Subject: Tofino - Ucluelet - Whistler trip
Hi Ziners,

During a recent trip to Vancouver Island BC (Tofino / Ucluelet) and to Whistler BC we had the good fortune to enjoy excellent accommodations and several wonderful restaurants. I thought this info deserved sharing in case other Ziners planned to visit one of these areas.

Tofino: We stayed at Pacific Sands in a 1 bedroom oceanfront suite/full kitchen and fireplace. Although in a more mature section of the resort our unit was beautifully appointed and even included rainwear just in case of a drizzle. It was such a delight to open our patio door and stroll along Cox Bay in the morning with a coffee, watching the intrepid surfers. We toured the new 2 bedroom villas and they are absolutely gorgeous, slate floors, designer kitchens, elevated jacuzzi with a view of the ocean in the master bedroom... definitely had the 'wow' factor!

We enjoyed two memorable seafood dinners -- one at the Blue Heron in the Weigh West Marina (try the cedar planked salmon) and one at The Schooner on Campbell St (the stuffed halibut was excellent) For a light nosh, both The Common Loaf and Breakers Deli are great for homemade sandwiches and breads to go.

Ucluelet: The Tauca Lea was a totally different setting but equally enjoyable as it's set on a tiny island with the marina on one side and the inlet on the other. Our 1 bedroom unit was very spacious with fireplace/soaker tub/plush robes and with such a soothing cedar aroma. From our balcony we could watch bears foraging on the opposite shore across the inlet. The spa treatments offered at the resort looked wonderfully tempting -- unfortunately I didn't have enough time to indulge!

One evening we had dinner at The Matterson House (highly recommended by others but we were ambivalent) but our second at The Boat Basin at Tauca Lea was excellent. (rack of lamb perfectly cooked) We discovered two quick lunch/dessert spots in town -- Blueberries Bistro (great smoked salmon sandwiches) and just across the street a new bakery (can't recall the name) but their cheesecakes were a guilt free treat after 3 hours walking the Wild Pacific Trail.

>From Ucluelet we braved the construction on both the island highway(#4) and Sea to Sky highway (#99) over to Whistler. Long waits/one way traffic/late ferry departure made the trek a bit tedious but gave us time to take in some incredible scenery.

Whistler: I was concerned about 3 nights in Whistler being too long -- how wrong I was -- there are so many summer activities available that it has certainly become a great year round destination. The gondola, then open chairlift through the clouds to the summit of Whistler was quite an experience!

We didn't have a booking here so were fortunate to be directed to the desk at Blackcomb Lodge by Visitor Info, as the choices are somewhat overwhelming. We discovered they manage several properties, had a good selection of vacancies and settled on Horstman House -- a great find.

Loved it -- it's a smallish "boutique" property set above The Village in a quiet residential area with a mountain view. Again we had a 1 bedroom unit -- furnishings/amenities were topnotch as I understand many properties in Whistler can be over used. Fireplace/balcony/huge separate shower in the bath, plus a deep soaker tub -- wonderful after a long, steep hike up the mountain from the chairlift back to the gondola. A short stroll she said -- !

By now we both were restaurant jaded so only indulged in one dinner out, but what a dinner! If you go, dinner at the Rim Rock Cafe is a must (reservations strongly suggested). This meal was by far the best -- and most expensive, but we savoured every bite.

We left BC with wonderful memories -- such an incredibly beautiful part of Canada and such warm hospitality everywhere we went.

Anne Burlington ON