Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; DotBot/1.1; http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/dotbot, help@moz.com) A Toddler’s Road Trip to Tofino A Toddler’s Road Trip to Tofino
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$$$

ITINERARY (Full Day)

Horseshoe Bay Ferry TerminalBathroomChanging tableStroller friendlyWheelchair friendlyKid’s menuHigh chairToys/kid’s activities (e.g.  crayons, books, etc.)Rainy-day option

Goats on the RoofBathroomChanging tableStroller friendlyWheelchair friendlyFree parkingKid’s menuHigh chairToys/kid’s activities (e.g.  crayons, books, etc.)Rainy-day option

Combers Beach TrailheadBathroomStroller friendlyFree parking

nugget’s Advice

Prepare in advance
Prepare in advance

For this trip, we booked our Airbnb several months in advance, bought our ferry tickets online and flew into Vancouver from out of province. We rented a car, prepped all road trip requirements the night before, including snacks, food and diaper bag.

Good to know
Good to know

Purchase your ferry tickets online a few days prior if you are planning to visit Tofino on a weekend. Snacks were the most important thing on our drive from Vancouver to Tofino. The next most important thing to have packed is rain gear. It will rain at some point during your stay in Tofino.

Recommended day/time
Recommended day/time

Take the 8:30 a.m. ferry and be sure to arrive at the ferry terminal around 7:45 a.m. This way you can have breakfast on the ferry, lunch in Coombs and stop for a snack on the way, arriving in Tofino in time for dinner.

Recommended time of the year
Recommended time of the year

You will experience Tofino rain during your visit but if you go during the summer months, there is a much better chance of having mostly nice weather. We visited in early June and experienced both rain and shine. The best time to visit is in July and August.

Save Money
Save Money

Other than transportation, food and accommodation, we didn’t spend much. We ate in more than we ate out. We used the remainder of our budget on souvenirs. The nugget-friendly activities, such as the art center, the aquarium and visiting the national park, are not expensive. Activities like surfing, fishing, mountain biking and harbour flight tours are very pricey and are not for kids under 6.

About This Day

This mini-adventure from Vancouver is a great guideline for what to do on your way to the beautiful district of Tofino with kids. Starting on the ferry, enjoy breakfast and some on-deck lounging. Then, set off on a three-hour drive (with stops along the way). The first stop is in Coombs at the Goats on the Roof/Coombs Indoor Marketplace. Here, grab lunch, neat little toys and souvenirs, and catch a glimpse of the famous Goats on the Roof. From here, head onto the Pacific Rim Highway to begin the journey to Tofino. Stop at Wally Creek to stretch your legs and have a quick snack. Then, get back onto the highway and head to Tofino. Before going into town to settle in, visit the Combers Beach Trail and get your first look at the Pacific Rim.

 

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    Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal
    1

    Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal

    Baden Powell Trail, West Vancouver
    $$$
    BathroomChanging tableStroller friendlyWheelchair friendlyKid’s menuHigh chairToys/kid’s activities (e.g.  crayons, books, etc.)Rainy-day option
    The Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal is the smaller of the two main ferry terminals in Vancouver. First, arrive and park your car to wait for boarding. Then, you can leave your vehicle, use the bathrooms, purchase food, coffee, gifts and souvenirs at the ferry terminal. There is also a play structure for tots. The P.A system will come on to let you know when it’s time to return to your vehicle. Once on board, head straight for the cafeteria to get breakfast. There are microwaves available if you need to heat up a pre-made meal for your nugget. After breakfast, head out on deck to enjoy the view and take pictures. Once the kids have had enough of exploring the very windy deck, return inside to the play area for babies and toddlers. If you have children over 6, some time at the arcade on board is always fun. If you plan to sit inside, choose a seating area by the windows and enjoy the view.
    DIRECTIONS The Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal is located in West Vancouver at 6750 Keith Road. Depending on where you’re coming from, Vancouver traffic can be pretty heavy, starting at 7:30 a.m. Make sure to Google the route and expected time of arrival when you get up in the morning.
    TIP If you’re planning to eat breakfast when you get on board, head straight for the cafeteria. The lines fill up fast, so it’s best to get eating out of the way before exploring. The ride to Tofino takes three hours. Be sure to hit the facilities before leaving the ferry. In case of rain on the ferry, after you eat, find a spot to post up in the seating areas to enjoy the view.
    Goats on the Roof
    2

