Things to Do and See while visiting Ucluelet, BC

Ucluelet is a fantastic place to visit, and every day I’m asked about things to do and see in Ucluelet. Here is a list of thing to do in Ucluelet (in no particular order).

1 Visit the Art Galleries; Mark Penney Gallery is certainly the finest art gallery in the Pacific Rim… don’t believe me? I invite you to visit them all and then come tell me different. Huu Mees Ma-as or Cedar House Gallery at whiskey Landing showcases local native talent. Reflecting Spirit Gallery is up in Davidson Plaza and has a sister gallery in Tofino. House of Himwitsa as well as Roy Henry Vicker’s Eagle Aerie Gallery have long been favorites for contemporary native art.

2 Explore the Wild Pacific Trail ; a breathtaking route along Ucluelet’s Peninsula. Open ocean viewpoints and small rocky outcrops dot the trail as it winds along for about 6.5 kms. The Lighthouse Loop  offers views eastward into the Broken Group Islands and occasionally it’s clear enough to see the Olympic Mountain range in Washington.

3 Discover the Ucluelet Aquarium. You’ll have to see it to believe it. An astounding collection of specimens that are caught and released each season. Plenty of touch tanks allow for an interactive experience. Nothing will turn you back into a child faster than gawking at these fascinating critters, bring  kids and your camera.

4 Fine Dining; Norwood’s is a haute cuisine bistro that’s definitely worth taking in. Driftwood Patio Cafe is a little more understated but offers fine food beyond what you’d expect at a sea-side restaurant.

Black Rock Resort has an amazing view from their dinning room and a very approachable lunch menu. Matterson House is a favorite amongst locals. Offshore Restaurant specializes in local crab and sushi. Roman’s is a friendly place to get a great meal on the patio.

Hank’s in Ucluelet is a favorite spot for amazing BBQ and fine entrees.

5 Whale Watching : Jamie’s, Aquamarine Adventures, and Canadian Princess, Subtidal Aadventures all have opportunities to view whales. Each with their own experience, comfort and explanation of the animals.  Archipelago Cruises’ ‘Raincoast Maiden’ is a little better appointed than most and offers a spectacular sunset cruise. Beachcomber Ocean Tours offers whale watching as well as water taxi services in the area.

6 Pacific Rim National Park; Wikaninish Interpretive Centre is a gem inside the Park. The sandy beaches of the area include Wik, Florencia Bay, Cox Bay, Mackenzie Beach, Chesterman Beach, Tonquin Beach

7 Surfing in the Pacific Rim is a popular activity, lessons and rentals are available at Inner Rythm, Long Beach Surf Rentals, Relic.

8 Kayaking is a popular activity, inside the harbour or a wider excursion. Many experienced kayakers leave from here to venture up island or to explore the Broken Group Islands, but there are several places to rent a kayak and go on a guided trip. Majestic Ocean Kayaking, Coastal Knights, Jamie’s

9 Charter Fishing at it’s best, Barkley Adventure Station, Canadian Princess Resort, Tight Lines, Long Beach Charters, Masso Charters all offer access to the local fisheries. Catching a Salmon or Halibut will add excitement to any holiday

10 Annual Events ; Ukee Days – An authentic west coast community fair complete with parade, live music, loggers sports, beer gardens, local arts and crafts, baking and so much more.

Edge to Edge Marathon – A qualifier for the Boston marathon, many people come out to test themselves on the edge of the planet.

Whale Festival – 10000 whales come by here each season, some stay for the summer… you can whale watch from the beaches here , I’ve seen as many a s 11 whales in 1 sighting from the lighthouse.

PRAS’ Cultural Heritage Festival – A showcase of local cultural arts. Each year they put on a bunch of carving demos, artists in action, art shows and cultural exhibitions.

PRAS’ Summer Festival – A mid summer festival that is jam packed with musical and performing arts.

11 Camping and Hiking –  Several campgrounds, Trails , Beaches , Lakes, Mountains are all near by for those willing to trek to them

12 Wildlife Observation; Bear watching – each day at low tide along the harbour as well as all fall at the Thornton Creek Hatchery. Bird Watching; There’s plenty of eagles in Ucluelet Harbour, but there are opportunities to view other species in the Tofino Mud Flats, Grice Bay and all along the Trail.There is a lot more wildlife to see than whales.

Flight Seeing, West Coast Wild and others offer flights to view the area and access remote locations such as Hot Springs Cove, Ahousaht and Kyuoquot. In a short flight you can see whales, the rugged coastline, glaciers, beaches and open water.

Lunch to Go ; Driftwood Patio Cafe, Harbour Pizza, Blue Room, Jigger’s, Grey Whale all have take away lunches, great for heading down to the beach, trail or out to sea.

Retail Shopping Rubio Jewelry , Pina Art / Clothing, Tula Surf fashion,

Visit Tofino, it’s a bit of a bustle compared to the authentic experiences of Ucluelet, but there’s still some good stuff to be had among the trendy coffee, souvenir shops and resorts.

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