Beautiful days and long weekends are a good opportunity to discover out-of-the-way places like Tofino, a village on the east side of Vancouver Island. The island itself is a marvel of old-growth forests, beautiful beaches, and many activities.

Although the road to Tofino is long (about 8 to 10 hours from Seattle), it’s worth it.

You can fly to Tofino via a seaplane flight from Northwest Seaplanes: it’s fast, but pricy, of course.

There are a couple of options to get to Tofino by car:

– Take the Duke Point (British Columbia) ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Tofino is about a 3-hour drive from Nanaimo.

– Or, make your way to Victoria and drive to Tofino from there (about 5 hours).

Tofino may give the impression of being miles from anywhere, but life is good there.

The area attracts a lot of surfers as well as tourists who come to admire the magnificent views, walk through the old-growth forests of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, participate in the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, take a bike tour, and just have a nice time.

Each of Tofino’s beaches has a particular attraction. The beaches of Chesterman and Cox are popular spots for surfers, but they are also the perfect place to watch the storms on the water in winter. The calmer MacKenzie Beach becomes very lively in good weather with a mix of paddle boards, kayaks, yoga classes, kites and sand castles and log fires, and at the end of the day, everyone comes together to admire the beautiful sunsets.

The selection of places to stay is rich and varied, the ideal lodging being a cabin with direct access to the beach like those found at Ocean Village Resort.

Photo © Ryan Ell

On the food side, do not miss out on Tacofino. From its simple beginnings as food truck serving tacos in the parking lot of a surf shop in Tofino, Tacofino has expanded into several locations, and has become a British Columbia institution.