I am absolutely in LOVE with Tofino!
Tofino on Vancouver Island, BC is a magical destination full of wellness hot spots, adventures and experiences. There is an incredible energy here from the powerful ocean waves, the spirit of the West, the majestic forests of hemlock and red cedars and, of course, the First Nations culture.
Tofino also has a relaxed outdoorsy lifestyle and culture, embodied by surfing the cold Pacific waters amongst the miles of white sand beaches lined by majestic forests. You must learn to surf! I would highly recommend Surf Sister which is a surf school run by women and caters to any level of surfing. For great yoga in town, check out Tofino Yoga or Coastal Bliss for some unique yoga experiences like yoga on the beach, in a beautiful botanical garden surrounded by chickens, ducks and goats or in a quaint cedar yoga studio.
There are a ton of cafes to chill at, including my favs, Rhino Coffee House, Common Loaf and Tofino Coffee Roasting Company. which have some delicious gluten free and vegan treats Also, inside Tofino Sea Kayaking which is a tour company run by Liam and his awesome team, there is a gem of a cafe with a spectacular view to watch the seaplanes glide by. They also provide a unique opportunity to experience the great Pacific Ocean by sea kayak tour.
Some great restaurants in the area include the historical Schooner Restaurant. This classic serves up delicious local seafood and provides a very West Coast dining experience. Other must try restaurants include Shelter for a vibrant fun atmosphere, Tacofino food truck for some of the most delicious tacos, the Ice House for the best oysters and view and Wolf in the Fog for the best overall experience with top notch food quality, vibrant atmosphere and killer cocktails.
A must visit is the powerful Roy Henry Vickers art gallery for a real spiritual and energizing storytelling of the First Nations culture through his unique artwork. For more of a unique First Nations tour, check out T’ashii Paddle School for a SUP or dugout canoe adventure that will leave a lasting impression. Sunset at the beach is a spiritual experience in itself! I suggest checking out sunset at Chesterman’s beach and walking the inlet to Frank Island. The sunset point at Cox Bay is a wonderful viewing spot as well that can’t be beat!
There are some incredible hiking trails I would recommend close by town. These include Tonquin beach, the Rainforest hike and Schooner Cove in the Pacific Rim National park, the secret local gem, Cox Cone and you must take the small ferry across to Meares Island and climb up the steep Lone Cone for some of the best 360 views around. If you plan on going whale watching I would recommend Ocean Outfitters. These zodiac boat trips take you up close to see whales and sea lions which is simply breathtaking.
I personally took some “me time” and stayed at The Homestead Tofino. This brand new fitness and wellness retreat centre located right in town is a wonderful place to come for a retreat. The Homestead is perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean where you can take in the stunning view of pristine oceanside wilderness. The concept that has been incorporated here, is to provide a retreat dedicated to overall wellness with a focus on “blue mindfulness”. There are many other accommodations to choose from around Tofino from glamping, cabins, RVs, lodges to the luxe, infamous Wickaninnish Inn. The “Wick” is a must experience, even if it’s to come for sunset dinner at the in-house Pointe restaurant with incredible views. The spa at The Wick, Ancient Cedars offers some amazing treatments, a must do is the seaflora seaweed body and facial treatments.
Just a short drive away is Ucluelet. Here you will find the amazing catch and release Ucluelet Aquarium where there are ‘touchy-feely’ tanks that give you a real hands on experience. I highly recommend hiking the Wild Pacific trail and allocate a lot of time here for exploring and taking in the breathtaking scenery. After you can soak your muscles in the stunning Drift Spa at Black Rock overlooking the rugged ocean. You can also spot some black bears at the Hatchery just off the highway. There is a great little food truck in town Raven Lady I would highly recommend for service and food. YUM!
Overall there is so much to see and do in Tofino. It is by far one of the most amazing places to come and enjoy the rugged Pacific Coastline, expansive beaches, dense forests of ancient trees holding First Nations history or to just participate in a rejuvenation of your body, mind and soul.
Simply put, it is truly one powerful and magical place!!!