“Must-sees” between Tofino and Victoria

In the last two years, Nathan and I have done MANY trips between Tofino and Victoria in the car. I think it’s safe to say we’ve hit most of the “must-sees” on this drive, which I am going to share with all of you!

  • Canoe Creek and the Giant Cedar Trail. About 60 kilometers from the Tofino/Ucluelet junction there is a short trail in the forest which takes you past some HUGE cedar trees – similar in size to those in Cathedral Grove. But there is often no one here, making it much more enjoyable and magical without all the crowds. There is not too much signage for the pull-off for this trail, so you have to keep your eyes peeled.
  • Taylor River Rest Stop. Yes it does seem kind of silly that one of the highlights on this drive is a rest stop, however, it is not the rest stop which is the highlight. Off to the side is Taylor Creek – which is absolutely beautiful. The water is super clean and turquoise coloured. This rest stop is located right at the bottom of Sutton Pass.
  • Hole in the Wall. Located just south of Port Alberni across from the Coombs creamery is a small foot path which takes you to a rock formation with a hole in it (hence the name Hole in the Wall). It is a short walk in, surrounded by lush green moss and trees. Once you get to Hole in the Wall there is a nice little creek going by it and water flowing through the hole like a small waterfall.
  • Cathedral Grove (Macmillan Provincial Park). Cathedral Grove was closed for the beginning of COVID because they were using the time to replace the wooden pathway that passes all the old growth trees. It is an amazing little walk and is a definite must see if you’re passing by. The parking lots are not very big and they are often quite busy, with people popping out from behind cars and into the road, so it is important to be aware and cautious when driving through!
  • Goats on the Roof. For some reason, every time we are driving from Tofino to Victoria, there is something we need from Goats on the Roof. Whether or not you actually need something, it is a definite must stop. You can get donuts, gelato, linen, bakery treats, random knick knacks and more in one stop.
  • Coombs. The rest of Coombs also has some neat shops which are walkable from the Goats on the Roof parking lot. There is a great pottery studio, antique store, and artisan store just on the other side of the bridge from Goats.
  • Highway Antique Barn. Whether or not you are actually looking for antiques or anything in particular, the Highway Antique Barn is a neat stop. We finally stopped in on our last trip after driving by it and wondering what they had inside. They have 3 floors in an old barn of every antique you could think of (and then some). It is a fun place to wander around and see what they have.
  • Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. This is usually somewhere that we stop to have the dinner that we picked up, and walk around to see the bunnies. It’s a really nice provincial park which has a nice walking trail along the ocean.

Often we stop stopping to see things once we hit Cowichan Bay area as our trip down has already taken so long. But these are some things that we have done a few times when driving with friends or just on our own. We are always looking for new places to stop at or check out, so if you have any suggestions – please let us know!

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