Category: Pacific Rim

Cryptid Tourism in BC?

Cameron Lake, which is about 22 km from Port Alberni and 20 km from Qualicum Beach is supposed to have a strange creature that’s silvery and serpentine, but no one is sure what it is. Such mysteries fall under the category of cryptozoology and in keeping with British Columbia’s tradition of nuttiness, there’s an actual organization called the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club ( that takes a serious approach to various mysteries. Given the lake monster Ogopogo in Kelowna and Sasquatch having its naissance in Harrison Hot Springs, you could create quite an interesting travel itinerary. This local Vancouver newspaper […]

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Tofino, surf capital of Canada

When you think “surfing” you rarely think “Canada”. However, anyone who knows anything about Tofino knows about surfing. But it’s not the California or Hawaii surfing. Think 10 degrees Celsius water temperature and lots of rain. Tofino is at the edge of the Clayquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and in the middle of the Pacific Rim National Park. One of my favourite things to do is to head down to the dock where you can find the official sign indicating the end of Highway 1 at the bottom of First Street. Imagine that only Pacific Ocean is between you and […]

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Pacific Rim Whale Festival Tofino – Ucluelet

A fluke of timing (yes, I intended the fluke pun) allowed my family to partake in the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, an annual event that March 19-27, 2011 was the 25th anniversary. Significant restructuring of all the closets in our home led us to flee and we chose Tofino as our destination. As we reached the crossroads between Tofino and Ucluelet we say the big banner for the Whale Festival and we said to ourselves, “What whale festival?  Annual?  We live in Vancouver, not Bolton Ontario or some place … How clueless are we?”  Into the tourist office we went […]

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Shelter Restaurant Tofino

March Break 2011:  When restaurant hunting there’s an issue of finding boring enough fare for children that has something the big people will want.  Also it’s tougher when you have no idea what any restaurant in a town is like. Upon entering Shelter Restaurant in Tofino, we were greeted by good looking people who were the 20-somethings that you expect in a downtown Vancouver restaurant (think Earl’s or Cactus Club).  So, I was forced to ask if the place was kid-friendly.  “We love kids,” said the hostess and she produced a kids menu and crayons.  All the staff were great […]

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Jamies Whale Watching Ucluelet

Jamie Bray started out his whale watching trips out of Tofino in 1982, but on the day in March 2011 we wanted to go, we found out that the second office in Ucluelet had a family deal, which meant that the kids were free if there were enough adults.  It’s $99 per person for the whale watching tour.  If you have a child under 5 or a certain height, you are required to do the tour in a covered boat (not a Zodiac).  In this case, our vessel was the Lady Selkirk.  We were early in the season (the Ucluelet […]

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Half the fun of Tofino is getting there

The trip from Vancouver to Pacific Rim National Park, Tofino and Ucluelet is a significant drive but has benefits, most of them visual. When you think about traveling around an island, you don’t often think of mountains.  On Vancouver Island, mountains are very real and have an impact on your driving plans, unless you’re a nitwit like me and forget about the mountains. As you take Highway 19 from Nanaimo (follow the signs to Parksville as you leave the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal) it all seems fairly normal coastal Vancouver Island terrain.  To get to the Pacific Rim, watch for […]

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Port Alberni in a Hurry

The editors of this website asked local businesses for the essential recommendations for Port Alberni. We asked them: “If you imagine that someone has come to you and they are on a totally tight time line, and asked you these questions, what would you tell them?” 1. Where should I eat that I should not miss in Port Alberni? Answer:Breakfast: Pescadores, Hwy 4 at Johnston & River Road Lunch: Swale Rock Cafe, lower Argyle Street Dinner: Aroma Restaurant, 10th & Roger 2. If I only have time for one outdoor activity, what should I see or do in Port Alberni? […]

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McKenzie Beach Magic

Around the world you will find many sacred sites. Ancient rock and mystical tales abound in places like Scotland, England and Ireland. Canada I have been told is a young country. Well the land we walk on is ancient, full of mystery and natural beauty. Tofino is a fishing and tourist town filled with First Nations culture, art and people, hippies living their dream and people who just love the rain forest way of life. For 13 years we travelled to Tofino each winter and for us it became a sacred place. A place to watch the ever changing cycles […]

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Thoughts on Vancouver Island: Tofino

I have had the opportunity to travel back and forth from Vancouver Island many times, but I mostly found myself in the heart of Victoria. There are many smaller towns which have absolutely charming attributes, and nooks and crannies waiting to be discovered. My parents took me to Tofino many times as a child, and as I venture back there as an adult, the outward appearance may have changed a little, but the spiritual heart of the town never escaped me. Tofino is an absolutely picturesque, healing and calming place. It is located on the tip of Vancouver Island, and […]

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In and around Port Alberni

Port Alberni is on the way to the West Coast and is the last stop for gas and other facilities before tackling the very scenic Highway 4. Cathedral Grove is the first must see on your drive westward towards Port Alberni. A beautiful stand of old and very large Cedars and Douglas Fir trees awaits you. There are trails on both sides of the highway, but please obey the signs as all traffic headed in and out of Port Alberni use this highway, traffic can be quite heavy. MacMillan Provincial Park is where Cathedral Grove is located, a great place […]

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