Saturday, July 31, 2010

Keep Your Cool This Long Weekend In Nanaimo

Departure Bay Beach is popular with those who like to cool off by the seashore and find swimming in saltwater to be relaxing as well as refreshing. Unfortunately the plan to line the beach with Palm Trees got scuttled so you have to bring your own shade.

This popular beach is open again after a short closure due to a sewage leak earlier this week.

Swy-a-lana Lagoon in Maffeo Sutton Park which is the home of the new Spirit Square is another popular saltwater cooling off spot. The lagoon has groomed sand and is a safe enough place to swim, however, like most Nanaimo swimming spots there is no lifeguard on duty. So exercise caution and common sense.

Westwood Lake off of Jinglepot Road at the foot of Mt. Benson is one of the most popular freshwater swimming holes in Nanaimo. This lake does have a lifeguard on duty, but still common sense prevails. This lake is refreshing and does warm up in the summer to a pleasant swimming temperature.

Piper's Lagoon Park off of Hammond Bay Road is both a scenic and somewhat secluded spot for a seashore dip. The beach is lined with drift wood brought in on the fall high tides and you can see the BC Ferry coming and going from this vantage point.

Colliery Dam off of Wakesiah past the University is perhaps an underused gem among Nanaimo's city parks. The water here is more 'refreshing' than some of the other spots and offers deep and clear water for your swimming pleasure.

Long Lake in the Wellington area can be seen from the highway just past Country Club Mall, so on your way you can slip into your friendly Starbucks and grab a cooling Frappaa whatever you like. This is a popular freshwater swimming spot and the lake is home to power boats, floatplanes and water skiers. It is also popular with some local bass fisherman.

Divers Lake off of Labieux Road is more of a back to nature, off the beaten path place to go and hang out. I think it is more popular for fishing than swimming but still offers a refreshing break from the summer heat.

Newcatle Island has lots to offer if you want to take a 'mini' vacation without going too far from Nanaimo. In fact you can still see where you parked your car!. Hop aboard one of the colorful Pickle Boats docked at Maffeo Sutton Park, take a picnic lunch, blanket, umbrella, sunscreen etc. and have a delightful day on another island.


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