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Spend more time in Vancouver or Tofino / Ucluelet? (5 night trip)

Spend more time in Vancouver or Tofino / Ucluelet? (5 night trip)

Old Aug 31st, 2022, 03:55 PM
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Spend more time in Vancouver or Tofino / Ucluelet? (5 night trip)

Help please. 2 senior couples doing road trip out West - Calgary to Tofino - most planning all completed but...
we have 5 nights to use for Vancouver and Tofino/Uclulet.
Dilemma - some think we should do 3 in Vancouver and 2 nights in Tofino/Ucluelet,
- some think we should do 2 in Vancouver and 3 nights in Tofino/Ucluelet.
I think we'll see a much different and spectacular type of scenery in Tofino than the rest of the trip offers... but looking for Fodorite help here.
Any suggestions on ferry machinations also most welcome.
Thank you!!!
(note: we have also set aside a final night in Vancouver simply to fly out next day).
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Old Sep 6th, 2022, 03:41 PM
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Oh, this is tough.

I grew up in Vancouver and I love it and know it well. I also consider Tofino to be one of my favourite places in the world.

To me, Tofino is less about rushing around and sightseeing and quickly checking things off lists. Tofino's more about unplugging, slowing down, and connecting with nature. And I would never dream of going there for less than 3 nights. You need the three days just to get settled into its slow-pace. The beaches, the power of the ocean, the old growth rainforests do make it quite special. It's less about being entertained, it's more about just being present with the forest and the ocean. However, there are also some phenomenal resorts there and some excellent restaurants. You could do day tours to see bears, or go kayaing or surfing. And the sunsets are some of the best you'll ever see. Each time I've been to Tofino, I spend all my time walking through the rainforest and walking along its various beaches. That's all I do. And it's never enough time, no matter how much time I have.

Yet for Vancouver, three full days are what I'd recommend minimum if this is your first time visiting. Any less than three days and you're going to have a superficial visit, and will only get to see a small flavour of the city while missing out on other parts. You'd need to prioritize what exactly you're hoping to get out of the city. You could spend just one day at Stanley Park, for example. You could spend an entire afternoon exploring arsty hip neighbourhoods or going on brewery crawls. You could spend a day cycling the seawall, or doing a culture day visiting the various botanical gardens and museums. You could also spend a day in nature visiting the rainforest, the waterfalls, going up into the mountains, crossing suspension bridges, etc. Or you could also accidentally end up in the wrong part of town following outdated guidebook itineraries that say you have to see Gastown and Chinatown (you don't).

So it really depends on what you want to get out of this trip. It takes 5 hours just to get to Tofino from Vancouver, so that will also carve into your limited time.
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Old Sep 9th, 2022, 12:40 PM
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Thank you BC Robyn. This is exactly the information that we need to hear. So helpful!!!
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