Tofino is one of the top tourist destinations in Canada located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
With its amazing surf culture and various other attractions, Tofino has won the hearts of many tourists all over the world. From hiking trails to surfing beaches, there are a lot of wonderful things to do in Tofino for everyone irrespective of their age.
Interesting Things to Do in Tofino, BC
If you are planning a visit to this beautiful surf town to spend your weekends with your family or enjoy a romantic getaway, read ahead to find the best things to do in Tofino, British Columbia!
Better known as the surf capital of Canada, Tofino is known for its huge waves and surf-friendly atmosphere all day every day.
Surfing is one of the best things to do in Tofino and it does not matter if you are a beginner or a pro, you are going to equally relish every bit of this surfing quest. So grab your wetsuits and prepare yourself for a once-in-a-lifetime surfing experience!
There are a lot of things you need to keep in mind while surfing in Tofino especially if you are a beginner. You must ensure you know all the safety measures and guidelines to be followed while surfing including the types of equipment needed, which of the beaches in Tofino is safe for beginners and the seasonal changes in the huge and stormy waves that may lead to serious consequences if you aren’t aware of them.
It is highly recommended for amateurs to try surfing during the warmer months and pick up surfing lessons to up their game.
Keeping in mind all the above requirements, you may choose the best suitable beach(read: Cox Bay and Long Beach for professionals) to enjoy a fun-filled surfing experience like never before.
2. Go on a Whale Watching Tour
A whale-watching tour is one of the best things to do in Tofino if you are an ardent fan of wildlife viewing. There are a variety of whales you can see on the coasts of Tofino like the Gray whales, orcas, eagles, seals, sea lions and the magnificent humpback whales.
Whale watching is best done by choosing any of the amazing tour operators around Tofino who will precisely show you the magnificent wildlife and give the best experience possible.
Some of the finest tour operators are Jamie’s Whale Watching Tofino, The Whale Centre, Adventure Tofino, Northwest Ocean Adventures and West Coast Aquatic Safaris.
Whether you are into whale watching or not, it is always a nice idea to go on a boat tour to discover more Tofino attractions and explore nearby Clayoquot Sound.
3. Explore the Magnificent Trails
The rugged coastline of Tofino BC gives rise to a lot of exciting things to do in Tofino like walking through the trails and enjoying the magnificent views of the town.
3.1 Wild Pacific Trail
Along the west coast of Vancouver Island lies one of the best hiking trails of all time. The rugged coastline and the rocky formation make exploring Wild Pacific Trail one of the best things to do in Tofino.
The hiking trails are divided into two sections, namely, The Lighthouse Loop Trail and the coast between Brown’s Beach and Rocky Bluff. Wild Pacific Trail is one of the most popular and exciting trails that lets you discover the true beauty and essence of this glamorous town in British Columbia.
3.2 South Beach Trail
South Beach Trail is a beautiful and peaceful trail situated in the Pacific Rim National Park prominent for hiking or simply walking around to soak in all the positivity during the quieter times.
As you walk along the boardwalk toward South Beach, you get to witness some of the best storm-watching spots in Tofino, BC. Although some parts of the boardwalk are dilapidated, hiking through South Beach Trail to see the beautiful beach at the end is always one of the fun things to do in Tofino!
3.3 Ancient Cedars Trail
Ancient Cedars Trail is a spectacular trail with beautiful cedars and it is perfect for average hikers as not much effort is required to complete it.
Towards the end of the hike, you get to witness the amazing Oceanic views and the Rocky Bluffs.
3.4 Big Tree Trail
The Big Tree Trail is an adventurous hike on Meares Island and it is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Tofino.
Tie your laces and experience the wilderness as you notice a 2000-year-old magnificent cedar tree called the hanging garden.
Once you witness this big tree, you know you have reached the end of your hiking journey through The Old Growth Forest. Although, if you are adventurous enough, you may hike along the road less travelled!
4. Relax At Hot Springs Cove
Going to Hot Springs Cove and spending some leisure time is one of the best things to do in Tofino, British Columbia.
The Hot Springs, located at the heart of the Clayoquot Sound is a natural beauty consisting of waterfalls and pools with hot tub temperatures.
It is the journey that is more beautiful than the destination as there is a boardwalk trail through the Old Growth Forest into the Cove which is phenomenal.
