THE TOFINO TOP 10

The Cheapest Yoga Retreat Ever (TCYRE) kicks off tomorrow and we couldn't be more excited! This time we're headed to the Sunshine Coast, but we'll be exploring awesome locations around BC all summer long. To get you inspired, check out some of our top picks (THAT AREN'T SURFING) in Tofino, one of our all-time favourite spots in BC.


1. The WWII Bomber Plane Crash Hike

This trail, which begins on the side of the highway, is one of the most unique hiking adventures ever. The path begins 15 telephone poles past the Radar Hill parking lot (if you're headed away from Tofino) and leads you to the site of a crashed WWII plane hidden deep in the rainforest. Look for a little sharpie drawing of a plane on the telephone pole to mark the start of your journey, and follow the flag markers all the way there.

MUST BRINGrain boots and a camera. This trail is extremely muddy, but totally worth it.

 

2. The Original Tacofino Truck

You can't fully appreciate the Tacofino taco until you understand its humble beginnings. Check out the first location, a wheel-less truck parked behind a surf shop, for the most epic fish taco this far north of the equator. It's always packed, but the wait is worth it. Plus, then you can go sit and reminisce in a Vancity Tacofino when you get home.  

 

 dreams do come true at the  Jensen's Bay Loft

dreams do come true at the Jensen's Bay Loft

3. Stay in an Airbnb 

Tofino's island-village vibes give way to some stunningly inspired next-level cabins. Check out Airbnb in Tofino for surprisingly affordable places to rent for a weekend, fill them with your friends, and then split the bill at the end. You'll pay less than what you would at a hotel, and you get the hot tub all to yourselves. This was, hands down, one of the most amazing places I've ever slept. 

 

4. Try the Kelp Stout at Tofino Brewing  

Speaking of seaweed, Tofino Brewing brews 40 pounds of it into their house stout. It tastes like salted chocolate, and the bottle art is worthy of getting as a tattoo. Plus, beer flights are cheap if you want to try all the flavours of the island (you do).

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5. Visit The Wickannish Inn 

 It doesn't take long to start feeling like guests

It doesn't take long to start feeling like guests

You don't have to stay at The Wick to bask in its glory. This seaside resort and spa is an absolute must-see, even for budget travelers. Go for a stroll or surf at the beach, then catch the sunset over dinner and drinks in the lounge at The Pointe Restaurant, where you can blissfully linger past 11pm.

MUST TRY: The Tonquin Smash... house ginger beer, fresh fruit, crushed ice, and a cinnamon stick. Spiced heaven in a glass.

 

6. Party Late Night Style at Wolf in the Fog 

The upstairs at Wolf in The Fog might be the most turned-up spot in town. The drinks are killer, and the late night food menu is a far cry from greasy donair or pizza (there's a time and place for everything.) 

If you've got a group of hungry meat-eaters, order the "Block Party" (a massive skillet of BBQ ribs, pulled pork, fried chicken, cornbread, and smoky kale, served with a side of watermelon.) It's the best Southern-style block party spread this side of the Mississippi, and it's available after 10pm. If plants are more your speed, they've got a stellar local seaweed salad. 

 

7. SUP to a Private Beach

Rent a paddle board from the Tofino SUP Shop in the Best Western at Mackenzie Beach. Paddle around the point, out and to the right, for access to a more secluded beach that's otherwise private hotel access only.

 

8. Eat Key Lime Pie at Sobo

Four out of four only slightly hungry people said that this was the best key lime pie they've had in their lives. Sobo's welcoming, airy feel makes lunch or dinner a good idea, too (especially if you're one of those people that won't just eat pie as a meal...) Their menu features creative, local seafood dishes and a knock-out bakery selection, to boot. They even have their own cookbook! 

We also tried gooseneck barnacles here for the first time, and despite their appearance, they were delicious.

 

 

 

9. Take a boat to Hot Springs Cove 

This excursion takes a full day (about noon-6pm) and costs around 120 bucks, but it defines a "once-in-a-lifetime kinda thing." The boat rides takes about an hour and a half (not for the faint of stomach) but you get to ride the open ocean, and boats will detour if they catch wind of orca or black bear sightings from other boats. We saw a pod of six orcas and rafts of otters floating by, all holding hands so they don't drift away.

 THAT'S AN ORCA

THAT'S AN ORCA

Once you arrive, you wander along 2kms of enchanted boardwalk to the hot springs, which are actually six little, connected pools. They fill up from a hot springs waterfall that begins at the first pool and flows all the way out to the ocean. It's as magical as it sounds. There's also a secret rocky beach worth checking on the way. 

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MUST BRING: water shoes and bug spray. The algae in the springs feels amazing once you're settled in, but it's slippery when you're trying to scout out a spot.

 

10. Do The Drive

There are no services on the last stretch of highway to Tofino, which is about 83km. If you ferry over from Nanaimo, stop in Port Alberni to fill up the tank, and grab a dope breakfast sandwich at SteamPunk Cafe. It's served on a cheese bun. You're welcome.