Tofino is a village of less than 2,000 people on the central-western coast of Vancouver Island. The village is located at the Esowista Peninsula’s tip and is part of the Clayoquot Sound. Tofino has transformed into a notable summer resort town over the last few decades, and in recent years has been targeted for the construction of retirement homes. Its population in the summer swells when outdoor enthusiasts come to surf its beaches, camp out in the forests, or whale-watch out in the Pacific. In the winter, while the buzz dies down, people still come to storm-watch; this is an activity made popular thanks to the marketing brilliance of the celebrated Wickaninnish Inn, which is managed by a hotelier from Cornell University’s renowned Hotel School.
Tofino’s main draw is Long Beach, which is part of the Pacific Rim National Park. This is the most visited of the three regions of the park. There are many campsites in this area as well as sandy beach stretches that are popular for beachcombing, and coastal rainforests and bogs where you can hike through via the trails and observe the wildlife.
Another attraction of Tofino is the Maquinna Marine Provincial Park, which is notable for its natural hot springs. Unfortunately, it can only be reached by boat or float plane, but is still very popular among tourists in spite of it, or perhaps because of it.
In Tofino, you’ll find many bed and breakfast lodgings, independent inns, and upscale luxury resorts – many of these joints are locally owned and operated. The most famous is the Wickaninnish Inn, an inn that offers direct access to the Chesterman Beach and an ancient cedars spa where you can receive various aromatherapy treatments. Every guestroom of the inn is also treated with a panoramic view of the ocean and the beach. This establishment has received many awards and is regularly featured in travel magazines.