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November 27, 2023

Comfort and Joy

by Erin Linn McMullan

West coast winter holidays are simply magical. More dramatic tides invite you to play in the surf by day and stroll or bike across the smooth tide-swept sand at sunset on tinwis aka MacKenzie Beach. The sky awash in pastel pink or painted brushstrokes of glowing tangerine, glimmering gold, deep raspberry to dark indigo, all reflecting across the glistening sand as the sun drops below the horizon. Pull up a chair, and bring your headlamp, a blanket, and a thermos of hot chocolate to stay for the celestial encore in nature’s amphitheatre.

The winter sky is full of delights with up to an incredible 120 meteors per hour during the Geminid meteor shower in mid-December to the waxing Gibbous moon on winter solstice and the Full Cold Moon on Boxing Day.

As you gaze up at sparkling constellations, consider that this stellar view in this protected cove is timeless. Inhale the crisp air. Feel the pulse of the ocean. Experience a deep connection to this place. tinwis is your oceanside holiday oasis.

And remember, the unparalleled beauty of tinwis on-site of ƛaʔuukʷiʔatḥ/Tla-o-qui-aht ancestral gardens is a result of ongoing stewardship since time immemorial.

However you celebrate, embrace comfort and joy this holiday season at Indigenous-owned Tin Wis Resort. Adventure on your doorstep with easy access to the beach, and on-site board and E-Bike rentals. Cozy oceanfront rooms and comfort food at Browns Social House[1] in the cedar-built dining room with its high vaulted ceilings and wall-to-wall view. All the better to plan your day under clear blue winter skies or linger a little longer over coffee mesmerized by spectacular winter storms.

Take some downtime and dream. Curl up in one of the giant red Adirondack chairs in your puffiest quilted jacket and scarf to read that book you’ve been meaning to get to. Soak in the outdoor hot tub and then, if you’re feeling daring, race across the beach for a cold Pacific plunge. Then warm up in the whirlpool all over again, pull on a big fluffy bathrobe, and relax.  

Here on the west coast of Vancouver Island snow is rare but this novelty only adds to the element of play. Imagine families building snowmen that try to outlast the tides. Children tobogganing down the resort’s front lawn. A bride and groom exchanging vows on the frosted beach in red-checked flannel and Santa hats. Snowflakes drifting down as you gather around your beachfront bonfire with friends.

Keep the magic going with a movie marathon cuddled up on the softest imaginable bed back in your suite. Drift off to the surf’s surround sound, imagining everything you can enjoy tomorrow.

This holiday, create a different kind of wish list — filled with unforgettable west coast memories. Whether you’re visiting Načiks (pronounced Na-chiks), aka Tofino or “playcation”-ing to spend more time with family and friends, let us fill your days with comfort and joy!

West Coast Winter Holiday Wish List:

  • Surf or SUP the waves right in your front yard at Tin Wis Resort.
  • Plan a winter picnic with cozy blankets and a hot thermos – and take advantage of the outdoor grill or beachside fire pits onsite. 
  • Learn about local Indigenous art on the self-guided Tofino Arts & Culture Walks audiotour beginning with the č̓iinuł (totem pole) Tiičswina, We Survived! in front of Tin Wis Resort. Visit the traditional Nuu-chah-nulth canoe preserved on-site and observe helpful Tla-o-qui-aht signage.
  • Enjoy a rainforest hike via the high tide trail to Ḥiłwinʔis, (pronounced Hilth-win-is) aka Middle Beach and continue the trail to ƛaakašiis (pronounced Tlaa-ka-shiis) aka Tonquin Beach Park
  • Hike to the top of the Č ̓aḥayis (pronounced Cha-ha-yis) aka Cox Bay Lookout for a breathtaking view of the coast within Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks. This winding path can be muddy in winter, bring your gumboots.
  • Stroll or surf one of the majestic beaches in the co-managed Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Fall-winter (October 2 – March 31) is the only time leashed dogs are allowed on Combers Beach to avoid conflict with migrating shorebirds.
  • E-bike using the local “MUP” across the highway from Tin Wis Road to connect with the ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee) multiuse pathway through the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. At Yaaqsis, (pronounced Yaaq-sis), aka Long Beach, two impressive offshore rock features are C̓ašiiwa (pronounced Tsa-shii-wa), aka Incinerator Rock and Čaw̓inʔis, (pronounced Cha-win-is), aka Lovekin Rock.
  • Take a boat across the harbour to Wanačas Hiłḥuuʔis (pronounced Wa-na-chas Hilth-huu-is), aka Meares Island. Follow the boardwalk to marvel at the ancient forest on the Big Tree Trail, with gigantic trees up to 1,500-2,000 years old. This trail is cared for by Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Park Guardians.
  • Take a day trip by boat or seaplane to experience the natural Hot Springs in Maquinna Marine Provincial Park in the traditional territory of hiškʷiiʔatḥ (Hesquiaht First Nation).
  • Savour your adventures and the sunset’s vibrant rays in the outdoor hot tub back at your holiday home. Carry that tinwis winter magic with you always.

Please ask Tin Wis Resort’s knowledgeable staff about adventure tour companies and other businesses who are Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks Allies to help support continued stewardship efforts within Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks.

As you look forward to 2024, please join us to celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends, family, and our local community at the annual fireworks display on tinwis. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. on December 31st. This family-friendly public event is a collaboration between Best Western Plus Tin Wis Resort and all our neighbours: Crystal Cove Beach Resort, Ocean Village Resort, and MacKenzie Beach Resort.

Please share your holiday memories with us on social media using the hashtags: #tinwish #tinwischristmas #tofinoholdays

Enjoy tinwis virtually via the beach webcam as you dream ahead and plan your west coast holiday:

Give a lasting gift by signing this petition to restore the name of this beach to tinwis:

Learn more about the history of tinwis: future/

Tla-o-qui-aht traditional place names courtesy of this local storymap:

[1] Please note: Browns Social House closes at 4 p.m. on December 24th and is only open for breakfast on December 25th but will be open New Year’s Eve.