You’ve seen the photos. Too good to be true, right? Sprawling sandy beaches, crashing waves encircling lush, green forests create a destination cozy enough for you to want a wool sweater and a hot beverage fireside and  exciting enough to want to grab a surf board to brave Mother Nature at her finest. For our annual girls trip we ventured the ferry ride and rustic drive to see Tofino for ourselves.

The pictures do not lie; Tofino is absolutely gorgeous. Every beach is breathtaking and the sand is so soft, and seemingly endless, you could walk barefoot for miles.

Our first morning, we explored the town. It was quaint with beachwear boutiques and surf shops seemingly on every corner. The local style is chill and laid back. Most were dressed in comfy yet athletic attire to match their outdoor focused lifestyles. The weather was colder and more overcast than the Vancouver we had left and I soon realized packing dresses, sandals and blouses had been a touch ambitious.

( Merge was one of my favourites boutiques! I bought rose bath tea and it is amazing)

In the afternoon we hit up Surf Sister. Even though everyone had surfed before, taking a lesson proved to be a nice refresher. My sister Claire and I have surfed quite regularly in Hawaii but it was my first time in cold water!

The lesson started on land and when it was finally time to face the Cox Bay waves, I was pleasantly surprised by how warm my wetsuit kept me. At home I have a wetsuit for wake boarding but it is a lot thinner and usually I am left shivering. However, with the wetsuit ( and booties!) provided by the surf school, I was the perfect temperature!

I loved the surfing. In Hawaii, it is usually pretty rocky where we go and in the back of my mind I always have a fear of doing a soul surfer 2.0 and being eaten by a shark. In Tofino I could completely relax, enjoy the serene view and ride some pretty awesome waves!

Happy hour après surfing was a must. After showering we enjoyed some wine in our hotel room and a quick dance party.

For dinner, we ate at Shelter. It was a short walk from our hotel and the food was super yummy, healthy and fresh. The brussel sprout appie and salmon bowl main were my favs!

Day 2 we ventured to Chesterman beach first thing in the morning. It was heavenly. The sky was illuminated by the sun and iced with a layer of white Pillowy clouds that melted into the never ending sea. It felt like a scene in a movie when the main character experiences “the light”. Everything was white, bright and peaceful. Surfers rushed towards the sea, their daily worship underway.

We snapped some pictures and then headed back to town to hike the Tonquin trail.

Hike might be a strong word for this pleasant adventure. The trail was quite level, hidden among a canopy of green. It traversed to a few beautiful beaches and a lookout.

For lunch we visited a Tofino classic, the original Tacofino foodtruck. Though it is true, we have Tacofino locations at home in Vancouver, it some how tasted even better and was definitely worth the wait in the serpentine lineup. I had a very yummy fish burrito ( with guac, of course ).

After lunch we traveled down another trail encompassed with giant towering trees and massive flower-like ferns. It ended at Schooner’s Cove. I love the sea and could definitely not complain about another beach walk.

For dinner we had sushi at Tough City. Though pricey, the food was good, we had an ocean view and we got to meet crazy Ron( ask the locals)’s wife.

I would definitely recommend getting ice cream at Tofino Licks. There are lots of mouthwatering local toppings to choose from and how can you go wrong with soft serve? It was soooo good! Be sure to ask the owner why he started an ice cream shop!

( via Tofino Licks’ Instagram, mine looked so tasty I forgot to take a pic! )

Before leaving on our last morning, I went for a run to Mackenzie beach ( where there is also a campsite and many dog friends to play with). From our hotel in town it was about a 6km round trip. It is quite flat and if you aren’t looking for anything too intense, it is a great way to start your morning! There was a path beside the main road for runners/walkers and bikers. Next time I will have to bring my bike!

❤ Annalise

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