Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Visiting Ucluelet, B.C. {Vancouver Island}

For the past eight years, we have vacationed in Ucluelet, BC on Vancouver Island.  It is not only incredibly gorgeous but allows us to have the true West Coast experience at an affordable price.  We love the laid back feel along with the beautiful trails and beaches to explore.  


We have stayed at several places such as the Water's Edge Resort  and the West Coast Motel.  These accommodations are affordable for our family and allow for separate bedrooms and a full kitchen.  This past trip we stayed at the West Coast Motel where we had two bedrooms (with four beds total), a pull out couch, full kitchen, and access to the gym and pool.  For a family of six, this is a great place at just $125 a night (and the kids loved going in the pool every single day!)

Here are my five recommendations of what to do in Ucluelet:

1.  Walk the Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop.   This 2.6 km walk takes about one hour with the kids and provides my favourite views of the Pacific Ocean along the rocky shore.  It is an easy walk for all ages and you could use a jogging stroller as there are no stairs or roots.  If you are not wanting to walk, you can always park at the Lighthouse and take in the gorgeous views there.  We did the walk twice; once in the pouring rain and once in the sun–it was incredible each time. Keep your eyes open for whales, too!  PS If you are a geocacher, there are so many caches to discover!












2.  Visit Big Beach.  There are several beaches to explore but we really like this one.  There is a scavenger hunt for the kids and an endless supply of shells to discover.  We also found the old shipwreck from over 100 years ago that we somehow missed on our previous visits!







{We are standing on the old ship...a tree grows where the old mast must have been}

3.  Eat at a local restaurant.  We cook almost all of our meals in our kitchen but we make sure to get out for a special meal.  Two places that I would recommend are the Cedar Grill for dinner (such amazing pizza!) and fish and chips at Jiggers (ranked #2 in Ucluelet.) The servings are massive!

{2011}

4.  Go to the Ucluelet Aquarium or whale watching!  We have done this in the past and would highly recommend both.  The aquarium is perfect for a rainy day.  There are numerous touch tanks and the staff is very knowledgeable.  Children three and under are free and you can get an annual family membership for $50!

{This photo is from 2014}

5.  Visit Tofino for the day.  You can't go to Ucluelet and not visit Tofino! Tofino is a thirty minute drive away and has one of our favourite walks; the Rainforest Loop.  There are two loops and they are primarily boardwalk.  Each loop is about 1 km in length and I would recommend that children under three be in a carrier as the path is narrow and it is difficult to hold their hand.  The other thing that we always do in Tofino is visit Long Beach.  There are many other beaches to visit there but this is our favourite.  If you arrive early enough, you can have the whole place to yourself!  I would save this experience for a sunny day on your trip.










As a B.C. girl with a passion for the outdoors and biology, I love the west coast of Vancouver Island.  I appreciate that it is an affordable way to see some amazing beaches and experience the sights that so few get to see.  I hope that our kids will continue to experience a sense of wonder and awe at their surroundings.  

Have you ever been to Ucluelet or Tofino?  Would you like to? You can always pin this for later.

Love, 
Louise

PS If you go, bring multiple layers, rain gear, and several pairs of boots (especially if you have children that are prone to running into the water just a bit too far!).  Also, if you're wondering what I mean by "affordable"...the total cost for three nights for a family of six, including the ferry, gas, accommodations, and food was about $900.00. 


15 comments:

  1. Kristin McNair7:53 AM

    Craig and I went to Ucluelet in December and shamefully as a Vancouver Island resident I hadn't ever been! Tofino is usually our place twice a year but I was surprised at how much cheaper Ucluelet was. Love all the hikes you did!

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    1. Yes, Ucluelet is cheaper which is why we stayed there originally. However, now we love how much we can just walk everywhere and really love the Wild Pacific Trail so, so much. So awesome that you live on the island and can visit twice a year!

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  2. These photos are so amazing. You have both my husband and I ready to head there! (I never can remember how to pronounce "Ucluelet")

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    1. You might have to go! My friend stays at the Black Rock Resort when she goes with her husband (and no kids) in case you are looking for ideas! It's pronounced "You-Cue-Let"

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    2. Thanks for the recommendation for a resort for us, and how to pronounce Ucluelet. So the first "l" is silent - that helps!

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    3. Oops! Wait! I say it like I said above but I think it actually is "You-Clue-Let"!

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    4. Got it - thanks!

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  3. Ahhh you remind me how much I miss it! I must book a trip ASAP! I had NO clue about the ship wreck on Big Beach and I have been there 8 times! I'll be sure to check this out!

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    1. Same same about being their 8 times and never seeing the ship! There was a sign talking about it which I hadn't seen before...otherwise, I would have probably missed it again!

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  4. Thank you so much Louise! What an amazing we'll written article on Ucluelet + The West Coast; great pics with your family. We're humbled. Next time your up please stop into Tourism Ucluelet and say hi (we'll give the kids a bunch of cool Ucluelet swag). Cheers Brent

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    1. We will definitely stop by, we're there every year! Thanks, Brent!

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  5. Love the last picture of Nya and yourself!

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    1. Awe, thanks Laura! I do want to make sure that I'm in some of the photos :)

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  6. SO SO SOOOOO beautiful!!!

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    1. I love it. I think you would too ;) An affordable option when you can't take the family to Hawaii!

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