If You Go to Tofino

As I recently posted, we went to Tofino, British Columbia a couple of weeks ago. We had wanted to visit for a long time. However, this particular visit was very short as we decided to go on the spur of the moment; our plan is to go back at some point because we loved it.

Here’s what we found out:

1. Bring rain gear – a raincoat, umbrella and rubber boots. We had rain and sun, but don’t stay inside because it’s raining – that would be a real shame.

2. Tofino is quite expensive, so going in the low season can make it more accessible. It was low season when we went, but the prices still felt somewhat high. We stayed at the Tofino Motel. It was very clean and comfortable and there was a nice view from our little deck. Accommodations range from the extremely expensive (the Wickanninish Inn) all the way to the eclectic (Wild Pods – geodesic domes right over the water on a dock).

View from our motel.

3. It’s about a four hour drive from Nanaimo on eastern Vancouver Island northwest across the island to Tofino. You can leave from Horseshoe Bay near West Vancouver and take an hour-and-a-half ferry ride across Howe Sound to Nanaimo. The drive across the island is beautiful. There are many other alternatives such as flying over by floatplane, but exploring those would take another post.

4. Bring along a couple of pairs of comfortable walking shoes. Even if it’s sunny out, you may find yourself with wet feet, and you’re going to want to do lots of walking and exploring in this stunningly beautiful place. A second pair is a good thing.

5. We can recommend two restaurants: Shelter, and The Wolf in the Fog. They both have great seafood, excellent service and good wine and drinks lists. We went to Shelter twice.

6. Tofino has everything you might need: a good grocery store, pharmacy, and post office. There are lots of tourist shops and local tour operators.

7. If you can, go down the road to Ucluelet. It’s about 45 minutes south of Tofino. It’s also stunningly beautiful.

We went to the Heartwood Kitchen for breakfast in Ucluelet. Wonderful.

That’s it.

I you’re considering going, I hope you are able to make that happen. It is absolutely beautiful, and so calming and restful.

20 thoughts on “If You Go to Tofino”

    1. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      The food was quite good but we actually liked “Shelter” better. Tofino gets lots of “high end” tourists and so the standards in the restaurants are high; the food is going to be good almost anywhere. A chef from Tofino Resort and Marina (we didn’t stay there or go to their resto) is presently competing on Top Chef Canada.

  1. What a nice relaxing time away, not to mention the beautiful scenery. I’m so longing for a vacation. Sigh. Thanks for sharing this lovely escape.

  2. Such a beautiful place for a nice break , Lynette. The seascapes are so dreamy and I can see why you spent most of your time there exploring even if the rain was coming down. I love the names of the restaurants you visited, especially โ€˜Wolf in the fogโ€™. Glad you enjoyed your time away.

    1. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚
      It is really stunning, and the notion that as you look out at that ocean, the next landmass is Japan catches my imagination every time I think of it.
      The restaurants were really great; especially after having walked in the rain, I felt like we earned it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. If you use an umbrella we’ll know your a tourist.No locals use umbrellas,only tourists do. Bring not only a rain coat but also bottoms and of course “GOOD” rubber boats(with thick wool socks,I wear them year round). Your motel view overlooked a friends place.Its called “Donnybrook”.
    Another great restaurant to try is SOBO’s. You happen to come during poor weather….Tofino REALLY shines when the weather shines as well!
    Everyone calls Ucluelet “Ukee”. That spot you went to in Ukee was called “Madison’s”.I didn’t know it had changed hands. They made a excellent breakfast!
    The most expensive place to stay in the area is “Clayoquot Wilderness resort”.They do what is called “glamping”.Prospectors tents and they start at $2700 per night. Other than that,yes the Wick is the most expensive in town.Locals never eat there,nobody can afford it. You mentioned its expensive.Try living here year round rather than just staying a few days.
    Also,the real Tofino is out there.Rent a kayak and explore the surrounding waters {lemmings inlet)
    Hope to see you next time around.

    1. Hahaha. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for adding the inside resident information. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I actually don’t really care if I’m recognised as a tourist. Living in the Okanagan I hear a lot of complaints about tourists but they are important economic contributors. We can’t drink all that wine by ourselves! ๐Ÿ™‚

      When I’m tempted to think negatively about tourists I remember all the great experiences I’ve had as a tourist – so much enjoyment; I’ve been very lucky.

      I didn’t hear about SOBO’s, but the Heartwood was serving great breakfasts.

      I knew about the “glamping” but hadn’t bothered to check it out – seems a bit indecisive to me. Either camp or don’t camp … I am looking forward to going back and having a more time to just walk and enjoy the scenery. So beautiful and restful.

      1. we all are tourists sooner or later,some look more touristy than others. Tofino relies upon tourist dollars! I sell my pictures to the tourists.
        The Chowder is to die for at SOBO’s!

  4. Hi, I came here by way of Brian- Bonnywood Manor- He is a hoot and a howl indeed. Anyhow, I have a strong, albeit ancient connection with Port Alice (the town that up and moved) and so was intrigued with hearing where you have been. Itโ€™s not often a mention of Vancouver Island crops up in my neck of the woods. Not much in the way of population as you drive further North, but a plethora of deer, bears, cougars. Up island ainโ€™t the place to hitch-hike! .We enjoyed a quick coffee and pancake at the Cable Cafe, Sayward, but time was tight And, congratulations!

    1. Thank you very much. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Yes, Brian is a good and a howl – I enjoy his writing so much.

      Do you live on Vancouver Island? I have a lot of family on the Island and try to get there often. No, up-island is not a place to hitch-hike and yes, it’s more rugged the further you go. I love it.

      Thank you for coming by. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. No, I don’t live there. My father worked at the pulp plant at Port Alice many moons but we moved… Wanderlust, family commitments etc. I went on a sentimental journey back a few years ago. It is so unspoiled. I will drop by again. WordPress sure makes the world an interesting place as far as finding odd connections.

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