An outdoor retreat that will leave a lasting impression
Whether it is the middle of summer or the dark days of winter, Tofino, British Columbia is an outdoor retreat that will leave a lasting impression, creating memories you will revisit forever.
Getting to Tofino
Located in the Pacific Rim National Park on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, Tofino can be approached by land or air. It’s a stunning drive through old growth forests that you can do on your own or take a trip with Tofino Bus, or a custom shuttle with Pacific Rim Navigators. By air, Orca Airways (Vancouver and Victoria to Tofino), KD Air (Vancouver to Tofino) and Tofino Air (Bases in Vancouver, Sechelt, Nanaimo, Gabriola Island and Tofino) are all options, but it is really most convenient to have a car while in Tofino so you can explore.
Staying in Tofino
The ultimate in luxury in Tofino is the Wickaninnish Inn, nestled among the rocks with views out to the Pacific Ocean. In the summer roam the beach, book a rejuvenating spa treatment and dine at The Pointe, a stellar restaurant onsite where the focus is all on local cuisine. Additionally in the winter, storm watching draws travellers in to this resort and others and there is nothing more romantic than cuddling up and taking shelter from a storm.
The Long Beach Lodge is also known for its local cuisine and immaculate beaches and is also home to an on-site surf school and exclusive marine wildlife boat tours, should you want to add some activities into your schedule. For those seeking the ultimate in privacy, Tofino Vacation Rentals is ideal as they offer your own beachfront home where you can tuck away undisturbed and nip out for supplies only when necessary.
Bring your outdoor gear to Tofino as there are plenty of opportunities to hike through Pacific Rim National Park, the Rainforest Trail and Chesterman Beach. Many rent kayaks or try surfing or paddle boarding, the ocean temperature doesn’t change much year round, so wet suits are advisable.
Whale watching is popular in Tofino and during the months of March to May whale watching tours are offered by various tour operators. Hot Springs Cove is an hour north of Tofino and can be accessed via boat tours from Tofino Harbour. Take a 30 minute walk through the rainforest and bring your swimsuit for a dip in the springs. There are plenty of art galleries and shops for browsing, golf, bear watching for the nature lovers, and of course the spas for winding down.
Come hungry to Tofino as their West Coast sea-to-table cuisine is worth exploring. The Pointe at the Wickaninnish is a must for fine dining, as is the Great Room at Long Beach Lodge, and the Wolf in The Fog and Kuma Tofino.
For a more casual fare you can slurp oysters at the Ice House Oyster Bar, grab a divine burger and more at Shelter, and fish tacos at either SoBo or the Tacofino Food Truck. Coffee drinkers and café lovers will appreciate Rhino Coffee House and the Common Loaf where the baked goods are to die for.
If you are a foodie you may want to time your visit with the various feasting festivals in Tofino. This year, from May 5-21 (and every May) catch Feast Tofino, a festival of boat to table cuisine; June 2 to 4 (and every June) is the Tofino Food and Wine Fest - Grazing in the Garden, and every November the region celebrates the oyster at the Clayoquot Oyster Festival.
Photos: longbeachlodgeresort.com/Joshua Lewis, Feast Tofino Facebook