- Best of Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Island: High Tea to Low Tide
- Vancouver’s Totem Poles
- Vancouver’s Best Hiking
- Family Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
- Focus on Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Weekend Getaway
- Victoria Weekend Getaway
- A Tour Through Time
- Inside Passage Cruises
- Outdoor Adventures
- Winter Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
Tofino is best known for its outdoor recreation, but an interesting diversion is Tofino Botanical Gardens (1084 Pacific Rim Hwy., 250/725-1220, daily 8 a.m.–dusk, adult $10, child free), just before town. Developed by knowledgeable locals, it showcases local flora with the emphasis on a fun, educational experience. One garden is devoted to native species you would find in the adjacent national park, another to plants you can eat (but aren’t allowed to). This is the only botanical garden I’ve visited where a colorfully painted camper van from the 1970s is incorporated into a display.
Eagle Aerie Gallery (350 Campbell St., 250/725-3235, daily 9 a.m.–8 p.m. in summer, daily 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. the rest of the year) features the eye-catching paintings, prints, and sculptures of Roy Henry Vickers, a well-known and highly respected Tsimshian artist. You can watch a documentary about the artist, then browse among the artworks—primarily native Canadian designs and outdoor scenes with clean lines and brilliant colors.
If you fancy a long walk along a fabulous shell-strewn stretch of white sand, like to sit on craggy rocks watching the waves disintegrate into white spray, or just want a piece of sun all your own to lie in and work on your tan, head for Chesterman Beach, just south of Tofino. From that beach, at low tide you can walk all the way out to Frank Island to watch the surf pound the exposed side while the tide creeps in and cuts you off from civilization for a few hours. The turnoff (not marked) to Chesterman Beach is Lynn Road, on the right as you leave Tofino.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition