Best Beach In Nanaimo: Explore The Best Of The Best! 

best beach in nanaimo

Nanaimo is known for its rugged coastline, picturesque beaches, and crystal-clear waters, making it an ideal destination for beach lovers. With over 40 miles of coastline, there’s no shortage of beaches to explore in Nanaimo. The city has some of the most beautiful beaches in British Columbia, like Rathtrevor, Departure Bay, and others. But which one is the best? We’ve scoured the city to find the best beach in Nanaimo for you. So, grab everything you need, and let’s hit the sand! 

List of The Best Beach In Nanaimo 

Here’s a list of the 5 best beach in Nanaimo that’ll surely amaze you with their scenic beauty.

1. Rathtrevor Beach: 

Rathtrevor Beach is the best beach in Nanaimo, located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, just outside of Nanaimo. The beach is renowned for its long stretches of sand and tranquil waters.  With 300 hectares of the park area, it’s a popular spot for locals as well as tourists. The beach offers various activities and amenities, including picnic areas, hiking trails, and camping facilities. Whether looking for a relaxed day at the best beach or an adventure-filled weekend, Rathtrevor Beach has something for everyone. 

Rathtrevor Beach
Rathtrevor Beach

Why Should You Visit Rathtrevor Beach? 

  1. Its white sand stretches two kilometres along the shoreline, providing plenty of space to relax and soak up the sun.  
  2. The crystal-clear waters are amazing for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding.  
  3. Plenty of trails nearby for hiking and exploring. 
  4. The beach offers a variety of amenities, including picnic tables, fire pits, and restrooms.  
  5. There’s a campground nearby with an overnight staying facility. 

Any Reason To Avoid Rathtrevor Beach? 

  1. While Rathtrevor Beach is an amazing place to visit, it can get really crowded during summer. So, if you’re looking for a calm spot, this beach may not be the best choice during the peak season.  

2. Qualicum Beach:

Qualicum Beach is a stunning beach located just north of Nanaimo. You’ll admire the picturesque coastline that stretches for kilometres and features rocky terrain, sand bars, and a promenade. This can be your spot if you’re looking for a romantic sunset stroll. The drive takes about 40 minutes to the beach from Nanaimo, but we assure you it’s worth the drive! 

Qualicum Beach
Qualicum Beach

Why Should You Visit Qualicum Beach? 

  1. Qualicum Beach is the best beach in Nanaimo’s for cleanliness and well-maintenance, making it a great place for families and young children. 
  2. Lush forests, rolling hills, and the Strait of Georgia surround the beach.  
  3. The beach offers a variety of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. 
  4. Qualicum Beach is close to other attractions in Nanaimo, such as the Coombs Old Country Market, Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park, and the Nanaimo Museum.  

Any Reason To Avoid Qualicum Beach? 

  1. The beach is not easily accessible by public transportation, so you’ll need to have your car or access to a rental vehicle if you plan on visiting. 

3. Parksville Beach: 

Located right in the heart of Parksville, the sandy beach is simply spectacular and well worth the drive from Nanaimo. Kids will be thrilled with the Lions Ventureland Playground and Splash Park. Sports enthusiasts will find plenty of activities to engage in, such as horseshoe pits and beach volleyball courts – not to mention the only skate park in Parksville! 

Parksville Beach
Parksville Beach

Why Should You Visit Parksville Beach? 

  1. The beach is well-maintained as well as has plenty of amenities, including picnic tables, restrooms, and showers.  
  2. Plenty of activities to enjoy, such as swimming, kayaking, fishing, and more.  
  3. Parksville offers various accommodations, from luxurious resorts to charming bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals to camping sites. 
  4. The beach is just a short drive from Nanaimo and Qualicum Beach, making exploring the surrounding area and taking day trips to nearby towns and cities easy. 

Any Reason To Avoid Parksville Beach? 

  1. Parksville Beach is known for jellyfish, which can sting swimmers and beachgoers. It’s important to be aware of jellyfish warnings and take precautions to avoid getting stung. 

4. Blueback Beach: 

If you’re looking for a peaceful beach getaway, Blueback Beach on the north end of Nanaimo is the choice you can make. At high tide, the beach appears rather rocky; however, a vast sandbar is exposed during low tide, providing an excellent opportunity for wading. Blueback Beach is the ideal romantic destination whether you’re looking to take a leisurely wander on the beach, bathe in the area’s natural beauty, or relax and get away from it all. 

Blueback Beach
Blueback Beach

Why Should You Visit Blueback Beach? 

  1. The stairs of the beach provide an excellent view of the beach.  
  2. The shallow waters are suitable for swimming as well as playing. 
  3. The beach is also a great spot for surfers, with strong waves and good conditions for surfing. 
  4. Mostly the beach remains uncrowded. 

Any Reason To Avoid Blueback Beach? 

  1. The parking lot is small, and no amenities are available on the beach or in the parking lot. 

5. Departure Bay: 

Departure Bay Beach, located in Nanaimo, is another popular destination for locals and tourists. The beach is home to a stunning beach with breathtaking views of Newcastle Island and Brandon Islands. With sandy and rocky shorelines, it is an awesome spot for paddleboarding, sunbathing, and wading in the shallow water. 

Departure Bay
Departure Bay

Why Should You Visit Departure Bay? 

  1. The water is usually calm and warm, making it ideal for swimming and water activities. 
  2. The beach is a great spot to spend time outdoors with the family. There’s Kinsman Park and also Departure Bay Centennial Park on the beach. Young ones will love the spray park in Centennial Park. 
  3. The beach has washrooms, picnic tables, and playgrounds, making it a great spot for a family day out. 
  4. You can head to the north side of the beach to ascend Sugarloaf Mountain. From the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking coastline views. 

Any Reason To Avoid Departure Bay? 

  1. The beach does not have lifeguard facilities, so you should be aware of the potential hazards and exercise caution when swimming. 

6. Neck Point Park: 

The name of this beach is derived from a sandbar resembling a “neck” and connects to an igneous rock formation, commonly referred to as the “head. Neck Point Park is one of the most popular beach spots around Nanaimo. Boasting three rocky beaches – Sunset Beach in Keel Cove, Last Beach, Indian Beach, and Finn Beach – this waterfront park offers something for everyone. 

Neck Point Park
Neck Point Park

Why Should You Visit Neck Point Park? 

  1. The park boasts some of Vancouver Island’s most breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. You can take in the natural beauty of the rocky coastline and watch the waves crash against the shore. 
  2. The park has several beach access points to relax and enjoy the sandy beaches. These beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. 
  3. The beach has washrooms, picnic tables, and playgrounds, making it a great spot for a family day out. 

Any Reason To Avoid Neck Point Park? 

  1. The beach disappears under the water at high tide. So, make sure to check the tide times. 

7. Pipers Lagoon Park: 

Pipers Lagoon Park is a waterfront park located in the small seaside community of Langdale. The park sits in a protected bay, separated from the open ocean by a man-made dyke. You can access the peaceful waterfront park via a two-kilometre walking trail. 

Pipers Lagoon Park
Pipers Lagoon Park

Why Should You Visit Pipers Lagoon Park? 

  1. During low tide, it is effortless to stroll through the T-shaped island, where the park presents breathtaking scenery of the ocean and the nearby mountains.
  2. The park offers picturesque views of the ocean and the surrounding mountains. Its location on the coast provides an excellent opportunity to watch the sunset over the water. 
  3. There are picnic tables and BBQ areas available for visitors to use. 

Any Reason To Avoid Pipers Lagoon Park? 

  1. The park is not easily accessible by public transportation 

Final Words 

Whether you’re searching for a peaceful location to unwind and bask in the sunlight, or an eventful day full of excitement, the best beach in Nanaimo has something to offer everyone. From the crystal-clear waters of Departure Bay to the secluded coves of Neck Point, each beach offers a unique experience. With so many options, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to create lasting memories with friends and family. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and discover the best of Nanaimo’s beaches today! 

Leave a Comment