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Vancouver Island Pacific Rim National Park

Vancouver Island Pacific Rim National Park

Apr 14th, 2011, 04:41 PM
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Vancouver Island Pacific Rim National Park

We are going on the Alaska Disney cruise and have 4 nights after the cruise before our flight home. We are thinking about Pacific Rim National park. Where to stay? It is for 2 adults 2 kids (9 and 12). Doesn't need to be fancy, but would love a water view, perhaps a cabin. We are active hikers, kayakers, and would like to whale watch. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
disneymom is offline  
Apr 15th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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Not the actual National Park, but we stayed at Pacific Sands just south of Tofino when our boys were 8 & 10 and loved it. Great beach, tidepools, firepit, easy access to Meares Island (giant old growth cedar trees), Long Beach, and other area activities. We stayed in one of their less expensive lighthouse suites that was perfect for us with full kitchen.
DaveS is offline  
Apr 15th, 2011, 10:16 AM
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You cant actually stay right 'in' the park but close by on one of the other beaches.
McKenzie Beach has Ocean Village which is less expensive, we spent every summer there with our boys, and they have one of the few swimming pools and are on a very calm and safe little beach.

On Chestermans there is the Wickininnish which is over priced in my opinion.

On Cox Bay is the Pacific Sands mentioned by Dave, Long Beach Lodge which is lovely and also
Cox Bay Resort which is fairly new

You can also rent a private home or condo through

or else

What every you do dont go there without reservations as there quite often sold out everywhere in the summer months and I am sure the last thing you want to do is spend a whole day looking for a room.

There are many whale watch boats out of Tofino. A good one to incorporate hiking and whale watching would be to go to Hot Springs Cove. Pack a lunch and picnic on one one the beaches on the way back from the hot springs.
This is one outfit but there are a few of them.

live42day is offline  
Apr 15th, 2011, 12:27 PM
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I made a reservation at Water's Edge Resort just to be safe. I can cancel up to 3 days prior if I can find something else. With the 2 person hot tub on the deck and water view it was $219/night prior tax. It is a condo, so full kitchen. But I am still open to ideas, just didn't want to get caught with nothing or something really expensive.

We have 2 full days, and 2 partial days. Whale watching - Zodiac or bigger boat? Kids love excitement, really want what is the best viewing.
disneymom is offline  
Apr 15th, 2011, 05:48 PM
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It is a great place. We actually own a place there. You will save money with the kids being able to cook meals there etc. What month are you going?
There is a great little aquarium in Ucluelet as well. You do know that Waters Edge is in Ucluelet and a 1/2 hour drive to Tofino, Long Beach area.

The Wild pacific trail in Ucluelet is a fantastic hiking (easy) trail that hugs the rugged west coast.

There is a fantastic yacht that does whale/bear/sealion tours from around the corner from where you are staying

there is also http://www.jamies.com/
who do whale watching

I prefer the bigger boat but I dont love the water. The zodiak you are suited up in floater suits and it can be very wet. Exciting too if you are into that.
live42day is offline  
Apr 16th, 2011, 03:38 PM
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Is the trail walking distance from the condos?
disneymom is offline  
Apr 16th, 2011, 09:43 PM
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yes. I assume you will have a car though? You can walk to it, just get the front desk to tell you how to get to Norah Drive which is close by and will take you to the trail.
live42day is offline  
Apr 19th, 2011, 07:57 AM
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"Whale watching - Zodiac or bigger boat? Kids love excitement, really want what is the best viewing.'

Zodiac-all kinds of fun for Kids of all ages.
Sam_Salmon is offline  
Apr 19th, 2011, 04:01 PM
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If you don't do a bear tour on your Alaska trip, you might enjoy doing this with your kids. We found this a lot more interesting than the whale watching we did, as the whales were way far out there and the bears- we could almost smell them.
Orcas is offline  
Apr 19th, 2011, 05:49 PM
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Yes we will have a car.

I booked a trip with archipelagocruises. Their reviews were wonderful, and does whales, bears, sea lions all on same trip.

Is there a beach anyone would suggest? We are willing to drive a bit. Also I heard there was a zipline company, any feedback there?

Thanks for all the help!
disneymom is offline  
Apr 19th, 2011, 06:00 PM
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You've got a great trip planned but for your next trip you might consider Sechart Lodge in Barkley Sound for unbelievable kayaking, wildlife viewing... this area is truly spectacular:

BowenLinda is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 09:33 AM
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I am glad you booked Archipelago, I have lived here all my life and learned so much from them that day!!! There are some great beaches in Ucluelet but hard to find if you dont live there I am afraid.
A 20 minute drive to Long Beach Park would be worth a day trip. You need to pay for parking there so get a ticket which is good for the entire day and you can start at Wickanninish Interperative centre which is the first one.
THey have a restarant there which has a great view and a nice long beach and the kids may enjoy the artifacts on display.

