15 Amazing Things To Do In Tofino

Things To Do In Tofino
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If you are looking for things to do in Tofino, British Columbia, you have come to the right place. Tofino is a town found in British Columbia, Canada, near the westernmost tip of Vancouver Island. It belongs to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Clayoquot Sound. You must also factor in the 2-hour ferry voyage from Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay if you travel from Vancouver to Tofino.

What is Tofino in British Columbia Best Known For?

Tofino, in the province of British Columbia, is well-known for its breathtaking sunsets.

Tofino is the first place that comes to mind when people think of either “tropical” or “Canada.”

Tofino, one of the westernmost towns in Canada, is known for having some of the most incredible surfing in the nation. It is situated in the Pacific Ocean.

Hiking, kayaking, whale watching from the air with Atleo Scenic Flight, Hit the Deck at the Tofino Resort and Marina, and much more.

Is it Possible to see Tofino in a Single Day?

A scenic ferry trip from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo and a three-hour drive through the breathtaking Pacific Rim National Park are required.

Tofino is worth the effort it takes to get there, and you might not want to leave even after you’ve been there.

In the summer, Tofino bustles with people in quest of the stunning landscapes and new national parks surrounding the town. The town is peaceful in the winter.

Here is our travel guide to Tofino, one of British Columbia’s top destinations for outdoor adventure. There are many things to do there.

Our list of the top things to do in Tofino, British Columbia, will help you organize your visit and find even more locations to see.

1. Kayak Around the Clayoquot Sound

Sea kayaking is fantastic at Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The protected seas provide a haven for a wide variety of marine life, some of which include bald eagles, sea lions, seals, sea lions, sea otters, and orcas.

Paddle through kelp forests while looking for marine animals and listening to waves slamming against the cliffs. Sea kayaking tours are provided by a wide range of tour operators in Clayoquot Sound.

Most trips will take you to Meares Island or Vargas Island, where you may paddle through protected bays and enjoy the old-growth jungle. A lovely way to discover the adjacent Clayoquot Sound is via sea kayak. Meares Island is one of the most well-liked places to go kayaking.

You can go on hikes and stroll along the boardwalk of the Big Tree Trail in this region of old-growth forest. Many outfitters offer guided tours for people who are new to the sport.

2. Pacific Rim National Park

Tofino’s Pacific Rim National Park is widely regarded as one of the most breathtaking parks in all of Canada and is often considered one of the best attractions in the entire town. You may reach the breathtaking shoreline by taking any of the numerous hiking trails that go through the verdant emerald rainforest.

Where is it Located?

The Pacific Rim National Park is situated between Ucluelet and Tofino, approximately a three-hour journey from the Nanaimo Ferry Terminal.

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The 16-kilometer Long Beach is the main draw of Pacific Rim National Park and the surrounding city of Tofino. This lovely stretch of sand is ideal for strolling, and thanks to the hard-packed sand, a stroller may even be pushed on it.

When the tide is out, Long Beach is flat, immensely vast, and appears to go on forever as you look into the distance through the sea spray hanging in the air. It’s a beautiful and peaceful spot with a wide-open feeling that’s hard to find anywhere else on Vancouver Island.

3. Whale-watching Tour in Tofino

One of the best sites in Canada to go whale watching in Tofino. A whale-watching tour is an absolute necessity if you have any interest in getting out on the water and taking in the sights and sounds of marine life.

What is the Most Suitable Time for Whale Watching?

April through October is the ideal period for whale watching. Orcas, grey whales, and humpback whales can all be seen occasionally in the waters of Tofino.

It is better to go on an open-ocean adventure cruise between March and April if you want to encounter grey whales. The humpback whales can occasionally be seen in the waters of Clayoquot Sound if you’re on vacation in Tofino in the summer.

As you stroll around the town, you’ll come across several tour companies that provide excursions on broad boats designed like Zodiacs, boats with partial covers, or vessels with full covers. These tours offer a fantastic opportunity to view the surroundings and terrain, including the picturesque Clayoquot Sound.

4. Take up Surfing

Tofino is the top surfing destination in Canada due to its miles of unending beaches and constant waves. It is possible to surf here throughout the year; however, large wetsuits are required.

When Should You go Surfing?

The most significant months for surfing in Tofino for experienced surfers are September through November. However, any season is suitable for families and beginners, even though the summer months are the busiest.

Where is this Well-known Surfing Area?

Long Beach is a well-known surfing spot in the Pacific Rim National Park, especially in the region around Incinerator Rock.

In the parking area near the beach, there are restrooms and showers. Wickaninnish Beach and Florencia Bay, located on the southernmost tip of Long Beach, are usually crowded with surfers.

Tofino’s Cox Bay is often considered the town’s most famous surfing spot. There are also some Tofino resorts and a campground beside the water. There will be a large number of surfers hoping to catch a wave at Cox Bay Beach.

