Nestled on the far west side of Vancouver Island, Tofino is about as west as you can get in Canada.
My roommate F. invited me to join her crew of amazing people (Team Hot Tub, if you would) to vacation for two quick nights. Though Tofino is a good 6 hour trip from Vancouver, it was worth it. The winding road passes through some majestic old growth forest, and is bordered by pristine rivers and lakes. The curves in the road make for some fun driving, too. When we arrived to our ready-made campsite (brought to you by Parks Canada) all we had to do was blow up our air mattresses and lay out our sleeping bags; otherwise, the tent, air mattresses, stove, and propane were all ready for us upon arrival.
Over the next two days we enjoyed afternoon swims in the Pacific (and by enjoyed, I mean felt my limbs go numb with joy and then melt in the summer sun on the smooth sandy beach), picnics on the beaches, local fish and chips, and dramatic west coast sunsets. A few of my favourites places – that you should check out too someday when you go to Tofino – include:
Schooners Cove. Skip through the old growth forest on little wooden platforms and bridges. After about 1km or so, the forest recedes to this beautiful cove of ocean wonderfulness. You’re surrounded by mountains, and when the tide goes out you can wade in little tidal pools for kilometres ahead. This is where we went swimming.
Mackenzie beach. The little cabins you can rent here are adorable and beautiful. You have running water and plumbing and are right on the oceanfront. The cabin complex includes a pool and hot tub for families to enjoy. If you’re more budget conscious, there is a nearby campsite as well. Beautiful, serene, and kid-friendly, the beach allows for bon fires at night and you can expect friendly company from the neighbours. You really can’t ask for much more; if I go back with a bigger group, I’ll book at Mackenzie beach.
In summary, when you’re traveling BC, Tofino should be on your list. Somehow, someway, you need to check this spot out. If you’re into surfing, it’s on the world surfing circuit. If you’re into fresh ocean fare and beer, they’ve got that. Spas? Check. Bike paths? Check. Majestic views … well. You get the idea.