Head towards Tofino and stop at the Main Parking lot for Long Beach and walk along that beach. If you have a kite this beach is usually really windy and great for kite flying. There are usually some surfers here to watch.

Further up is Schooner Cove where you park and then walk down to the beach through boardwalk and forests to a nice little beach. If you time it at low tide you can go to the right and around the rocks to a huge expanse of beach that few will be on. Make sure you are back before the tide comes in!

Futher on is Chestermans Beach which is our favorite. You dont need to pay for parking there , yet. There are lots of surfers there and a great beach to walk.

From there you can go to Tofino to poke around and maybe have some dinner. THere is a great playground in the middle of Tofino too if the kids are not tired out yet.

The Zipline is a ways out of town, on the road to the west coast from Port Alberni. You would want to plan that on your drive to/or from Ucluelet and not go there during your stay. It looks great but I have not met anyone who has actually done it yet. It is relatively new.
live42day is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2011, 10:46 PM
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Just remember, re beaches - the water is very cold and the air may also be brink....not really tanning weather. You will find surfers at Long Beach.

We really enjoyed the bog trail in Pacific Rim National Park, with its dwarf forest. Here's a little map of the park:


Are you going from Vancouver? It is a longer trip than you may think, when you throw in waiting for the ferry, the ferry ride and drive.

Coombs is a fun stop on Vancouver Island. The kids will love the "goats on a roof" and you won't believe all the stuff. I think it's got Wall Drugs beat.


Also, you may want to stop in Macmillan park. The road passes right through it. It has good trails right near the highway so is an easy stop.

Orcas is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2011, 10:47 PM
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Almost forgot - the botanical gardens in Tofino is a kick, with lots of fun sculptures throughout. It's a great place to see the flora. Also, there is a gourmet taco stand at the entrance. Definitely worth a visit.
Orcas is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 09:55 AM
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Be sure to stop in Port Alberni to buy groceries-prices are quite high on WCVI.

The zipline is in the gorgeous Kennedy River canyon-I've only driven by but it's a stunning place the river water so beautiful it has to be seen to be believed.

Don't bother wasting time in tacky/sleazy Coombs-a monument to bad taste and avarice-who goes to Vancouver Island to buy Made in China junk?

You only have so much time and it would be a shame to waste in while being ripped off.
Sam_Salmon is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 07:56 PM
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Sam, there are two parts to Coombs Market. The original market itself, with the goats and the newer tacky part with tall the horrible statues and crap for sale.
I think that the market side (original) is great and the prices are very good. We get a lot of imported and hard to find foods there for very reasonable prices. The ice cream cones, which is a favorite for all, are monsterous. Only buy a single scoop as they are gigantic.
Coombs is a nice place to stop for your fresh produce too at very reasonable prices and in August a lot of the produce is local.
live42day is offline  
May 4th, 2011, 01:16 PM
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Thanks for all the GREAT advice and websites all information is appreciate! Yes we will be coming from Vancouver, after a week on the Disney Cruise. We will get to Ucluelet on a Tuesday in August and leave Friday, with our flight on Saturday.

Ferry advice - Which terminal do we use in Vancouver, Horseshoe Bay or Tsawwassen and do we get off at Duke Point, Departure Bay or Nanaimo? We will have a car, do the ferries take reservations?
disneymom is offline  
May 4th, 2011, 02:36 PM
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Be sure to walk the Rainforest Trails A and B in the Pacific Rim National Park - these are boardwalk trails that are elevated through the temperate rainforest. My parents took me there when I was a young teenager and it made a lasting impression... I still walk those trails every time I visit. It doesn't take long - under an hour? Just incredible.

Regarding the ferry terminal, it doesn't really matter in my opinion - from downtown Vancouver it's slightly closer to use the Horseshoe Bay terminal. If you're at the Vancouver Airport, then the Tsawwassen ferry terminal is closer. The Tsawwassen journey takes 2 hours while the Horseshoe Bay journey takes about an hour 40 minutes. Once you arrive in Nanaimo, you're about 3 hours from the Tofino-Ucluelet peninsula.

You'll be happy to have that car. Once you're on the coast, the drive is a breeze, but the trails and beaches are spaced out over the span of 40km or so... but everything is well marked.
BC_Robyn is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 08:20 AM
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Going to Tofino you definatley want to take the Horseshoe Bay, (West Van) to Departure Bay ferry.
The Duke Point terminal is another 40 minutes south of town, so you are adding on another 40 min plus 1/2 hour ferry time to your travels.
live42day is offline  

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