Volleyball on the beach is another activity that is very well-liked in Tofino, and there are nets built up on a number of the beaches so that people may participate.

Even the Surf Sister Surf Shack at the Pacific Sands Beach Resort in Cox Bay offers rentals, lessons, and a shop for surfing gear. The Long Beach Lodge Resort, the brand-new Surf Grove Campground, and Cox Bay Beach Resort are nearby.

Another large beach that is popular for surfing is Chesterman Beach, which is located close to Cox Bay. Cox Bay is our preferred surfing spot for children. The beach is excellent, especially if you are a guest at Pacific Sands Resort.

5. Go Deep-Sea Fishing

One of the best activities in Tofino is to go deep-sea fishing; it’s a great family activity as well as the ideal outing for serious anglers.

You can be sure that the stunning natural beauty around you, particularly the Clayoquot Sound Mountains that provide the most breathtaking backdrop, will inspire you whether or not you catch the catch of the day.

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One of the best fishing spots in Canada is off the coast of Vancouver Island. Consider booking a full- or half-day fishing charter with one of the Tofino outfitters for a true adventure out on the open ocean.

Tofino is a fantastic location for deep-sea fishing, as you might expect. Salmon, halibut, and ling-cod are just a few of the fish that are readily accessible. These fish can get huge.

When is the Best Time to Visit there?

The summer months of June through September are ideal for deep-sea fishing in Tofino.

6. Storm Watching

When it comes to storm watching, Tofino, in British Columbia, is one of the best places in all of Canada to go. Wild weather and winter storms are expected on Vancouver Island’s west coast.

Tofino is busiest in the summer, but in the winter, storm watchers are flocking in growing numbers. The waves generated by storms in this region of the world during the storm-watching season can be as high as 20 feet.

One of the greatest is Pacific Sands Beach Resort, which has access to places where you can watch storms and views of the beach.

Because it is located right on the edge of Cox Bay Beach, the Great Room restaurant is a well-liked spot to observe storms. You can find a more affordable option by going to the visitor center in Pacific Rim National Park, which has a view of the storms coming onto Wickaninnish Beach.

One of the best things to do in Tofino during the winter is to watch storms, a seasonal hobby and an exciting chase for some.

7. Go on a Bear-Watching Tour

One of the best spots in the world to see black bears in Tofino. If you’re from Canada, you’ve probably seen black bears a lot, but seeing them in their native environment while they hunt for crabs rather than rummaging through trash cans is a very other experience.

On Vancouver Island, it was one of our favourite experiences. This is because many salmon migrate upstream to spawn in these rivers yearly. The bears are going to arrive and eat them.

What to do on the Bear Watching Tour?

When people think of “The Island,” they typically think of fishing, surfing beaches, and hiking.

These magnificent animals can be found all across Vancouver Island. Visitors who take bear-viewing trips can observe these majestic creatures in the wild at a respectful distance.

There are lots of black bears in Tofino, one of Canada’s most recognizable wildlife. They are frequently seen searching for food while the tide is low along the coasts.

What is Included in this Bear-Watching Tour?

Visitors can observe these majestic animals in the wild from a respectful distance on bear-watching tours. Bear tours, conducted from a boat, provide a secure way to watch bears in their natural environment.

When Should you go?

The start of April through the end of October sees the operation of tours, which have varying operating times based on the tides. Furthermore, bear cubs can be spotted at this time.

However, a bear-watching tour will drive you straight to their location and provide you with the finest opportunity to get a close-up view of them. You can pick from various tour operators, each offering a distinctive experience.

Most trips will transport you by boat or floatplane to Hot Springs Cove, where you can observe bears feasting on salmon in their native habitat. In Muskoka, Ontario, you might encounter stray black bears crossing the street, but witnessing one during a salmon spawning is undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

8. Go to Hot Springs Cove

Hot Springs Cove Tofino is the place to go if you’re seeking a distinctive hot springs experience.

Where is this Hot Spring Cove?

These naturally occurring hot springs are found in Clayoquot Sound, and the only way to get there is by floatplane or boat. The geothermal activity provides the hot springs’ cove water, which is a comfortable 50°C all year round.

You might not like the smell of natural sulfur at first, but after a while, it won’t bother you as much. And once the warm waters have relaxed your muscles, you won’t mind if you have a strange fragrance.

Due to the limited size of the pools, you will be expected to share them. You can change after traversing the rainforest to reach the rock pools because there are two restrooms on-site. Gray whales, eagles, sea lions, sea otters, and harbour seals might all be visible along the trip!

When Should you go?

Early morning is the ideal time to go because fewer people are there. You will have to share the little pools. Low tide is the perfect time to come because high tides can flood the lower pools, making them much colder. Despite being challenging to get, during the busiest travel seasons, this location can become highly crowded.

