On the drive into Tofino, we stopped by Long Beach. And yes it’s very long. It was very cold and grey but still amazing to see nonetheless.
I wasn’t expecting such a long drive into Tofino, it just seemed to never end. It’s a peninsula on the west side of Vancouver Island. It’s a very attractive and quaint seaside town. We had two nights booked at the Paddlers Inn. The room had 2 single beds and a double in a very strange layout but it added character.
We had a wander around on our first evening here. I felt strange in Tofino, like an outsider. I know I am but considering it is meant to be a place that attracts tourists I thought it would feel more welcoming. Anyways we were on the hunt for warm clothes. During our trip so far, we realised we hadn’t packed the right clothes. Or maybe not enough layers. We all didn’t expect it to be so cold so we spent the evening searching for cheap clothes and we failed miserably. All the shops closed so early. I guess we did visit just outside of peak season.
We spent the evening in the hotel, drinking and playing very aggressive snap. Then we had the pleasure of listening to a live band, in the legion club opposite our hotel. We laid in bed and could hear the full set. Who knew it could be so lively on a Monday night in Tofino.
In the morning we booked a kayak tour for the following afternoon. Kayaking is something I’ve never done and have wanted to do forever. So I was more than keen to take part in this activity. Luckily our hotel is also a base for a kayaking company so it worked out really well. Guests at the hotel get discount too.
We spent the morning hiking after getting a coffee and a breakfast pizza from Tofitian Cafe. The mocha was really good. The first hike we did was called Radar Hill. I wouldn’t call it a hike, it was very short but there’s a cool viewpoint at the end.
We drove a little further and walked the Schooner Cove trail. You walk along purpose made walkways and then you come out onto the beach. The forest you walk through is beautiful, so nice in fact I took no photos. I was too busy taking it in and trying not to tumble off the walkways. I took photos of the beach…
For lunch we had fish and chips at Big Daddy’s fish fry. It was actually a pretty decent fish and chips for Canadian standards. It just what we needed to fuel our afternoon of kayaking.
Our kayak tour lasted about 2-3 hours and cost around $60. We were lucky enough to have the tour guide to ourselves and we kayaked around a small island and back to the hotel. The tour guide was very informative and you could tell he enjoyed sharing his facts with us. He was very patient with us, considering Vicki and I were complete kayak virgins. I love being by the water so kayaking was right up my street. I didn’t fall in either, bonus. I’ll be kayaking again for sure.
In the evening we went to Tacofino. It’s a famous taco shop which originated in Tofino. There’s a store and a food truck in Vancouver. The original is a food truck too, I presumed it was a shop. Anyways it was the best tacos I’ve ever had. Just a shame you can’t enjoy them in the warmth inside. We also took a visit to the Tofino Brewing Company. I’m not one for fancy beers, lager is fine but it was nice to try beer you wouldn’t normally order. It is a small place though and they’ll only serve you if you have a space at the bar or tables. So expect a small wait but I’d recommend a visit.
We had a chilled evening, carrying on the intense snap and other card games. No live band to deal with this evening so we slept like babies. We didn’t have much desire to explore Tofino’s nightlife, if it actually exists. You do what you want to do on vacation.
Our final day was spent travelling to Nanaimo to catch the ferry to Horseshoe Bay. Nanaimo is closer to Tofino and Horseshoe Bay is way closer to Downtown Vancouver so this isn’t a bad route to take. We stopped for a McDonald’s on the way back because we had gone a few days without it. We also stopped at the Goats on the Roof for an ice cream. They have a ton of flavours and dairy free options too. My friends are slowly but surely having to cut dairy out their diet. I really hope it doesn’t happen to me, that would be a sad day.
I don’t think I would hurry back to Tofino or maybe I would in the middle of summer. I would like to try surfing and I need to get a postcard. I collect postcards from every place I visit. I’ve started framing them and hanging them on the walls in my bedroom. I didn’t get chance to get one from Tofino so I guess I need to go back just for that.
Vancouver Island is huge though, I need more time to explore there. Lots of outdoor activities to be done and wildlife to see. I’m still on the hunt to see a bear in the wild. My to do list for next time…
- Visit the Sooke Potholes
- Go tubing at Lake Cowichan
- Explore Nanaimo
- Visit Qualicum Beach
- Explore Ucluelet
- Island hop the Gulf Islands
Again, thank you to Vanessa for the panoramic photos.