Special Offers

Click on our special offers and latest deals below for great savings and benefits for use during your stay with the painted Turtle Guesthouse.

Make a Reservation

Make your reservation with the Painted Turtle Guesthouse. Enter details and click BOOK NOW for room options & availability

Arrival Date
Nights Arrow Arrow
Departure Date
Reset Dates
Error Message

Restaurants in Nanaimo – Eating Out Downtown, On the Waterfront and in the Old City Quarter

Whether you're just passing through or staying for longer, you'll find there's a great choice of restaurants in Nanaimo. A wide variety of cuisines from fast food to steaks and seafood, and international restaurants from Chinese and Vietnamese, to Greek and Mexican, Nanaimo has them all and more! Visitors who like to try something different will find plenty of opportunity to do so in Nanaimo. You could stay here for weeks and eat somewhere different every night! Nanaimo, like much of the rest of British Columbia, is a real melting pot of cultures resulting in numerous different international cuisines; and it doesn't matter whether you're staying in downtown, on the waterfront, or in the Old City Quarter as you'll find there are plenty of places to eat in all areas of Nanaimo. Restaurants in Nanaimo include many of BC and Vancouver Island's chain favourites such as A&W, Boston Pizza, Joeys Only, The Keg, Kelseys, Montana's Cookhouse, Swiss Chalet and more, great for visitors who have their favourites and like to stick to them! Visitors who prefer to try more of the local fare in independently owned and run restaurants will find you're spoilt for choice too.

A Short History of Nanaimo and its Cultural Heritage

bastion3The history of Nanaimo has unfolded in a way that demonstrates the coming together of various cultures in a way that perhaps nowhere else in the world can. The Harbour City was first settled by people over 5000 years ago, and over time many cultures have come to call Nanaimo home for many different reasons. With the incredible variety of influences contributing to the art, music, and atmosphere that make up Nanaimo, it's no wonder that the city was named Cultural Capital of Canada in 2008. The human history of Nanaimo begins more than 5000 years ago, with the arrival of the forebears of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. The ample fishing and hunting grounds as well as the sheltering harbour made for the perfect spot to live for these people. The abundance of food and materials also meant that the Snuneymuxw peoples had the luxury of time in which to develop a culture of their own, with arts and crafts, particular celebrations, and unique architecture.

Day Trip Recommendation #4 from Nanaimo, B.C The World Famous Chemainus Murals

mural-21-chemainus-harbourTucked between mountains and the sea is the isolated yet remarkable town of Chemainus, BC. This amazing place was once a hub of activity for miners, fishers and loggers, but when these industries failed the First Nations and other peoples in the area converted the town into an artists' mecca, and now boast the widest collection of outdoor art, known as the Chemainus Murals.

Getting There

Only 30 minutes south of Nanaimo in the Cowichan Valley, this cozy town of 3900 is waiting to be explored. To get there, simply follow Highway 1 south and take the exit to Chemainus. You can drive and check out the many beaches and viewpoints along the way, or catch a Greyhound bus to save yourself the drive and enjoy each other's company. Check out Getting to Nanaimo website for more information about getting to the island by foot, bike, ferry, airplane, car and seaplane.

Courtney, A New Front Desk All-Star at the Guesthouse

Hi, I'm Courtney ptg6I'm a second year university student who just began working at the Painted Turtle Guesthouse this May.  At school I am studying Economics and Global Studies and working in an environment filled with people from all over the world is my ideal setting! Everyday I learn of a new place or a new custom or way of thinking and I get to share my favourite parts of Canada with others too.  I am most definitely an Island girl and really like to encourage guests (and everyone else) to step off the beaten path and explore the hidden treasures of what Vancouver Island and Nanaimo have to offer!

Restaurant Review: Thirsty Camel Cafe

Thirsty Camel Cafe

Overall Rating 55

2010 Parksville Beach Festival and Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibit

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 - Sunday, August 15th, 2010 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM You'll marvel at these unbelievable feats of artistry and engineering and won't want to miss any of the many great activities on the beach! July & August is "Beach Festival" month in Parksville. "Come early - stay late" - that's our message to you. You won't want to miss any of the activities on the beach during July and August -Parksville Kite Festival, Car show, Quality Foods Fireworks Display and Kidfest with entertainment and kids' sandcastle event, beach volleyball & croquet tournaments, just to name a few. See our Beach Festival calendar for complete schedule of events. The famous Lions Adventure Park is a must for younger members of the family to visit. Tennis courts, ball parks, a lacrosse box, skate board park, covered picnic area, and a large field for kite flying are also located in the park. The beach itself offers a beautiful view with its long sandy beaches and eastern exposure; this is an ideal spot to spend a few days, or the whole summer.

2010 Coalfest in Downtown Nanaimo, BC

coalfestMonday, August 2nd, 2010 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM In addition to taking in an exciting day of music, storytelling, children's games and activities, enjoy perusing the wares of local quality Craftspeople and Artisans. Enjoy the richness of the events and performances while taking in the warm hospitality of the Nanaimo comm

Nanaimo is a Great Central Island Base Camp to Explore all of Vancouver Island


Until you visit Vancouver Island, it's hard to imagine just how much this slice of British Columbia has to offer. You could spend months touring around Van Isle and still not get to see everything, so it's important that you plan your trip well! Using Nanaimo as your central Vancouver Island base camp is a great start to any VI visit. Nanaimo's centralized and yet coastal location with excellent road links means that this is the best linked town on the whole of the island, and one of the easiest to get to from mainland B.C (Vancouver) too. Connected via two vehicle ferry routes from the Vancouver City area, BC Ferries operates these passenger and vehicle ferries regularly to Nanaimo from both Horseshoe Bay (north of Vancouver) and Tsawwassen (south of Vancouver). Bringing your car with you means you can really enjoy all that Vancouver Island has to offer, though if you prefer not to you can travel on foot, by bicycle or on Greyhound Canada bus from downtown Vancouver straight to Nanaimo. You then have the option of renting a car from the city, hooking up with other backpackers or arrange carpooling on arrival.

Dinner at the Dinghy Dock - Protection Island, BC (A Skipping Stone from Nanaimo's Harbourfront)

On a warm summer night there is nothing like boarding the Protection Island ferry to venture over to the Dinghy Dock Pub. North America’s only floating pub is situated on Protection Island in Nanaimo’s harbour.