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R Apr 5th, 2004 02:34 PM

Your ideal length stay in Tofino &/or Johnstone strait area?
Hi, again, everyone! :-)
Noticed advice given in another thread here, that that poster stay one night in Tofino area, if possible. It's beginning to make me wonder, if I've been *overestimating* how much time, a trip to Tofino would necessitate.

We're fairly crunched on vacation time, as we need to drive all the way to Canada vs. flying due to health issues. So, that will eat up about 2.5-3 days on each side of our trip.

As a result, just trying to best lay out our limited time there...
Would like to see the area near Telegraph Cove...for whales & maybe a bear outing. Thinking about 3 nights or so there...maybe one more, if need be. Then, would also like to concentrate some time near Tofino. (have been to Victoria & Gulf Islands several times before...altho' would love if we still had time for a short stay on one of the islands, too!)

Since we'll be doing some wildlife outings on the East Coast of Vancouver much time do *you* think Tofino (or Telegraph Cove, for that matter) warrants? With people recommending at least one night in Tofino...I'm beginning to wonder if 3-4 is considered too generous? (if one's time is fairly restricted) I realize w/limitless vacations, one could spends weeks & weeks, anywhere! ;-)
However, if you only had about a week to actually spend on Vancouver Island &/or the Gulf Islands...
what would *you* do (given our situation)?
Any input appreciated! Thanks.

jimmoi Apr 5th, 2004 09:25 PM

Thats a really tough question, R, it totally depends on what kind of vacation you want.
The Tofino area is absolutely georgeous, probably one of the most beautiful spots on the planet, if you ask me. There is plenty of "outdoorsy" stuff to do- the beaches are incredible (water is too cold to swim without a wet suit though),and one could spend at least a day just beachcombing various areas. Tofino is right next to Pacific Rim National Park, and there are a number of excellent hiking trails ranging in difficulty from easy to moderately difficult. Some of them are through rainforest, and are fascinating.
And of course in Tofino itself, there are a number of companies offering whale-watching, salmon fishing, surfing lessons, kayaking, etc etc.
So if you are into that sort of activity, you could easily spend the whole week in Tofino.
However the town itself is quite small and isolated. There are several excellent restaurants, but you wont find a lot of "touristy" things like museums, or nightlife. The shopping mostly consists of tacky souvenir shops where you are overcharged for native "craft" and the like.
All things said, I personally would recommend at least 3 days there to really take in the beauty of the area.
But,as I said, if the activities above appeal to you, by all means, spend more time.
Another thing to remember is that it is a temperate rainforest climatic zone. July and August are usually pretty dry, but its certainly possible to get a couple of days of rain. However,that is part of the beaty of the place.
Hope this helps.

gannetmusic Apr 6th, 2004 05:50 AM

The previous poster has provided a good description of the Tofino/ Pacific Rim area.
Certainly one could spend several days there and still find plenty more to do. Our most recent visit was 3 nights and we just sampled a few of the area highlights.

In the Telegraph Cove area there is also plenty to do.
A killer whale watching trip [Mackay's from Port McNeill highly recommended] will last several hours - in Mackay's case from about 10am to 3pm or so.

Should you take the grizzly trip to Knight Inlet with Tide Rip Tours, it is an all day activity, leaving about 7am and arriving back about 4pm.

Another day could easily be spent at Alert Bay on Cormorant Island visiting the excellent U'Mista Cultural Centre for First Nation's history and a world-class collection of ceremonial masks. Also at Alert Bay are some quite impressive totems.

My suggestion is 3 or 4 nights near Telegraph Cove [I prefer nearby Hidden Cove Lodge], if you want to enjoy the highlights of the area at a reasonable pace.
You should note that there is pretty much no 'nightlife' at or near Telegraph Cove.

If I had the choice of an extra day at either Tofino or Telegraph Cove I would most likely choose Tofino but we would have no problem keeping busy for a week at either location.


ltt Apr 6th, 2004 06:35 AM

we spent 3 nights - we feel we got a good sample and loved it enough that we can't wait to go back. we rented a condo on chesterman beach so that we could have use of the kitchen and gas bbq.

R Apr 6th, 2004 03:41 PM

Thank you all so very much for your guidance! Sounds perfect then & like I was getting on the right track. Thank you for reminding me about Alert Bay, which I've read about. It was hard to know whether to make time for it, but it sounds quite worth the time & considering just where we we'll appropriate.

Also, Jim, mentioned kayaking. We'd also like to do that! (only beginners...done it in the San Juans with guides only) So, now we just need to figure out where it's best to do that, since we're pretty much novices. Johnstone Strait? Clayoquot Sound/Broken Islands? To Meares Island? right off of Tofino? Choices, choices. :-) Maybe kayaking should be a different thread? Thanks again, fellow B.C. fans!

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