- 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
A small town of 1,800 on the northern edge of Barkley Sound, Ucluelet (yoo-CLOO-let) has a wonderfully scenic location between the ocean and a protected bay. Like nearby Tofino, the remote town grew as a logging and fishing center, but unlike its neighbor, tourism has been slower to catch on. You can enjoy all the same pursuits as in Tofino—beachcombing, whale-watching, kayaking, and fishing—but in a more low key manner.
Sights and Recreation
Drive through town to reach He-tin-kis Park, where a short trail leads through a littoral (coastal) rainforest to a small stretch of rocky beach. The park and beach are part of the Wild Pacific Trail, an ambitious project that will eventually wander along the coastline all the way to Pacific Rim National Park. You can take the trail or continue southward by vehicle to reach the end of the road. The lighthouse here is not the world’s most photogenic, but it gets the job done, keeping ships from running ashore along this stretch of particularly treacherous coastline.
Accommodations and Camping
If you’re looking at sharing inexpensive accommodations with an outdoorsy crowd, reserve a bed at Surfs Inn (1874 Peninsula Rd., 250/726-4426, www.surfsinn.ca, dorms $27, $65–125 s or d). Contained within a restored home along the main road into town, communal facilities include a lounge with wood-burning fireplace, a modern kitchen, wireless Internet, and plenty of space to store bikes and surfboards.
The weathered “eco-industrial” exterior at Terrace Beach Resort (1002 Peninsula Rd., 250/726-2901 or 866/726-2901, www.terracebeachresort.ca, $99–349 s or d) is a little deceiving, as the guest rooms feature west coast contemporary styling through very livable units that range from one-bedroom motel rooms to multi-story oceanfront cabins, linked by elevated boardwalks and all enclosed in an old growth forest. Don’t be surprised to see actor Jason Priestley wandering through the forest—he and his family own the lodge.
Get your morning caffeine fix along with a chocolate-cluster muffin at Cynamoka Coffee House (1536 Peninsula Rd., 250/726-3407, daily 7 a.m.–6 p.m., lunches $6–8). It’s through town, up a steep driveway to the right. If you’re camping or have access to a barbeque, make a stop at Oyster Jim’s (2480 Pacific Rim Hwy., 250/726-7350) to pick up fresh oysters that open naturally over hot coals.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition