Happy Thursday, readers!
We wanted to share some short ‘top lists’ with you on our blog…Huffington Post does it, Buzzfeed does it, and so we want in on the action too. Plus, everyone loves a good alliteration, right? We know Kara in our office sure does! So this blog post is dedicated to her ~ Five Fun Facts (you may or may not know) about Nanaimo!
Feet First ~ Dive Nanaimo’s Sunken Wrecks: Nanaimo is home to three fascinating wreck dives. In 1997 The HMCS Saskatchewan, a 366-foot navy destroyer was sunk off the shores of Nanaimo to create an artificial diving reef. The Saskatchewan was joined on the ocean floor by the HMCS Cape Breton, a retired Canadian Supply Ship, now recognized as the World’s Largest Artificial Upright Reef. In 2005, the Nanaimo Dive Association sank a third vessel, the RivTow Lion, a retired deep sea rescue tug. These three wrecks attracts dive enthusiasts from all over the world to dive in what Jacques Cousteau considered “the best temperate diving in the world, second only to the Red Sea.”
Fresh Food ~ Canada’s Only Floating Pub: The Dinghy Dock Pub & Restaurant has been an attraction in Nanaimo since 1989. The expansive views, relaxed atmosphere and great pub fare make it a popular destination year round. They are the only registered floating pub in Canada, making the experience of visiting a unique one. They are moored off Protection Island and it’s only a short 10 min boat ride from downtown Nanaimo harbour. In the summer kids can fish in the floor while they wait for their food. Families love the fantastic marine decor and watching the float planes take off and land, and the live music is a real treat, too!
Furry Friends ~ Snorkel with Harbour Seals: A 15 minute boat ride takes you to beautiful Snake Island where on any given day the harbour seals can be found in abundance on the shores resting or playing in the surrounding waters. For $99.00 you can jump on the boat outfitted in a wetsuit, hood, gloves, boots, fins, mask & snorkel and hop into the water with these curious and playful creatures. The entire experience takes about 4 hours and available for all ages that can swim.
Flavourful Feast ~ The Nanaimo Bar Trail: Nanaimo is home to the famous Canadian dessert, the Nanaimo Bar, savoured by many as their favourite non-bake dessert. The folks of Nanaimo are so proud of their bar, that they have come up with a Nanaimo Bar Trail featuring a self-guided adventure of 34 different stops all offering deliciously creative interpretations of the traditional Nanaimo Bar. There is a brochure outlining a map and all the different versions to be sampled. Some of the versions include a Nanaimo Bar Martini, Nanaimo Bar Fudge, Deep Fried Nanaimo Bar and Nanaimo Bar Cake.
Frank’s Float ~ The World Championship Bathtub Race: We race bathtubs. Yes, we know it’s quirky and hilarious but this race has been happening since 1967, when the Mayor at the time, Frank Ney came up with this crazy idea for an event. The first competition had over 200 tubbers competing which used to start in Nanaimo and end in Vancouver. In 1997 the race route changed to start in Nanaimo, go around Winchelsea Islands and back to Nanaimo harbour. One of the funniest parts of watching this race is seeing the winner stumble out of their tiny tub with wobbly legs and run to ring the bell. The bathtub race is part of a 4 day marine festival which happens every year in July.
What are YOUR Top 5 must sees & do’s in Nanaimo? Sound off in the comments below, and for more activity ideas, check out our website!