Maquinna Provincial Park and Hot Springs Cove!

Maquinna Provincial Park and Hot Springs Cove!

Some like it hot… and those people should definitely be at Hot Springs Cove!

On my recent trip to Tofino, my family and I decided to embark on a little adventure to Maquinna Provincial Park. Our main purpose: to check out the all-natural, geothermal hot pools located just 32 km up the coast.

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To get to the very secluded provincial park, we took a 90 minute boat ride, courtesy of the Whale Centre, in which we enjoyed beautiful scenery and even spotted a couple of bears along the way.

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Once we arrived at Hot Springs Cove, we hiked a 2 km boardwalk through an old growth rainforest. The trail was so lovely and tranquil with interesting carvings in the planks and lookouts to capture the views.

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When we finally reached the hot springs, we were able to soak in small pools of water at a toasty 107°F. We even found a pool at the opening of the rocky penninsula where the cold ocean water was seeping in. We thought we had found the perfect lukewarm pool until we began getting blasted with icy waves. The entertainment for the afternoon quickly became watching my brother squirm as the temperature switched from hot to freezing cold at less than a moments notice.

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It was so great to see that the springs hadn’t been altered or expanded to make us tourists more comfortable. The rocks were slippery. The pools were small. And the location was remote.

The spot is definitely popular with more people than pools at times, but it’s still worth the effort and the crowds to experience such a unique natural phenomenon.

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Seriously Big Beaches in Tofino

Seriously Big Beaches in Tofino

With summer coming to a close, the Labour Day long weekend is often the last chance for sun worshippers to get their fill before the chilly autumn weather kicks in. To escape the inevitable city crowds, my family retreated to Vancouver Island for some R&R – destination Tofino!

I’ve been trying to plan a trip to Tofino for over three years now and I am so glad that I finally made it happen. Although it seems close by, the trip from Vancouver was deceptively long. I had to take a sky train, bus, 2 hour ferry to Nanaimo, and 3 hour car ride to get to my hideaway in Jensen Bay… but it was well worth the effort.

I could get used to waking up to a view like this

I could get used to waking up to a view like this

Our house rental was conveniently located right across the Pacific Rim Highway from Chesterman Beach and I couldn’t wait to soak up 3 kilometres of white sand.

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Can someone explain to me where all the people are on a sunny Saturday afternoon in August? I mean you won’t hear any complaints from me… but seriously, where is everyone?

Next on the agenda (because one gigantic beach was certainly not enough) is one of Canada’s top 10 beaches as rated by Reader’s Digest – Long Beach.

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At first I was slightly turned off by the park fee required to even check out the beach here in Pacific Rim National Park, but I guess 16.6 km of pristine sand comes at a price. Long Beach earns its name by holding the title of longest sandy beach on Vancouver Island. It’s also a surfing mecca for us Northerners, although I certainly wasn’t brave enough to tackle the waves and cold waters this time around… I’ll save that adventure for my next trip to Hawaii instead ;)

Earning it's name - hello Long Beach!

Earning it’s name – hello Long Beach!

Combine all of this epic beach time with some reading on the back deck, soaking in the hot tub, and a delicious family dinner at Sobo in Tofino Village and you’ve got a recipe for a happy travelista! And that was just the first day!

Next up: Excursion to Maquinna Provincial Park and Hot Springs Cove!