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Why You Should Visit Tofino as an Islander or British Columbian

Updated on March 23, 2017
Enjoying a swim in the Pacific Ocean
Enjoying a swim in the Pacific Ocean | Source

Once you fall in love with Tofino and the west coast of Vancouver Island, it will begin to be a shock when you hear someone say they’ve never been—especially if they’re from the Island. There are plenty of reasons to go elsewhere when planning a vacation, but there are also numerous reasons to stay right here in B.C. on Vancouver Island. In fact, there are even some perks to visiting Tofino as a BC-er. Read on to see why your next vacation should be spent on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

1. It is one of B.C.’s most Famous Locations

Oftentimes when a foreigner hears you’re from B.C. or Vancouver Island, their first question is about Tofino. Maybe they’ve heard about its incredible beauty, the sheer amount of outdoor activities, or that Canadians are crazy enough to surf the Pacific in the winter. Regardless of what they’re asking, it’s the best feeling to have an answer. Not only that, you’ll get to re-live your memories of the area (which will be some of your fondest, without a doubt) as you tell tales of the charming coastal surf town. With so much beauty and unique nature available just a short drive away, it’s a shame to have never taken advantage of it. After all, thousands of people dream about visiting just once in a lifetime – you could visit every weekend.

In case you didn't know, Tofino is located here:

Tofino, BC, Canada

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Tofino B.C. is a small surf town on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Despite its small size, it is one of the top destinations in British Columbia.

2. You can see it in Multiple Seasons

Because Tofino is close by, it’s plausible for you to take advantage of any of its seasons. From packed and bustling summer, to storm watching in the winter or forest wanders in the fall, you can do it all. There’s no need to feel like you have to see it at its peak summer season. Sure, that’s when days of sunshine entice visitors to endless stretches of beach, but there are amazing dynamics of the town that show their face only in the offseason. Get to know the locals and winter warriors, see dedicated surfers battle the bigger swells in the cold and cozy up to a fire to the incredible cascade of a rainforest storm. There is so much more to Tofino that summer-season guests never get the chance to discover.

3. Remember why you’re Lucky to Live Here

Not that you’ll be quick to forget how amazing British Columbia is as a province, but there’s really no place like Tofino to showcase the depth of nature and amazing lifestyle. Drive a road that is hugged by snow-capped peaks and ocean curves; that takes you by rivers, waterfalls and lakes. Witness bears fishing, deer running through the forest, eagles soaring and whales breaching. Walk through the coastal rainforest where towering Douglas firs, cedars, hemlocks and spruces remind you of just how small you are and stand on stunning stretch of sand as surf pounds the coast. Waking up in Tofino really makes you grateful that this is where you call home.

There's nothing like a staircase leading from the temperate rainforest to the Pacific Ocean.
There's nothing like a staircase leading from the temperate rainforest to the Pacific Ocean. | Source

4. It’s Easier to Score Cheap Accommodation

There are a few reasons why being a BC-er or Islander visiting Tofino leads to cheaper accommodation.

1) If you are visiting from nearby you can keep an eye out for last-minute deals. Plenty of hotels and resorts will try to get rid of unsold rooms, making a last-minute getaway to Tofino a cheap and plausible option. Without any flights to book things around, all you need to do is show up.

2) Because you’ll likely be driving, you can pack along your camping gear. Especially during the summer when the weather is consistently sunnier, camping is a great option that will be cheaper than staying at a hotel or anywhere else in Tofino.

3) Visiting in the offseason drastically cuts accommodation costs. You can stay at some of the nicest resorts in the area at half price, just by foregoing peak tourist season and enjoying the stunning nature at a later date.

Bella Pacifica Campground in Tofino
Bella Pacifica Campground in Tofino | Source

5. You Don’t Need to Stay for a Long Time

As the saying goes – we’re here for a good time, not a long time. For most Islanders, the drive to Tofino isn’t going to be much longer than 3-or-so hours. This means you don’t need to set aside a week or two for a trip. In fact, some ambitious visitors will make the drive just to get in a quick surf and then head back the very same day – zero days off work required. What this really means is that a trip to Tofino can be as simple as a weekend escape. You’re not flying in from a foreign country and you can come back the next weekend to see the things you missed the first time.

Making the drive to Tofino on a summer's day.
Making the drive to Tofino on a summer's day. | Source

6. You Probably already have Friends Here

There’s a certain draw to Tofino that many find hard to resist. It isn’t uncommon for Islands, BC-ers or otherwise to make their way over here after high school, university, retirement, or just because they couldn’t resist its calls anymore. Chances are that if you’re from B.C., you’ll have a friend or two already in the area. Not only is that one more reason to visit, but it also might provide you with a tour guide and/or a place to stay.

These are only the bonuses to visiting Tofino as a British Columbian or Islander. On top of these are the plenty of other reasons that make Tofino a number one destination on thousands of people’s lists. So, if you haven’t been yet but are from the Island or B.C.—What are you waiting for?

Sunset in the Tofino Harbour
Sunset in the Tofino Harbour


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