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.
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?