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I Stayed at the Painted Turtle Guesthouse and It Was Awesome!

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="320" caption="Painted Trutle Guesthouse"][/caption] I've stayed in many hostels around the world, but the Painted Turtle Guesthouse in Nanaimo, BC beats them all! Quite simply, it was awesome! From the moment I set eyes on the Painted Turtle Guesthouse I knew I would feel at home here. The attractive heritage building is friendly and inviting and as I stepped inside, the friendly welcome continued. The staffers was genuinely happy to see me, full of smiles and useful information. I was given a tour of the guesthouse before being shown my room, and they even helped me with my luggage! That has never happened in any hostel I have stayed in before!! There are many things that set the Painted Turtle Guesthouse apart from other guesthouses, hostels and hotels in Nanaimo, and indeed the rest of Vancouver Island, and British Columbia. I loved the fact that the guesthouse had been recently refurbished. Apparently it had been known as the Commercial Hotel until just a few years ago and was built in 1875.

New Expansion at Nanaimo Airport Means More Flights for Travellers and Tourists

The three part upgrade of Nanaimo Airport that is to take place from 2007 to 2018 will not only bring new economic opportunities to the island, it also means that there will be more flight options for those traveling to and from Nanaimo. As part of the project the runway at the airport will be lengthened by 480 meters, so that larger planes can make use of the airport. Additionally, the installation of high-intensity lighting on the runway will mean that incoming planes can land in more inclement weather, making for better reliability of flights. There are also plans to upgrade the landing instrumentation so that incoming planes have more direct access to the runway.

Take a Stroll to the Nanaimo Farmers Market with Marta

[caption id="attachment_424" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Outdoor Market Each Friday at Pioneer Waterfront Plaza"][/caption] Did you know... each Friday from 11.00am - 2.00 pm there is a farmer's market in Pioneer Plaza on the beautiful Nanaimo waterfront?

Top 10 Things to do in Nanaimo on a Rainy Day

One of the great appeals of Vancouver Island for tourists and residents alike is the landscape. Lush rain forest covers much of the Island, particularly evident the farther north one goes. Of course, all of that greenery is brought about by one big factor: it rains a lot! That means that frequently, visitors and residents of Nanaimo have to think up things to do on the rainy days that bring the scenery we so enjoy. Here's a top ten list of things to do in the Harbour City when the rain starts to fall down.

The Water is Great – Come on In! Scuba Diving in Nanaimo, British Columbia

Whether you're an experienced diver or a beginner you've got to try scuba diving in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Some of the best scuba diving in the world can be experienced right here off the coast of Vancouver Island's second largest city. To those who don't know, Nanaimo in B.C. may seem like an unlikely destination for scuba diving. Those who do know frequently rank scuba diving in Nanaimo as the best in North America! So why exactly is scuba diving in this part of British Columbia so great?! Abundant marine life and spectacular artificial reefs are the two main reasons why divers love diving off of this part of Van Isle! Those not familiar what an artificial reef is can probably take a guess! Basically it's something which has been sunk on purpose to create diving opportunities and the opportunity to study marine life, and there are several of these in the waters off Nanaimo. The Saskatchewan is one example, and has so far proved to be the most popular reef in BC. This was sunk in 1997. A more recent addition is a former World War 2 ship, The Cape Breton, which was sunk in 2001 and is the second largest diver prepared artificial reef in the world!

Island Treks with Our Amazing PTG Staff, Heather

As you may have heard, Nanaimo is a great central location on Vancouver Island.  Using the Painted Turtle Guesthouse as a home base and exploring the surrounding area with day trips is an extremely convenient option!  Whether you have a vehicle or not, it is so easy to get out and explore.  I love living in Nanaimo for this very reason; we are so close to so many great hotspots that are not to be missed!! One of these hidden gems that not many tourists know about is a small island called Thetis Island.  As part of the many gulf islands off the east coast of Vancouver Island, you can get to Thetis on a 1/2 hour BC Ferry ride from Chemainus.  You can get to Chemainus directly from Nanaimo by car, Greyhound bus, or VIA Rail train.

Britta Amazing PTG Staff Member Shares Her Tips on Hiking, Swimming and Great Nanaimo Hotspots

My name is Britta Guillon, I am a student at Vancouver Island University (VIU), and am currently doing my second work co-op towards my Degree in Adventure Tourism. I had applied here at the Painted Turtle to better my knowledge and become more "rounded" in all areas concerning tourism and adventurism. I wish to one day be able to manage my own business where I am the "middle-man" between the customers and the product. I want to be able to help customers find what it is they are looking for and be able to send them to the people/products that best suit their needs.

How Far Will Canadians Travel this Summer? Readers Digest Showcases the Painted Turtle Guesthouse

A recent article in Readers Digest touches on that point exactly and all arrows point to Nanaimo. This article is not available online so allow us to indulge in providing you with an excerpt: “In these belt-tightening times, many Canadians don’t have the vacation dollars they once dad.  Still, according to an Ipsos survey earlier this year, 69 percent of Canadians planned to take a vacation in 2009 – despite the economic slowdown.  For many, this means taking trips closer to home.”

The Painted Turtle Guesthouse Is Subject of Seattle Times Review: A New Breed in Affordable but Fun Accommodation in Nanaimo, BC

Brian Cantwell of the Seattle Times spends a couple of nights in Nanaimo and discovers a new breed in affordable but amenity rich accommodations.  It is possible to travel to Nanaimo, experience a great night's sleep and not break the bank in tough economic times! Read about Brian's stay and his take on the Painted Turtle Guesthouse. NANAIMO, B.C.

Nanaimo, British Columbia is the Harbour City for Good Reason!

Nanaimo has a number of nicknames including the quirky 'Hub, Tub and Pub City', though it's 'Harbour City' that Nanaimo is best known as, and for good reason! As well as being the second largest city on Vancouver Island, Nanaimo also has the second largest harbour and it's this large harbour that is at the centre of both locals and tourists lives here in Nanaimo. The Harbour City grew when coal was discovered in the vicinity and the docks were used to transport the coal off Van Isle to other parts of British Columbia. Although no longer used for the export of coal, Nanaimo Harbour is still the hub for tourism and industry in the city, and welcomes many of Vancouver Island's visitors who travel across the waters via BC Ferries.