TofinoWe started our Spring Break with a get-away to Tofino, which if you’ve never visited you should definitely add Tofino to your bucket list!  A ferry ride and 3 hour drive across Vancouver Island transports you through some of BC’s most breath-taking scenery.  Flanked by the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet, a great section of the rugged West Coast with crashing waves, lengthy beaches and sky-scraping trees is protected in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.  And you will not go hungry or tired in this part of the world because both towns have fantastic restaurants, outstanding seafood stores and top-notch accommodation.

Pacific SandsOn this trip we stayed at the Pacific Sands in Tofino.  The crashing waves were literally 25 steps from our patio door (yes, I counted).  Our room was fantastic!  The one-bedroom suite provided ample room for us and our two young children.  The suite also had a fully-stocked kitchen which made life infinitely more manageable.  Pacific Sands certainly caters to families – they have bikes available; rain jackets are in every suite (and you can get kid sizes too); and a s’mores roast every night (huge hit with our two little ones).  The staff are incredibly helpful and welcoming!  We certainly hope to return very soon to Pacific Sands.

Fish tacosWhile our kids would have happily dug in the sand from dawn to dusk, the adults wanted to check out some local restaurants.  A tradition for us is stopping at Trilogy Fish Company.  I can’t rave enough about their pepper-candied-salmon.  I could eat my weight of that stuff!  We were so lucky they opened for the season on the day we arrived.  We also tried SOBO – fantastic!  The food is organic and locally sourced.  The reviews I had read about their yummy fish tacos were spot on.  FYI – (for moms and dads) their Caesar’s are pretty amazing too.

Ucluelet AquariumUcluelet (a 20 minute drive from Tofino) just opened their first aquarium using a truly novel approach; it’s a catch and release aquarium.  Every three months all of the animals are returned to the ocean and new species are collected.  Even more exciting….the aquarium allows the children to touch (GENTLY!) many of the animals currently on display.  From sand dollars to sea slugs, from urchins to sea stars, the kids are invited to learn about sea life in a hands-on fashion.  The Aquarium was on their 2nd day of operation when we arrived; it was very popular and absolutely worth the visit!

As we head into summer, consider paying the extra $18.50 to make a ferry reservation.  While the Departure Bay terminal does have a playground for the kids, the ferry reservation provided me with a peace of mind that certainly keep me sane!  If you are thinking of a family trip this Spring/Summer, you’ll love Tofino and Ucluelet!