We celebrated our 3 year Anniversary last week by heading out to the wilderness coastal town of Tofino. Tofino is about 5-6 hours from Vancouver. The ferry left the dock at Horseshoe bay at 10:30am Thursday morning. The sun was shining but it was quite windy and chilly. We arrived at the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island at 12noon and thus began our drive, first Northbound up the Island Highway, cutting Westbound about 30 minutes later onto Pacific Rim Highway and through the town of Port Alberni. 2 1/2 hours later we had arrived. Tofino is a small town, the beaches however are nothing of the sort. Vast, spacious and at times violent, we hiked up to “the Pointe” near our resort and got our first taste of some powerful waves. It was fun exploring around the rocky outcrops, the ocean pounding the cliffs and beach a constant.
Our first evening we dined at the Wikaninnish Hotel. We had planned our reservation for sunset. The view from this landmark is stunning and the servers mentioned how fortunate we were to get to enjoy it as the rain and fog had them socked in for weeks before we arrived.
Day 2 and the sun, whether it rose or not, wasn’t to be seen. A misty rain and low laying menacing clouds stuck around all day. A little rain wasn’t going to keep us in however and we walked the short trail down to Tonquin beach, easily accessible from town and explored the caves along this quiet stretch. Back in Tofino we took in the shops, bought wine and gifts and did a little grocery shopping to stock our hotel fridge. We then visited the gallery of the artist Roy Henry Vickers. Arriving back at our suite, chilled and damp, the hot tub on our patio welcomed us and from the steamy water we had a perfect view of the ever adventurous surfers riding the storm. In light of the stormy weather, we couldn’t have picked a better restaurant for dinner: Wolf in the Fog. Great vibe, young crowd, Cedar infused cocktails and candlelight. To know that the Chef actually catches the fresh seafood he serves that very morning from his boat makes this place even more special. If you’re interested, this is a link to a video about this great restaurant. https://vimeo.com/91371762
Day 3, our last full day and what a delight to pull the curtains back after our cozy sleep in and see the sun shining on the beach out the window. We walked over to the Surfside Grill, a food shack on the hotel grounds with the best fish tacos ever and we were ready for our planned hike of the Nuu-chah-nulth trail, a 5km hike from Wikaninnish Beach to Florencia Bay. The cook at Surfside mentioned that a pack of up to 7 wolves had been spotted at the bay just the week before by hikers and upon arriving the advisory posters made us a little weary but not enough to deter us. The trail leads high up into the forest above the beach along a series of cedar boardwalks and stairs. The views are stunning. Then you are led deeper into the forest and through a bog then spit out at Florencia Bay, an expansive beach strewn with driftwood and large crashing waves. The hike took us just over 1 hour each way and we kept a quick pace with the thought of wolves in the back of our minds. We were hungry when we got back into Tofino and ended our day at the IceHouse Oyster Bar. Again we made a reservation for 7pm to catch the sunset as this inviting restaurant is perched right on the dock with views of Meares Island across the water and our last sunset in Tofino didn’t disappoint. http://www.icehousetofino.ca
We dined here last year and had to return. The crab and our whiskey and amaretto sours were as heavenly as the view.
These are some of the photos I took and if you’ve never been to Tofino (and the Ucluelet area). GO.