There is No Place Like Home: Tofino

Tofino 

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Start the day with a good cup of coffee…
We started the day at  Common Loaf Bake Shop. This little restaurant located in an adorably colourful house had a variety of fresh and delicious options. The perfect way to start the day.
Visit the world famous beaches…
We then made our way to Long Beach to take some pictures. Long Beach is the longest beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island. 10km of soft sand and a stunning panoramic view of the ocean and sky made for the perfect snaps.
Indulge in some tacos…
 On the way back from Long Beach we stopped at the original Tacofino. I had Tacofino in Vancouver before, but I heard the original was even better. I knew it was a food truck, but I was still surprised by the set up. A lone food truck in a parking lot with a long line. The truck was colourful and so was the menu. I got the fish and veggie tacos and it was definitely worth the wait.
Hang ten on the waves…
After filling our bellies with tacos, it was then time for our surf lesson. I tried surfing once before and it ended terribly, but Estuardo at Tofino Surf Adventures promised that by the end of my lesson I would be surfing. He was right. It was a little bit of a shaky start, but by the fourth try I was standing up on my board. I won’t be competing in any surf competitions any time soon but it definitely was a thrill. The best part about surfing was the perfect day we had. Despite it being October, the sun was out, the water was relatively warm, and the skies were blue. It was an amazing experience.
 Indulge in world class cuisine…
A quick hot tub to help our aching muscles, it was time to try and choose from the list of amazing restaurants in the area. I have the Sobo cookbook at home, so it only made sense to enjoy a meal at their Tofino restaurant. With their wood fire oven, it was hard not to pick from the pizza menu. I ordered a mushroom pizza and it was delicious.
Day 2: Hot springs, whales, and walks
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Relax in the hot springs… 
Day two started bright and early as we set out on about an hour and a half boat ride with West Coast Aquatic Safaris to Hot Springs Cove. Hot Springs Cove is home to seven natural geothermal rock pools that cool down the closer you get to the ocean.
On the way there we saw a grey whale, my first time seeing one up close. Once we arrived, we walked about 1.5 km through a beautiful forest until we arrived at the springs. I warmed up under a small waterfall and sat in the hottest bath as the waves crashed in around us. The view of the ocean on the cool damp day was spectacular.
On the way back we were in for another treat, we spotted some Orcas which were quite rare in October. Two species of whales in one day is pretty special.
Admire local art…
In the afternoon we took a stroll and explored the adorable town of Tofino. During the walk we stumbled into the Eagle Aerie Art Gallery. The gallery was filled with west coast inspired paintings, prints, carvings, and even jewelry. I really suggest taking your time to read about each painting. They all tell a beautifully unique story.
Indulge in some wine and food… 
The weekend ended at Shelter. What I love about this restaurant is they aim to minimize their global footprint and the majority of ingredients used are local, organic, and ethically raised. The majority of the fish is caught by Tofino fisherman so of course I had to give the salmon a try. It was delicious! Another amazing fact is in the back of the restaurant there is a garden where they produce fresh herbs and vegetables. You can’t go wrong with anything on this menu.

What to pack?

Tofino is one of those magical places that you can visit year round. In the summer packed beaches and plenty of surfing. In the winter storm watching and still plenty of surfing. I went in October and it was fairly wet and cool.

Arc’teryx Durant Jacket: I find this the perfect jacket for the wet and slightly cooler days. It is waterproof and insulated so perfect for when you are out on the water trying to stay warm

Emu Roadside BootsThese waterproof boots are comfy on the inside but stylish on the outside. Perfect for wet and colder days

Ryu Tough Tight High-rise BottomsFor the outdoor hikes and walks you want to make sure you have pants that look good, are comfortable, and can stretch. I found these pants perfect for hikes to dinner.

Your camera: Tofino is so beautiful you are going to want to make sure you have the perfect camera to remember them memories. Most of mine are shot on a Cannon 5D.

Tofino offers the perfect combination of outdoor adventure, fine dining, and stunning scenery to make it the perfect weekend getaway spot.

Mia goes M.I.A: Whistler B.C.

The World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler B.C. is an annual event that highlights some of the best local talent in music, photography, and film. It is one of the largest free outdoor festivals in the world. With the mountains still covered in snow well into April, the festival also offers some of the best spring skiing in the world. In other words, this is a must not miss event.

Last year I was fortunate enough to check out the festival and hit the slopes for some of the best skiing of my life. On top of that I fell in love with Whistler. It’s amazing restaurants, bars, and shops made me never want to leave.

