39 Years of Family Time

April 25, 2012
Family Time in Tofino BC

Without question, Tofino is a favourite family vacation destination.  It delivers the perfect storm of jaw-dropping beauty, a relaxed local vibe, and an unmatched year-round outdoor playground.  With no shortage of things to do and explore, it can be as ADD on activities or as low-key as you need it to be.

And yes, Pacific Sands is an ideal adventure hub, as ocean front as it gets, and the #1 resort on TripAdvisor for a reason.  But why is it that Pacific Sands is the accommodation of choice for decades of returning families?

Probably because it’s been built on family for 39 years.

In 1973, Bill and Joan Pettinger had a vision for what was then the Pacific Paradise Motel. They bought it and created a place where they could make family happen.

“From vacations to weddings to the ashes of loved ones, we’ve shared in the lives of families that have been coming for generations,” reflects Dave Pettinger who took over from his parents and ran the resort for over 20 years.

So here we are celebrating 39 years of Pacific Sands and while the resort has certainly changed, the values it was founded on have not.  It’s still all about family and reconnecting.  Slowing down, making eye contact, turning off cell phones and talking vs. texting through dinner.  Maybe even enjoying a group beach walk with the smell and sound of pounding surf in the background instead of reality TV?

Do you think the Pettingers' had big seaside family dinners in mind when they put fully-equipped kitchens in every suite?  (Wink)… absolutely.  And it turns out we’re the only resort in Tofino where you’ll find that.  Our BBQ areas including a seaside Gazebo are also perfect for family gatherings and reunions of up to 40 guests.  In fact, our Guest Services team can assist with catering options, wedding services, adventure tour bookings… whatever your family needs, just ask!

What else has family written all over it?

  • Complimentary Smores Roasts at the Gazebo fire-pit are a nightly favourite all summer and during spring break.
  • Same with our famous Kid’s Camps. Free to young guests, the daily schedule includes scavenger hunts, rainforest exploring, survival skill workshops, and crafty projects.
  • Catered Beachside BBQ events Wednesdays & Saturdays all summer long means no meal-planning or clean-up!
  • Kids can enjoy beach time AND stay connected on Facebook with complementary wireless internet.
  • Head to Guest Services for a selection of beach toys, family games and 500+ DVD movies.
  • Bike rentals are available for a half or full day including helmets and locks. With Tofino just minutes away on an easy paved trail, what a fun way to tour around!
  • Include Tofino’s events as part of the adventure; from food festivals and Saturday Public Markets to Canada Day celebrations complete with a skate contest.
  • Other activities like ziplining through rainforest canyons and the surprisingly challenging 9-hole Long Beach Golf Course.  Flightsee tours are also a great way to see majestic Clayoquot Sound, especially with a very good chance of spotting whales. 
  • Furry family members?  Ask about availability in our pet friendly suites and we’ll have dishes, treats and pet towels on arrival.  Pet baggie and wash-stations are also conveniently located at beach access points.

You get the picture?… let us know when you need family time.


Sheila Heller(5 years ago)
My Aunt Margaret Fulton introduced me to this wonderful place in 1986 I have returned and shared the beauty with my family several times since. Thank you for your vision Pettinger family!

(5 years ago)
Thanks Sheila! Great we could share in some of your family memories. Stay tuned for our 40th Anniversary activities in the coming months...maybe you have some photos you'd like to contribute? Watch for details on Facebook...and hope to see you again soon!

Joanne McLeod(5 years ago)
I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to be returning to Pacific Sands this summer. Growing up on the island we would take our annual trip out to Long Beach to camp. I remember vividly as a kid seeing your resort and being awestruck. This must have been late 70s or early 80s. After moving to the middle of Canada I still looked back at those memories of sand dollars, tidal pools and big waves. We stayed with you for our honeymoon and eight years later, we're coming back this summer with the kids. Can't wait for them to experience all that you have to offer!

(5 years ago)
Wow that's a lot of history Joanne! Can't wait to have you back...lots of great changes. Your kids are going to love it!

dorothy young(5 years ago)
I love Tofino...some of my family live there and my daughter -in- law worked at Pacific Sands about 1992 or 93. She was Sherilyne Sadler and is now Sherilyne Young. Stunning scenery.

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