5 Ways to Relax in Tofino
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By Jaiden George, for #IndigenousCoastBC
There’s nothing quite like the moment – driving between Ucluelet and Tofino – when you first turn that corner and are met with a glimpse of the ocean, bathed in the shimmering golden light of a coastal sunset.
Neither is there anything quite like taking an early morning stroll through the mist-soaked rainforest or staying out late to watch the stars projecting relentlessly from an impossibly clear sky. The list could go on, and on.
In fact, there’s so much to do – whale-watching, hiking, surfing, fishing and so much more – that it can be easy to find yourself overwhelmed by all the possibilities and the comparatively infinitesimal amount of time that you have to explore them all. Though summer is high season, the fall is also a beautiful time to visit Tofino, the bonus being you might find it a bit quieter.
Though I can wholeheartedly recommend all of the aforementioned activities in both summer and fall, sometimes it’s better to slow down and take it easy. Here five ways how.
Enter the Tla-o-qui-aht owned Tin-Wis Resort. Translating to “Calm Waters,” Tin-Wis is fittingly located on the shores of central MacKenzie Beach, perfectly situating visitors to access both downtown and the main beaches – Chesterman, Cox Bay, Middle Beach and Tonquin. Just a leisurely 10-minute walk from the Resort is the Live to Surf Parking Complex – where it would be criminal not to stop by Tacofino and Chocolate Tofino. Which brings us to our first activity:
1. Bike Mackenzie via Tofino Bike Co.
Within the Life to Surf Complex is also the Tofino Bike Company. As a small town, bikes are the vehicle of choice for locals and visitors alike. Environmentally speaking, they’re more considerate than cars, save you the hassle of looking for parking, and unlike cars, you can take them onto beaches! Rent a few beach cruisers with some friends, head back to MacKenzie, and coast gloriously through the clear, shallow pools that line the beach.
Bring along your fur-baby when you stay at the pet-friendly Tin Wis in Tofino. Photo by Jaiden George
2. Hang out with friends
… and their dogs! Tin-Wis Resort is pet friendly, so you don’t need to leave your companions at home. Explore the tidal pools together, dip your feet in the ocean, watch for eagles ahead, and capture memories that are sure to be long-lasting. Scout out a spot for tonight’s fire, lay down some blankets, and crack open the cooler.
Ever played beach bocce? It's what the locals do to relax on a beautiful day. Photo by Jaiden George
3. Beach Bocce
Let’s be real – no Tofino-based list would be complete without the west coast staple that is beach bocce. If you don’t already know how to play, the rules are simple: divide your group evenly into two teams, throw out the pallino (the smallest ball), then try to throw as many of your team’s balls as close to the pallino as you can. Whoever lands closest wins.
Grab a paddleboard from Tofino Paddle Surf and hit the water. It's a chance to soak up some solitude with a good chance of seeing some sea life. Photo by Jaiden George
4. SUP with Tofino Paddle Surf
As the sun sinks low on the horizon above Wickaninnish Island, head over to Tofino Paddle Surf, conveniently located directly on MacKenzie Beach – and grab a few SUP boards. Many people cite stand up paddleboarding (SUP-ing) as a major stress reliever, and the moment you get out on the water, it’s obvious why. It’s just something you that you have to experience first-hand: the solitude of being on the water along with a quiet glimpse into the bustling ocean ecosystem – and there’s always the chance of a visit from a harbour seal. It’s a perfect wind-down towards the end of the day.
There's no better way to end a perfect day than with a fire and some smores with friends. Photo by Jaiden George
5. Beach Fire
After golden hour fades into a pale blue, then into deep indigo, return to the spot you picked out earlier and gather around a campfire. MacKenzie Beach, home to Tin Wis, is one of only three beaches in the Tofino area where fires are legal – with food for sale at the front desk. Roast marshmallows, make smores and play guitar under the stars. Remember to always clean up after you’re finished!
Jaiden George is a photographer, writer and filmmaker from Tofino, B.C. A future Hereditary Chief, his work primarily concerns the conservation of Indigenous land and culture, examining contested spaces, human presence and environmental crisis in the Pacific Northwest - extending also to race relations in photographic representation and alternative methods of environmental activism in visual culture. He is currently in his third year at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. Follow Jaiden on Instagram.
Photo by Jaiden Georg
You could win a two-night stay at Tin Wis, Two Bike Rentals From Tofino Bike, 30 Minute Scenic Tour with Tofino Air, Two Paddle Board and Wet Suit Rentals from Tofino Paddle, Giftpack from Chocolate Tofino, and 2 Tribal Parks Allies Shirts.
This contest closes on Sunday, March 30, 2021
When you Go
- Book today at the Tla-o-qui-aht owned Tin Wis Resort.
- Launching early 2021, the new Tin Wis Bonus Card. Every guest who stays at the Tin Wis receives a card activating deals at outlets included in this story. Tofino Air, Tofino Paddle Surf, Tofino Bike Co and Chocolate Tofino have deals waiting. Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks welcomes you to this sacred ancient gardens.
- When staying in Tofino, stay indigenous and know that your support goes towards protecting these ancient sacred gardens where we can all go to get re-energized and soak up the beauty of the forests and ocean.
- Meanwhile, check out the new webcam from Tin Wis below.
- When you stay at the #TinWisResort, you are contributing to the Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks Alliance. A contribution that is preserving this top biosphere, while saving a language and culture that is immersed in the land itself. Know and support Tla-o-qui-aht #TribalParks. It is a solution that ZenSeekers is an honoured partner of, please join us http://tribalparksalliance.com/
- The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is welcoming smart, safe and respectful visitors seeking a special place to slow down and reconnect. Please follow provincial and local health guidelines when travelling.
- Learn about more Indigenous experiences that await across BC via ZenSeekers #IndigenousCoastBC campaign