Is Ucluelet Worth Visiting? Reasons To Visit & Things To Do

Are you wondering is Ucluelet worth visiting?

I have been to Ucluelet and live a ferry ride from Vancouver Island. I can help you discover all the things to do in Ucluelet that make this town worth visiting.

Ucluelet is a quaint town on the West side of Vancouver Island. It’s not far away from its sister town, Tofino. Many people love to put Tofino on the top of their list but sometimes forget about visiting Ucluelet.

However, you should put Ucluelet at the top of your list as exploring this beautiful small town has a uniqueness that makes her stand out from her sister town.

Is Ucluelet Worth Visiting

So, to answer your question, is Ucluelet worth visiting? Yes!

Ucluelet offers the opportunity to experience the untamed, wild side of Vancouver Island, with its rugged coastlines and natural beauty.

I personally liked Ucluelet much more than I did Tofino (although Tofino is also worth visiting). I found that Ucluelet is quieter, has more scenic areas, and has the ambiance of feeling like you’re in the forest.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find many activities, including kayaking, surfing, and fishing. The tranquil atmosphere and friendly community make it a great place to relax and connect with nature.

In addition, Ucluelet has an arts scene and opportunities for storm-watching during the winter months.

A beautiful wood log carved Welcome To Ucluelet sign. Ucluelet is carved into a log. Welcome To is on a hanging sign. There is a cover ontop with a bald egale statue carving on top of the roof. There are plants and shrubs decorated around the sign. And also hanging pots.

11 Things To Do In Ucluelet

Here are some things to do while you’re visiting Ucluelet.

1. Amphitrite Point Or Ucluelet Lighthouse Loop

One of the most popular things to do is the Ucluelet Lighthouse Loop at Amphitrite Point. An easy 2.9-kilometre (1.8-mile) loop will take about forty-five minutes to an hour to complete.

It was an excellent trail; my boyfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were many lookout points along the trail and access to a couple of small beaches.

Is Ucluelet worth visiting? Yes, the Ucluelet Lighthouse Loop at Amphitrite Point, the white bas and red top lighthouse is a popular hike in Ucluelet.

The loop is stroller, wheelchair, and dog (must be on leash) friendly.

There are two parking lots. The first lot you encounter is where you can start at the beginning of the trail. If you drive further down the road, the second parking lot will take you directly to the Lighthouse.

Unfortunately, they closed off access to walking up to the Lighthouse while we were there. However, if you happen to be there when it’s open, check it out!

2. Wickaninnish Beach

One of the many things to do in Ucluelet is to check out Wickaninnish Beach. While Wickaninnish Beach is the tail end of Long Beach (which is closer to Tofino), the access point to get to the beach is closer to Ucluelet.

More intermediate-level surfers tend to head towards Wickaninnish Beach. Locals are more known to be drawn to Wickaninnish as it seems to be their favourite spot.

If you plan to surf here, surfing in the rain at Wickaninnish Beach seems to hit that sweet spot of the best time to surf.

3. Shorepine Bog Trail

Suppose you want to walk around briefly; head to the Shorepine Bog Trail. It’s a beautiful boardwalk loop that is great for kids and will only take 10 minutes to complete.

4. Nuu-Chah-Nuulth And South Beach Trail

The Nuu-Chah-Nuulth trail isn’t usually busy. However, it’s still an easy trail to do. It takes about an hour and 45 minutes to complete, leading to a beach at the end.

Sometimes, the trail is muddy, and some parts of the boardwalk are slippery, so be prepared if you’re going the day after rain or a rainy day.

5. Florencia Bay

Not in the mood for a hike? That’s okay! Right beside the Nuu-Chah-Nuulth And South Beach Trail, there’s Florencia Bay.

The trail is easy and flat; however, there are steep stairs toward the end. Be aware that wildlife is known around the area and on the beach. Surfers and paddleboarders are almost always in the water.

Florencia Bay is also well-known as the best spot for star-gazing a night. Do remember to bring flashlights and be prepared for wildlife encounters.

6. Ucluelet Aquarium

The Ucluelet Aquarium is Canada’s first collect-and-release aquarium. And because it’s a collect-and-release aquarium, the residents on display frequently change. However, their main focus is on local fish and invertebrate species.

A small building yet an excellent place to take the kids to learn about marine life. The aquarium is open from March 1st until November 30th, every day of the season, from 10 AM to 4:30 PM (the last entry is 4 PM).

There are no reservations; it’s a first-come, first-serve base for entry.

💡 Fun Fact: All the marine animals on display at the Ucluelet Aquarium are released back into their habitats after the season is over.

7. Ancient Cedar Loop Trail

The Ancient Cedar Loop Trail is another short hike trail about a kilometre long. Along the hike, you’ll encounter massive cedar trees.

If you decide to do a longer hike, the trail eventually links up with the Wild Pacific Trail and Rocky Bluffs.

8. Big Beach

Rocky beach with the sun starting to set in the background with blue skies and a few clouds. There is a house in the distance on a outcropping.

Big Beach is a beautiful beach in Ucluelet that you can explore. During low tide, you can flip over rocks to find tiny crabs underneath, small tidal pools and potentially other sea creatures.

When you enter the beach, they display an eagle’s wingspan picture to compare your wingspan and information on eagles.

Also, a tree stump is known as The Tree of Life, with information since the 1200s!

Big Beach was my favourite part about Ucluelet. My boyfriend and I were taking a drive around, and we stumbled across this beautiful location.

