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Tofino or Whistler?

ohio
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Tofino or Whistler?

Which would you choose and why. Traveling with small kids in the summer (late June) and will be on island for family (Nanaimo) via Vancouver. Have about 2 days to do either. Both are about equal distance give or take an hour. Heading into Vancouver we can go north and stay in Whistler or go straight to island and then over to Tofino. We will be going onto Alaska after this so not sure how different scenery is in Whistler compared to it. Tofino looks awesome but I am concerned about it being too cold to really swim in ocean so not sure how bored kids could get. My kids really want to get a Canadian experience. They are super excited about going out of the country and experiencing something different!

Edited: 25 April 2013, 15:45
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Nanaimo
Nanaimo
Vancouver Island, Canada
Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Whistler
Whistler
British Columbia, Canada
Tofino
Tofino
Vancouver Island, Canada
Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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1. Re: Tofino or Whistler?

You don't really have a lot of time to enjoy WCVI and you're right cold water & big tides aren't a great combo- with smaller kids it's usually best to stay in the Parksville/Qualicum area because of the milder sea conditions and great beaches.

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Parksville
Parksville
Vancouver Island, Canada
Qualicum Beach
Qualicum Beach
Vancouver Island, Canada
Port Moody, Canada
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2. Re: Tofino or Whistler?

Yes. Go to Parksville...Rathtrevor Beach is great for kids..visit Cathedral Grove for big trees..go to Coombs for goats on the roof , do the lovely easy hike in Englishman Falls Provincial Park, much better imo than Whistler especially with youngsters

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Cathedral Grove
Cathedral Grove
742 Reviews
Vancouver Island, Canada
Parksville
Parksville
Vancouver Island, Canada
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Whistler
British Columbia, Canada
Whistler, Canada
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3. Re: Tofino or Whistler?

Hi Marie here at Tourism Whistler

Tofino and Whistler are two completely different (great!) experiences.

If you can, maybe you want to base this decision on the weather and book last minute.

If the weather is sunny and warm, Tofino would be a lot of fun for the kids. The ocean is cold, but they would probably be content spending the day digging in the sand and exploring the amazing beaches. Tofino is absolutely stunning and one of my favorite places to visit.

There are lots of fun things to do in Whistler with small children - here are some ideas (all of these can be done if the weather is not warm and sunny!)

- Ride the Peak 2 Peak gondola. Children love this experience and they might get to spot a bear or other wildlife from the safety of the gondola. Strollers etc. can come too. Have lunch at the top of Whistler or Blackcomb Mountain

- Rent a bike and explore the Valley Trail. You can rent trailers or trail-a-bikes for the kids. There are a number of lakes, beaches and parks to stop at to let the kids run around.

- Head to the Blackcomb Base Adventure zone - pony rides, bouncy castle, mini-golf and more

- Explore the Village. There is an amazing playground near the Marketplace and stop at Cows for an ice cream is a must

- Squamish Lil'Wat Cultural Centre -there is a great craft area for kids and they will certainly get the Canadian experience with a visit here.

Many of the hotels and condos in Whistler have a pool, so this is an extra bonus when travelling with the kids

Hope that helps

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British Columbia, Canada
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Vancouver Island, Canada
Blackcomb Lodge
Blackcomb Lodge
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Whistler, Canada
Victoria, Canada
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4. Re: Tofino or Whistler?

It all depends what you want.

If you want a higher end village experience with shopping and dining, go to Whistler. There's a great train ride that goes from Vancouver to Whistler (Rocky Mountaineer) that will have great scenery along the way:

rockymountaineer.com/en_CA_BC/…

If you want a more laid back and natural vacation, go to Tofino. It doesn't matter the weather here -- whether it's sunny or rainy, it's beautiful year round. Just make sure you pack for the weather, or visit the Co-Op store where you can buy anything you need. The beaches are spectacular. If you get really ambitious, you can take a boat to Hotsprings Cove:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaC0fPv3YPU

My personal preference is Tofino.

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The Rocky Mountaineer
The Rocky Mountaineer
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Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Tofino or Whistler?

If you were not coming to the Island anyway, I would have said Whislter! But seeing as you how you have to pay so much to get over here on the ferry, use the time to see Tofino and area.

Yes, too cold to swim, but there are always people in there, including my own kids. They just turn purple after five or ten minutes and then can't feel it anymore anyway, so all is good. Those are their words, not mine!!

But yes, they would definitely enjoy Rathtrevor Beach more, especially if you can time a visit there with the tide is out. Amazing time there. It is only a half hour north of Nanaimo as well. Tofino is closer to three hours, more with those great stops that traveller47 mentioned above. They can all be made as day trips from Nanaimo as well, and you could even combine them all for a great day trip with lunch at the Old Country Market in Coombs. Don't let the kids feed the goats though ;o)

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The Old Country Market
The Old Country Market
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Vancouver Island, Canada
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Tofino
Vancouver Island, Canada
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Nanaimo
Vancouver Island, Canada
6. Re: Tofino or Whistler?

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