Attractions on Vancouver Island
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Edged by the Insular Mountain Range of Vancouver Island and Pacific Ocean, Pacific Rim National Park is one of Canada’s natural treasures. From the majestic coastal mountains to the ancient rainforest to the rugged shoreline, Pacific Rim offers stunning natural landscapes, dynamic history, and exciting adventures. Encompassing 317 square miles on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is comprised of three units – Long Beach, Broken Group Islands and West Coast Trail – where natural wonders are woven with the legacy of the First Nations. Explore miles of coastal trails and pristine beaches. Ramble over headlands, gaze at tide pools, and watch the fury of the sea against the rocks. Enjoy exciting activities like fishing, birding, hiking, cycling, kayaking, and whale and storm watching. Hike through a rainforest of towering Sitka spruce, kayak through the Broken Group Islands, an archipelago of a hundred islands and rocks, bike on the Pacific Rim Highway and explore the 47-mile West Coast Trail. Visit www.pc.gc.ca.
Wild Pacific Trail.
Located in Ucluelet, Wild Pacific Trail skirts the rocky cliffs and shoreline of the west coast of Vancouver Island. Overlooking Barclay Sound, Broken Group Islands and the Pacific Ocean, the trail offers spectacular shoreline panoramas and ocean vistas from platforms on the route’s rugged headlands. Divided into the Lighthouse Loop, Big Beach and Brown’s Beach, the trail gives hikers unforgettable views of the ocean’s fury. Hikers wander through ancient forests of massive cedar and spruce trees, gigantic logs, twisted roots, mosses, and ferns creating images of nature imitating art. The ever-changing outer coast offers intense views of storms above the surge channels and outer reefs pounded by ocean swells. Enjoy watching the gray whales a few miles offshore. Visit www.wildpacifictrail.com.
Originally built in 1906, Amphitrite Lighthouse stands on a rocky outcrop on the southern end of the peninsula near Ucluelet overlooking the Barclay Sound and rugged coastline on Vancouver Island. A popular destination for hikers on the Wild Pacific Trail, the lighthouse offers panoramic views of the coastline, Barclay Sound and the playful sea lions just off shore. The historic lighthouse is accessed via Peninsula Road through Ucluelet or by hiking the Wild Pacific Trail’s Lighthouse Loop, a scenic path that traces the edge of the coastline. Be careful when exploring the rocky shoreline as the sea is unpredictable with pounding waves. Visit www.amphitritelighthouse.com.
Located one mile from the resort, the Ucluelet Aquarium offers up close encounters with a diversity of island marine life and a stimulating “hands on” environment. See beautiful and interesting creatures from the waters right outside the aquarium, and watch as they are released back into the wild to help preserve the local marine ecosystem. Water from Ucluelet Harbor flows directly through our tanks allowing animals to find their way in and out of the displays, which are like transparent tide pools connected to the harbor ecosystem. At the Ucluelet Aquarium, displays communicate our relationship to the ocean environment. Visitors can also participate in feeding a creature or releasing it back into the ocean. Visit www.uclueletaquarium.org.
The Village of Ucluelet on the southern peninsula of Vancouver Island offers several beautiful beaches that are popular for hiking, surfing, beachcombing, storm watching, whale watching, and picnics. A short walk from town and connected to the Wild Pacific Trail, Big Beach is a blissful sand and volcanic rock beach for relaxing, watching sunsets and enjoying incredible coastal views. The beach also has a gazebo and sheltered picnic area near the trailhead. Also located along the trail, Little Beach is a small sheltered beach with amazing views of the shoreline and a British Columbia Heritage Site where archaeologists found remains of the old First Nations. Near Amphitrite Point lighthouse at the south end of Peninsula Road, Terrace Beach is a quiet sandy beach set among trees adjacent to Wild Pacific Trail. A 15-minute walk north of Ucluelet, Fletchers Beach is a beautiful secluded beach that is reached from the trail across from Fletchers Cove.
