What do you know about Tofino?
February 18, 2009 7:10 PM   Subscribe

I'm getting married this summer, and my partner and I are looking at the west coast of Vancouver for our honeymoon. We've found Tofino and specifically La Picola cabin and I'm looking for any information folks might have about the cabin; good, bad, indifferent, any. (I read the other asks about Tofino, but none of them had as much detail as I'm looking for)

We'll be up there in the first week of August for about a week, and figure we'll stay in the cabin for most of the time, with maybe a night at one of the schmancy hotels nearby for a hot shower and room service.

In general I'm looking for ideas about where to kayak (and rent them for a few days), run, hike, whale-watch, fish, eat, and generally lounge around, with an emphasis on down-scale and cozy. Things like hot springs and where to shop for groceries and good wine would be welcome as well.

Suggestions about other places to stay (not necessarily in Tofino, but with similar recreation opportunities) would be great!
posted by dolface to Travel & Transportation around Tofino, BC (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Tofino's awesome -- good choice. I've never been to this resort specifically, but I've always heard really great things about the Wickaninnish Inn. One of these days I will get there, if only for the jacuzzi tub looking over the water...
posted by cgg at 7:47 PM on February 18, 2009

I've never been to Tofino, but Eagles Nest Retreat on Galiano Island is beautful. It's designed and furnished using the principles of A Pattern Language, and it's comfortable/homey, relaxing, and lovely.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:52 PM on February 18, 2009

Never stayed at the La Picola Cabin, but Tofino's a blast.

I went whale watching with Jamie's. If the whaling station out of Tofino is too busy, they also run out of Ucluelet, which is only about 20km away and less busy (with better tours, I've heard).

Long Beach is where most people spend a lot of time, more info here.
posted by Relic at 8:20 PM on February 18, 2009

Tofino is insanely amazing. Especially if the weather is nice :-)

Chesterman Beach is great for walks and it looks like that cabin is at one end of it. Eat sushi at Tough City sushi. Buy some salmon and grill it if you have a BBQ. Take long walks, photos, collect shells, bring wine to the beach for sunset. The Rainforest Trail is gorgeous - a raised boardwalk through drippy rainforest. Pacific Rim national park is also spectacular. So is Schooner Cove Trail down to Long Beach. Really, all of it.

Hot Springs Cove is a bit outside of Tofino and you have to take a boat or helicopter or float plane. There is also a little lodge and there used to be a kind of floating B&B there.

If you're taking the ferry from the mainland, I'd stop in Nanaimo or that area and get groceries for the week. But there are lots of grocery stores and co-ops in Tofino, so if that doesn't work with your schedule, don't sweat it.

If you have a car, a drive to Uclulet is nice and there are so many hikes in that area too.

Bring lightweight rain jackets, rubber boots, a fleece, and a bunch of layers. It can get a bit rainy even in August, although that's is probably the nicest time of year. If it's rainy, just go out anyway - hiking in the forest is surprisingly dry because of the very tall canopy. And walking in the mist on the beach is just so peaceful and beautiful.
posted by barnone at 9:38 PM on February 18, 2009

We stayed here (in Ucluelet) last May and had a great time. It wasn't the fanciest place but it was pretty affordable and was walking distance to coffee shops, groceries, etc. - and had a hot tub! :) We also did quite a few nice hikes while in Ucluelet.

If you're up for trying surfing I can recommend these guys for lessons.

As far as food goes... We had the best meal of our trip at Shelter Restaurant in Tofino. The warm chevre salad and the halibut are both to die for!
posted by sanitycheck at 11:55 PM on February 18, 2009

cougar annie's garden is the best. seriously. it's amazing. go there. the caretakers are so warm and lovely and have wonderful stories. one of them has even written songs about cougar annie. and it's so beautiful.

i love the fish tacos at the tofino botanical garden - the garden paths are pretty cool too. trilogy fish is a good place to get fish.

the broken group is a good place to kayak.

there's a paved path along the highway - it's pretty nice for running. or you could rent lowrider bikes! fun.

surf sister is a good surf lessons place, and if you're going to rent go to long beach surf shop. they have the better equipement, prices and attitude. there's not a lot surf in august and it can be crowded in the water. my favourite beach is cox. don't know why. chesterman's and long beach are also lovely.

as for other places to stay, i would suggest the Gulf Islands. They're the islands between the Mainland and Vancouver Island (including Galiano). My favourites are Hornby and Mayne (how can you not love the place where Raffi lives?!) - but I generally camp and can't recommend hotels or whatnot. there's plenty of hiking and mtn biking and kayaking on the islands.

also, be forewarned: tofino can be crazy in august, espcially the long weekend. but, i'm sure you'll still have a good time. i'm actually headed there in march, if you still have burning questions, feel free to mefimail me.
posted by bellbellbell at 11:58 PM on February 18, 2009

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