Our Trip To Ucluelet!

We had the nicest summer this year…I can’t even believe that it’s over and that the kids are back to school.  It’s like things finally get going, the weather is gorgeous then poof.  Summer is gone.  But we have memories right?  It’s true…our memories of this summer are amazing.

Years ago before we had kids my husband & I took a road trip out to the west coast of Canada, more specifically Vancouver Island.  After we spent time there we always knew that we’d be back but next time with kids.  And this summer we made this dream come true for all of us.

In July we packed up our truck and trailer and drove out west…destination Vancouver Island.  Have you ever been?  Vancouver Island is a dream destination for us, in fact, if we could we’d pack up everything we owned and move out there.  Some day…some day it will happen.  But for now we will visit…in fact we are already planning to go again next summer with our main destination Ucluelet.

Ucluelet you ask?  Where in the world is Ucluelet?  I almost don’t want to tell you because we love it so much and want it to stay hidden.  😉  It’s a gem.  Ucluelet is located on the Ucluelet Peninsula on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.  Ucluelet means ‘people of the safe harbour’ in the indigenous Nuu-chah-nulth language.  And it’s beautiful.  Breathtaking in fact.

The whole area has so much to see and explore (we only managed to experience a small portion of it!).  There’s so much to do and so little time.  We only had 4 days and we know that for next time we’ll be spending at least 10 days to 2 weeks there.  The kids fell in love with the area as much as we did and can’t wait to go back.  So much of this had to do with where we stayed while we were there.

We camped at a remote campground called Mussel Beach…and by remote I mean remote.  And we loved every minute of it.  Ocean front campsites, rainwater showers, fishing net play structures, driftwood play houses, bears, outhouses and campfires on the beach.


This is the view from our campsite.  For real.  We camped on the beach in front of the Pacific Ocean.  As in the tide was 8 feet away from our camper, and it was as gorgeous as it sounds.


Right here.  Amongst waves, sand, drift wood, and beaches.


Where every morning we would wake up to this view…


…and to tide pools brimming with sea life.


And every night we’d go to sleep under the moon with the sound of waves.  Life doesn’t get more beautiful than in those moments.


During the day the kids would play in the driftwood huts.  And hang in the fishing nets strung in the trees (truth be told I couldn’t resist the nets either – they were fun!)…there’s a picture of them below…


We ate dinners of  salmon caught that same day that we bought from local fishermen in Ucluelet, and finished off the day with campfires on the beach.  Best days ever.


We also spent some time right in Ucluelet to get to know the area and get a feel for this fishing village.  We visited and shopped in local shops, had brunch on the wharf and spent some time walking amongst the fishing boats.


I was so inspired and in awe of the wharf and all the hard working fishing boats.  They’ve seen some hard living and were so beautiful…I think I took about 100 pictures just of the boats.




We also stopped in at different beaches to take in the surf…dipping our toes in the ocean.  I especially love this picture of my family enjoying the sea.  Everyone was so at peace here…so happy and carefree.  My heart was full.


We stayed to watch some surfing…yes, you can surf in Canada!  It’s just really really cold.  But it’s surfing!


We couldn’t get enough.  The west coast is rustic, rugged and incredibly beautiful.  Truly Canadian.

This is a view from the Lighthouse Loop.

One of the highlights of the area is a hike that we took on the Wild Pacific Trail.  This trail takes you through an old growth rainforest along the coastline of the Ucluth Peninsula.  You get a true feel for what this amazing area is all about on this hike…forests dripping with lichen, rocky shores, the unmistakeable sounds of lighthouses, sea birds and crashing waves.  Dreamy.


The views on this hike are breathtaking…and I mean breathtaking.  Just look at this.  And breathe.


I wish you could smell it and feel it here…there’s nothing like it.


This trip was one of my most favourite .  I haven’t felt that relaxed or at peace in a long time…we spent true quality family time together in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  It felt like we were back to basics…just simple living, simple needs.  I never wanted to leave.  And much to my surprise neither did the kids…there were lots of tears on our last night here.  But we’ve made promises to return.  So we will and I can’t wait.

Thanks for reading along on our holiday journey!  Have you been to Vancouver Island before?  What is you favourite holiday destination?

Have an inspired day!

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  1. Loooove your pictures and I too, will one day return to Ucluelet 🙂 I’ve been there twice I think. It’s hard to tell when you’ve been there as a child. 😉 I’ve been to Vancouver Island multiple times. The last time a few years ago, but only for a day trip to Victoria. My grandparents, now it’s only my grandma, live near Vancouver, so from time to time I went to visit them. I’m planning on going there within the next 12 months to spend some time with grandma. I really love British Columbia. It has such a beautiful landscape! You’re lucky to be Canadian 😉

  2. We lived in Victoria for 6 years and made multiple trips to Ucluelet and Tofino…definitely our favourite part of the island! I would love to make a trip back there, I do so miss being on the west coast. Love your photos, you’ve captured it all beautifully 🙂

  3. Love the pictures! I grew up in Tofino and we lived right across the street from Chesterman’s Beach. It was a great experience.
    I live in Ontario now and would love to go back with my kids.

  4. What a beautiful destination! It kinda looks a lot like our harbours here in NS! It certainly looks like a special place to take your family. Those salmon steaks look a bit tastier than the hot dog lunch most people have on the camp stove, nothing like fresh fish!

  5. Your pictures are absolutely amazing. I have never been out to Vancouver Island, although my husband lived there for a year after University and he has talked about us going there sometime. And now that I see this pics, I think i want to go too.

  6. Jo-Anna… this post was brilliant. I love how you took me on a journey of an incredible stunning location. You captured the sights, sounds, smells and most of all the feelings. I have not been there for years but after this, it will move up on the priority list. I think this post is of the calibre of a travel magazine article! As always, your photography is superb!

  7. Your photos look beautiful Jo-Anna! We drive up there maybe once a year, but we should do it more often – there’s so much to do in Ukee and Tofino! Looks like you had a wonderful trip and the weather cooperated!

  8. This brings back wonderful memories. My husband and I did the same trip this summer! We didn’t camp but we walked the same trails and just relaxed and it was wonderful. We’ve been there many years ago when our kids were little and we camped on the beach. Now it’s my husband and I reconnecting and it was truly special. It’s a great little place… a gem.

  9. As usual, your photos are stunning! Next year the East Coast! With us!!!! And lobster…ooooh ya, Lobster! PS you can surf on the East Coast too!