Living in Nanoose Bay

Nanoose Bay is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, just west of Nanaimo. It is a small fishing seaside village that rests between Nanaimo and Parksville

This rural community of close to 5000 residents is the perfect spot for those looking to live in the country while having conveniences nearby. Nanoose Bay is home to various groups of people, such as families with children, retired couples, farmers, fishermen, and artisans, that make up the diverse neighbourhoods and give it the character it is today.

 Living opportunities in the Nanoose bay peninsula offer several communities to consider, which include:

  • Fairwinds has a famous golf course and recreation centre.
  • Madrona is a smaller community.
  • Red gap is full of history.
  • Dolphin Beach is best known for diving, where you can explore and marvel at many marine plants and animals. 
  • Beachcomber is a lovely quaint community in Nanoose Bay that runs along the shoreline and still has a country cottage feel. 

This ultimate guide will explore the different opportunities this charming town offers its visitors and those moving to and living in Nanoose Bay, BC. From sandy beaches to aquatic adventures, you'll find out what makes this place so unique. 

Living in Nanoose Bay

History of Nanoose Bay

Nanoose Bay got its name in 1916 after it changed from Arlington, named after the Arlington Hotel in 1906. The name means Pushing Forward and is derived from the shape of the six-kilometre bay formed by the peninsula. 

The Nanoose Bay peninsula was also called Berry Point by the Nanoose First Nation after a rival tribe killed their members while berry picking in the early 1800s. 

Nanoose Bay was an important location to the Coast Salish First Nations people thousands of years ago. The Snaw-naw-as is the name of the Nanoose First Nation that resides on the east coast of Vancouver Island. It was named after a sole survivor of a battle in the 1800s.  

The Real Estate Market in Nanoose Bay

Real Estate properties in Nanoose Bay are nestled amongst nature and breathtaking sceneries of the ocean, waterfront, and mountain views. 

Property types include single-family homes, mainly two-bedroom and three-bedroom, townhomes and condos to suit all preferences and price points. Almost 90% of the residents own their homes and the remainder rent. 

The median home value in Nanoose Bay is in the upper $800K range. The most popular neighbourhoods in Nanoose Bay are located on its eastern side. The homes in Nanoose Bay are well cared for and large, with the average home in the area at 2,332 square feet.

Properties costing upwards of a million dollars and multi-million-dollar gated properties are found on the expensive shorelines, the waterfront, and amongst wooded areas along the bay's shoreline. These can span up to 5000 square feet. You can find properties costing under a million dollars and more affordable housing inland in older homes and more recently built newer homes.

Nanoose Bay Real Estate

Schooling in Nanoose Bay

The schools in Nanoose bay fall under School District No. 69 Qualicum, and with the use of technology, the focus is on personal learning experiences. 

The following are schools in and around Nanoose Bay: 

Nanoose Bay Elementary School 

Location: 2875 NW Bay Rd, Nanoose Bay, BC
Caters to: Kindergarten to Grade 7

Kwalikum Secondary School

Location: 266 Village Way, Qualicum Beach, BC
Caters to: Grades 9 to Grade 12

Qualicum Beach Elementary School

Location: 699 Claymore Rd W, Qualicum Beach, BC
Caters to: Kindergarten to Grade 7

Dover Bay Secondary School

Location: 6135 McGirr Rd, Nanaimo, BC
Caters to: Grade 9 to Grade 12

École Secondaire Ballenas Secondary

Location: 135 Pym St, Parksville, BC
Caters to: Grade 8 to Grade 12

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Communities Around Nanoose Bay

Nanoose Bay is a highly sought-after place to move to and live. With a prime location between Nanaimo and Parksville, residents have the best of both worlds - the privacy and small-town feel surrounded by nature and the perks and amenities that cities nearby provide. The nearest and most popular towns and cities to Nanoose Bay with some of their own attractions are:

Nanoose Bay is twenty minutes north of Nanaimo. It's the second-largest city on Vancouver Island, home to thousands of residents, has numerous parks, and boasts a bustling waterfront and harbour. The city is well known for its shopping and lovely scenery.

Parksville is a short twelve-minute drive from Nanoose Bay. This charming seaside community north of Nanoose Bay is well known for its seafood restaurants and unique shops. Parksville is also a popular summer vacation spot on Vancouver Island and British Columbia for families. Sandy beaches and comfortable water make it ideal for swimming and relaxing. Parksville has great all-year-round weather for outdoor adventurers. 

Parksville, BC

Qualicum Beach is about 25 km north of Nanoose Bay. This popular retirement community has a population of a few thousand people and is located on the coast of the Strait of Georgia. It is easily accessible by all means of transport and convenient. Qualicum Beach offers visitors an excellent golf course as well as pristine beaches. One place of note to visit in Qualicum Beach is the Old school House Arts Center, which houses the art and sculptures of local artists. 

Lantzville is a mere nine minutes east of Nanoose Bay. Another seaside community with well-established neighbourhoods. Lantzville has a residential and a country feel to it. 

Things to do in and around Nanoose Bay

There is much to do and see in Nanoose Bay, from hiking to sightseeing and even water activities; you can hardly run out of attractions here. 

There are two regional parks in Nanoose Bay. Beachcomber Regional Park is an oceanside park located on the end of the peninsula that is one hectare. The view from this regional park spans west across to Parksville, north to the Salish Sea, and the coastal mountains. Moorecroft Regional Park has a one-kilometre-long beach, wetlands, and 32 hectares of forest with several trails for hiking, biking, and picnicking. 

