Tofino, British Columbia

The unforgettable energy of Tofino, British Columbia

It started with a phrase.

“I’ll go anywhere with you…” I later learned that phrase really meant anywhere warm and sandy, but here we find ourselves on a frostbitten beach at northern latitudes, but let me back up.

It started with a phrase.

“I guess I’ll go anywhere with you…”

That turned into plane tickets, a cozy bed and breakfast in Vancouver, Halloween celebrations, an in-room jacuzzi, a public market, some tenuous arguments, a ferry ride and finally…


We had a full week here and that wasn’t enough. A mix of soaking in a cabin’s coziness, being lazy, and venturing out into town, I could be here a month. Alas, seven days go quickly.

Tofino encompasses a small area off of Canada’s Vancouver Island, British Columbia. With ancient rain forests, inlet sounds (fjords?) and plenty to do, it’s no wonder this place is an attraction in summertime. During Fall/Winter, my personal opinion is that it can be just as pleasant, if you’re in for some wild.

Arrival and cabin cozy

We step out onto the beach with open eyes and are greeted with awe. Less than five minute’s walk from our cabin, we look at each other with a ‘Are you kidding?’ expression. Sweeping panoramic views, crashing waves, craggy rocks, and a band of dark red on sunset explosion. The moonrise sets behind us as excitement settled into oozing comfort of nature.

The next few days are a mixture of bewilderment and joy, which can only be encapsulated by an old fashioned bulleted list.

  • Beach walking at night, bioluminescent jelly fish!
  • Different night, roughly 35 degrees (F): Two women sprint onto the beach, completely naked and dive into the waters just ahead.
  • The biggest owl I’ve ever seen swoops above our heads and greets us on a night walk
  • Bonfires (mmmm)
  • “Is that a wolf cry I hear?!”

Hot Springs Cove

Imagine a natural cove where seawater mixes with the warm, sulfuric water from a nearby hot spring. Waterfalls spill onto mossy rock, then further into a stepping pool of briny then brackish ocean water. You step into the pool and if conditions are just right, lapping waves refresh a steamy-hot source of relaxation. Oh, it’s real. And the hour’s boat ride is so worth it.

Cox Overlook

Linking up with Owen Perry of Circa 1983, we headed up to a steep hike with 360 degree view of the surrounding area. Being slightly out of shape from a few too many beers, Owen quickly paced me but the view was worth it. Love this quote from him as we walk back to the car: “If you don’t have a good time in Tofino, it’s probably because of you.”

A quick stop at Tofino Brewery for refreshments afterward and on to the next day.

Rainforest Hiking

One thing I can’t recommend enough, with as easy as it is to get to, is the Rainforest Hike at Pacific Rim National Park. It’s short and sweet so take your time and soak in the ancient rainforests. They’re somehow much quieter than I would imagine.

Wrapping up the trip with a few odds and ends, shopping, eating in town (don’t miss Wolf in the Fog), and a quick jaunt to Ucluelet with Owen for some AWESOME wave watching at the lighthouse. Does not disappoint!

Oh, and one last thing: If you ever get the chance to bath in a tub outside in a crisp 32 degrees… do it.

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