Some­thing Wild

the ul­ti­mate guide to TOFINO

Western Living - - CONTENTS -

We head west and don’t stop un­til we hit Tofino to dis­cover all the best restaurants, ho­tels and ac­tiv­i­ties.

It’s the end of the line, the West’s West. Once you’ve seen the tow­er­ing trees meet the thun­der­ous surf, you’ll be hooked on this, the last best place.

the first va­ca­tion I ever took was to Tofino. It must have taken for­ever for my fam­ily to drive from Ed­mon­ton to the far coast of Van­cou­ver Is­land in those pre-fuel in­jec­tion days, but I can re­call noth­ing of any hard­ship or bore­dom dur­ing the trip—just the wild Pa­cific and the en­tire ex­panse of Ch­ester­man Beach at my three-year-old dis­posal. When we left we took a keep­sake—a five-foot-long gnarled twist of drift­wood: it sat in our front gar­den atop a bed of those ubiq­ui­tous white land­scap­ing rocks, 1,200 kilo­me­tres from the near­est ocean, and if you closed your eyes, you could pic­ture it back in its na­tive habi­tat. That log lasted through two decades of Al­berta win­ters be­fore suc­cumb­ing and break­ing down back to the earth, but it al­ways stood as a re­minder of the wild West Coast. The Tofino of to­day is a whole lot dif­fer­ent than the one I first vis­ited; the orig­i­nal Wick­anin­nish Inn, where we stayed, was amaz­ing, but a far cry from the tem­ple of un­der­stated lux­ury that now bears that name, and the town now has restaurants that a city a hun­dred times the size would be en­vi­ous of. But some things haven’t changed. It’s still a task to get to and it still re­quires a thought­ful trav­eller to make the trip. And the surf, that ex­panse of sand, is un­changed—a wilder­ness cap­tured for those who care enough to grab it.— Neal McLen­nan

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Wild Coast The beach at Cox Bay (top) sums up Tofino in one un­in­ter­rupted swath of white-ish sand. There are tow­er­ing trees on one side and the crash­ing Pa­cific on the other, and in be­tween the two, scores of beach walk­ers and surfers en­joy­ing both. For those who want their strolls to have a des­ti­na­tion, there’s the for­est walk to Hot Springs Cove (be­low).

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