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 British Columbia'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 1960s-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 chockablock with funky shops, services, and eateries. Between them lies the Long Beach section of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Centered on a 16-km (10-mile) stretch of surf-pounded beach backed by old-growth forest, this very accessible park is one of Canada's leading natural sights.