You may not find any accommodation for the Tofino / Ucluelet area now as those areas tend to book up fast. That would be the first thing you should look at, that could be the deciding factor for you.
The more important question is what experience are you seeking? Totally different places in every way. That would help in giving you thoughtful input.
Pacific Rim National Park, hands down. Just have to find accommodation.
How many days?
We are spending 2 nights in the San Juan islands , then plan on driving up to Vancouver. We have 5 nights to explore Vancouver and surrounding area. I’ve heard pacific Rim is a rainforest and that intrigues me. Whistler is a ski resort and I have been to ski resorts in Montana in the summer. Are they similar?
I don’t think you have enough time to work in a trip to Pacific Rim National Park. Understand that it’s not in the “surrounding area” of Vancouver, it’s 6 hours away (including the ferry ride). And while it’s not the biggest national park (about 200 miles square) the majority of the actual park is backcountry wilderness. It’s not a day trip. And it’s very popular in the summer, with most people staying in one of 2 tiny towns (Tofino or Uclulet), where accommodation options are limited and book up well in advance.
If seeing rainforest is what interests you, there are options much closer to Vancouver, which is also in a temperate rainforest. There are hiking trails through Stanley Park, or on the North Shore (Lynn Canyon, Lighthouse Park, Deep Cove), or Pacific Spirit Regional Park near the UBC campus, which are all accessible by public transit. A little further away are Belcara, Sasamat Lake, Bowen Island, Buntzen Lake. You could go as far as Golden Ears Provincial Park or Porteau Cove Provincial Park as a day trip.
We found a hotel for 3 nights in Ucluelet. So that leaves us 2 nights in Vancouver
That will work. Enjoy your stay.
Its worth noting that most of the entire region is a temperate rain forest bioclimactic zone. With the exception of the arbutus areas on the inner coastlines and the Garry Oak forests around Victoria, its all temperate rainforest.
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