Port Alberni, a little over an hour northwest of Nanaimo, is a destination where the journey is a stunning part of the experience. Stop in Coombs to see the goats on the roof at the marketplace, go for a hike in Cathedral Grove, part of MacMillan Provincial Park, to find giant Douglas fir trees and ancient Western red cedars, or hunt for petroglyphs in Sproat Lake park – watch for K’ak’awin, one of the finest petroglyph panels in B.C.
Once in Port Alberni, you can walk along the Harbour Quay to enjoy the little shops and tasty treats, visit the Alberni Valley Museum for a hands-on look at life in the Alberni Valley, or grab a coffee and watch for black bears across the river from your comfy spot on Victoria Quay. And if you’re up for it, keep going west to find the communities of Ucluelet and Tofino.
No matter where your compass leads you, the best vacations start – and end – in Nanaimo.