With an amazing walk through the boardwalk and a spectacular boat ride, Hot Springs Cove is a must-visit spot. Make sure you visit the Hot Springs during the off-season to fully get the phenomenal experience you would wish for.
5. Storm Watching
Storm watching is one of the best things to do in Tofino because of its gale-force winds, gushing waves and ferocious weather. It is undoubtedly one of the best activities to do during the winter season in Tofino, British Columbia.
The violent storms bringing intense waves are best seen from November to February. Not only do you get to witness the most thrilling storms during winter, but you also get to experience complete solitude as it is fairly a quieter time to visit Tofino.
Some of the best spots for storm watching are The Sunset Point at Cox Bay, Long Beach Lodge Resort, Ocean Village Resort, Chesterman Beach and Tonquin Beach Trails.
6. Go on a Bear-Watching Tour
Bear watching is one of the best things to do in Tofino because of the remarkable coastlines that the Clayoquot Sound offers.
You can witness the magnificent black bears during the time of low tide by going on a boat tour from the Tofino Harbour.
By going on a bear-watching tour, you get to see the black bears in their natural habitat. The best time to see bears is between April and October when there are low tides. It’s the steadiest and best option to opt for a bear-watching tour as they provide the safest way to watch them at a distance.
Some of the best bear-watching tours are Adventure Tofino, The Whale Centre, Jamie’s Whale Watching Tofino, Browning Pass Charters and Ocean Outfitters.
Book one of these tour operators and witness the wild bears searching for food after they rise from hibernation.
7. Visit the Pacific Rim National Park
Visiting the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve located on the west coast of Vancouver Island is one of the most popular things to do in Tofino. The National park features Long beach, West Coast Trail and The Broken Group Islands.
Get to The Pacific Rim National Park to explore the rainforest surrounded by old-growth trees, astonishing shoreside vistas and extended sandy beaches.
It is one of the best places in Tofino to visit due to the numerous attractions and outdoor activities that surround the glorious Pacific Rim National Park.
From surfing through the gushing waves to hiking along the beautiful trails, this Nation Park has something for every adventure enthusiast out there.
You also get to witness exciting wildlife like humpback whales, river otters, black bears, short-tailed weasels, raccoons, red squirrels, cougars, orcas, bald eagles, martens and black tail deers.
Whether you are simply looking to indulge in nature’s bliss or to engage in different activities like storm watching, whale watching, surfing and walking through the terrific trails, Pacific Rim National Park is the best place to cater for the needs of every aspiring adventurer and nature enthusiast out there!
8. Go Deep Sea Fishing
Deep sea fishing is one of the best things to do in Tofino to explore the extended coastlines of this glorious town on Vancouver Island. You can either fish on your own for free or book a fishing charter and guided fishing tours to have an incredible fishing experience like never before.
By fishing on the great waters of Tofino, you get to witness exciting underwater fish species and wildlife. If you opt for a guided fishing tour, get ready to witness some of the best fish like Halibut, Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, ling cod and tuna.
If you are lucky enough, you also get to see Dungeness crab and prawns during the winter season.
Some of the best fishing charters in Tofino are Tofino Fish Guides, Tofino Fishing Coastal Charters, WardoWest Tofino Sportfishing, Tonquin Fishing Charters, Northwest Ocean Adventures, Tofino Saltwater Sports Fishing Charter, Obee Fishing Charters and Lance’s Sportfishing Adventures.
All these charters offer a half-day or a full-day ordeal whichever you may prefer. If you are an underwater buff, don’t miss out on deep-sea fishing to have an unforgettable experience!
9. Explore the Beautiful Beaches in Tofino, BC
Tofino is home to some of the most beautiful beaches with an extensive coastline and fine sands. From the fairly secluded and deserted beach to breezy and exhilarating beaches, Tofino has got it all.
If you are planning for romantic getaways to relax and spend some quality time with your special ones, visiting the finest beaches in Tofino is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Tofino, BC.
9.1 Cox Bay Beach
Cox Bay Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Tofino that is great for professional as well as beginner surfers alike.
Among the best things to do in Tofino, visiting Cox Bay tops the list and there is no room to be surprised as the beach is phenomenal in every sense.
Be it the surfing madness or the serene beauty that draws your attention, Cox Bay has something for every nature lover and adventurer out there.
