I unexpectedly found myself in Tofino for a few hours on the long weekend ― and was so very pleased to be there.
The first Monday of August ― celebrated as BC Day in British Columbia ― is a statutory holiday in most of Canada, making the first weekend of August a blessed three days long just when you want it most: at the height of summer.
I say I “unexpectedly” found myself in Tofino because I was fully expecting to spend the entire weekend in and around the provincial park in mid-Vancouver Island where I was camping with almost half of my family. But when someone in your group rolls out of his tent and says, “Hey, let’s go to Tofino!” before you’ve even had a chance to finish that all-important first cup of coffee, you say, “OK?!”
I mean, what’s a few hours’ drive when you’re this close to the surfing capital of Canada?
Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island (about a six-hour trip from Vancouver, including a 90-minute ferry ride), Tofino is one of the most spectacular places in Canada. The ocean temperature can vary from a low of 7°C in the winter to a high of 17°C in the summer, making it a popular year-round surfing destination.
If those temperatures are a bit too brisk for you (they are for me!), there’s always beachcombing, kayaking, whale watching, and, in the winter, storm watching to keep you occupied.
Whatever your interests, the drive to Tofino is worth the effort for the scenery alone. (And if you are short on time, you can always take the plane!)