is a great picnicking spot for families! Complete with picnic tables, a large grassy area, and a playground, Kinsman Park is the perfect setting for families with young children. Although the scenic views of Newcastle Island and passing BC Ferries are enough of a draw for anyone – not just young’ins!
A super popular destination for trail lovers, campers, and kayakers, Newcastle Island is the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic. After your picnic, take advantage of the large (22km!) trail system and explore the lush forest, busy tide pools, and rocky beaches. Also, if you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the beautiful, yet elusive, golden raccoon!
The gentle autumn breeze rustling through the rhododendron garden, the birds chirping away, the trickling of Millstone River… the sounds, sights, and smells of Bowen Park make this a perfect spot for a sunny afternoon picnic. Set up shop down by the Millstone River and watch the crayfish scuttle around the riverbed, lay a blanket down by the duck pond while watching the water fowl gracefully glide along the pond’s surface, or grab a seat at one of the many (covered!) picnic tables.
Here at Tourism Nanaimo we LOVE Neck Point Park. It’s a great park with tide pools, breathtaking views, and plenty of wildlife. There are over 4 beaches to choose from for your picnic spot – are all great options to lay down a picnic blanket. If you prefer using a picnic table, Neck Point Park is equipped with those too!
For more park info, check out the City of Nanaimo’s Parks & Trails brochure.
Of course there are many more wonderful options for picnic spots (and picnic eats!). Have we included your favourites? Or are there some we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
(For more ideas on fun activities in Nanaimo, check out our ‘Things to Do’ page here!)