Whether you are going for the festival, or just a trip to Whistler, the following are some of my recommendations of things to do, places to eat, and must not miss spots.

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Must Do’s

Whistler is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. The following are some of my recommendations of things to see and do to really appreciate what it has to offer

  • Take a road trip: I know that this isn’t in Whistler exactly, but one of my favourite parts of the trip was the drive from Vancouver to Whistler. The Sea to Sky Highway was breathtaking. You start off at sea level on the Ocean and then start the climb up into the air and mountains. There are such beautiful views along the way that I highly recommend leaving enough time to stop to take a ton of pictures
  • Shred it… Duh: Whether a skier or snowboarder, whether advanced or beginner, Whistler is the perfect place to hit the slopes. There are over 8,000 acres of snow covered slopes and more than 200 marked trails and hills that offer the perfect ski or snowboarding experience for all levels. Even skiing in April offered perfect conditions.
  • Take the Peak to Peak Gondola: I don’t care if you are skiing or not, you have to make your way on this Gondola. It takes you from the Whistler mountains to the Blackomb side and the 360 degree views are spectacular. I honestly felt on top of the world.
  • Relax and Rejuvenate at the Spa:  After a few long days of skiing, my body was begging me for a break. I did what any girl would do and hit up the Scandinave Spa. The location of the spa is stunning, surrounded by forrest and right on a lake. As for the spa itself, it was so relaxing and peaceful. No cells phones allowed so you can truly unwind. I recommend giving their baths a go!

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Must Eat’s

After a long day on the slopes, you are going to be on a mission for some grub. Whistler has so many option of great places to eat and drink. From delicious family run bakeries, to upscale spots, Whistler has something for everyone. The following are some of my favourite places to grab a bite.

 

  • Sushi Village: Sushi Village came highly recommended and so I decided to give it a Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 2.43.39 PMtry on my fist night in town. What can I say, it exceeded my expectations. I am have been a fan of sushi my whole life, but this was by far the best I have ever eaten. With so many options on the menu, we decided to go with the Chef’s option, which is basically a surprise platter. Each maki and roll was so fresh and delicious. I highly recommend trying some of the house specials. My personal favourite was the hot volcano roll. You also have to try a sake margarita!
  • The Mexican Corner: We were told the margaritas at the Mexican Corner were the world’s best so how could we not give it a try. They were right. I gave the Mango Margarita a go, and for the first time ever the drink wasn’t overly sweet. On top of their delicious drinks, they also have amazing food. From authentic Mexican cuisine like civiche and tacos, to some very different options everything was so tasty. I highly recommend their Chile en Nogada. Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 2.43.56 PM
  • Purebread: Looking for a breakfast treat before you hit the slopes? Look no further than Purebread. This family run bakery has the largest selection of bread I have ever seen in my entire life. I ate an entire loaf of the olive rosemary. Soft and warm like it was straight out of the oven. And don’t worry, you will work off the calories on the hills.
  • Bar Oso: Looking for something a little more upscale? Bar Oso is the perfect place to wine and dine. One of the newer restaurants in Whistler, this Spanish style spot is incredible. From the ambiance to the food you are going to love it. Plus they have a really creative cocktail list. My personal favourite, the Powder Day.
Must Après

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Almost as important as hitting the slopes is getting your après on. The following are some of my favourite spots in Whistler to grab a bevy and unwind.

  • Longhorn Saloon: This might be my fav après anywhere. The location of this bar is absolutely perfect. Their patio’s view is of the mountains so you can watch all the skiers and boarders. Grab a beer, head outside, and enjoy the sunshine and live music. Just beware, the patio fills up fast. Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 2.44.17 PM
  • Garibaldi Lift Co. Bar & Grill: Also known as GLC, this is another prime real estate spot. Located below the GLC lift you get a perfect view. Their patio is open all year round so you can enjoy some fresh air while enjoying beers with friends.
  • Merlins: I have never seen a place like this before. It is famous for table top dancing and their insane nacho platters. Watch the game while enjoying a bevy. They also offer karaoke nights.

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Whether you are going for the WSSF, a ski weekend, or just a little getaway, Whistler is a magical place. I fell in love with the laid back vibe, beautiful views, and challenging slopes. I highly recommend a visit. I would also love to hear any suggestions of places I should check out there next time.

Can’t wait to share the next place I go M.I.A

xo

Mia