It all began with a craving for adventure—we were setting out to discover the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island, in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Tofino is far away, at the “end of the road”—a place whose inhabitants’ unique character is shaped by the power of their natural surroundings. This is true of the First Nations living near Clayoquot Sound, as well as the surfers and artists—young and old—who go there in search of serenity.
A gorgeous sunset over a calm ocean welcomed us to the Wickaninnish Inn, famous for its storm-watching packages. What? Isn’t November storm season? This hotel is the property of the McDiarmid's, one of the visionary families who developed the property we see today. Charles, our host, welcomed us warmly in the family’s rustic cottage, located near the hotel on a striking reef. There, we ate delicious oysters, salmon and crab from the Pacific, and drank champagne from British Columbia. Our Tofino hosts regaled us with their stories—and did they have stories to tell. Lynda and Sharon of Tourism Tofino are two Americans who spontaneously decided to settle in Tofino after just one visit. And Dorothée, who owns the first kayak rental store, Tofino Sea Kayaking, and the bookstore Tofino/Wildside-Booksellers, passionately shared her 25-year experience of life in Tofino. It is obvious that this destination transforms people; you’ll have to visit to understand why.