My very first time in Tofino, BC – a place where I always wanted to go. And it took my breath away: This place is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. Tofino has something special, something magical – it´s hard to describe. If you were once there you want to go back there.
The adventure starts already on the three to four hours drive from Nanaimo to Tofino. You´ll pass beautiful lakes, stunning mountain views and protected old-growth forest. Take a break at Cathedral Grove right next to the road: Park your car, go around and you´ll see some pretty impressive trees. (The biggest trees are 800 years old and reach heights of 75 metres).
There are also many hairpin turns and steep roads. Drive the turns and hills a little faster and you feel like a roller coaster. It was funny until I was carsick – even as a driver!
First stopp had to be the beach! So the very first one on Pacific Highway is Florence Beach. I parked my car, followed a path of raised wooden boardwalks through a dense and beautiful rainforest and it feels like…I try to describe it: It is like going trough a “magical door” because it feels like entering a paradise: Beautiful fog and sun fields, strong surf, driftwood bordering old growth forest, beach as far as the eye can see and some lonely surfer going towards the waves…That was my picture of the wild canadian westcoast! It was so beautiful that I almost cried.
Same on the famous Long Beach – A beach where I always wanted to go to. Fields of clouds, nice surf breaks, an impressive giant tidal rock right in the middle of the beach and some surfer wearing the thickest neoprene suits and hoods. Paradise, here I am!
Short and personal Best-of Tofino list:
Food & Drinks
SOBO Restaurant – Rather expensive except the smoked wild fish chowder with spicy wild salmon and creamy dill broth vegetables. People told me that this is the best fresh chowder in town! A pretty good start for Tofino at my first day.
311 Neil Street
It´s all about beer and tacos. Locals created – in addition to other beautiful things – two notable companies which are worth a visit.
Tofino Brewery Company – It´s a really nice, small brewery built around a few basic ideas: “brewing great beer, being a positive addition to our town, and operating in a sustainable and locally focused manner.” So that´s a good thing and therefore I can recommend their beer tasting. You can try four different kind of Ales. Good music, people and beer. (I much prefer the lighter beers…).
681 Industrial Way
Tacofino – Described as “possibly the best Mexican, or at least the best fish tacos in BC”. That is so true. After you hit the waves and got crushed this is the best thing you can do afterwards. Try the fresh fish Burrito and you don´t want to eat anything else when it comes to fish burritos. An orange hippie truck, a passion for high quality kitchen and a good vibe – that´s the Tacofino place! There is also Baja-style Fish Tacos, Burritos, Tortilla Soup, Tuna Ta-takos and seasonal specials. Next time: Fish tacos!
1184 Pacific Rim Hwy
Oh there are so many awesome food places in Tofino where you can eat fresh fish and seafood every day! I´ll be back!
For surf: Cox Bay, Long Beach, South Chesterman Beach
For sunsets: Tonquin Beach, Mackenzie Beach
For nice long Walks: Combers Beach/Long Beach
Of course there´s more to explore and to do (like the hot spring tour). But those adventures you can find in every travel guide.
Bye bye Tofino! See you at the storm-watching season in december!