While Vancouver, Whistler and the Rockies are popular British Columbia destinations, Tofino is another city to add to your West Coast must-sees. Located on the edge of Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim National Park, Tofino is a popular destination for adventure seekers. Since it is near the infamous Clayoquot Sound, the area offers a host of year-round activities such as whale-watching, surfing, fishing and hiking. With a population of just under 2,000, Tofino is said to be a relaxed town characterized by its sandy beaches, trails and ancient rainforests. Here are a few spots to check out if you plan to visit Tofino this summer.
Photo: sagegloriana from Instagram
Said to be one of the most famous forests in the world, Clayoqout Sound boasts over 2,500 square kilometers of old-growth rainforest. It’s home to various endangered animal species, and visitors often enjoy whale and bear watching. In the 1980s and 90s, there were a number of protests against clear-cut logging that resulted in a change in government policies when it came to preserving the inlet. Today, it is a designated biosphere reserve and a popular destination for those looking to explore its natural history.
First Nations Culture
The area is populated by many First Nations communities which offer visitors a glimpse into Aboriginal experiences. Tofino is deeply rooted in First Nations culture and is seen through Indigenous food systems, art galleries, traditional ceremonies and authentic Aboriginal dugouts. Visitors can explore the First Nations culture of the region, in order to truly understand the history of Tofino.
Photo: tourismtofino from Instagram
Pacific Rim Whale Festival
While the West Coast is known for whale watching, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival is in a league of its own. Having celebrated its 31st year this past March, the festival honours the migration of over 20,000 grey whales from Mexico to the Arctic. As these majestic creatures pass through the shores, locals participate in educational discussions, concerts, culinary events and much more. Spanning over two weeks, it’s a unique way for visitors to experience traditional B.C. whale watching.
Tofino is considered to be the surfing capital of Canada. Visitors can explore 35 kilometres of beaches with year-round surfing. Some popular spots to catch some waves include Chesterman Beach, Cox Bay and Long Beach. It may not be a tropical are, like Hawaii, but the rugged waves and wilderness make for a unique surfing experience.