THE GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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Tofino may be the birthplace of North American storm-watching, but the area's tempestuous winter weather and roiling waves are only two of the many stellar attractions you'll find along the Pacific Northwest's wildest coastline. Exquisite tide pooling, expansive wilderness beaches, excellent surfing, and the potential to see some of the continent's largest sea mammals lure thousands of visitors
to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, sleepy Ucluelet, and quirkily charming Tofino.
No one "happens" upon Tofino; it's literally at the end of the road, where Highway 4 meets the mouth of Clayoquot Sound. As Canada's premier surfer village, Tofino has shed much of its '60s-style counter-culture vibe and transformed itself into a happening tourist destination where fine dining, spa treatments, and eco adventures are par for the course. You can enjoy meandering through old-growth forests, exploring pristine beaches and rocky tidal pools, bathing in natural hot springs, and spotting whales, bears, eagles, and river otters in a natural setting.
The harbor towns of Ucluelet and Tofino are chock-a-block with funky shops, services, and eateries—and, in Tofino, there are also fine-dining restaurants. The burgeoning culinary culture on Vancouver Island definitely extends to the Pacific Rim region. Permanent residents include this coast's ancestral aboriginal people, cold-water surfers and adventure-sports types, artists and craftspeople, fishers and loggers, environmentalists—and people who've sought the laid-back life.