ChesterVan at Long Beach, photo by Sander Jain
Tofino is the epitome of Pacific Northwest beauty and lifestyle. The seemingly endless sandy shores and crashing waves make it a beach lover’s dream and you’ll struggle to find a more sun-, sea- and surf-centric paradise in the province. Coupled with lush rainforests and some of the best small restaurants and cuisine in Canada, Tofino is the ideal wedding setting for adventurous couples and their loved ones. If you’re considering getting hitched in Tofino, these six ideas will tip the scales and get you dreaming of your weekend getaway.
Cruise the town
Shelter Restaurant, photo by Jeremy Koreski
During your stay in Tofino, you’ll have plenty of options for accommodations, from a comfortable waterfront vacation home on Chesterman Beach to a well-appointed resort, or even a campsite that overlooks the beach. No matter where you stay, take time to cruise around town to see the sights. In Tofino, the favoured method of getting around is on beach cruiser bikes. Guests will enjoy getting to know the sights, and the slower pace of a bike means you’ll get to take in every detail. Coming from cross-Island? Charter a car with Pacific Rim Navigators, who will regale guests with local insight during the ride, and make stops along the way so you don’t miss a thing.
Soak in natural hot springs
Hot Springs Cove, photo by Jeremy Koreski
Taking time to relax is crucial to any successful wedding trip. As part of your pre-wedding pamper, plan a day-trip to Hot Springs Cove. Accessible by floatplane (with life-affirming views) or an hour-long boat ride, the geothermal hot springs at Maquinna Provincial Park invite you to unwind and de-stress in the middle of an old growth forest. Here’s a tip: be sure to read the boardwalk planks! Pack a Chef-made lunch from RedCan Gourmet and settle in to listen to the waterfalls and soak your nerves away.
Take time to breathe with yoga
Tofino Yoga beach class, photo by J. Suedberg
Are there yogis in your group? Even if “Namaste” is not part of your day-to-day vernacular, Tofino is a hot spot for pre-wedding yoga retreats. At Tofino Yoga, their retreat packages include yoga classes, surf lessons, stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP) excursions and even a delightful hybrid of yoga and SUP, where you can be present—and possibly in a warrior pose—right on your board! To wrap up the retreat, add a massage to melt those muscles. There’s no better way to feel grounded before the big day.
Awaken your spirit with a spa treatment
Cedar Sanctuary at Ancient Cedars Spa, photo courtesy Wickaninnish Inn
If your way of connecting with your inner voice is through a visit to a spa, head to Ancient Cedars Spa at Wickaninnish Inn for relaxing treatments with rugged ocean views. The “Hishuk Ish Tsawalk Awakening Treatment” which means “Everything is one – all is interconnected” harnesses the four elements with techniques gleaned from traditional cleansing ceremonies of the West Coast’s indigenous people. On Tofino's historic Main Street, Sacred Stone Spa’s namesake massage uses local stones, which are warmed and placed on key points on the body for a deeply relaxing experience.
Ride a wave with surf lessons
Post surf session, photo by Noel Hendrickson
If your friends are seeking to kickstart their adrenaline rush, book a private surf or SUP lesson and get out on the water. Tofino is home to various surf schools, like Pacific Surf School, the Surf Club Adventure Centre at Long Beach Lodge and Surf Sister Surf School. They all offer private or group lessons for all levels, with surf instructors who are knowledgeable and well-travelled, having globetrotted in search of waves. More experienced surfers may want to opt for a surf guide who can direct you to lesser-known surf spots.
Visit a nearby island
Clayoquot Sound kayaking, photo by Jeremy Koreski
If your guests are around for a few days following the wedding (chances are that they'll want to stay in Tofino a little longer!), explore the calm inlets and islands of Clayoquot Sound. Intermediate level kayakers may want to follow a guide to Vargas Island and bask on its wild beaches. Novices can explore Tofino's working harbour and surrounding islets on a 2.5-hour tour. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot a whale along the way.
Tofino has it all for wilderness-loving lovebirds: sandy beaches, nature at its best, fantastic food and a laid-back lifestyle. You could call it the ideal wanderlust wedding destination, right on Vancouver Island.
Visit tourismtofino.com for more information.
CREATED BY REAL WEDDINGS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TOURISM TOFINO