To the west of Nanoose Bay is the Qualicum National Wildlife Area. Nanoose and Bonell Creeks are streams that flow through this area. Vegetation, mudflats, salt marsh, and meadows are various habitats that are found in the Qualicum National Wildlife area. This allows for the diversity in plant life, animal species, and bird species to thrive. It is a bird-watchers paradise most of the year, with sightings of diving ducks, gulls, herring, and bald eagles.  

If hiking is what you are looking for, Nanoose Bay has many hiking trails that are open to the public. These include trails for all ages and abilities. Here are some popular ones to consider:

  • Notch Hill: Found on the north shore of the harbour. This trail lined by arbutus and oak trees is an hour-long, and you can enjoy ocean views from the top.
  • Northwest Bay Trails: In Nanoose Bay, these trails go through the forest and are multi-purposed for hiking, biking, and horse riding. 

Horse Riding

Other parks in the region are:

  • Brickyard Bay is a community nature park with waterfront access. Perfect for swimming. 
  • Enos Lake and Beaver Ponds have trails and ponds abundant with wildlife and aquatic plants. 

Let's not forget about fishing in Nanoose Bay. If you are interested in outdoor activities such as fishing or boating, then Nanoose Bay is perfect for you! Nanoose Bay has some of the most popular salmon fishing waters in British Columbia, with numerous creeks and rivers.  

You'll also find various marine services available in the area. The Fairwinds Marina, located on the Schooner Cove, is ideal for kayaking, sailing, boat-watching, marine life sighting, or taking a stroll. The Schooner Cove Yacht Club is known for racing and cruising throughout the year. They have social programs, casual activities on the dock, and provide educational opportunities. The racing program welcomes sailors of any level, novice or experienced. If you are interested in experiencing the best of what the coastal waters have to offer, they also organize cruises. 

Apart from the peninsula and the beauty of the water, Fairwinds has another best-kept secret, the Fairwinds Golf Club. It's an award-winning course with 18-holes and 70 sand bunkers. Golfers, challenge yourself if you dare!  

The golf community of Fairwinds has much to brag about as the residents of this community enjoy amenities such as:

  • A recreational facility
  • A social venue for events
  • An indoor swimming pool
  • A hot tub
  • A dry sauna
  • A fitness studio and workout rooms
  • An outdoor tennis court

Fitness Classes

Nearby Errington, a short 20 minutes from Nanoose Bay, is the Englishman River Falls Provincial Park. The park is 97 hectares, with walking trails situated through the forest and surrounded by maple, fir, and cedar trees along the Englishman River. Its main attractions are a canyon and two waterfalls descending in a riverbed, a sight not to be missed. This park also has facilities for tenting, picnicking, and swimming. 

Further north of Nanoose Bay, just before Parksville is the Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. It boasts a swimming beach, 2km in length, bird-watching, and with the warm waters of the Strait of Georgia, a glimpse at seals. 

The Nanoose Place Community Centre opened in 1992 with the help of the community. It is a place where residents of all ages, from children to seniors, can meet for events, social gatherings and participate in fitness. The facility features:

  • The main hall
  • Committee room
  • Two multi-use rooms

Restaurants and Shopping in Nanoose Bay

If you are looking to pick up a souvenir or find something new to eat, there are several vintage shops and restaurants in Nanoose Bay where you can do just that. The Nanoose Edibles Farm, Quality Foods, and Town Pantry are options for produce, and the Red Gap Shopping Centre is where you can find other amenities. 

If you are looking for delicious meals, check out these restaurants:

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Transportation and Getting Around Nanoose Bay

Nanoose Bay is easily accessible by air or car. 

By Air: Nanaimo Airport is a 30-minute drive from Nanoose Bay, where flights with WestJet, Air Canada, or Air Transat are available. The flight time from Vancouver is approximately 30 minutes.

By Car: Nanaimo is located on the Trans-Canada Highway or Highway 1. From Victoria, drive along Highway 1 for about 136 km and approximately two hours. This will take you through many little towns and communities before reaching Nanaimo, then Nanoose Bay. 

Nanaimo BC

Weather in Nanoose Bay

Nanoose Bay has a mild marine climate with moderate temperatures, which is typical of coastal areas in British Columbia. Warm summers bring temperatures averaging around 19 degrees Celsius, while winters are much milder than other parts of Vancouver Island, with an average temperature of 3 degrees Celsius.

Winter in the Nanoose Bay runs from October to April, temperatures are cool and wet, receiving 80-85% of precipitation. In contrast to the bay, the Nanoose peninsula receives less rain and warmer temperatures during the winter as it is bordered by the Pacific ocean. 

During December and January, there is some snow and wind. But by the end of January, the landscape and the seasons change. It blooms into Spring with the appearance of daffodils. 

Despite these seasonal changes, Nanoose Bay has pleasant all-year-round weather with mild winters, lots of sunshine, low humidity, and light winds for taking advantage of the outdoors. 

Nanoose Bay is a little town that offers many things to experience for vacationers and locals alike. Apart from the ocean, beaches, and sunsets that draw most people to this area, living in Nanoose Bay, BC, is a great place to enjoy exploring, swimming, fishing, golfing, and being out in nature. There are beautiful sandy beaches with calm water that are perfect for kids of all ages. The beautiful scenery surrounding the bay makes it easy to get lost in peaceful thoughts while relaxing in the sun or walking along the shoreline.

Providing Residential Real Estate services across Vancouver Island. Sims Real Estate group not only works where we invest; we live here too. Our mission is to build trust and value through genuine and meaningful connections. Our comfortable approach to Real Estate makes working with us a great experience. Our business is built one meaningful connection at a time. Your future matters.

A local Nanoose Bay, BC real estate agent is ready to help you find your dream home!

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