TRAVEL SERIES || A Day in Tofino and Ucluelet
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Our vision is to take you on day trips to cities around the world. Featuring the best local hangouts so you can experience life like a local on your adventures. Join us for A Day in Tofino and Ucluelet on Vancouver Island, where one can enjoy the numerous beaches, fresh seafood and lifestyle shops.

Visitors to Tofino are usually looking to learn how to surf off one of the beaches in the area, where waves are manageable for beginners to intermediate surfing hobbyists. The climate is mild with light showers, and there are plenty of things to see and do, whether it’s enjoying the beautiful sunset sitting on one of the many beaches, or trying the different innovative menus at characteristic restaurants in the area.

STAY || Black Rock Oceanfront Resort

596 Marine Dr, Ucluelet, BC

Instead of staying in the heart of Tofino, we chose to stay at the serene Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet, which is approximately a twenty-minute drive away from Tofino. We preferred this location for its views of the ocean and quiet surroundings. One can simply wander down to the beachfront and enjoy a walk along the beach. A light mist hangs just above the water, creating a mystical, natural environment for a relaxing getaway.

Contrasting shadows in the spacious double height lobby.

Access to this beautiful scenery is via a short path behind the resort.

COFFEE || Two Sister’s Coffee Supply

1645 Cedar Rd, Ucluelet, BC

Before you set off for the drive to Tofino, you can stop by the Ucluelet town centre to wander the various coffee shops in the area. We stopped by Two Sister’s Coffee, a two-level quaint cafe, where you order on the top level and enjoy your drink in the cozy nooks on the lower level or even out on the pier right outside. While it was early in the morning so our stomaches weren’t quite ready for sweets, the cakes were extremely tempting.

Banana Pineapple cake with cheese cake frosting - doesn’t that sound delicious?

BRUNCH || Wickaninnish Inn

500 Osprey Ln, Tofino, BC

Wickaninnish Inn is one of the top-rated stays in Tofino, but another must-try is the brunch menu at their gourmet restaurant. The dome-shaped dining space and surrounding windows offer guests an unobstructed view of the water. The brunch menu is also delicious; the blueberry pancakes are fluffy and tasty, the clam chowder creamy and packed with hearty ingredients, and the breakfast granola yogurt is a perfect start to your weekend morning.

Entrance to the restaurant.

Power bowl with elderflower, chia seeds and bee pollen.

Following a satisfying brunch, we recommend spending some time enjoying the view of the beach accessible just behind the restaurant. Relax to the sound of the waves rolling in and feel the gentle ocean breeze on your face.

SHOP || Caravan Beach Shop

346 Campbell St, Tofino

For those who love to wander lifestyle shops, Caravan Beach Shop features a lovely collection of ceramics, gifts such as jams, spreads, and packaged coffee, along with travel books and even vibrant rugs. To plan ahead for a fruitful trip, you will want to save some space in your luggage to pick up some of the beautiful coffee table books, mugs, and home accessories to bring back with you.

SNACK || Common Loaf Bake Shop

180 First St, Tofino, BC

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of pastries, so when we came across Common Loaf Bake Shop after an afternoon of wandering around the Tofino town center, we sat down for a pick-me-up snack with a latte and a few pastries to share. We fell in love with the ginger scone, which has a spicy aftertaste for those who love ginger.

Within the span of a few blocks, there are plenty of activities to entertain the family, with various souvenir shops, lifestyle shops stocked with home decor goods, packaged teas and accessories, and even a skateboard park and playground where children can play. A short walk down to the pier may mean running into fishermen bringing in the day’s fresh catch, a unique experience to add to your day in Tofino.

Chocolate croissant and earl grey vanilla muffin.

DINNER || 1909 Kitchen

634 Campbell St, Tofino

After wandering down at the pier and picking up various souvenirs and maybe even a book from the local bookstore, gather friends and family to savour the delicious seafood at 1909 Kitchen. We highly recommend the cedar-roasted, miso-marinated black cod, which is juicy and aromatic, having the scent of cedar wood infused into the fish.

DINNER || Frankie’s Resto Bar

1576B Imperial Ln, Ucluelet

Your second option for dinner is closer to Black Ocean Resort, located on a quiet street corner with a patio at the back of this cozy restaurant. This would be a great place to dine outdoors at the end of the day, with a plate of loaded pulled pork poutine, a cold beer and hearty comfort food options on the menu. We recommend trying their beef brisket, which features a delicious barbecue rub and is tender enough to cut with a fork. Another option for those who opt for a seafood dish would be the seafood pasta, which is hearty, delicious and great for carb lovers.

Loaded pulled pork poutine.

Extremely flavourful beef brisket.

CATCH THE SUNSET || Wickaninnish Beach

The optimal activity to end the evening with? Catching the sunset at one of Tofino’s beaches. As the thin clouds roll past the setting sun, turning the beige sand into a warm orange colour, feel the warmth beneath your feet and breathe in the fresh air to let the stress go.

GET CLOSE TO NATURE || Cathedral Grove

452 Alberni Hwy, Nanaimo F

On your way back to the Nanaimo ferry to get back to Vancouver, stop by the majestic Cathedral Grove in Macmillan Provincial Park, where you can get close to nature’s giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. Discover these massive, towering structures that are over 800 years old and reach as high as 75 meters. These trees are survivors of a forest fire that ravaged the area some 350 years ago, and now grow in eclectic patterns, with some sporting enclaves large enough to fit three people, which is now a key photo op within the park.

If you just have the weekend, we recommend picking out the restaurants you would like to try, as there are plenty of good eats and cafes in the area that would easily pack your schedule for a weekend. Of course you will also spend plenty of time surfing, so you must consider all the different cuisines in the area to help you refuel!