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Travel Advisories

Ucluelet Itinerary – The Perfect Day Trip

If you only have one day to spend with us, don’t worry. While there is lots to do, here are 5 things you can easily squeeze into a day!

  1. Wild Pacific Trail’s Lighthouse Loop: It takes about 45mins to 1hr, and you’ll enjoy some fantastic ocean views, a rainforest walk, and arrive at the historic 100+-year-old Amphitrite Point Lighthouse along the way.
  2. Visit the Ucluelet Collect & Release Eco Aquarium (seasonal: open from March to end of November). The entire family always loves to see what lives below the sea in our intertidal zone, plus they have amazing interactive touch tanks!
  3. Don’t even dream of exploring on an empty stomach! Stop at a coffee shop, food truck or restaurant for homemade lunch and delightful treats, catering to all food preferences.
  4. Heading just past the junction, you will reach the Rainforest Trail in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (Each trail is 1km). Don’t forget to make your way to the top of Radar Hill to take in a fantastic view of the coastline in both directions.
  5. Grab a day pass (or Annual Pass) for the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Iconic Long Beach is a must, check out the Shoreline Bog Trail (800m trail dubbed the “Broccoli Forest”  because of the stunted, twisted 300-year-old trees; if you can go when it’s foggy, even better!)

Once at Long Beach you have the choice of continuing down the road to visit Tofino, or head back to Ucluelet for dinner!

If you decide to stay on for a few more days, head over to our Weekender section for more great activities and recommendations.

A three- or four-day stay gives you a perfect chance to sleep and dream. After a day of hikes, walks and exploring, wake to the sounds of the coastal rainforest at dawn. A few days of this will bring you back to life, and you won’t soon forget them.

Day 1 Itinerary:

  1. Walk the Wild Pacific Trail’s Lighthouse Loop (1 hour round trip.) Enjoy some fantastic ocean views, a rainforest walk and arrive at the historic 100+ year-old Amphitrite Point Lighthouse along the way.
  2. Stop for lunch at one of our amazing food trucks.
  3. Kayak the inner harbor and take in the sights and sounds of nature all around from the water. Ucluelet is one of the top ten kayaking destinations in the world!

Day 2 Itinerary:

  1. Walk the full Wild Pacific Trail from Brown’s Beach parking lot all the way to the Ancient Cedars Loop (see some trees over 800 years old!) and a truly breathtaking walk along the ocean. Be sure to sit on Oyster Jim’s (the founder and builder of the Wild Pacific Trail) deck and the main deck perch about halfway—just sit and watch the ocean for a while!
  2. Fuel up with lunch from one of our amazing local restaurants.
  3. Time to hit the waves! Stop by Relic Surf Shop/Long Beach Surf Shop or Wick’d Surf Shop to get set up with gear and a lesson. Just a short drive down the road from Ucluelet are some of Canada’s longest beaches that you can surf year-round. People come from all over the world to catch a wave in what is considered one of Canada’s top surf destinations! The most accessible surf beaches from Ucluelet are Wickaninnish Beach and Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Before you go, stop by the Visitor’s Centre (at the Junction) to purchase your park pass (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.)

Day 3 Itinerary: 

  1. Stop in at a great local breakfast spot for a nourishing meal before you hit the road.
  2. Heading out of town, stop to take in the incredible Rainforest Trail loops in the Pacific Rim National Park. There are 2 loops, one on each side of the road, Shoreline Bog Trail and Rainforest Trail (1km each). See which one you like the best (spoiler; both are amazing!)
  3. Next stop- Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park! This is a popular destination to take in a scenic walk or to catch some waves.
  4. Seeing as your already halfway there, go to Tofino for the rest of the day! You need to stand on iconic Chesterman Beach (rated one of the top 50 beaches in the world) and pop into some of their world-class, top-rated restaurants for a bite to eat. Soak in the vibe and culture of Canada’s #1 Surf Town.
  5. In Tofino and feeling extra adventurous? Why not book a boat to Hot Springs Cove! Reach out to Long Beach Nature Tours,  Jamie’s Whaling StationThe Whale Centre or Westcoast Aquatic Safaris to plan your trip.
  6. Wrapping up your day in Tofino and heading back to Ucluelet, stop by Long beach to catch the sunset. You will never see colors like this!

