This past week David and I went to Tofino for the first time. We were blown away with the beauty of the area and had an absolutely fabulous visit. We stayed at a little Airbnb right on a cliff’s edge overlooking the sea and neighboring islands. Our view was spectacular and we were happy to have access to many lovely seating areas that took advantage of the landscapes, a hot tub and a barrel sauna. We were also pleased to be only a couple minutes walk from town and ended up using our car only once in the five days we were there to access a hike.
The vibe in Tofino is very unique by virtue of being surrounded by the rugged Pacific Northwest landscape, ocean, mountains and even sandy beaches. The mornings were particularly peaceful and relaxing.
Here are some of the highlights from our week:
David and I set up a kayaking tour via Ocean Outfitters. We decided to go with this company because they transfer you via boat deep into Clayoquot Sound so that you are out of the hussle and bussle of the harbor. This enabled us to enjoy the serenity of the area and have almost complete privacy to explore the area (we only saw one other boat). We were excited enough about the kayaking, we didn’t expect to see four bears, a harbor seal, and tons of birds including bald eagles and herons.
2. Dinner at Wolf in the Fog – Thanks to a recommendation from a friend we made a reservation at the Wolf in the Fog before we arrived. Back in 2014 it was named Canada’s best new restaurant and has consistently remained on “best of” lists ever since. What a fun evening! We loved the restaurant’s ambiance with its tall ceilings, large bar, and echoes to Tofino’s surfing culture.
The highlight of our meal was a smoked trout appetizer served atop quinoa pancakes with crème fresh and salmon roe. We also enjoyed a shared plate of grilled halibut with local seasonal vegetables including delightful heirloom tomatoes and zucchini.
3. Fishing for Salmon – Our favorite adventure in Tofino was salmon fishing. We chartered a boat with a captain (also through Ocean Outfitters) and he took us out for a day of fishing. We spent the first half of the day closer to shore where we caught two salmon, a lingcod and a rockfish.
Then, we moved deeper into the sea where we came across a giant bait ball evidenced by the hundreds of birds also fishing in the middle of the ocean as well as many porpoises. Here we started fishing at about 200 feet and caught three more salmon.
You can only keep two fish per person so we ended up bringing four salmon back with us where a local service met us at the dock to take the fish and process it for us.
We ended up with nearly 30 pounds of salmon which they freezer packed for us and put in a cooler for us to transport it back to Vancouver. Needless to say, we will be having many upcoming salmon dinner parties.
4. Hiking Radar Hill – Our fishing captain referred us to one of his favorite hikes in the area, Radar Hill. He told us where to park and how to find the tiny trailhead. It is a bit of a precarious hike down with ropes rigged up to help with stability. At the bottom of the hike we were rewarded with a gorgeous view off of a very private large sandy beach.
We explored the tide pools, took in the ocean air, and also came across bear and wolf tracks in the sand.
Fortunately, the hike back up was surprisingly easier than the hike down.
5. Meares Island – We also took a short boat ride to explore Meares Island which boasts an old growth forest with many of the trees aged between 800 and 1300 years old. There is also a 620 meter boardwalk made from tree fall.
We had so many fun adventures in Tofino but our favorite part was probably just enjoying the beauty of the area from our deck at our Airbnb.
We were also just a short walk from a beach where we took our morning coffee. It was so serene and just stunning whether cloudy or bright.
What were some of the highlights from your week?