If you are a beginner at surfing, make sure you book a surfing lesson from The Surf Sisters and have an incredible journey of learning surfing and enjoying the tremendous waves at Cox Bay.
At Cox Bay, you get to witness the most breathtaking sunsets along with beautiful walking trails to walk, relax and watch the tremendous waves at both high and low tide.
With enormous parking space near the Surf Grove Campground and excellent amenities, you need not worry about anything here. If you are planning a vacation to Tofino, make sure you spare an entire day or two to visit the majestic Cox Bay Beach as it is fully worth it!
The Cox Bay Beach Resort located near the Pacific Rim Highway is an amazing beachfront property offering an outdoor hot tub along with various other facilities for visitors to have a pleasant stay while discovering all the hidden gems and beauties of this magnificent small town.
9.2 Chesterman Beach
If beach exploring is one of your top things to do in Tofino, don’t forget to visit Chesterman Beach to have a fun-filled experience watching the tidal pools at low tide and surfing until your heart desires.
Chesterman Beach isn’t just known as a surfing beach, it is prominent in all aspects when it comes to providing the best experience to tourists and locals alike.
Chesterman Beach offers an extensive list of sporting activities like windsurfing, kayaking, kitesurfing, bocce ball, paddling, frisbee, skim boarding and more exciting recreations like whale-watching to indulge in and have an indelible experience like never before.
You also get to witness sea creatures like jellyfish, starfish, sea otters, eagles, mussels, gooseneck barnacles, crustaceans and other creatures on Chesterman beach.
If you are looking for a pleasant stay near Chesterman Beach, look no further than The Island Village Properties which is located less than a minute away allowing you to easily access the beach at your own pace. With a huge living room and kitchen, Island Village is a very spacious and convenient place to stay.
Chesterman Beach has fine golden sands and it is a perfect spot for star gazing at night. Listen to the dancing waves and enjoy this incredible West Coast scenery rated as one of the best beaches in Tofino.
9.3 Mackenzie Beach
Mackenzie Beach is a wonderful secluded beach with calm waters perfect for paddling and swimming. The peaceful atmosphere around this beach makes it one of the best beaches in Tofino to relax with your family and friends.
Mackenzie Beach is the no.1 paddle board destination of Tofino with calm and soothing waves making it perfect for SUP beginners.
If you have a furry friend, don’t worry as this beach is dog-friendly. With admirable amenities like new camping bathrooms, showers, laundry installations and a paid parking facility, Mackenzie Beach is loved for its simplicity and tranquility among people all over the world.
The weather at this beautiful beach in Tofino is warm throughout the year and you also get to witness one of the most amazing sunsets in Tofino.
If you are planning a visit to Mackenzie beach, make sure you stay at the Mackenzie Beach Resort with modern suites and a fireplace located only a few minutes away from the glorious sandy beach enabling easy accessibility for every visitor.
9.4 Long Beach
Exploring the magnificent Long Beach located on the west coast of Vancouver Island is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Tofino.
It isn’t simply named this way, Long Beach is one of the longest sandy beaches in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve located on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Visit Long Beach if you are a fan of water sports activities like surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, windsurfing, skim boarding and swimming to have an unforgettable experience with your near and dear ones.
If you aren’t into sporting activities, you can spend some time for yourself by taking a walk along this beautiful beach and soaking in all the positivity and good vibes the beach has to offer.
Make sure you plan an entire day to visit the Long beach as it is enormous and you probably won’t be able to walk till the end of it.
The best thing about Long beach is that even though it is very popular and has tons of visitors coming in every day, due to its massive length it seems less crowded.
The ocean-side tranquility, rugged coastlines, and vast walking trails make Long beach one of the most visited and well-liked beaches in Tofino. Make sure you add this to your list of places to visit in Tofino!
9.5 Wickaninnish Beach
Wickaninnish beach is a long sandy beach perfect for surfing located in the Pacific Rim National Park. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Tofino with limited amenities so make sure you carry a few emergency supplies with you.
Exploring the enchanting beauty of Wickaninnish Beach and watching the most breathtaking sunset is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Tofino.
The substantial and stunning waves on a fairly secluded beach bring about all the peace you are looking for.
If you enjoy spending some quiet and blissful time looking at the waves and soaking in all the good vibes, this beach is your go-to destination. The only dilemma about this beach is that once you reach it, you never want to leave!