One of the most spectacular beaches in the world, Long Beach offers 6 miles of surf-swept sand in Wickaninnish Bay in Pacific Rim National Park. Long Beach offers outstanding beach hiking, surfing, swimming, snorkeling, storm watching and whale watching along with a relaxed vibe. Gaze out to the vast, open sea, feel the forces of the wind and waves, and take in beautiful coastal scenery that calms your soul.
Long Beach Golf Course
Situated on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve, between the villages of Ucluelet and Tofino, Long Beach Golf Course is one of the most challenging courses on the island. Surrounded by the ancient rainforest of Clayoquot Sound and the breathtaking beauty of Barkley Sound, the 9-hole, par-36 course offers a challenging layout on the wild and rugged coast of the Canadian wilderness. The course hosts a variety of local events and features a pro shop, driving range, Lounge Restaurant and an 18-Hole Mini Golf Course. For tee times visit www.longbeachgolfcourse.com.
Edged by the ocean and rainforest, Tofino is a beautiful coastal village at the tip of Vancouver Island on the edge of Clayoquot Sound. Boasting miles of gorgeous beaches, islands of old-growth cedar, migrating grey whales, festivals, and natural hot springs, Tofino is an island escape where you feel the force of nature. Sink your toes into soft sand and rugged rock beaches, explore blissful bays and coves, discover tidepools and surf the gentle waves. Head to Tofino’s docks for fishing, sea kayaking, whale watching, and adventure tours. Ride on Tofino’s bike path to beaches and downtown. Take a boat to Hot Springs Cove in Maquinna Provincial Park.. Walk the Wild Side trail, a scenic path and boardwalk that follows sandy beaches and headlands to Mount Flores. Kayak in Clayoquot Sound and explore the beautiful beaches of Flores Island. Celebrate the spirit of Tofino at the Food and Wine Festival and Lantern Festival. Tofino’s, surf, sky, serenity and wild beauty are mesmerizing. Visit www.tourismtofino.com.
Hot Springs Cove
Located in Maquinna Provincial Park on the north end of Clayoquot Sound, Hot Springs Cove boasts natural hot springs that rejuvenates your soul. The boiling spring water bubbles up from the earth and cascades down a cliff into natural layered rock pools cooled by the Pacific Ocean surf. The high tide surf surges into the lower pools creating a blend of hot and cool water. Soak in the rocky pools surrounded by mountains and rainforest, and experience the hot natural shower under the waterfalls. Take a tour from Tofino and hike the boardwalk trail from the dock to the springs. Hot Springs Cove is a refreshing stop for kayakers paddling through the Flores and Vargas Islands. Hike the 2-mile wilderness trail to Tsamata Beach and explore the pristine shoreline and forest of towering cedars, firs, and spruce draped with Spanish moss. Visit www.vancouverisland.com/hotsprings/?id=16.
Tofino Botanical Gardens
Dedicated to the cultivation and display of plants native to the world’s coastal temperate rainforests, Tofino Botanical Gardens offer 12 acres of gardens, forest, and shoreline that explore the relationship between nature and culture. Walk the paths and boardwalks from the Visitor Centre to kitchen gardens, the Frog Pond, and Children’s Garden into the forest, where clearings have become pocket gardens. Many gardens display plants that once thrived in coastal temperate rainforests around the world and celebrate the cultural groups of Clayoquot Sound, particularly the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. Tofino Botanical Gardens offers educational programs and research about temperate rainforest conservation inspires understanding of the ecosystems of the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve. Visit www.tbgf.org.
Roy Henry Vickers/Eagle Aerie Gallery.
Canadian artist Roy Henry Vickers has touched people from around the world with his limited edition prints, carvings and books. His colorful sunsets, misty rivers and peaceful winter scenes reflect Canada’s West Coast and his love for Vancouver Island’s natural beauty and heritage. In many pieces, including his signature Eagle Moon, superimposed shadow images add a layer of depth, history and myth to his clear images. A Tofino landmark, Vickers’ Eagle Aerie Gallery is a stunning Northwest Coast longhouse of carved and painted cedar and copper doors. Discover Roy’s paintings, prints, calendars, art cards and reproductions hanging on carved cedar walls among totem poles and carvings. The public gallery offers an atmosphere of harmony and peace. Visit www.royhenryvickers.com.