Area Destinations: Tofino & Ucluelet

Aerial photo of Tofino and Clayoquot Sound

The main attraction for visitors to the Pacific Rim has traditionally been the wilderness activities. Now, the towns themselves also boast a number of attractions: restaurants with world-class chefs serving local and fresh Vancouver Island produce and seafood, art galleries, award winning spas, museums and cultural displays.

The above is excerpted from
Wildside Guide to Vancouver Island's Pacific Rim
by Jacqueline Windh

Tofino

Getting to Tofino from the Tofino-Long Beach Airport is fast and simple. Rental cars are available at the airport (best to reserve in advance), and some of Tofino's accommodation providers will arrange vehicle pick-up service for guests. You will exit the airport on Airport Road, stopping at a 'T' intersection with Pacific Rim Highway. Turn right on Pacific Rim Highway, noticing Long Beach and the Pacific Ocean through the trees on your left. You will be at the Cox Bay Visitor Centre within about eight minutes. Cox Bay marks the southern boundary of Tofino's limits, which stretch along the coastline northwards for another 8 kilometers.

The next beach along the Tofino's coastal stretch is the world-renowned Chesterman Beach. You cannot see Chesterman Beach from the highway, and we point it out to make sure you plan for an extended visit to this amazing stretch of sand and surf.

If you are headed to the downtown core of Tofino, continue along the Pacific Rim Highway until the road literally ends. Congratulations, you've made it to the official terminus of the Trans Canada Highway.

For more information about Tofino, visit www.tourismtofino.com.

Accommodations Options in Tofino: Hotels, Cabins, B&Bs and Camping!

Tofino has a range of accommodation options. Whether you want to experience the ultimate in quality and service at the world renowned Wickaninnish Inn on Chesterman Beach or rent a modest beachfront cabin at Ocean Village Resort, there is something for everyone in Tofino. You can also find a huge selection of B&Bs and vacation rentals at a management company like Tofino Vacation Rentals and you can camp overlooking Long Beach in the world-famous Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Dining Options in Tofino: Fish and Chips to Haute Cuisine

Thankfully, Tofino also has a wide range of restaurant options as well. One of the most notable examples of this diversity occurred when a professional fisherman and an acclaimed chef teamed up to open the Wildside Grill, a take-out eatery that offers the freshest fish and chips, burgers and seafood on the coast. Of course there's many other options as well: Everything from the finest oceanfront dining at The Pointe Restaurant to Gary's Kitchen, which offers modestly priced Chinese food in a diner-like setting.

For a complete list of restaurants in Tofino, see www.tourismtofino.com


Ucluelet

Ucluelet is located approximately 25 kilometers south of the Tofino-Long Beach Airport. Driving out from the airport, turn left at the 'T' intersection with Pacific Rim Highway. You will be travelling through the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve for much of the drive. Note the parking areas along the way for access to the park's incredible hiking trails. After you exit the park boundary, continue straight past "The Junction" with highway 4 and the Pacific Rim Visitor Centre for another 8 kilometers until you reach the small town of Ucluelet.

Ucluelet is home to the Wild Pacific Trail and the newly constructed Ucluelet Aquarium. The Wild Pacific Trail consists of an 8 kilometer coastal hike over rocky headlands that perch out to the crashing Pacific Ocean below. This hike is a stunning addition to the many great hikes between Ucluelet and Tofino. The Ucluelet Aquarium is another new and exciting addition to Ucluelet, featuring touch tanks, many display tanks featuring native fish and invertebrates.

For more information about Ucluelet, visit www.ucluelet.ca.

Accommodation Options in Ucluelet

Ucluelet's accommodation sector has grown tremendously over the last ten years. This recent expansion seemed to coincide with the opening of the Black Rock Resort, which offers a range of contemporary suites overlooking a rocky stretch of the Pacific Ocean. There are also affordable motels, like the family-operated West Coast Motel, which offers clean, affordable rooms and a central location. Ucluelet has many camping options as well, including a new campground, Wya Point, which is operated by the Ucluelet First Nation.

Dining Options in Ucluelet

There are many dining options in Ucluelet. The regionally famous fish and chips truck, Jiggers, is open seasonally for delicious and affordable take-out food while Norwoods offers fine dining and excellent wine in a romantic setting.

For a complete list of restaurants in Ucluelet, see www.ucluelet.travel/restaurants