Ah Tofino, the majestic heart of British Columbia. Whether you’re blessed enough to live near this hub of natural beauty, or are planning a visit to the area, you’ve got to make the trip out. One ferry ride and a 3 hour drive from Vancouver (you can be there by noon!), Tofino is the remote yet accessible, quiet yet buzzing with activity, picturesque, beachy, bohemian surfer’s paradise that your mind drifts off to as your falling asleep. Seriously, it’s that great.
So…let’s delve into why it’s so great, shall we?
With an abundance of hikes and walks to choose from and an avid surfing community, there’s always an opportunity to get up and get moving. Active vacationers, this is your spot! For the rest of us, those who prefer to lounge about and listen to the push and pull of the crashing waves, relax in the sand or sit by the ocean and dive into a book…this is also your spot. Long beach, Chesterman beach, Cox Bay…the list goes on. All located on the Pacific Rim Highway, these seaside locations are world renowned, offering miles of natural beauty. On our afternoon spent at Long Beach, we climbed Incinerator Rock, a large boulder planted in the sand at the North end of the beach. From it’s peak you could see the entire shore line, full of surfers, swimmers, playing children and rolling waves.
In terms of nature walks, we opted for the Pacific Rim Rainforest as well as the Wild Pacific Trail. The Rainforest is an old favourite of mine, offering an immersion into the rich and diverse natural growth of British Columbia. Vibrant greens, yellows and reddish-browns lit up the scenery, visible from the wooden walkway that leads through the trees. The Wild Pacific Trail, however, took us along the coast of Ucluelet, and was probably the most beautiful site of natural beauty we encountered. The view points along the way were mainly windows of light looking out onto the ocean, surrounded by a canopy of trees. The points of beach access that lined the trail were where we climbed rocks and looked into tide pools, examining the tiny wildlife that call the trail home. In addition, it was leisurely. Mainly flat with a few small hills, it was the right amount of “exercise” for a lounger like myself.
Now for the real fun: the Tofino brewery. Just outside of town, it’s a small venue offering local beers for tasting and purchase, as well as Tofino Brewing Co merchandise (which we also dabbled in). We each ordered a flight with four types of brews, and I have to say the most memorable was the Kelp brew. Salty, slightly tasting like coffee, and made from kelp on the Island, it was not for the faint of heart.
In terms of accommodation, we opted for an air bnb in Ucluelet. As we booked late, there wasn’t many spots left in Tofino. Ucluelet is the next town over, and just as beautiful as Tofino itself. It’s actually the home of the Wild Coast Pacific trail (pictured above), which had some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. Bonus-it’s also the cheaper option.
Basically, if you like quiet places, beautiful views, nice people, fresh seafood food, and local beer-go here.