9. Botanical Garden and Visit the Little Costa Rica Cafe

Visiting Tofino Botanical Gardens is another best thing to do in Tofino. Any lover of nature must go to the Tofino Botanical Gardens. The Tofino Botanical Gardens are a place where art and nature come together.

Art installations ranging from small, simple wood carvings to great, quirky works of art are scattered across lovely gardens and woodland regions.

Some of these installations stand out, while others blend so well into their environment that you might miss them if you aren’t paying close attention.

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The Botanical Gardens, which combine art and environment, are the best destination in Tofino for everyone who appreciates the beauty of flowers.

Some trails go through the forest, a mudflat on the coast, and past sites with exquisitely crafted art. You must, of course, stop by the Little Costa Rica Café while you’re here.

The Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica, which encourages sustainable development and conservation in South America, served as the original inspiration for the gardens, hence the name. The food is superb, and the coffee is brewed with fresh, regional ingredients.

Where is the Location of this Botanical Garden?

The gardens are 12 hectares in size and are situated on the outskirts of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

When Should you go?

April to October, when the flowers bloom, is the finest time to come. However, the gardens are lovely throughout the year and provide a peaceful retreat from the busyness of daily life.

If you suffer from severe allergies,  don’t forget to take your medication before you come! Early in the spring, the pollen is quite potent.

10. Radar Hill

One of the most remarkable things to do in Tofino, British Columbia, is to hike Radar Hill since it rewards you well for a minimal amount of work.

In the general vicinity of Tofino is a prominent elevation that is straightforward to reach, known as Radar Hill.  The vantage point at the summit offers views of the mountains and the ocean in both directions while flying over the trees.

As a spot to go in the case of a tsunami, Radar Hill is also a location that local lodges and bed-and-breakfasts advise their customers about.

Although there are just a few foundations left from the hill’s past as a radar station at the outset of the Cold War, you won’t find many other signs of it now.

You may be curious as to how this hill gained its name. In fact, during World War II, this hill was home to a radar station. It was a component of a network of radar equipment designed to alert people in case of impending airstrikes in North America.

Now, it’s the ideal walk for people who don’t wish to take on challenging and lengthy climbs or are just pressed for time.

11. Enjoy the Best Food and Desserts in Tofino

Visiting and having dinner in Tofino’s best restaurants is another best thing to do in Tofino. The Tofino restaurant industry is thriving and has made our list of the most important things to do because it is such a fun and delectable experience.

After all the outdoor activities, we wanted to wind down with something soothing, and we were very impressed with the atmosphere at the Tofino Coffee Roasting Company.

Even the coffee in Tofino is exceptional. The coffee at the brunch we enjoyed at Long Beach Lodge was some of the greatest I’ve ever experienced. You may get fresh doughnuts and great coffee at the Rhino Coffee House for breakfast.

Tofino has a wide variety of food alternatives for such a small town. Visit the Wickaninnish Inn’s Pointe Restaurant for fine dining, where you can take in the scenery from their cliffside setting, or the more relaxed Driftwood Café, which has windows that look down into the beach.

The Long Beach Lodge’s Great Room is challenging to beat for ambiance. This picturesque location overlooks Cox Bay and has enormous windows that look out into the beach during the sunset. Undoubtedly, watching the sunset over Cox Bay is among the most remarkable things in Tofino.

The Wolf in the Fog is an additional option for a fine dining experience in Tofino. The Shelter, another restaurant in Tofino, offers indoor and outdoor eating with a view of Clayoquot Sound.

The Rhino Coffee House, located in Tofino, is the place to go if you only want a decent cup of coffee and a tasty pastry.

12. Scenic Flight

One of the most remarkable things to do in Tofino, British Columbia, is to watch the Scenic flight. The landscape of Tofino is breathtaking when viewed from the ground, but can you fathom the splendor of what it must look like when viewed from above? Float planes or helicopters are the most effective means of experiencing a magnificent flight over Tofino.

Tofino’s airport and the harbor are the two places you can board a float plane or a helicopter trip, respectively.

The Pacific Rim National Park contains several boardwalks. The Rainforest Trail and the path to Schooner Cove are two top attractions. You can visit the Pettinger Trail at dusk and take in one of Tofino’s spectacular views from the woodland boardwalk there if you are a guest of Pacific Sands Beach Resort.

What are the Best Things to do in this Area?

You can only imagine how it appears from the air, with so much natural beauty encircling Tofino and Clayoquot Sound.

There is no better way to experience the area than to take a beautiful flight over its mountains, rocky beaches, glaciers, and alpine lakes.

13. Explore Downtown Tofino

It’s enjoyable to stroll into downtown Tofino and peruse the shops and eateries after an exciting day. Downtown Tofino offer a wide variety of unique stores that sell apparel, jewelry, and local works of art.

