B.C vacation - crazy to skip Tofino?

Jan 25th, 2018, 08:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2018
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B.C vacation - crazy to skip Tofino?

My husband and I are planning use up air miles on a week-long trip in mid-June to B.C. I was originally planing to do a Tofino - Vancouver trip, but I've been swayed by some lovely (and affordable) properties on the Sunshine coast and now I'm re-thinking everything! I've also heard that the water on the Sunshine coast is better suited to swimming and the Tofino beaches are always quite cold. That all said, every time I see the Sunshine Coast compared with Tofino, people ALWAYS recommend Tofino. What exactly is it about Tofino I would be missing out on that I wouldn't get on the Sunshine coast?

Just for background, my husband and I are from Edmonton, AB in our late-twenties, quite outdoorsy and we aren't out to splurge. We mostly like to explore, check out interesting views and take photos. We like good food, but cook a fair deal even on vacation so the food scene isn't the most important - we don't drink either.

The idea of flying then driving out to Tofino stresses me out a little (especially since the road will be under construction this summer), and I'm worried it will be completely overrun with people that time of year. It's also more expensive...though I get there's probably a reason for all of that! Maybe it is just the place to be?

Hanging out in a kayak in warm water on the rocky sunshine coast sounds dreamy to me...but I don't want to miss Tofino if it's un-missable! Help?
beth06 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2018, 11:42 AM
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I love both Tofino and the Sunshine Coast. However, don't expect warm water in either location, although the Sunshine Coast will be calmer and suitable for kayaking. It might not feel like summer yet, be sure to pack rain gear.
sludick is offline  
Jan 26th, 2018, 10:50 AM
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Tofino is a bitch to get to, but it is worth it
in July ,when we were there, the water was ice cold
danon is offline  
Jan 29th, 2018, 02:36 PM
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Don't miss the Tofino side of Vancouver Island! The wildness of the Pacific Coast is wonderful. I am so glad that I went. Even though the drive is long there are a few things to see along the way. e.g. Goats on the Roof and Cathedral Grove.
SusieQQ is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2018, 06:05 PM
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Torino is not to be missed

Tofino is a National Park for a reason, it is amazing. Any trip to Vancouver Island should include this sight. Sunshine Coast is lovely but not in the same league. The drive out can be hard but if you plan your timing,ie in the morning, you will be often on the road by yourself. I live in Nanaimo so I know what I am talking about.
Colleen is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2018, 04:32 PM
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I personally liked the Sunshine Coast more than Tofino, but perhaps the weather was the reason. Even when the coast calls for sunny weather, the west coast on the island can be socked in and cloudy. When we visited, it was 27 degrees c on the east coast of the island, and 16 degrees on the west side.
The sunshine coast is named so for the exact reason, being on the lee side and much sunnier/warmer. Sechelt is lovely and the beaches while mostly gravelly are beautiful. It is still the Pacific though, so will be very cold for swimming.
mdinbc is offline  
Jan 8th, 2019, 01:08 PM
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Sorry to be the barer of bad news, but you would be crazy to skip Tofino. It's out of the way, but so worth it. Words don't do it justice, it has to be experienced. Not for the town, but the surroundings.
For anyone that's even a bit outdoorsy, you want to visit Tofino and do some hiking. Pacific Rim park is one of my all-time favorites and I've been to most all across the country.
If swimming in cold water is a concern, do like the surfers and get a wet suit. Rent a surfboard, kayak or boogie board. If you're lucky, you'll be paddling alongside whales!
shewanders is offline  
Jan 19th, 2019, 09:27 PM
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Hi Beth,
At the risk of self-promoting, might I suggest that you check out my trip report here about the Island and Van? It is titled 'Ocean Odyssey'. It is both lengthy and eclectic but will probably answer a number of your questions. Bonne chance!
I am done. The end.
zebec is online now  
Jan 19th, 2019, 11:47 PM
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Water on Sunshine coast is cold too.. lol..

also you can visit Cathedral Grove on way to Tofino..

The drive to Tofino is NOT that bad.. i get carsick and am a nervous nelly on mountain roads.. hadn't been to Tofino is like 20 yrs.. built it up in my mind how bad it was.. and I was WRONG.. we went for a wedding just this past august.. the road is fine 95 percent of the way.. there is about a 20 minute section ( coincidently the section by Kennedy lake which is under road work) that was not great.. but its such a short section..

Chestermans Beach is truly world class for a reason..

And you can get the BEST tacos from Tacofino taco truck. .. ( I still think about them. we went there twice.. lol )

but ultimately you have to do what you really want to do. .both trips will be nice.
justineparis is offline  
Jan 20th, 2019, 12:43 PM
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The OP asked for advice last January for a trip in June.
immimi is online now  
Jan 20th, 2019, 01:08 PM
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ugh I hate it when people resurrect old threads..
justineparis is offline  
Jan 20th, 2019, 05:14 PM
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shewanders: Welcome to Fodors.

Just a hint . . . I notice you have topped a few really old threads. When searching for threads where you want to comment, its a good idea to look at the dates.
janisj is online now  
Jan 21st, 2019, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Dec 2018
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This is a great guide to Tofino for those thinking of going and wondering about their options.

It's my absolute favorite place in the world. And I consider myself to be more of a city girl, but there's something about Tofino that keeps calling me back.
Even if you're not a huge outdoor enthusiast or surfer, it doesn't matter. I have a bunch of friends that I've practically dragged out there against their will and it's now a favorite destination of theirs too.
Here's the adventure of some friends that went which gives you a nice look through the eyes of others

You might be interested to know the food scene in Tofino is pretty good and the first link above has some good recommendations of places to try.
I would suggest stopping by Sobo, 1909, Wolf in the Fog and some others mentioned

Tofino is un-missable!
shewanders is offline  
Feb 25th, 2019, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Tofino has the best beaches! The magic of the open Pacific Ocean cannot be missed! Large crashing waves, lush temperate rain forest. There is amazing kayaking here through the Broken Group and through the inlets. Tofino is not that difficult to get to and totally worth it. Check out discovervancouverisland.com or tofino-info.com for information on Kayaking, hiking and beaches!
elysium22 is offline  
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