A wide variety of activities are available while staying in Nanaimo at the BEST WESTERN Northgate Inn. These include kayaking, scuba diving, golfing, horseback riding to hiking and harbour tours.
Call us direct at 1-800-661-0061 to find out more.
If outdoor activities are your passion, there are several major golf courses nearby, and excellent salt and fresh water fishing opportunities as well. Or perhaps you would enjoy a hike or stroll through some of the islands most beautiful parks and taking in our unique coastal mountain scenery.
For more on what to see and do in Naniamo:
We don’t call ourselves the BEST WESTERN "Northgate Inn" for nothing! Being the only hotel located at the popular north end of Nanaimo, we are the gateway for all of your vacation adventures on Vancouver Island. Just look at what you can do when you head North of us!
There is so much waiting for you to discover when you head north on Highway 19 from the Northgate! Within 10 minutes, you will find yourself slowing down to enjoy the views along Nanoose Bay. The Petro-Can service station, which marks the turn-off to the community of Nanoose, is open 24-hours a day for your convenience. Follow the loop around the peninsula for a scenic tour, stopping at local artisans’ studios along the way. Enjoy rounds of golf at Vancouver Island’s finest courses. Visit Golf Getaway for a list of premier golf courses.
If you need transportation to and from the Nanaimo airport or the BC Ferries, contact the Airporter Shuttle service at 1-800-209-7792 for information on service and fares.
Only minutes further on Highway 19, you will come across the oceanside community of Parksville. Parksville is known for its miles of beautiful sandy beaches and is internationally acclaimed for having the best material for building sandcastles!
Take the second exit to Parksville, turn left, and go inland – along the old Alberni Highway (Hwy 4A) to Coombs Old Country Market – where the goats live on the grass covered rooftop! Summertime is when they really like to live it up with a fiddle jamboree, bluegrass festival and rodeo.
A little farther down the road, you will find Butterfly World, where you can enjoy indoor tropical gardens abundant with the fluttering creatures! Butterfly world is also home to many tropical birds and pond life. Enjoy their hummingbird patio and gift shop!
If you pass Parksville, you can take exit 60 and head West on the Alberni Highway (Hwy 4). You’ll come across Englishman River Falls – not more than 30 minutes from the Northgate Inn! You’ll see some of the most beautiful waterfalls on Vancouver Island. Stop at Cameron Lake and visit Little Qualicum Falls for a picnic on your way to Port Alberni.
If you have your sights set on hiking the West Coast Trail, you’ll find affordable transportation to and from the trail heads with the West Coast Trail Bus. If you just want to take a drive out to Bamfield, the Northernmost trail head, follow the signs once you’ve driven over the "Hump" near Mt. Arrowsmith towards Port Alberni. Please be aware that once you leave the Alberni district, the road to Bamfield is gravel, not paved.
Just past Cameron Lake is Cathedral Grove, where you can measure up to some of the largest trees in the world. These 800+ year old trees, set within Vancouver Island’s lush, green forests are the backdrop for many fishing holes and hiking trails.
Port Alberni is an hour’s drive from the Northgate. Maybe you would like to take a day trip to the MV Lady Rose and cruise the Alberni Valley and Barkley Sound by watercourse. The "Lady Rose" is a heritage vessel much like those from times over 60 years ago when the principle means of transportation along the B.C. coasts was by ship. Don’t forget your binoculars, as you will have plenty of opportunity to look for wildlife, and enjoy the scenery!
Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park is world renowned for its amazing surf! and is a 2½ hour drive from the Northgate Inn.
Ucluelet and Tofino are fast becoming a Vancouver Island mecca for tourism and whale watching. Enjoy a round of golf at a 10% discount when you book your tee-time through us at the 9-hole Long Beach Golf Course located at the end of the Pacific Rim National Park, near the Tofino airport.
Back at exit 60, just past Parksville, you could just as easily decide that you’ve driven far enough. Qualicum Beach is just 40 minutes from the Northgate Inn. Qualicum Beach is also the farthest north that you can ride on our Regional Transit System.
Not far from Qualicum, take exit #75 at the Provincial Park signs on highway 19 or 19A, towards Horne Lake. Venture into incredible natural caves with the help of a guided tour for the main cave.
With the recent addition of Vancouver Island’s new inland highway, it now takes only an hour to drive to Courtenay and the Comox Valley from the Northgate Inn. Winter or summer, Mount Washington offers downhill and cross-country skiing as well as mountain biking and hiking trails through pristine alpine meadows. Only another ½ hour from the turn-off near Courtenay!
