When you get to Tofino you have come to the end of the road. There are no fast food chains, no big box stores. With a year-round population of about 2000, it has a small resort town feel. Many people come from all over the world to take in the beaches, kayaking, hiking, whale watching, hot springs and fishing. Tofino sits in the 349,947 hectare Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve. Every year many thousands of birds, whales, salmon and sea lions pass through this area heading north in the spring and south summer and fall.
Despite the vast amount of wilderness around Tofino, it is best known as a popular surfing destination. Outside Magazine’s 2010 Editors’ Choice awards named Tofino the best surf town in North America and as we hit 2016 not much has changed. A high percentage of the west coat population finds its recreation in hitting the waves frequently and for some, its like religion.

Food, adventure, fun…

Tofino is one of the most beautiful spots to visit on the west coast but it doesn’t stop there. The west coast cuisine is memorable experience here too with a display of wild seafood. Tacofino’s bus is one of the most talked about places in town for lunch with its fish (ling cod) tacos. Red Can Gourmet is not too pricy and a fine meal. The Shelter is a great place for a romantic date with clams, mussels, salmon, halibut and Dungeness crab as a few of the menu items. Wildside grill has more than just seafood and is a great stop after a day on the beach. Wolf in the fog is Tofino’s newest fine cuisine and has been mentioned in many well known publications.

Tofino and more…

Tofino sits on the north end of a peninsula and about 35 mins at the south end sits the town of Ucluelet. Ucluelet is known as a fishing hotspot on the coast, but it also has the Wild Pacific Trail, the top ranked thing to see by Trip Advisor on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The Wild Pacifc trail is starting to get a lot of attention from visitors, but it is also a place where locals like to do an early morning jog when there is almost no traffic.

Pacific Rim National Park

Pacific Rim National Park is one of the favorite vacation spots along the west coast of British Columbia and starts about 10 mins outside of Tofino. There are three regions: Long Beach, The Broken Group, and the West Coast Trail. The park is well known for its lush forests and rugged coastline. The park was formed among some controversy as people used to camp, live and drive on the beach. When it became a national park everything was cleaned up and you really have no idea what this same area used to be like 40 years ago. Ask any of the old timers here and they may tell you a few interesting stories!

Tofino Weather

Chance of Rain
Chance of Rain
High 12°/Low 8°
High 12°/Low 8°
High 11°/Low 6°
High 12°/Low 5°
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
High 12°/Low 6°
Chance of Rain
Chance of Rain
High 12°/Low 7°

Storm watching November-March

By November the winter storm season in Tofino and Ucluelet and it usually lasts until February or March. Both BC locals and visitors from other countries are turning up every year from November to March to come and see some of 3-6 Meter (20 ft) sea hurling waves on the shore. Gale force winds reaching up to 70km an hour can throw massive 15 foot waves (waves don’t hit the shore at the same height as they are just a litte ways offshore.) Some of the best spots include Chestermans Beach, Frank Island, Long Beach and Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet.

Big events for Tofino and Ucluelet:

Tofino Big Events

  • Pacific Rim Whale Festival
    During March close to 20,000 Gray Whales are celebrated for passing by the coast here.
  • Tofino Shorebird Festival
    This happens the last weekend of April in celebration of the thousands of birds migrating north along the coast.
  • Clayquot Island opening
    Usually during the long weekend in May. This is the only weekend of the year this island is open to the public. The gardens and setting is spectacular and there is a free boat taxi ride from Tofino. More on Clayoquot Island …
  • Tofino Food and Wine Festival
    The first weekend in June showcases BC wines and Tofino cuisine.
  • Tofino Lantern Festival
    End of August and one of the locals favorites.
  • O’Neil Coldwater Surf
    End of October. Professional event lasts a few days. Clayoquot Oyster Festival This happens every year during November

Ucluelet Big Events:

  • Pacific Rim Whale Festival
    During March close to 20,000 Gray Whales are celebrated for passing by the coast here.
  • Van Isle 360
    A point to point sailboat race circumnavigating Vancouver Island. This happens every odd year in June.
  • Edge to Edge Marathon
    Racers start in Tofino and head to Ucluelet.
  • Pacific Rim Summer Festival
    Two weeks of multicultural concerts and music during early July
  • Ukee Days
    Ucluelet’s most popular festival celebrates with a parade, dance, music, and food including a salmon barbeque.

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