Tofino Stay-cation

When the peak summer season hits, Tofino can be last place the locals actually want to be. So, where do you go on vacation from the ultimate vacation destination? The Lone Cone Mountain Hostel and Campground on Meares Island may offer the perfect solution. It’s close enough for those who can’t get more than a day or two off work at a time and it’s not going to break the bank like most other Tofino options. Need some convincing? Check out what makes Meares Island a top stay-cation destination.


The Transportation:


Half the fun of a vacation is feeling like you’re going somewhere new, ie. Taking some form of transportation. That’s why a stay-cation on Meares Island is perfect – have all the fun of taking a water taxi, without the commitment of a long commute. Whether you’re staying at the hostel or camping out, your water taxi fare is included in the price. Just hop aboard the 33ft Ahous Hakoom and you’ll find yourself somewhere completely new. Vacation-mode achieved within 15 minutes.


The Accommodation:


Choosing between a hostel and a campground is usually an easy decision. Those looking for a back-to-nature weekend of rugged outdoors and classic summer pastimes will likely choose to pitch a tent at the Lone Cone Campground. Those seeking simplicity and a social scene are more likely to opt for the hostel. Especially considering everything is taken care of – beds, sheets, pillows… All that stuff that’s annoying to carry.* For those who love camping, but not the hassle, Lone Cone Campground spoils its campers with one other “Hosted Camping” option – you can pick up all your gear from them upon arrival. Plus, you can use the hostel kitchen versus the community fire pits at a small extra charge if your survival skills aren’t quite up to par.


The multiple accommodation choices mean that you can set your own pace for your stay-cation whether it’s a weekend away with old friends, or a chance to be immersed with unfamiliar faces in familiar territory.


*You’ll still need to bring a sleeping bag or extra blanket for over the sheets.


Photo by: Cal Nguyen

Photo by: Cal Nguyen

The Activities:


Much like Tofino but at a more secluded pace, Meares Island offers endless activities. Given the hostel’s namesake, the Lone Cone Hike is top of the list. Convenience is key to kick off this grueling, yet rewarding ascent, and returning back to your bed without needing to water taxi back to Tofino is a bonus. If that particular hike isn’t quite of interest, there are beaches, kayaks, SUP boards and mountain bikes for rent, a volleyball court, a hot tub and plenty of other trails, hikes and excursions you can partake in. There’s even a lake with a rope swing. And if you want to just hang out? Go for it. Meares Island is like a choose-your-own-vacation destination.


Photo by: Alisha Fridland

Photo by: Alisha Fridland

The Other Perks:


For starters, the cost of a stay-cation to Meares Island is pennies compared to what you’d be spending in Tofino. At thirty bucks a pop for a dorm bed (there are also private room options), and forty-five for a campsite, you’re looking at a pretty cheap way to escape for a day or two.


Next, anyone into the legend (or reality) of the Sasquatch will be delighted by the fact that Meares Island is thought to be its home. According to the Nuu-chah-nulth, Buc Miis (their version of the Sasquatch) has been around for thousands of years and sightings are a fairly common occurrence.


Finally, Meares Island opens doors to see even more of the incredible beauty and limitlessness of the West Coast of Canada. Whether it’s time spent on the white sandy shores, or amongst the massive cedars and firs of the forest, a stay-cation here will soothe away the stress and awe you with the simpler things in life.


So, no matter what kind of escape you’re looking to make from Tofino at its most crowded, Meares Island will make for a great getaway. When all is said and done and work is calling your name, you’re just a 15-minute boat ride away, while your newly achieved sense of rest and relaxation is there to stay.


Contributed by: Laurissa Cebryk