9. Whale Watching

During certain months of the year, You can expect to find different species of whales migrating and feeding off the coast of Vancouver Island. Ucluelet happens to be one of the locations to spot some of these whales.

Jamie’s Whaling Station

Enjoy whale watching with knowledgeable skippers from Jamie’s Whaling Station. They offer whale-watching, hot spring, bear, kayaking, and water taxi tours.

Hello Nature Adventure Tours

Hello Nature Adventure Tours offers different tours, such as whale watching, kayaking, and hiking. In addition, they have multiple lengths of time for their tours, from three-day excursions to half days.

10. Trying Local Food

After all the activities, you probably worked up an appetite. Check out the many local restaurants and coffee shops in Ucluelet. Sometimes the best restaurants are the ones you discover by accident.

Barkley Cafe

Barkey Cafe is on a corner spot of Peninsula Road. We popped into the cafe, waiting for our check-in time. It’s a great little spot with friendly staff; I ordered a hot chocolate (my go-to pick-me-up).

Shipwreck Pizza

Shipwreck Pizza was the first restaurant we tried when we went to Ucluelet. It’s a small location if you want to eat in and has a small pub-like feel. However, the food was good, and we would go back when we visit Ucluelet again.

11. Camping

Ucluelet is all about being beautiful and quiet, surrounded by nature. Camping in Ucluelet is another option if you would rather not be in a hotel.

Surf Junction Campground is popular if you plan to camp while in Ucluelet. If you have an RV, Wild Pacific Camp is another excellent location.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Ucluelet

So, if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, September, October, and November would be the best time to visit Ucluelet. And because it’s a slower season option for Airbnb, hotels and ferry costs tend to be lower than average.

March, April, and May will be the next options. We went in April, and the weather was cloudy, but we lucked out on a few sunny days. There were also few or no tourists around, so it was nice.

However, because it’s right before peak season, more places are beginning to open up, which means more places to explore. As a result, prices fluctuate during those three months.

Of course, the summer will be the busiest time in Ucluelet as it will be the high tourist season, so prices and hotels will all go up.

How To Get To Ucluelet From Vancouver

There are three different ways to get to Ucluelet, but you have to get to Vancouver Island first.

Ucluelet By Ferry And Car

The best way to get to Ucluelet is by ferry. There are no direct ferries to Ucluelet, but here are the two routes.

Even though there are two different BC Ferries locations on the mainland, Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) to Nanaimo is the much more manageable and shorter route.

The ferry ride would take approximately an hour and 40 minutes. Once you have docked, the drive towards Ucluelet will be about two hours and 30 minutes through the mountains and forest.

A road with a car driving with bikes on the back of the car. Surrounded by tall lush green trees on a sunny day.

You could also take the ferry from Tsawwassen (Vancouver) to Victoria (Swartz Bay). However, a long drive will take you on a road trip through Vancouver Island, which will take approximately four hours to get to Ucluelet.

Shuttle Bus

A shuttle bus is also an option if you plan on not renting or using a car. The Vancouver Island Connector can pick you up depending on which ferry terminal you choose.

However, they only travel to Ucluelet on certain days of the week, so plan ahead if you want to use the shuttle.

More information on the Vancouver Island Connector shuttle bus.

Flying

There’s an option to fly to Ucluelet as well. However, the flight will land at the Tofino airport, and you’ll have to take a bus or a taxi afterwards.

It’s a more expensive way of getting to Ucluelet; however, it’s another option.

Places To Stay In Ucluelet

Here are a couple of places to stay while you’re visiting Ucluelet.

💎 Black Rock Oceanfront Resort

Black Rock Oceanfront Resort sits atop a small cliffside, offering breathtaking ocean views framed by striking black rocks. It’s ideal for couples and families and features a cozy outdoor pool that everyone can relish.

Currents Restaurant provides an exceptional dining experience with stunning ocean and sunset views. However, it’s worth mentioning that the rooms at the resort don’t have air conditioning.

⚖️ Bayshore Waterfront Inn

Bayshore Waterfront Inn offers a budget-friendly stay in Ucluelet. With easy access to beaches and walking distance of the town, the well-maintained property promises a peaceful and excellent stay and a welcoming environment characterized by the warm hospitality of the owners.

Is Ucluelet Worth Visiting — FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions on is Ucluelet worth visiting.

How Do You Pronounce Ucluelet?

You-Clue-Let or Ukee, known by the locals. Ucluelet means “people of the safe harbour” in the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) indigenous language.

What Is Ucluelet Known For?

Ucluelet is a growing community known for its outdoor recreational activities and ecotourism. Historically, Ucluelet is known as a fishing village. However, they’re becoming one of the top-rated tourist destinations on Vancouver Island.

Is Ucluelet Cheaper Than Tofino?

Yes and no. Yes, because while they’re only 37 minutes apart, Ucluelet’s price tends to be cheaper than Tofino’s.

On the other hand, no, because the prices will increase while booking to travel to Ucluelet during a holiday or closer to the busier months of the year.

Is Ucluelet Walkable?

Yes, Ucluelet is a walkable town with many amenities and attractions near its central area.

Conclusion

As you can see, yes, Ucluelet is absolutely worth visiting.

Whether travelling with family, friends or your significant other, there are many things to do in Ucluelet by the forest or ocean. I hope this helps you plan your trip to Ucluelet.

Have a good day 🙂