8 Fun Things to Do in Ucluelet BC

8 Fun Things to Do in Ucluelet BC

Ucluelet is a charming town located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It's often overlooked by tourists since Tofino, a popular surf and luxury retreat town, is located just a 35 minute drive away.

We love visiting Ucluelet, as it has an authentic West Coast vibe and feels off the beaten path. It's worth adding this fishing village as a stop to your Vancouver Island itinerary. We list 8 fun things to do in Ucluelet that make it stand out.

Overview: What to do in Ucluelet

8 Fun Things to Do in Ucluelet

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1. Start off your morning at a locals' cafe

Ucluelet has a few quirky coffee shops to choose from. Grab a cup and hang out among the locals.

Yayu Cafe - our top pick!

Yayu Cafe is a completely vegan cafe offering plant-based dishes and beverages. Besides coffee, they offer unique specialty drinks with ingredients like turmeric, mushrooms, and adaptogens like ashwagandha.

I loved my rose quartz latte made with pure rose water, beetroot, hibiscus flower and almond milk. If you're hungry, they also offer smoothies and food like Pad Thai and power bowls.

The Foggy Bean

The Foggy Bean is a local sustainable coffee roaster with its roots in Ucluelet. They have a small coffee bar located in a repurposed historical church.

Barkley's Cafe

Barkley's Cafe has tasty breakfast options, such as breakfast ciabattas and breakfast burritos. If you want to start your day off with a kick, they also have specialty coffees with Baileys or whiskey :o.

2. Eat lunch at Jiggers Fish & Chips

Jiggers Fish & Chips Food Truck Ucluelet

Save room for lunch and get Jigger's delicious fish and chips from their food truck. The fish was fresh and the batter was not too greasy. It's also a great value with its generous portion sizes.

3. Visit Canada's first collect-and-release aquarium

Ucluelet Aquarium

Ucluelet Aquarium is a fun place to visit and learn about local marine life. The not-for-profit aquarium aims to promote awareness of the biodiversity of local waters. Some of the fish and crustaceans are wacky and really cute. Wait until you see the heart crab! This is a good activity to do in Ucluelet when it rains since it's indoors.

4. Go boutique shopping

The Den, Ucluelet

Ucluelet has a couple of cute boutique shops. Don't miss The Den, a sustainable goods and refill shop, which carries housewares, holistic wellness products, vintage items and products from local artists.

Another cute shop is Blackberry Cove Marketplace - the health food store has an awesome curation of cookbooks in the back.

5. Walk the Wild Pacific Trail lighthouse loop

Amphitrite Point Lighthouse

Around the Ucluelet peninsula, there is a 2.6km walking trail that gives stunning views of the rocky coastline, ocean, forest and lighthouse. The active lighthouse was built in 1915 and watches over Barkley Sound. Come at sunset to see gorgeous colours light up the sky and ocean. The loop should take you 30-45 minutes and is rated easy for difficulty. It's one of the best free things to do in Ucluelet.

6. Dine at the award winning Pluvio Restaurant

Pluvio Restaurant Ucluelet

Eating at Pluvio Restaurant is one of the best things to do in Ucluelet at night - it was named Canada's 4th Best New Restaurant by enRoute Magazine in 2020. They focus on using natural ingredients from the region and their dishes change throughout the season.

You can either choose from a three-course menu (with different options) or a five-course chef's tasting menu. The chef's tasting menu also has an optional wine pairing.

We chose the chef's tasting menu with wine pairing and it was amazing. Each one of our dishes was outstanding and beautifully presented. Our standout dishes were the steelhead with vadouvan butter & sidestripe shrimp and the beef short rib with hazelnut miso caramel.

The restaurant also has a small boutique hotel with just four rooms. This is convenient after eating a big meal! Each room has luxurious features, such as a king sized bed, rain shower, balcony, and furniture and art made by local artisans. It's located in the heart of Ucluelet making it easy to explore the town.
Reflecting Spirit Gallery

The artist-owned Reflecting Spirit Gallery has an excellent collection of art pieces from local artists. We've been there a few times and always leave with something unique.

8. Stay in a cozy cabin

Photo credit: Private Hot Tub! Beachfront Cabin With Views! Morning Mist via vrbo.ca

Experience the West Coast by staying in a cozy cabin in the rainforest. This is a fun thing to do in Ucluelet in winter, especially when it's stormy and you can bundle up by the fire or soak in the hot tub!

Our top cabin picks in Ucluelet

We hope you enjoyed these unique things to do in Ucluelet!

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Itinerary extension options

If you're also considering visiting Tofino, check out our travel guides:

You should also consider visiting the two bohemian islands of Galiano and Salt Spring, located between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Check out our travel guides here:

See our full list of the 17 best trips near Vancouver.

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