Tofino Botanical Gardens

Last weekend while visiting Tofino for the 2011 Tofino Shorebird Festival we stayed at the fantastic Botanical House located within the Tofino Botanical Gardens. If you’re looking for an unique place to base your nature related explorations of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet this is definitely worth considering, especially if you need accommodation for a larger group or two families. Alternately, you could also consider rooms at the Ecolodge if you’re traveling in solo.

Botanical House
Botanical House, located in the Botanical Gardens in Tofino, British Columbia, is a great base for a weekend nature adventure.

Botanical House has two rooms with queen sized beds suitable for the parents and two other rooms (one with two singles and the other with one single) that were perfect for the kids. Alden and Clara (3 and a half and 2) were both very excited about sleeping in their own big beds just down the hall from our room.

Botanical House
Botanical House front gate.

The Craftsman style house with lots of exposed wood and massive beams is fully equipped with two bathrooms (one with a shower and one with a 100 year old clawfoot tub), wood burning stove, propane barbeque,  and a complete kitchen. In addition, WiFi is available as well.

Admission to the Botanical Gardens is provided when you stay on site making it possible to take the time to explore the 12 acre network of trails that makes up the garden. I took the children out for an early morning walk and we thoroughly enjoyed looking at the wide range of plants in the garden, walking through old growth forest, and discovering strange wood sculptures.

The Red Man
The kids called this sculpture “The Red Man” – I’m not sure if that’s the proper name or not!

The trails also provide access to viewing platforms that look out over the world renown Tofino Mudflats. From the deck of the Evian, an old salmon troller turned bird watching tower, we were able to look across the mud and watch as several different kinds of shorebirds went about their business of feeding up for their northward migration.

The Evian
The Evian is a 1946 salmon troller that has been converted into a bird viewing platform.
Tofino Mudflats
The view from the deck of the Evian – below is the wide expanse of the Tofino Mudflats. What you can’t see in this photograph are the hundreds of shorebirds feeding in the mud!

Further along we checked out a covered shelter with a view across to Raccoon Island.

Looking at Raccoon Island
Alden and Clara looking out across the mud at Raccoon Island.

The kids were totally fascinated with all of the interesting things that they discovered in the gardens. Alden claimed that he thought the trails were “dangerous” and that we might meet a tiger. Fortunately for us we didn’t stumble upon any during our morning sojourn. What we did discover was a beautiful place to connect with nature!

How to Get There: