The Cabins at Terrace Beach is the perfect starting point for a journey into nature. I’ve stayed there twice and it’s quiet, chill, and nestled in the woods just yards from a tiny beach with an epic view. And it’s the starting point for the Wild Pacific trail (http://www.wildpacifictrail.com/) which has some of the most magnificent views I’ve seen anywhere. Trees gnarled from the constant wind, views across the Pacific Ocean, crashing waves, old shipwrecks, views of the Broken Islands (http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/trips/bucket-list/2013/paddle-broken-group-islands-canada/), an old lighthouse, and a well-maintained path with benches at the viewpoints. The trail isn’t very long and can accommodate any level, including kids and people who aren’t up for a rigorous hike.
* We ate some of the most delicious oysters I’ve ever had (raw, fried with panko) from the oyster food truck in the tiny town
* Had cocktails at the Black Rock Resort (http://www.blackrockresort.com/) in the bar with floor to ceiling windows right on the ocean
* Hiked 7 miles a day on the deserted and pristine beaches of the Pacific Rim National Park (http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/pacificrim/index.aspx)
* Walked through old growth forests with ancient cedars and redwoods
* Watched the waves and storms roll in from the deck with a good bottle of wine
* Hiked to the beach where the Tonquin, the fur trading ship owned by John Jacob Astor, met its dramatic end in 1811 — the crew and the First Nations people aboard were blown up by dynamite after a trading dispute (http://tonquintrail.ca/)
This isn’t your place if you’re looking for nightlife, particularly in October/off season when we visited. Bring some groceries and good wine, rent a house with a kitchen and a view, and check in and chill out. There’s quite a surf culture in town, and I hear that the locals (elephant seals) can be a bit unwelcoming.
It’s quite a journey to get there (12 hours door to door from Seattle including a 2 hour ferry ride with amazing views), so you need to stay for more than a weekend. Your brain will shut down, your kinks will relax, and you will find your smile.
It’s very crowded in the summer, but shoulder season like September and October can be magnificent. Get a fresh Dungeness crab at the house in Tofino with the red crab sign out front.