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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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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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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Nuts at Vancouver Starbucks

It’s no secret that Vancouver loves Starbucks coffee shops.  The famous kitty-corner ones at Robson and Thurlow always seem to amaze people.  I prefer the “new” one at the north-east corner. Regardless, when you are in any of the seemingly infinite number of Starbucks in Vancouver, you should relax and smell the coffee, but also pause to enjoy the people. I’m not saying you will meet like minded people of the same cultural/religious/politic/sexual affiliation as you. I’m saying you are going to meet nuts. Not all nuts are bad nuts. (The scene in the Tim Burton version of Charlie and […]

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Courtenay in a Hurry

The editors of this website asked local businesses for the essential recommendations for Courtenay. 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 Courtenay? Answer: The Silverado West Coast Grill at the Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community. 339 Clubhouse Drive, Courtenay, BC 2. If I only have time for one outdoor activity, what should I see or do in Courtenay? Answer: Go skiing at Mount Washington […]

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Sorrento in a Hurry

The editors of this website asked local businesses for the essential recommendations for Sorrento. 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 Sorrento? Answer: Always a great place to eat would be Toby’s Restaurant which is at 1258 Trans Canada Highway right in the middle of Sorrento. This breakfast and lunch only place has been around for many years and the owner, Mandy, believes in fresh […]

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Victoria in a Hurry

The editors of this website asked local businesses for the essential recommendations for Victoria. 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 Victoria? Answer:Pagliacci’s 1011 Broad Street Victoria, BC V8W 2A1 (250) 386-1662 2. If I only have time for one outdoor activity, what should I see or do in Victoria? Answer:Butchart Gardens 800 Benvenuto Ave Victoria, BC V8M 1J8 (250) 652-4422 3. Is there a […]

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Smithers in a Hurry

The editors of this website asked local businesses for the essential recommendations for Smithers. 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 Smithers? Answer:Aspen Riverhouse located on Hwy 16 2. If I only have time for one outdoor activity, what should I see or do in Smithers? Answer:Hike up to the Twin Falls and Glacier Gulch 3. Is there a museum or cultural site that is […]

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Parksville In a Hurry

The editors of this website asked local businesses for the essential recommendations for Parksville. 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 Parksville? Answer: For Parksville, would be either Mekong River located at 625 Island Hwy, Parksville. Best vietnamese food! Or, Gary’s Bistro in Qualicum Beach. Fun atmosphere, great staff, large variett on the menu! They are located at 115 West 2nd Ave. 2. If I […]

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Kelowna in a Hurry

The editors of this website asked local businesses for the essential recommendations for Kelowna. 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 Kelowna? Answer:Ruby’s Family Restaurant, Harvey Ave (Chinese) 2. If I only have time for one outdoor activity, what should I see or do in Kelowna? Answer:Try one of the 19 golf greens. 3. Is there a museum or cultural site that is a must-see […]

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