Time to Become a Tourist in your Own Town

While June is certainly here, it’s clearly unlike any June ever experienced before. The global pandemic has seen shrinkage of the business sector and a concern over the risks of public gatherings that have curtailed most of the activities associated with the summer season. Travel to the United States and elsewhere is for all intents and purposes non-existent, except for essential services. Even popular local venues such as city owned recreational facilities remain shuttered during these unprecedented times.

With traditional choices for summer time fun severely curtailed the only real answer is to find your fun and entertainment much closer to home. The summer of 2020 is, by necessity, going to become remembered as the summer of the Staycation.

Many of the region’s restaurants and bars are slowly reopening, aided by outdoor patios and other modified means of spacing patrons in a much more ‘social distancing’ friendly way. Of course take out menus have become more important than ever, so this is a great time to experience that eatery you were always meaning to try.

Vancouver Island is a beautiful natural treasure, with hundreds of lakes, parks, beaches and trails that can be explored without crowding. The City of Nanaimo itself has more than 880 hectares of parkland set aside with more than 170 kilometers of trails to venture on. Nearly 150 parks, playing fields and outdoor destinations can be found throughout the city – why not visit the city’s website to discover more about this exceptional resource?

But outdoor journeys don’t have to be limited solely to the City of Nanaimo. Did you know there are nearly 130 provincial parks scattered across Vancouver Island? From massive to miniscule and from easily accessible to very challenging, the Island’s catalog of outdoor destinations is certain to offer something for everyone. Again, if already cloistered in your home, this is the perfect time to do some research and develop your own personal list of ‘must see’ spots to visit.

Speaking of regional research, while the Vancouver Island Regional Library’s (VIRL) branches have been closed during the past few months, its online resources and tools have been heavily used by the Island’s self-isolating pubic. During June the library is hoping to begin offering curbside service for books, videos and other materials – making the summer the perfect time to read that book you’ve always meaning to do. The VIRL also has an extensive collection of local history and activity books – tomes that both educate and inspire you when making your personal summer plans.

Of course sometimes recreation can be found right in your own backyard. Many people are using these unusual circumstances to carry out long planned, but always delayed yard work or household renovations. Always want to put in a vegetable garden, or install a back yard barbecue pit but didn’t have the time? Well, you do now!

You could also upgrade your mind or body this summer, thanks to online educational opportunities being offered by regional educational institutions, or self-directed fitness programs found in abundance on the Internet. In reality, even though the usual events or activities that mark the summer months are missing, there’s still plenty to do if you just take a few moments and conduct some research. You might be surprised at how much there actually is to do right near your own home.