Vancouver Travel: Unique Destinations on the Island

Vancouver Travel Guide: Unveiling the Hidden Gems of Tofino, Ucluelet and Squamish

Embarking on a Vancouver travel adventure takes you beyond the bustling city streets to the hidden gems nestled in the picturesque corners of British Columbia. In this guide, we venture west to explore the pristine landscapes of Tofino and Ucluelet, where nature meets luxury and adventure is at your doorstep.

Tofino: Surfing Paradise for Vancouver Travel

Tofino, a small yet captivating town west of Vancouver, beckons travelers with its year-round surfing opportunities, ancient rainforests, and rugged beachfront hotels. This hidden gem is a haven for those seeking a blend of relaxation and adventure.

How to Get There

A swift journey awaits you with Pacific Coastal Airlines, ensuring a quick and comfortable flight to your destination. Book your flight on to get good deals and prices.

Where to Stay

  • The Wickaninnish Inn: A Relais & Chateaux luxury boutique hotel that promises an exquisite stay amidst nature.
  • Pacific Sands: This beach resort offers individual homes and suites, providing a cozy retreat after a day of exploration.
  • Duffin Cove: Beach resort with direct access to a private beach. The individual cabins and suites provide a cozy retreat, blending modern comfort with rustic charm.

What to Do

  • Relax: Immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings.
  • Surf: Ride the waves in one of the world’s renowned surfing destinations.
  • Hike: Traverse the ancient rainforests and connect with nature.
  • Whale Watching: Witness the majestic whales in their natural habitat.

Ucluelet: The Nature Lover’s Retreat within the Vancouver Travel Guide

Near Tofino, Ucluelet offers another sanctuary where surfing meets nature. This small town is a hidden gem in the Vancouver travel circuit, promising a serene and unique experience. It is by no means easy to get to but in my opinion, it’s worth making the journey.

How to Get There

From Tofino, a 35-minute drive will bring you to Ucluelet. Alternatively, embark on a ferry journey from Vancouver (95 minutes from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo) followed by a scenic 3-hour drive.

Where to Stay

  • Inn Chanter: A floating bed & breakfast hosted by the warm and welcoming owners, Taylor and Josh, along with their friendly border collie, Ellie. Staying here was one of the most memorable travel experiences I have had to date, read more about it here!

What to Do

  • Relax: Choose to do absolutely nothing and soak in the tranquility.
  • Kayaking: Paddle around the inlet and enjoy the serene waters.
  • Excursions: Head back to shore for exciting excursions, including whale watching and a visit to the Pacific Rim National Park.
  • Socialize: Enjoy delightful conversations with Taylor, Josh, and fellow guests on board.
  • Dining: Savor delicious and fresh home-cooked meals.
  • Sauna: Unwind in the sauna, a perfect end to a fulfilling day.

Vancouver travel: house boat in water with trees and mountain in background

Squamish: Capital of Vancouver Travel Outdoor Adventures

Nestled between the bustling city of Vancouver and the renowned resort town of Whistler, Squamish stands as a beacon for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, this hidden gem offers a tranquil retreat amidst majestic mountains and pristine waters, making it a must-visit destination in your Vancouver travel itinerary.

How to Get There

Embark on a scenic drive along the Sea-to-Sky Highway from Vancouver, a popular route in many Vancouver travel guides, and reach Squamish in approximately an hour. The journey itself is a visual treat, offering panoramic views of the ocean and mountains, promising a picturesque start to your Squamish adventure.

Where to Stay

What to Do

  • Sea-to-Sky Gondola: Elevate your Vancouver travel experience by taking a ride to the summit, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Howe Sound fjord, the Stawamus Chief Mountain, and Shannon Falls.
  • Rock Climbing: Squamish is renowned as a rock climber’s paradise. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the city offers spots for everyone, making it a highlight in Vancouver travel blogs.
  • Hiking: Explore the numerous trails that lead you through lush forests and offer spectacular views, a perfect activity to include in your Vancouver travel diary.
  • Shannon Falls Provincial Park: Visit this popular park to witness the awe-inspiring Shannon Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in British Columbia, a must-mention in any Vancouver travel guide.
  • Eagle Watching: In the winter, Squamish becomes home to one of the largest congregations of bald eagles in North America. Enhance your Vancouver travel experience by witnessing this magnificent sight.

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