Day 4 Itinerary:

  1. Start your day with a Whale, Bear & Wildlife Tour. Get ready for an experience of a lifetime! Local whale & wildlife tour operators provide a fantastic opportunity for you to experience the breathtaking beauty of coastal British Columbia and the majestic whales and wildlife in their natural environment. March to October is peak season for tours.
  2. After a refreshing day out on the water, time to fuel up! The brewery is a great spot to take in the view of the harbour, while sipping some locally made ales.
  3. Before heading home for the day, pop into the Ucluelet Collect & Release Eco Aquarium (seasonal: open from March to end of November). The entire family always loves to see what lives in our intertidal zones including an octopus, don’t forget the interactive touch tanks!
  4. Make sure you stock up on some souvenirs from Reflecting Spirits Gallery. With a huge selection of local artwork, you will be sure to find something memorable to take home with you.

Make sure you make time to stop (on the way in or out of town) to go Ziplining! Soar through the old-growth rainforests, spot the waterfalls along the way and feel the roar as you glide down the Kennedy River Canyon along Highway 4. The cultural guided tour as you move from line to line, is not to be missed! Start or end your vacation by stopping at Westcoast Wild Ziplining.  

Thinking of staying for the entire week? Co-op and Harborview Drugstore have all the necessities to extend your trip in comfort! Click the next tab (5 days +) to find out what else you can do while you are here!

More than 5 days in Ucluelet- lucky you! Check out our recommendations under the “weekender” tab and add on these additional adventures for the trip of a lifetime! You have the time, make the most of it!

  1. Kayak the Broken Group Islands of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. One of the top ten kayaking destinations in the world! Kayaking through the archipelago of over a hundred islands, you will discover sandy white beaches, calm lagoons, blowholes, diverse wildlife and indigenous history on a day trip or multi-night tour. Watch harbour seals, sea lions, eagles, bears and the occasional whale (from a distance) in your unique vantage point on the water while gliding past the rocky Pacific Coast shoreline.
  2. Head out and do some saltwater fishing. Year after year, Ucluelet has some of the best saltwater fishing in North America. The fishing charter business here is booming; people come from all over the world to fish off our pristine coastline. Barkley Sound—minutes from Ucluelet—has been called the ‘Salmon Superhighway’: coho, sockeye, pink, chinook and chum can all easily be fished from here, as well as halibut and lingcod.
  3. Get an eagle’s-eye view! Experience the West Coast from above on a Flight Tour you will never forget. See the rainforest, beaches and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve from the air—it’s a unique way to witness the pristine coastline of Canada.

1. Plan to stay a few days more!

There is so much to see, learn, and do out on the West Coast, that you’ll wish you were here longer. And don’t forget to build some much-needed downtime into your itinerary.

Check out our local accommodation providers.

2. What’s that plant or animal? Explore nature in a new way.

Ever wonder what flora and fauna surround you while walking the trails in Ucluelet? Take your exploration of the West Coast to new educational heights with the iNaturalist app, where you can explore, log photos, and learn along the way.Suggested Explorations:

Wander the Wild Pacific Trail ‘Lighthouse Loop,’ and see if you can find a banana slug or sword fern!
Explore the intertidal zone at Big Beach, where the rich marine life provides an incredible opportunity to learn and discover.

3. Discover the wonders of the intertidal zone at the Ucluelet Aquarium

Focusing on local species, interactivity, and sustainability, the ‘collect-and-release’ model at the Ucluelet Aquarium was the first of it’s kind in Canada.

4. Find some inspiration on the Wild Pacific Trail

Craggy volcanic rock and ocean swells form the backdrop of the Wild Pacific Trail. For a humbling experience, wander the 8.4 km of one of the top trails on Vancouver Island.

Lighthouse Loop (2.6km) – The first section of the trail to be built, this loop follows an undeniable scenic route to Amphitrite Lighthouse, which was re-built in 1915 to withstand the power of the Pacific Ocean.

Brown’s Beach & Artist Loops (3.5 km one-way) – Forest sections make way for wild vistas on the edge of the cliffside.

Ancient Cedars & Rocky Bluffs (1.25km) – This 15-minute loop winds through some of the largest trees in the area, and can be combined with the Rocky Bluffs to view wild rocky cliffs and surge channels.

5. Are you a history buff?

Take a self-guided historical walking tour with our On This Spot app.

6. Enjoy the local food and drink, at one of Ucluelet many incredible eateries

We are all about local, from amazing bakeries, untraditional BBQ, wood-fired pizza, awesome seafood food trucks, and one of the best new restaurants in Canada! Ucluelet has everything you need from grocery, delis and liquor stores, to fair-trade locally roasted artisan coffees and hand-blended teas.

Check out the mouth-watering options!

7. Surf or SUP at one of the West Coast’s many beaches and bays

Join a lesson or rent your gear with one of our local surf shops! Surf is a way of life on the west coast, so why not try your hand at this popular pastime?

Never been surfing or stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)? Lessons are highly recommended.

8. Kayak along Ucluelet’s historic waterfront or into the crystal blue waters of the Broken Group Islands

Local guides offer an opportunity to paddle out, on either a 3-hour tour of the historic harbour or on a day trip among the many islands in Barkley Sound that make up the Broken Group Islands.

Bookings are highly recommended. Check out the local operators offering kayaking out of Ucluelet.

9. Search for bears or whales on an ocean adventure

Explore miles of coastal scenery on the search for grey whales, which migrate up the coast in March and hang around to feed in the rich coastal waters until November.

Black bears may be found along the coastlines, flipping rocks in their quest for a tasty meal.

The vibrant ecosystems of coastal Vancouver Island mean you never know what you might see out on the water!

Check out the local operators offering wildlife watching experiences.

Bookings are highly recommended.

10. Wandering the stunning trails and beaches of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

From old-growth rainforest to windswept sand dunes, the many trails of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve offer ancient bogs, towering cedars, and Nuu-chah-nulth history.

Parks.canada.ca/pacificrim

11. Observe the rocky pools in Big Beach’s intertidal zone

The intertidal zone of the West Coast is incredibly rich in biodiversity, and Big Beach is a wonderful place to explore it! Keep your eyes peeled and you might even find 19th-century shipwreck along the shoreline.

Be a Better Beachgoer!

Our local beaches host hundreds of visitors a year, which means lots of interactions for the inhabitants. Watch your step when exploring the intertidal zone, hang on to your cigarette butts, and please leave the beach at the beach!

12. Try your hand at fishing for halibut, cod, or salmon

For a truly ‘West Coast’ experience, try your hand at open water fishing with one of the local charters. Depending on the season, halibut, salmon, or lingcod could be the catch of the day!

Bookings are highly recommended.

13. Hop on an e-bike for a tour on the Ucluth Peninsula

Explore the west coast on a state-of-the-art electric bike, stopping at local points-of-interest (and maybe a few secret spots) for some incredible photo opportunities!

Bookings are highly recommended.

14. Take a flight over the rugged coastline with West Coast Wild

If you’re looking for the adventure of a lifetime, Ucluelet has an adventure that only the imagination is capable of; whether it be whale watching, as they dive for herring and roe, or the sea lions and otters as they play amongst themselves, you’ll have an “eagles eye” perspective on it all when you take a flight tour above the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Bookings are highly recommended.

15. Soar over the Kennedy River canyon on a series of 6 ziplines

Fly through the mystical forest of Tla-o-qui-aht territory on a series of 6 ziplines that hover high above the Winchee River in Kennedy River Canyon.

Check out West Coast Wild Zipline!

Bookings are highly recommended.

16. Golf year-round at the Long Beach Golf Course

There is something fun for everyone at the year-round Long Beach Golf Course. A mini putt, driving range, and a 9-hole championship course let you practice your putt and swing in any season!

17. Bike, hike, or skate along Ucluelet’s 8km multi-use pathway

Ucluelet’s multi-use pathway follows the Pacific Rim Highway and offers a paved path for use with roller-skates, bicycles, skateboards, strollers… anything with wheels! Or, if you choose to walk, you can connect up with a hike along the Wild Pacific Trail.

18. Observe the stunning West Coast sunset

A west-facing coastline means wildly colourful sunsets!

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