You don't need to leave Nanaimo - just catch a ferry - to take a day trip to Gabriola Island. The 20-minute car and passenger ferry dock is located right downtown, across from Harbour Park Mall. A gorgeous place to bike around and explore, have lunch or meet the locals, friendly Gabriola Island has a wealth of creative talents to discover.
At the southernmost section of Nanaimo, you will find a quaint little tea-room in a small, character home that keeps attracting interest, and not just for the food. The Calico Cat Tea House offers tea leaf and psychic readings if you book ahead. Browse their selection of local handicrafts and historical photographs. Take in the scenic water views while you relax for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Ever wanted to Bungy Jump? The Bungy Zone is located just minutes south of Nanaimo, in Cassidy. Dare to jump off the 140-foot trestle bridge, try the swing or Flying Fox. The Bungy Zone is an adrenalin junkie’s paradise!
If you want to discover some of the best fly-fishing around and some popular swimming holes, you can access the Nanaimo Lakes from the turn-off at the Bungy Zone on Nanaimo Lakes Road. Be prepared for 45-minutes of driving and some gravel road once you near the first lakes.
Not more than 20 minutes from the Northgate Inn, on the water’s side of Nanaimo’s Airport terminal, is the rural countryside of Cedar and Yellow Point. For a charming way to spend the day, stop by the Crow and Gate Pub for an Olde Engish neighbourhood pub experience.
Only slightly farther than Cassidy, the picturesque town of Ladysmith welcomes you to the 49th Parallel. You see, we really are that close to our southern neighbours! Ladysmith has taken the time and the effort to showcase their lovely heritage buildings on the main street through town. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings – there may even be a gathering at the waterfront amphitheatre that you could take in.
Visit Chemainus, the "Little Town That Did", some 40-minutes south of the Northgate Inn. This scenic seaside town was home to one of British Columbia’s many coastal mills until the forest industry started to downsize. Now, Chemainus is on the map as Canada’s largest permanent outdoor mural gallery. These larger-than-life murals cover almost all of the town’s public buildings and tend to highlight the people of the community and their earlier ways of life.
A quaint little town, Chemainus is now a wonderful place to take in some culture at the Chemainus Theatre. Dinner and fine talents are showcased here.
Take it easy on the islands of Thetis and Kuyper, which are accessed by a 30-minute ferry ride from Chemainus. They are the least populated of the Gulf Islands and you can enjoy hiking, marinas, fishing, cruising and relaxation.
Before you go any further, Crofton is only a few more minutes from Chemainus and is the location of the ferry terminal for a small car and passenger ferry to Saltspring Island, another one of our waters’ beautiful Gulf Islands.
Lake Cowichan and the Cowichan Valley is accessible by taking the turn off just north of Duncan. There are many hiking and biking trails in this area, as well as some wonderful fishing and camping spots.
Duncan, the "City of Totems", is just 45 minutes south of the Northgate Inn. Stop by the B.C. Forestry Museum and experience life as a logger from the 1800’s – ride the steam engine and visit the bunkhouses.
Just south of Duncan lies the seaside community of Mill Bay. A picturesque place to live, it also provides easy access to the Saanich Peninsula. The Mill Bay ferry docks quite close to the world famous Butchart Gardens.
Venture into incredible natural caves in Horne Lake. Guided tours for the main cave.
Visit www.hornelake.com for more information.
Home to the Goats on the roof. There is no better way to spend a day than bringing the family to Coombs for some shopping of international foods, imported gifts, in store baked goods, and of course... ice cream. They also have a restaurant, a deli and fresh produce all under the roofs of their recently renovated market.
For an unforgettable adventure in Kayaking visit www.sealegskayaking.com for:
It boasts some of the most beautiful Water Falls on Vancouver Island. Located within 30 minutes of the BEST WESTERN Northgate Inn.
Cathedral Grove is just past Englishman River Falls and not far from the BEST WESTERN Northgate Inn. Here you will find some of the largest trees anywhere in the world. These 800 year old trees, set within Vancouver Islands lush green forests are the backdrop for many fishing holes, and hiking trails.
A short distance from the BEST WESTERN Northgate Inn, where your stay is sure to be a memorable one.
Where you “unleash your wild”. Wild Play Elements Park Nanaimo features Bungy Jump, Zip line and Primal Swing. Approximately 25 minutes drive from BEST WESTERN Northgate Inn, come for the adventure, stay for the experience.