Vancouver to Tofino, British Columbia
Even if you’re not a Vancouverite, this is one trip worth travelling across Canada to do. (Fly in and rent a car.) Head to Horseshoe Bay for the ferry to Nanaimo, then hit the Pacific Rim Highway (BC Highway 4) for a gorgeous, windy drive boasting views of mountains, lakes, coast and through ancient temperate rainforest. Blink and you might miss the sight of a mama bear and her cubs frolicking in a stream.
Essential stops along the way include Coombs Country Market for locally made souvenirs, and a view of their famed Goats on the Roof; and a stroll through Cathedral Grove, a forest of majestic Douglas fir trees – some of them 800 years old!
Before Tofino, Canada’s surfing capital, you’ll hit Ucluelet, which also boasts big waves and a laid-back vibe – at a slightly lower cost than its sister down the road. Spend a couple days here and then continue along the coast to Tofino’s Relais & Chateaux-accredited Wickaninnish Inn your HQ for surfing world-famous Chesterman Beach. Other attractions include whale-watching tours, winter storm-watching, fishing, hiking, and just taking it easy enjoying the great locavore cuisine, or unwinding at The Wick’s famed Ancient Cedars Spa.