Darlene Foster's Blog

Tofino Get-Away

Posted on: February 23, 2014

Everyone seems to need a break around mid February. This year hubby and I didn’t take a sunny, warm, winter get-away so we decided to do something more local. We hadn’t been to the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island for a long time so chose to spend three days in Tofino. A great choice as we had a wonderful time.

To get there we took a relaxing two hour ferry ride across the Georgia Strait and then drove three hours to the other side of the island. It had snowed during the night causing the tall Douglas Fir trees to sparkle in the sun with  snow laden branches as they emerged out of the mist. We passed through Cathedral Grove, an old growth rain forest with 800 year-old giant firs. It was magical.

Cathedral Grove

Cathedral Grove

The minute we arrived at the Best Western Tin Wis Resort, I knew we had made a good choice. The resort is owned and operated by the Tla-O-Qui-Aht First Nations and tastefully decorated with First Nations art and artefacts. The incredibly friendly staff made us feel at home immediately.

Entrance to Tin Wis Resort

Entrance to Tin Wis Resort

Amazing west coast First Nations art

Amazing west coast First Nations art

Our very comfortable room had a great view of Mackenzie Beach. This beach is one of the most protected beaches on the west coast, thus the name Tin Wis which means Calm Waters in the Tla-O-Qui-Aht language.

Room with a view

Room with a view

Mackenzie beach

Mackenzie beach at dusk

We went for nice, long, relaxing walks along the beach, discovering tidal pools with all sorts of  little creatures.

Colourful sea anemones and a bright orange starfish

Colourful sea anemones and a bright orange starfish


We spent a wonderful day in the charming town of Tofino, where we shopped, met some interesting artists and many wonderful people. It was so refreshing to get away from the hustle and bustle of big city life. With the slow, easy pace, it didn’t take us long to wind down.



Of course I found a bookstore

Of course I found a book store

Tofino is famous for its fantastic storms and many people visit in the winter just to storm watch. We were lucky to get one storm which we watched safely from inside while having a drink.

A typical west coast storm

A typical west coast storm

Enjoying the storm from inside

Enjoying the storm from inside

The following morning we awoke to sunshine. We had the perfect mix of weather. While enjoying one last walk on the beach, we watched a man teach his son to surf.




The restaurant at the resort, aptly called Calm Waters, served delicious meals with the same friendly service. The crab cakes melted in my mouth and I’m still dreaming of the coconut crème brulee.

Enjoying a relaxing breakfast with a view

Enjoying a relaxing breakfast with a view

Calm Waters Restaurant at Tin Wis Resort

Calm Waters Restaurant at Tin Wis Resort

We came home happy to have spent time at such an amiable place where the spirit of people who have dwelt there for many centuries, still lives.


Sometimes a short holiday is all you need.

55 Responses to "Tofino Get-Away"

Darlene, from Cathedral Grove’s magnificent trees, to relaxing beach strolls and crab cakes, Tofino sounds like the perfect get-away. Ever since I had crab cakes in San Diego years ago, I’ve been yearning for more.

You would love the crab cakes at Calm Waters Tricia. It was a perfect get-away. Thanks fro stopping by!

I enjoyed this post, Darlene. What a lovely trip and great photos. Seems like the perfect place to unwind.

Glad you enjoyed the pictures. It was just what we both needed and not too far to travel.

That really looks like a beautiful place to relax. I love the name Calm Waters: the kind of thing we go for. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

It was truly beautiful. The pictures don’t do it justice. You would love it! Thanks for the visit to my blog.

I loved every photo. What a wonderful place to get away. I know your time just flew by as relaxing as it was. This made me think of my mother’s mother who lived on her Alaskan island of Sitka.

The scenery would be similar to that of Sitka.I have been to Alaska twice but have yet to visit Sitka. It is on my list of places to see. Did you ever visit your great grandmother on her island? You have such a rich cultural family background Georgette. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

I never visited Grandma S. on her island, but my mother and brother did. I favored traveling to Mexico and Spain, but I have told my husband, “I want to do a cruise of Alaska that includes Sitka.” My life has been so blessed with connections, so varied I cannot connect the differences, but I can connect with my students individually. Love the Native Alaskan art. It looks like items displayed in my mother’s home. Love the thick forest as my mother has described it. And I love your story of how to get to Tofino. My mother got to Sitka by pontoon plane, and my brother by ferry. Perhaps I haven’t told you this, but my mother’s family originated in Scotland and came to Canada, New Brunswick and Manitoba, then the Pacific NW of Washington State.

Given a choice I would have chosen Mexico and Spain as well as I always prefer warm weather. I do hope you get to do the Alaska cruise that stops at Sitka sometime as you would love the trip and the scenery. Thanks for the additional family history which is always fascinating.

