The West West West Coast
Last weekend we spent two nights in beautiful Tofino.  This was only the second time we had been there and the first time we had driven.  While the weather on the drive was nothing short of horrendous (we happened to be traveling on an 80mm rain day) the trip was actually not that bad.  Taking 5 ½ hours from our door (in Coal Harbor) it is almost the same as the numerous trips we take to the South Okanagan.  We did not make a ferry reservation because it was not summer but this is where the time could easily add up on a busy day.  The three hour drive from the Departure Bay ferry terminal to the heart of Tofino is one that everyone should take at least once.  The Cathedral Grove located in the MacMillan Provincial Park about 15 minutes east of Port Alberni and is a great stopping point.  Walk the trails through 800 year old Douglas Fir trees, pack a snack and enjoy the view.  This is a better idea than planning to stop in Port Alberni which is not much to look at and as far as we could find had very little in the way of ‘foodie’ options. We did find out later that we should have checked out the Lake area so that will be added to our next trip through.

Crystal Cove Beach Resort
We arrived in Tofino and checked in at Cabin #51.  The staff were very friendly and informative giving us information about the resort and the area.  The resort has 34 log cabins and 72 RV sites and the landscaping around the entire property is immaculate.  Even in the downpour many of the RV sites were occupied as were most of the cabins.  But this is understandable given the view from the Crystal Cove property and all of the other properties along the coast.  Crystal Cove is on the southern end of Mackenzie Beach which is sheltered by a series of small islands given it the claim as ‘warmest beach in Tofino’.  The cabins have full kitchens and BBQs.  Ours had both a wood burning fireplace (on the main floor) and a gas burning fireplace (in the bedroom upstairs).  The bathroom had a shower and the bedroom a Jacuzzi tub.  We loved both the service and green policies of the resort.  No one will enter your cabin to clean, you simply put your garbage and any towels you need replaced out on the deck in the plastic bins provided before the appropriate time and new ones appear.  The cabins have low flush toilets and power smart appliances.  There are bins to recycle everything and the resort uses bio-degradable garbage bags and cleaning products and the staff travel the property in electric golf carts.  We even saw a greenhouse.  This is a place that we will definitely plan to stay again.  View our full photo set of Crystal Cove Beach Resort.

It’s all about the Surf!!
Last time we were in Tofino we flew and did not have a car.  We were limited to the activities that were scheduled for us by the group meetings we were attending.  On that trip we did have meals at both the Wickinninish Inn and the Long Beach Lodge and were able to take in both of their spectacular views.  This time we had our own car and spent a morning exploring both the beaches and the stores of Tofino.  Given the weather there were not a lot of people strolling the beaches but there were more surfers than we could count (at least 200 at 11am on the Sunday).  The surf was apparently at its best after Saturday’s storm.  Every store we visited had signboards with the tides and swells listed.  We are not surfers but it has now been added to the ‘bucket list’.  On this trip we also had a chance to take in a few of the local eating and drinking establishments.  Check back for the next blog.