Beautiful beaches, rich rainforests and epic surf—Tofino puts the great in the great outdoors, and the best time to enjoy it is now. Instead of escaping the rain, embrace the rain and enjoy a cozy winter weekend. Grab your rubber boots and enjoy the beach, fill up on fantastic food or just snuggle up to do some storm-watching during a weekend in Tofino.
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Instagram/cfeaverTake a stroll around Tofino. It’s small enough to explore on foot, and even if it’s raining there are plenty of places to hide. Pop into Habit Clothing on Campbell Street to stock up on soft bamboo leggings and cozy cashmere sweaters or visit jeweller Christy Feaver’s House of Alaia on Main Street to see her collaborative collection of Balinese-inspired bracelets, necklaces and earrings, as well as pieces from other local artisans. Fans of First Nations art can see (and buy) the work of Roy Henry Vickers at his Eagle Aerie gallery space in a traditional-style longhouse on Campbell Street.
The Wickaninnish InnCheck into The Wickaninnish Inn and wait out the rain with a glass of fine Taylor Fladgate port in front of a roaring fireplace. Designer driftwood touches and a rustic-chic feel make the bedrooms the perfect place to curl up and watch the weather come in. Head to Ancient Cedars Spa for an invigorating eucalyptus steam in the steam cave before experiencing treatments, which use local products from Tofino Soap Company and the seaweed-based Seaflora range. Some are inspired by the cleansing ceremonies of local indigenous people or include a revitalizing seaweed wrap to bring the elements of the outdoors into the spa treatments.
The Wikaninnish InnKeep cozy and have dinner at The Inn’s The Pointe Restaurant for a front-row seat to watch the Pacific waves crashing into Chesterman Beach, thanks to the stunning 240-degree view of the ocean from the dining room. Tuck into dishes that feature locally foraged and grown food, made by executive chef Warren Barr, who uses seasonal indigenous ingredients such as cynamoka berries, which are picked on the kitchen doorstep. Dishes bring a taste of the outdoors inside with local produce such as spruce and seafood starring on the menu.
Flickr/Pat GrovesSlip on the gumboots (in the wardrobe of every room) and hit the beach for a rejuvenating stroll along sweeping Chesterman Beach, or brave the waves and try surfing. After your walk, head downstairs to the Driftwood Cafe where there is a thoughtful boot-warming unit to dry out wet boots while you snuggle up in your room to do some storm-watching.
Facebook/Tofino Brewing CoVenture back into Tofino to pick up some mementos from the trip and take home Kelp Stout from Tofino Brewing Company, and local meats from Picnic. Both places are tucked away on Industrial Way on the outskirts of town. Further down Gibson Road you’ll reach the gallery of local surf and wildlife photographer Kyler Vos. Stop by to see his shots of wolves, bears and Tofino’s epic scenery.
Facebook/Wolf In The FogStay in Tofino town for dinner at Wolf in the Fog. Named Canada’s best new restaurant when it opened in 2014, Wolf has a welcoming dining room adorned with local art, featuring everything from broken surfboards to a driftwood sculpture of a mighty wolf. Take a seat at the bar and order a signature cedar sour cocktail to warm you up, or share plates of locally foraged and farmed food from chef Nick Nutting. Tuck into corn-fried cod cheeks or potato-crusted oysters and wash it all down with a pine-infused The Lion, The Witch and The Narwhal cocktail from bar manager Hailey Pasemko.