When I first announced I was moving to British Columbia, everyone told me: You have to go to Tofino! I had never heard of it before, but when I heard the words sand and beaches, I was officialy interested. I later learned that Tofino is a small village on the west coast of Vancouver island. It is a popular surfing and whale-watching destination. Close to the village is Long Beach, part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and the main attraction of the region… At least for us!
Amy and I left my apartment at about 6:30 AM as we wanted to get to Tofino as early as possible and it is about a 3-hour drive from Comox. We made a quick stop in Port Alberni to get Emma and arrived in Tofino at about 10. Unfortunately for us, it was raining pretty heavily when we got there, but it was supposed to stop in the early afternoon so our day at the beach got pushed back a few hours and we decided to visit the village for a while. We took our time looking through the souvenir shops, the bookshop and an art gallery and ended up at a restaurant for lunch as the last few drops of rain fell.
The weekend that we were there was Queen of the Peaks, an all-women surf competition. As soon as we were done eating, we left the village for Cox Bay Beach to see some surfing. Neither of us had ever tried surfing so we were very impressed. The weather was finally with us and the sun even came out. We later went to Long Beach to see what it looks like and it is probably the longest and largest beach I have ever seen, except maybe for Venice in California. The water was clear and it was beautiful.
When the sun set, we left the beach to go back to our Airbnb for dinner. We mostly stayed in our room that night, drinking some cider and talking.
On our second day in Tofino, we woke up early to go on a Hot Springs boat tour. These tours bring you by boat to a national park where you get to hike through the rainforest to hot springs for a nice soak. On the boat ride you also get to see whales, bears, eagles and seals. Seems pretty amazing, but we had made no reservation and the many different tours available in the city were all full because of the wonderful weather.
Since we couldn’t go on a tour, we bought a body board and rented some wetsuits and went for a swim at Cox Bay. We played in the waves for hours, took some pictures and got a view of the surf competition from the ocean. For Emma and Amy, it was the first time swimming in the Pacific ocean!
At 3 PM, it was time to pack up our stuff, bring back the wetsuits and drive back to Port Alberni and Comox.
Even though the weekend didn’t go as planned, we had the best time just looking at what Tofino has to offer. We’ll be back for a long weekend in the spring to try the hot springs, and we’ll make reservations this time!
More articles that might interest you