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Banff Feb 4th, 2010 10:38 AM

Tofino vs. Cannon Beach
Can anyone tell me which one you would prefer between the two? Pros and Cons ?

NWWanderer Feb 4th, 2010 08:04 PM

Oh, Cannon Beach is great, but Tofino is magical--it's probably my favorite place in the region and we are spoiled for choice here. The main con is how far it is. Where else are you going on your trip, and how much time will you have? That may help make the decision. You certainly will enjoy Cannon Beach if you go there, but it's not the same experience as Tofino.

Banff Feb 5th, 2010 10:23 AM

we are spending a week in Vancouver area and then a week in Banff. Thought about shortening the week in Vancouver just so we could add Cannon Beach into the mix b/c it is a favorite for us.

How is Tofino so magical?

Orcas Feb 5th, 2010 10:40 AM

I love both, but from Vancouver, I'd suggest Tofino. I believe the drive time would be similar. Tofino is more like going to the edge of the earth. It is more out-of-the way.
You don't get to go to a place with that feel very often.

Canon Beach is far more accessible. I'm guessing you would never go to Tofino, otherwise, but you can get to Canon Beach within 1 1/2 hrs of Portland.

Tofino has more international visitors and is more isolated. The Pacific Rim National Park is just south, with lots of trails and beautiful isolated beaches.

I think the geography of both is similar but there is more "old growth" around Tofino, though you can certainly find it near Canon Beach as well. There is a cool dwarf forest in the Pacific Rim National Pk that you won't find near Canon Beach. The water near Tofino is more protected, too - a big bay. You can take lots of kayak trips in the bay. The botanical garden is a hoot full of sculptures.

Also, Tofino has more papered chefs per person than anywhere else in Canada and I'm sure more than Canon Beach. Great food.

Banff Feb 5th, 2010 11:18 AM

so if I have one week in the Vancouver area what would the suggested itin. be?

4 nights Vancouver
1 night Victoria
2 nights Tofino?

What is there to do in Tofino? Are kayak trips reasonably priced?

Orcas Feb 5th, 2010 01:27 PM

I don't think 2 nights in Tofino is worth the drive. It is farther than it looks. You cannot drive the hypotenuse, if you will, you have to drive north and then cross west. There is a mt range in between and traffic can be slow.

There are lots of ways you could slice it:

3 nights Vancouver
1 Victoria
3 Tofino

or 4 nights Vancouver
3 Tofino

Orcas Feb 5th, 2010 01:30 PM

Re kayak trips, many choices, many different length trips. It depends what you mean by reasonable. Here's the Tofino website with links:

Orcas Feb 5th, 2010 01:35 PM

Just adding. When we went to Tofino we went on a half-day kayak trip, a bear watching trip, and a whale watching trip, as well as hiking here and there. The bear watching trip was amazing. The bears come to rocky areas at low tide to look for food under the rocks. We saw so many bears from up close. The whale watching was disappointing, though we saw a great seal rock full of sea lions. It is not like whale watching in the San Juans, where there is a resident pod of Orcas all summer. In the Pacific, it's catch or catch can. We saw the whales from far away and I think they were grey whales. We didn't reserve any of this until we got there. There are many outfitters and I'm guessing they are all pretty knowledgeable. There is a LOT to do around Tofino if you like the outdoors (and to eat).

NWWanderer Feb 5th, 2010 02:18 PM

Since you'll be in Vancouver, Tofino makes a lot more sense than Cannon Beach, since the latter would be about a 7 hour drive from Vancouver.

I agree with Orcas; if you're going to drive to Tofino, you need to go for at least 3 nights to make it worth it, IMO. Plus there's so much to do there, that 2 full days is really the minimum amount of time you need to enjoy it. I've been a bunch of times, my last trip was for 5 days but it never feels like long enough!

It's hard to describe in words why Tofino is so magical, it's partially because of how beautiful it is but also the feel and atmosphere of the feel like you are at the edge of the world and it just has a special feel.

The kayak trip to Meares Island is highly recommended as is the boat trip out to Hot Springs Cove (you can do a combo whale watching/hot springs trip). Meares Island has amazingly huge old growth trees.

This website has my favorite area photo of the area (the photos rotate):

Orcas Feb 5th, 2010 02:34 PM

We went on the kayak trip to Meares Island, in fact.

NWWanderer Feb 5th, 2010 02:42 PM

Argh, meant to type "aerial" photo.

Banff Feb 5th, 2010 02:58 PM

ok, so now I am thinking about cutting Vancouver down to 2 or 3 nights, Tofino 3 and Victoria 1.

where to stay in Tofino between 100-150? What is the best tour to take with two boys for under $100 pp?? We will probably do the whale watch tour in Victoria. Seeing bears feeding on the coast sounds wonderful but I wouldn't mind combining that with kayaking. What is the best kayak tour? From someone who doesn't know, the Ucuelet one sounds like you see a lot of wildlife and get to kayak in protected waters? Hot Springs sounds nice. Mearles Is?

Orcas Feb 5th, 2010 03:11 PM

You might want to repost on the Canada board, if you haven't already done that. You can search for Tofino and people there may be able to help you.

I think I posted a trip report on that board before they had the special section for trip reports under our own names. You can find a lot there.

Orcas Feb 5th, 2010 03:44 PM

Found my trip report from way back when. You can find a lot more by searching on the Canada board for Tofino. Here's mine:

1JAR Feb 5th, 2010 05:58 PM

There is a great free round trip trail hike in Ucuelet: fabulous views of teh ocean..we saw whales close in ..

NWWanderer Feb 5th, 2010 07:32 PM

Yes, good idea to switch to the Canada board at this point. If you do a search on Tofino, you'll find lots of info.

The Meares Island kayak tour is in the protected waters of Tofino harbour and Clayoquot Sound.

Hot Springs Cove is too far to kayak there on a day trip--you need to take a boat (or a float plane but that's going to be more expensive and it sounds like you are on a budget).

Orcas Feb 5th, 2010 10:22 PM

1Jar, We did some of that walk at Ucuelet. It was beautiful - at sunset. Lots of eagles and great views, plus deer. no whales though. whah!

Banff Feb 6th, 2010 01:17 AM

ok, thanks for all the great advice, I'll switch over to the other forum for more detailed information and I read Orcas trip report when I get a chance.
Again, thank you.

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