Tofino Weekend Getaway Guide - Where to Stay, Eat and Explore on BC's West Coast
Image by Courtesy Long Beach Lodge
Tofino's Long Beach Lodge offers beachfront accommodations with home comforts
There’s no better place to visit than Tofino if you’re looking for a BC weekend getaway destination to pop the question or romance your honey.
Home to Conde Nast’s Most Romantic Hideaway in North America for 2010 (the Wickaninnish Inn), this quintessential west-coast town with its eco-activities, fabulous cuisine, first-class accommodations and five-star scenery, is sure to cast that loving spell.
What to See in Tofino
Sure you could stay cozy in your room all weekend, but you’ll likely want to take advantage of the opportunity to wow your sweetheart with an adventurous excursion surrounded by west-coast scenery at its best.
A unique way to experience Tofino’s majestic beauty is by taking a scenic seaplane tour with Atleo River Air. The lush rainforests, abundance of small surrounding islands, jagged shoreline cliffs and incredible turquoise waters are beyond spectacular from the air.
A more intimate option for exploring Clayoquot Sound is to pack a picnic and sea kayak through the numerous inlets and bays, which can be booked as a guided or self-guided tour through Tofino Sea Kayaking.
Surfing has become engrained in Tofino’s culture, and for courageous couples who wish to brave the cold, there are numerous surf shops offering rentals and lessons.
But if the icy waters aren’t appealing, visit the natural thermal Hot Springs located 26 nautical miles from Tofino. Getting to the springs is part of the magic, whether by boat, seaplane or Ocean Outfitters’ Sea to Sky package that floats you in and flies you out.
Tofino’s shallow seas and temperate rainforests support a plethora of wildlife, including bears, otters and killer, hump-backed and blue whales, which could well make an appearance during a trip to the springs.
Where to Eat in Tofino
If the way to your love’s heart is through the stomach, then the exceptional culinary scene is yet another reason to visit this quaint surf town that is big on fresh local seafood and mouth-watering cuisine.
SoBo, defined as sophisticated bohemian, could well be the best restaurant in Tofino. House favourites are the Vancouver Island Shrimp Cake with Crab, and the beautifully flavoured Bouillabaisse, a saffron tomato-based broth overflowing with locally caught seafood.
For an intimate environment with seasonal and local fare, the dining room at Shelter Restaurant offers an extensive wine list and scrumptious dishes including Seafood Yellow Thai Curry and Macadamia Nut Crusted Pacific Halibut.
For a more urban feel to your romantic dinner, head over to Fetch in neighbouring Ucluelet, located in the ultra-modern Black Rock Oceanfront Resort. The restaurant’s artisan-inspired menu features fresh island ingredients and locally caught salmon and shellfish; a delicious experience further enhanced by chic decor and brilliant ocean views.
Where to Stay in Tofino
If early morning beachcombing with coffee in-hand is a must, then you’re in luck, as beachfront accommodations in Tofino are top-notch.
The Pacific Sands Resort deluxe oceanfront villas, with kitchens equipped to prepare gourmet meals for two, offer expansive ocean views and are steps from the romantic boardwalk stroll to Sunset Point.
If five-star beachfront accommodations with cozy home comforts are more appealing, the Long Beach Lodge, which includes a complimentary breakfast of house-baked granola and gooey cinnamon buns, is perfect.
Perhaps the most renowned resort in Tofino is the critically acclaimed Wickaninnish Inn overlooking Chesterman Beach. Book a couples massage in the ocean-view Cedar Sanctuary at the resort’s spa if you need a little help getting into relaxation mode.
Getting to Tofino
It’s about a five-hour drive to Tofino from Vancouver, but if you’re short on travel time, Orca Airways offers 55-minute flights from the YVR South Terminal to Tofino.
Tofino provides year-round appeal, with better pricing in spring and fall for about the same weather and amenities as summer offers. Of course, anytime is a good time for a romantic getaway.
For more photos of beautiful Tofino, check out our Weekend Getaways photo gallery.
Mhairri Cuthbert is a principal at Arrivals, a travel writing team that provides a unique perspective on the wonder of travel through captivating stories and compelling photography.