    Goats on the Roof

    2309 Alberni Highway,
    $$$
    BathroomChanging tableStroller friendlyWheelchair friendlyFree parkingKid’s menuHigh chairToys/kid’s activities (e.g.  crayons, books, etc.)Rainy-day option
    The Goats on the Roof, aka the Coombs Old Country Market is an indoor marketplace with a grass roof where a small herd of goats graze during the day. Inside the market there are many fantastic things to buy at excellent prices. The toy section is out of this world and you are sure to find something to keep your nugget busy on your trip. The groceries are a bit more expensive than average but are delicious and locally sourced. The restaurant’s lunch menu has all kinds of goodies to choose from. You’ll want to spend at least an hour and a half here in order to have time to eat and have a good look around. Around the corner from the market, there is a popular ice cream parlour if you feel like something sweet.
    DIRECTIONS Take the Nanaimo Parkway/Highway 19 North (signs for Campbell River) for 32 km (20 miles). Turn off Exit 51 (Highway 4A) at Parksville and turn left on the Alberni Highway toward Coombs for 6 km (3 miles). Then, turn left when you see the green grass of the Old Country Market.
    TIP The bathrooms are small and the market gets very busy on weekends. Consider going on a weekday to avoid having to constantly squeeze by people. We bought some wooden toys for our nugget before sitting down for lunch, which kept him happy and distracted while we ate. Get a mocha at the coffee counter, you will not regret it.
    Combers Beach Trailhead
    3

    Combers Beach Trailhead

    Pacific Rim Highway, Ucluelet
    FREE
    BathroomStroller friendlyFree parking
    Stop along the way for a snack and to stretch your legs at Wally Creek. Also, admire the rapids and snap picks of the mountains. Continue on to catch your first glimpse of the Pacific Rim at the final destination. This spot is breathtaking. The trek in is short and sweet, lined with Sitka spruce trees, growing tall and straight. The trees begin to change in shape as you get closer to the beach. The trees closer to the ocean contort and grow huddled together to shield against the weather. When you arrive at the beach you are greeted by soft white sand, a crystal clear tide and turquoise, Pacific waves on the horizon, crashing into a handful of rocky islands. Nature at its finest is epic.
    DIRECTIONS From the Coombs Market, take the Pacific Rim highway. There is only one highway and since it takes you all the way there, you get to marvel at a hefty amount of beautiful scenery on your way in. Wally Creek is located about 1 hour and 15 minutes into the drive, 90 km (55 miles) from Coombs. Stay a safe distance away from cliffs and rushing water. Continue back on route towards Tofino for 48 km (30 miles). Follow sign directing to Combers Beach Trail on your left. From the parking lot, follow the trail to the left to head towards the beach.
    TIP Make sure to bring enough food to enjoy at the beach. We spent couple of hours here before heading into town to check out our Airbnb. We didn’t do any swimming here but we did lots of splashing, beach combing, snacking and sand castle building.

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    Stormfront Guest House

    110 Second Street, Tofino
    $$$$
    KitchenNear grocery storeFree parkingFree Wi-FiLaundry
    WE LOVEDEverything. It was comfortable, clean, convenient and the view from the back deck was stunning.
    WE DIDN'T LIKEThere was nothing I did not like about this place.
    TIPBook way ahead of time. Summer bookings fill up very fast.
    STAYED06 June, 2017 with

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