If you’re searching for casual fare or exquisite dining, there are many options for where to grab a bite. Tofino Public Market is a must-visit location where you can purchase locally crafted crafts, baked delicacies, and fresh food.

The market is the ideal place to buy gifts for friends and family back home and is open from May to October.

Baked Food
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14. Hiking Trail

There are many hiking paths in Tofino where you may get some fresh air, ranging from strolls around the park to ankle-breakingly rough terrain like the Lone Cone Trail.

At Pacific Rim National Park, you can spend the day getting “lost” among the numerous inlets on the easy-going trails that meander across the landscape.

The Cox Bay Lookout trek is one of Tofino’s most picturesque excursions. The walk usually is quite an easy hike up to the overlook over the ocean and begins at the end of Cox Bay.

The hike is generally somewhat muddy throughout the year, and there are a few spots where you will need to struggle over boulders. In Ucluelet, there is a longer trail that travels through a rougher area called the Wild Pacific Trail.

The Ancient Cedars route is a short outing that is also a part of the Wild Pacific Trail but can be taken alone. Walking beneath the enormous trees is a beautiful way to take in the splendor of the rainforest in this location. Close to Tofino, you can find more stunning walks.

What are some of the most Well-liked Hikes?

The Schooner Cove Trail, South Beach Trail, and Wild Pacific Trail are well-liked hiking routes. These all offer a mix of coastal areas and forested areas.

Tofino has the remarkable feature of not experiencing as much snow and ice as most of Canada. As a result, you can visit any time of year; however, if you want to avoid crowds, winter is often a fantastic time to go.

Visit the Big Tree Trail if you want to see something remarkable. Some of British Columbia’s most significant trees can be found along the trail with the same name.

15. Tour The Top Best Beaches in Tofino

Touring the beaches in Tofino is another best thing to do in Tofino. The beaches at Tofino are well-known throughout the world. The beaches in this area are great for surfing and provide opportunities for beachcombing, picnics, and sandcastle-building.

15.1. Long Beach

Watching the sunset at Long Beach is one of the most incredible things to do in Tofino. One of Vancouver Island’s most well-known beaches, Long Beach, is known for its spectacular sunsets.

With a name like Long Beach, it should be no surprise that this 10-mile-long strip of sand is the island’s longest beach (16 km). The best sandy beach is located in Long Beach.

Visit Long Beach which offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the ocean and is situated inside the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Best For: This beach is perfect for jogging, surfing, walking, and even storm-watching.

15.2. Chesterman Beach

You should visit Chesterman Beach if you’re travelling to Tofino for its renowned surfing conditions. Low tide and beach strolls are ideal at Chesterman Beach.

This beach, easily accessible from the Pacific Rim Highway, is quite popular with residents and frequently gets overcrowded.

Best For: You may hike, surf, and explore marine caves on this beach.

15.3. Cox Bay

One of our favourite activities or things to do in Tofino is to stroll the entire beach, and if we feel like a little hike, we’ll go on to the Cox Bay Lookout for the best panoramas of the area. Sunset vistas and boardwalks through the forest are spectacular at Cox Bay.

Best For Cox Bay, north of Long Beach and south of Chesterman Beach, is the site of numerous surfing championships because of its favorable conditions.

Best For: This beach is best for surfing.

15.4. MacKenzie Beach

MacKenzie Beach, which is situated north of Chesterman Beach, is ideal for swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding since its seas are much calmer than those at the other beaches.

Best For: This Mackenzie beach is an excellent choice if you want a peaceful environment because it is a little more remote.

15.5. Wickaninnish Beach

This beach is an excellent example of a postcard, it is south of Long Beach and named for the legendary Chief Wickaninnish.

Best For Wickaninnish Beach’s setting and beauty make it the perfect place to explore the beach and take pictures for Instagram.


Thank you for reading; We hope you found our guide to the best things to do in Tofino, British Columbia, to be helpful. Tofino is a charming little town with lots of interesting sights and activities to do.

Tofino is a destination with plenty of unspoiled natural beauty to discover, waves to surf, and a tranquil atmosphere you won’t find in other cities.

When you wish to vanish and detach from the outside world, it is the ideal haven to visit.

You can unwind and discover why it’s so simple to fall in love with this location by relaxing at one of the many coastal Tofino hideaways.

We hope that this post helped point you in the direction of some of your favourite activities to do in Tofino.

Archana is a content writer of the entertainment sector. She believes that knowledge is meant to be shared in order to grow together. She loves to explore and her wonderful writing skills can be witnessed in her articles. She is pursuing her Bachelors Degree in Physics Honors from Ranchi University of Jharkhand. Her educational background has given her a broad base from which she approaches wide variety of topics. Apart from her primary job functions, Archana enjoys cooking food, watching movies and exploring new places.