West Coast Vancouver Island Communities
Bamfield British Columbia
A small west coast village located in Barkley Sound. Bamfield is a base for large commercial fishing fleets. The main street of Bamfield has village stores, resorts, restaurants and marine suppliers line the inlet. The accommodations include charming B&Bs to luxurious resorts. Bamfield is known as one of the top saltwater fishing destinations on Vancouver Island. Fishing charters and adventure tours are available and can be easily booked. Barkley Sound is world renowned for kayaking in the Broken Islands Group which is comprised of nearly 100 scattered islands. The rocks and reefs in the area are home to thousands of sea birds and sea lions. The clear ocean waters offer scuba divers a chance to observe, up close, local sea life and shipwrecks. Bamfield is the northern terminus of the world famous West Coast Trail.
Port Alberni British Columbia
Located in the Alberni Valley at the head of the Alberni Inlet is a 40 kilometres fiord that is a must see for a visit or stay when travelling to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Long Beach, Bamfield, Tofino, Ucluelet, Barkley Sound, and Clayoquot Sound. There is a wide variety of accommodations including wilderness campgrounds, B & B accommodations, resorts and lodges. Port Alberni in competition with Campbell River as the Salmon Fishing Capital of the World and also boasts incredible salt water fishing. This area of Vancouver Island is famous for its late June to early July sockeye salmon run, where ten pounders are not uncommon. By mid August large Chinook salmon are in the Inlet. Freshwater fishermen catch rainbow, cutthroat and Kokanee trout in nearby Sproat Lake and other surrounding streams and small island lakes. On you way via Highway 4, to Port Alberni, stop and explore the old growth Douglas Fir giants located in Cathedral Grove. Take a sea cruise down the Inlet to Bamfield or Ucluelet aboard the working vessels M.V. Lady Rose or the Frances Barkley with stops along the way to deliver mail and to let off or pick up kayakers. Visitors and locals enjoy the three kilometres Kitsukis Walkway. The Port Alberni historic downtown offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and services. Take a break and enjoy the Alberni Harbour Quay and Market Place on the waterfront including: coffee shops, art galleries and gift shops.
Tofino British Columbia
Situated in the centre of Clayoquot Sound, Tofino has been designated B.C.’s first United Nations Biosphere Reserve. There is a variety of accommodations to fit every traveller's budget and needs. Also, try the popular restaurants specializing in local seafood and the shops that feature art galleries, local crafts, and native west coast carvings. Stroll through the village, stop for a coffee or a beer in the local pub where you can relax and enjoy the ambiance of this west coast island. Outdoor activities include grey whale watching, ocean surfing and kayaking, wilderness hiking, and deep sea fishing for salmon, cod and halibut. Open to the Pacific Ocean, Tofino’s long sandy beaches provide for some of the best beachcombing on the island. Also, winter storms whip up giant pounding waves that are truly a sight to behold. Pacific Rim National Park and Long Beach are a favourite spots for locals and visitors alike.
Ucluelet British Columbia
Known as the gateway to Barkley Sound and Broken Group Islands, the village of Ucluelet offers a well protected harbour where west coast fishermen unload their catch, and boaters find safe moorage and marine services. Visitors enjoy the numerous picnic areas and beaches that line the rocky coast with its spectacular views. Here you can watch Pacific winter storms at their best. Outdoors activities include Pacific salmon, halibut, and cod fishing, whale watching, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and scuba diving. Located nearby is the largest lake on Vancouver Island called Kennedy Lake that is best known for cut-throat trout. There is a good variety of accommodations, arts and crafts and community services that provide locals and visitors all the comforts of a busy west coast island village. Fresh local seafood is a specialty to be enjoyed in the restaurants. A short drive will take you to Pacific Rim National Park and the world famous Long Beach.