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5 days in Ucluelet/Tofino - suggestions?

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toronto
posts: 1,020
reviews: 17
5 days in Ucluelet/Tofino - suggestions?

Four of us will be staying in Ucluelet for five days in early August. Would love some suggestions on what to do in the area. We will go on to Victoria for a few days afterwards so right now just want day trip or area suggestions in and around Tofino....restaurants, hikes, whale watching...anything at all you can think of for four "young senior" newbies to the area! Many thanks.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 1,229
reviews: 69
1. Re: 5 days in Ucluelet/Tofino - suggestions?

Don't worry about pre-planning what to do. There is a great little tourist office and they'll have maps that show beach hikes, forest hikes/walks etc.

Of course, you will want to hike the "Wild Pacific Trail" out of Ucluelet. The beach hikes are all along the coast between Ucluelet and Tofino. The forest hike from the Wick is lovely - goes through big forest and then into a drier microclimate area with labrador tea etc. and ends up on a nice deserted beach. The forest walk is almost all on boardwalks.

We used to go to Hotsprings cove but it's become a bit of a zoo these days. Too crowded, too organized....

There are great restaurants in Ucluelet and Tofino. Enjoy your stay.

On the way there, stop at the Coombs market to get some picnic supplies. They have a great deli and really good ice-cream for a cone in the car.

toronto
posts: 1,020
reviews: 17
2. Re: 5 days in Ucluelet/Tofino - suggestions?

Thanks...also we will be staying at a condo so would appreciate any suggestions for grocery stores and places to get fresh fish etc. for barbequing and local wines.

Vancouver BC
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 6,325
reviews: 152
3. Re: 5 days in Ucluelet/Tofino - suggestions?

The main grocery source is the well stocked Ucluelet Co-op. You can't miss it. The government liquor store a few blocks from the co-op has best priced local wine. I would include Hot Springs Cove by zodiac. Zoo like or not the scenic run there is worthwhile and the plunge into a surf pool heated by the springs and cooled by the next wave is an experience. Some take wine for the soak. There are changing rooms on site. Worth a google.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 16,303
reviews: 53
4. Re: 5 days in Ucluelet/Tofino - suggestions?

I would do your research (start with the Tofino and Uclulet tourism websites) and have a list of things you want to do, but I agree with not making too firm of a plan in advance. Flex with the weather and what takes your fancy as you go. Definitely find something that takes you out on the water for one day.

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
Destination Expert
for British Columbia
posts: 6,154
5. Re: 5 days in Ucluelet/Tofino - suggestions?

Agree that the Coop is your best choice overall-there is a place that sells fish but the prices are higher even than Vancouver and selection is extremely limited-sales on the dock happen from time to time but you have to be lucky/in the right place @ the right time.

The wineries in Port Alberni are literally right beside the highway I've only tried the products from Chase & Warren they're not outstanding but they are pleasing.

http://www.chaseandwarren.ca/

Out of Ukee Humpback Whales should be near their peak-the sheer numbers of these massive marine mammals has to be seen to be believed and you'd been doing yourself a disservice by not going whale watching.

posts: 2
6. Re: 5 days in Ucluelet/Tofino - suggestions?

The Ucluelet Aquarium is a must see. For only $12.50 you will get to experience the only catch and release aquarium. There are naturalists who wander around ready to ask questions. They also have a large variety of touch tanks.

All of the beaches in the area hold slightly different charms so stop by the tourist office and let them know if you are into tide pooling, or water crashing in the rocks.

Edited: 10:31 pm, May 25, 2013
Parksville, Canada
posts: 1,095
reviews: 20
7. Re: 5 days in Ucluelet/Tofino - suggestions?

Just returned from 3 nights near Tofino and happy to recommend The Sea Shanty restaurant - not a huge menu, but excellent food and service, fab. view over the harbour. We also had a good lunch down on the water at Jacks Waterfront Pub/Greenroom Diner Lots of very good food on the Pacific Rim!

Victoria, Canada
Destination Expert
for Victoria, Port Angeles
posts: 1,071
reviews: 61
8. Re: 5 days in Ucluelet/Tofino - suggestions?

yes, when at the Coombs market, look for the goats on the roof munching the grass there.

yes, whale-watching is a must. because you will be there for several days, you can pick the best day for weather and sightings.

It is a short hike to Radar Hill, the site of a historic radar station during World War II, situated just north of Pacific Rim National Park, between Tofino and Ucluelet; worth a visit.

Penticton, Canada
posts: 5,802
reviews: 5
9. Re: 5 days in Ucluelet/Tofino - suggestions?

Hi

report from 2 "young seniors" who just came back from 3 days in the area;

the first thing to figure out is which days you want to spend doing hikes in Pacific Rim National Park since you need a pass; which is good till 4 pm the next day. Passes are available at the info centre at the intersection where you turn left to go to Ucluelet. You can also get the passes at the dispensing machines at the parking lots inside the park. You can easily spend 2 days in the park but if you work it out you only may need a one day pass.

The Kwisitis Visitor Centre is worth a visit.

for walks along the beach park at the first Long Beach parking lot coming from Ucluelet and enter the beach by the washrooms which has a #2 sign on the beach; walk in either direction. the beach is 16 km long.

From the Combers beach parking lot its is a steep path to the beach. Also the path to Radar Hill is a short steep hike but worth it.

in Ucluelet recommend at least one lunch at Fetch which is inside the Black Rock Resort. casual dress OK

COOP in Ucluelet has relatively good choices and reasonable prices.

After a day in Tofino consider picking up gourmet meals at RedCan before you head back to the condo; do not be deceived by the building which is on the edge of the industrial area which is only 1 street long. another choice is to have food at Wildside Grill but only on a good day since they only have outdoor seating at the Tofino location. the golf course location has indoor seating.

Do not waste your time driving to the airport.........nothing to see.

The sandwiches at the bakery in Tofino did not impress but the pastry looked good. and it has free wifi.

The drive between Ucluelet and Tofino is only about 40 km but feels like 100; there are no ocean views so you drive in a corridor with large trees on each side and makes it feel like you will never get there (-: much like driving between Wawa and Thunder Bay......

recommend getting the gasbuddy app so you can take advantage of best gas pricing - Mill Bay outside Victoria usually has great prices.

and if you are driving from the east side of the Island recommend making a 10 min stop at Sproat Lake where the Mars water bomber is located.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 61
reviews: 52
10. Re: 5 days in Ucluelet/Tofino - suggestions?

Go fishing. You can find charters at the Weigh West marina. It's great fun, and that will take care of your fresh fish requirements!

Edited: 9:20 pm, May 26, 2013