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Tofino and Ucluelet - British Columbia

The Total Getaway

Tofino and Ucluelet are small towns on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, serving as bookends to Pacific Rim National Park. Found at the end of Highway 4, Tofino is north of the park while Ucluelet is at the southern edge of the main Long Beach park unit.

Both are long-time fishing villages, where salmon fishermen leave for the Pacific Ocean fishing grounds. Because of the nearby national park, both towns have accommodations for visitors, including hotels, motels, B&Bs and campgrounds, and also provide a base for exploring the wild West Coast scenery and the park's natural attractions.

You'll find grocery stores, cafes, and things to see and do in the towns. Visit the native art and crafts galleries in Tofino, and take a boat trip to Hot Springs Island where a natural spring provides wonderful soaking in the coastal forest. Kids enjoy walking along the fishing piers, where they will find all kinds of fishing boats -- large and small.

Camping

Camping is available in Pacific Rim National Park, at serviced as well as primitive (walk-in) campsites. However, you'll find unique camping spots very close to the edges of the park, near both Tofino and Ucluelet.

Driving to Tofino

To get there from Victoria, take Highways 1 and 19 north, driving through Nanaimo to the junction with Highway 4. Turn west onto Highway 4 and drive across Vancouver Island. At the end of the road, turn left for Ucluelet, or turn right for Pacific Rim National Park and Tofino. The Long Beach unit of the national park is entered almost immediately, and Tofino is at the northern end of the road.

Staying in and near Tofino

Best Western Tin Wis Resort
1119 Pacific Rim Highway, P.O. Box 389
Tofino B.C. V0R 2Z0
(250) 725-4445
What used to be a rustic seaside lodge is now a high-class modern resort operation with a glassed-in restaurant facing the Templar Channel, landscaped grounds, rooms with double and queen beds, and access to the ocean beach ($$ to $$$).

Weigh West Marine Resort
634 Campbell Street, P.O. Box 69
Tofino B.C. V0R 2Z0
(250) 725-3277 or 800-522-7622
This is a fancy name for a motel at the Tofino fishing port, with standard rooms and one-bedroom housekeeping units. The dining room is open from March through October. There's also a marine pub, and the action on the fishing piers is fascinating. Downtown Tofino is a ten-minute walk away. Fishing charters and sightseeing boat tours can be arranged.

Chesterman Beach Bed & Breakfast
1345 Chesterman Beach Road, P.O. Box 72
Tofino B.C. V0R 2Z0
(250) 725-3726
This is an oceanfront B & B operation with two rooms and a separate cottage. The rooms have single and double beds and private baths. There's also a sauna, and the sandy beach is at the door, with hiking trails nearby.

Bella Pacifica Resort & Campground
P.O. Box 413, Tofino, BC Canada V0R 2Z0
(250) 725-3400
This is a campground for tenters and RVers, two miles south of Tofino, on Mackenzie Beach. There are oceanfront and wooded campsites, full and partial hookups, cable TV, flush toilets, showers, laundry, ice, firepits, and firewood. Pacific Rim National Park is a few minutes' drive south. 160 sites.

Matt & Ben's Retreat (Camp Sayachapis)
P.O. Box 401, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 Canada
This island is a 20 minute boat ride south of Tofino, in Grice Bay. Hiking, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and fishing are just a few of the activities available for outdoor enthusiasts. Six large tent sites and two self contained cabins are available. Reservations are recommended in high season.

Staying in Ucluelet

Canadian Princess Resort
Peninsula Road, P.O. Box 939
Ucluelet B.C. V0R 3A0
(250) 726-7771 or 800-663-7090
This resort operation is open from March 1 through September 30, and includes a historic steamship permanently moored in Ucluelet Harbour. You can stay in a stateroom on board, or ashore in superior motel-style rooms, some with fireplaces. There is a dining room with lounges, and fishing packages can be arranged. For such an unusual resort, prices are quite reasonable ($ to $$$).

Pacific Rim Motel
1755 Peninsula Road, P.O. Box 172
Ucluelet B.C. V0R 3A0
(250) 726-7728
This is a standard, concrete-block motel on Ucluelet's main street, close to shopping and the fishing harbour. There are standard and housekeeping units, some with views of the harbour. Restaurants and the grocery store are nearby.

Burley's Bed and Breakfast
1078 Helen Road, P.O. Box 550
Ucluelet B.C. V0R 3A0
(250) 726-4444
This B&B home has a great waterfront setting on Ucluelet Inlet, with six units, twin, double, queen, king and waterbeds, shared baths, a lounge with fireplace and continental breakfast. Other facilities include a recreation room with pool table, rowboat, and canoe.

Island West Fishing Resort
140 Bay Street, P.O. Box 32
Ucluelet B.C. V0R 3A0
(250) 726-7515
Right in the midst of the fishing docks, this lodge with campground is at the foot of Bay Street. The motel section has standard rooms. The RV park has partial hookups, showers, flush toilets, laundry, dump station, freezer, ice, a boat launch, bait and tackle shop, and a private marina. Guided salmon and halibut fishing can be arranged. There's a marine pub with libations and pub food on-site.



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