I’ve been hankering to go again too! That’s exactly where we stay and love it. The view is #1 and the storms amazing this time of year. Looks like you 2 enjoyed it immensely. 🙂

It is so close yet we never get there. We have such amazing scenery here on our doorstep. Tin Wis is the perfect place to stay and enjoy the peace and tranquillity, and the storms!

Sunny Sunday on Long Beach! What more could you ask for? Always good to be reminded about great trips close to home! Itching to pack…

There is so much to see and do right here in the Pacific Northwest. Now that we are thinking of leaving the area, we’ve decided to explore it a bit more.

It would be ironic if you starting planning trips to Tofino from Toledo! 🙂

Perhaps I could organize tours!

This sound like a satisfying getaway. Something I haven’t even thought of for years. Thanks for the personal tour, Darlene. I enjoyed coming along with you.

It was great to have you with me, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the visit.

Tofino really does sounds like the perfect get-away. Thank you for sharing your ‘photos Darlene, I was in a need of a pick me up and your pictures provided it.

Then my job is done for today! So happy I was able to provide a pick me up. Just writing the blog made me feel good again too.

Beautiful spot. I think you chose a good time to go – the shoulder season.

You would love it there Sheila. I look forward to seeing you soon on our next adventure..

Now on my Pinterest board Travels in my mind. Thank you. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/147141112799839791/

Thank you so much Katherine!

Thanks for sharing a most lovely day with us 🙂

You’re so welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

I saw your reply on Georgette Sullins’ blog and decided to check out your website. It’s interesting that you live on the West Coast where my husband is from. Your getaway sounds intriguing. I guess I’ll have to experience a vacation vicariously at the moment.

Thanks for the photos and narrative of a place I’ve never been. I also invite you to check out my website, reminiscences of my girlhood as a Mennonite in Lancaster County, PA.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I love meeting friends of my blogging friends. I’m happy you were able to vacation vicariously through my post. I will now visit your blog.

Thank you for sharing your trip with us, Darlene. I almost feel as if I was there with you. 🙂

So pleased you enjoyed it. It would make a perfect writer’s retreat. In fact I actually wrote the rough draft of one chapter while I was there.

Nice post Darlene. It reminds me of our time living in Newport, Oregon. We were southerners experiencing the Pacific NW for the first time, and we really loved it. We totally fell inlove with tidepools. ~ James

The scenery is similar to the Oregon coast. (which we explored on our motorcycle a few years ago) It is stunning. Pleased you enjoyed the post. You never know what you might find in tide pools.

Now, I want to go… 😉

You and your family would love it so.

What a beautiful place – I do love those wild rocky coastlines, it almost reminds me of some of the UK beaches down in Cornwall.

You would really love it there Lucy. It is somewhat similar to the Cornwall beaches, just more rugged. Also famous for shipwrecks.

What a wonderful post. We didn’t go on holiday this February but I’m already thinking of one for next year.

February just begs for a holiday. For many this winter has been a long one. Hope you have fun plans for next year.Thanks for your comments.

That looks like a beautiful and wonderfully relaxing place. Coconut creme brulee? Yes please.

You would love it there. The coconut crème brulee was to die for. I’m still thinking about it.

So am I and I didn’t even have it. 🙂

Cathedral Grove is special and I love the timelessness of the area. As an Eastener, I’ve had the privilege of passing through four times and each time it is even more special. Lovely pictures!

Thanks Andi. There is something very magical about the place. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for dropping by.

I spent two days in the city of Vancouver 25 years ago. What a clean and delightful place ! In Miami there is so much trash and litter I think the people are trying to make it look like the third world countries from which they come or they think throwing trash all around is landscaping.

It’s still quite clean here. We have very little smog so the air quality is good. We realize we are lucky but it is expensive to live here. There are a number of natural places to visit for a day that only cost the gas to drive there and explore which is great!

I love Vancouver Island as you know. It looks like you had such great weather and a wonderful time!

We got it all, sun, rain and a storm! Just what we wanted. Vancouver Island is a fabulous place with so much to see and do.

We got a storm but it was a snow storm! We still had a wonderful time and I agree about the Island. Love it there.

I guess that is the risk of going at this time of year but I´m sure it was still nice and cosy in the Inn.

Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
This is great. I often share the plan for David and I to visit Tofino on Vancouver Island one day. After I shared one of Wayne Barnes Eagle photos yesterday, Darlene Foster sent me her terrific article on a weekend break there last year.. now you will see what I am talking about.. fantastic and thank you we even know where to stay now.

Thanks for reblogging and I do hope you and David make it to the west coast of Vancouver Island someday soon. You will love it!!

Though I’ve read this before, it was a relaxing short adventure from my dining-room. The pictures are heavenly, Darlene. Sigh. I must get away somewhere for a weekend soon. Thanks for this. ❤ ❤

A weekend get-away at this time of the year is always welcome.

You’ve got that right! ❤

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