Tofino is Canada’s surfing mecca and much more!
It is definitely one of those magical places that you must visit at least once in your life! And even if you don’t dedicate your life to surfing, you’re still going to love Tofino.
8 reasons to go to the westernmost part of the country
1. To practice “beach hopping“
There are many beaches around Tofino and they all have a different vibe. You can find the beach that suits you best! Here are some beaches to visit:
- Tonquin Beach: small beach, very close to the city
- Mackenzie Beach: large beach, not far from the city, few waves
- Chesterman Beach: popular beach with waves
- Cox Bay: good beach for surfing, large enough to relax without distractions
- Long Beach: the beach where you can walk almost endlessly along the shore. It’s a 15-minute drive from Tofino. This huge beach is part of the Pacific Rim National Park, and you can explore it in several sections.
- South Beach Trail (our favourite beach): This small beach is a 15-minute walk from the Kwisitis Visitor Center in Pacific Rim National Park. The three large rocks that rise from the ground will take your breath away as soon as you arrive. You’ll love the texture under your feet: a mix of sand and pebbles. Lying down on the ground feels like a heavenly massage or like sleeping on the inside of a giant bean bag. Instant bliss! Find out more about hiking in the national park.
2. To eat and chill
There is no shortage of places to rest with a bite to eat or to chat with friends. Here are some great places to try:
- Rhino: a café famous for its yummy donuts
- Tuff Beans: the home of Great Coffee and Tofino’s Biggest, Cheapest Muffins
- Bravocados: a vegan and vegetarian restaurant where all the dishes are delicious and healthy
- Tacofino: the original crave-worthy food truck started in Tofino and has spread to locations in Vancouver and Victoria
- Shelter Restaurant: fancy fast food with a patio on the main street
If you’re passing by Ucluelet, stop for a bite to eat at the Wya Point Surf Shop Café. You won’t be disappointed. The menu options are delicious!
3. To admire the sunsets
There are so many places to watch the sunset in Tofino. This is the advantage of being on the West Coast. Should you wish to make a bonfire on the beach, keep in mind the District of Tofino only lets you do so on Mackenzie and Chesterman beaches.
One of the best places to watch the sunset is on the shores of the HI Tofino hostel!
4. To watch whales or bears
Whether in a Zodiac or a small boat, you can set sail in Clayoquot Sound! What animal would you like to see today? Choose between a day of fun with the whales or with the bears. Several companies offer these activities and the cost is around $109 per excursion.
5. To trek
There are a large number of treks around Tofino. Find out about Lone Cone and Big Tree Trail, some hiking routes located on Meares Island that are accessible by water taxi. If you’re not afraid of getting muddy, check out the Radar Hill Plane Crash hike where you’ll get close to the wreckage.
6. To enjoy a local microbrewery beer
You can enjoy a Tofino Brewing Company beer at most local restaurants. You can also go directly to the site for a beer flight, which is a tasting of four beers. Tofino Brewing Co. is the first and only microbrewery in town, so be sure to try it!
7. To go to Tofino Skatepark
It’s a good spot for chilling in the city: you can meet people, skate or just observe. It’s a hotspot for events. We happened to be there during the West Coast Triple Plank, an annual three-day snowboard, skate and surf competition.
8. To take a surf lesson (like everyone else)
Yep, that’s what everyone does at Tofino! If you’re not a pro surfer at heart, you can learn to become one or just have fun for half a day! Prices are around $60 for 3 hours of lessons including board rental. If you want to be inspired by the craft, you can follow the adventures of a group of local surfers at A Surfer’s Diary.
Where to sleep in Tofino?
If you are looking for a central place to explore the city on foot, you must stay at HI Tofino! Located directly on the water’s edge, the hostel is really cozy and it feels like a chalet. The rooms have an incredible view of the bay!
When’s your next trip to Tofino?