10. Go Kayaking on Clayoquot Sound
Kayaking on Clayoquot Sound is one of the best things to do in Tofino. The Clayoquot Sound is a beautiful kayaking destination that is safeguarded from the chaotic waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Clayoquot Sound sea kayaking tours are a great way to explore Meares Island. You can either choose a single kayak or a double kayak to explore the wilderness and islands of this beautiful town by paddling around the magnificent waters.
Some of the best kayaking tours in Tofino are Paddle West Kayaking, Black Bear Kayaking, T’ashii Paddle School, Tofino Sea Kayaking and Jamie’s Whale Watching Tofino.
All of these tour agencies provide adequate equipment rentals, gear rentals, guided tours and wildlife tours allowing you to have a remarkable sea kayaking experience like never before!
11. Explore the Tofino Market
Exploring the weekly Farmer’s Market is one of the best things to do in Tofino to support the local vendors and witness the creative side of this town.
Tofino Market is a great spot for tourists to learn about the rich history and culture of Tofino and even go back home with amazing souvenirs.
The Tofino Village Green is the place where all the local artisans, bakers, musicians and talented individuals from the corners of Tofino come together to sell their creativity. From delicious treats to awe-inspiring arts, The Tofino Market has got it all!
12. Hiking the Radar Hill
Radar Hill gives rise to one of the best Tofino hikes that allow families to spend leisurely time with each other. By walking along its beautiful trails and witnessing the scenic views of nature, hiking at Radar Hill is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Tofino.
Walking through the hiking trails of Radar Hill is easily one of the easiest and quickest due to the short distance to the hill. If you are looking for a less challenging hike, then this is for you!
13. Explore Tofino Museums & Local Art Galleries
Visiting museums and art galleries is one of the most interesting things to do in Tofino to learn more about their historical relevance, rich cultures and talented artists of the town.
There are several prominent Canadian museums in Tofino like The Eagle Aerie Gallery or The Roy Henry Vickers Gallery, Mark Hobson Gallery and Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum.
13.1 Eagle Aerie Gallery
Roy Henry Vickers Gallery or The Eagle Aerie Gallery located in downtown Tofino displays the brilliant artworks of the world-renowned Canadian artist Roy Henry Vickers, who was born in Northern British Columbia.
The gallery includes Roy Henry Vicker’s original prints, illustrations, art cards and other masterpieces.
Eagle Aerie Gallery is the best Tofino attraction that must not be missed especially when the legend himself comes by for storytelling.
Make sure you schedule your visit after looking through their events calendar page. The fascinating thing about this gallery is that it is free of cost to enter, So make sure you visit to carry incredible memories of Roy and his stunning artworks and maybe bring some home too!
Location: 350 Campbell St, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0, Canada.
13.2 Mark Hobson Gallery
Mark Hobson Gallery exhibits the best artworks of Mark Hobson like the beautiful paintings of local vistas and exotic wildlife inspired by the West Coast.
Mark’s way of portraying the flora and fauna is incredibly realistic and the way he plays with light enhancement is truly remarkable. If you are around Tofino, visiting Mark Hobson Gallery is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Tofino, BC.
Location: 366 Campbell St, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0, Canada.
13.3 Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum
Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum displays all the brilliant artefacts, archival materials and stories depicting the town’s historical significance. The community museum that is located at the heart of Tofino runs on donations and it is filled with the rich history of Tofino.
The Tofino-Clayoquot Heritage Museum uses storyboards and illustrations that are truly fascinating. If you are curious about Tofino’s rich history and culture, do drop by The Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum to spend a fabulous evening.
Location: 331 Main St, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0, Canada.
14. Wander Around the Naa’Waya’Sum Gardens
The Naa’Waya’Sun Gardens were formerly known as the Tofino Botanical Gardens where art met with nature to give us a truly breathtaking experience by walking through the beautiful trails.
The Tofino Botanical Gardens were then transformed due to a change in ownership to a more focused indigenous-led conservation area by offering place-based education and schemes.
The transformation of the gardens led to the emergence of three areas in the Clayoquot Campus called the Naa’Waya’Sum Gardens, IISAAK lodge and the Little Costa Rica Cafe.
The beautiful gardens are still open to tourists and visiting them is undoubtedly one of the most informative and leisurely things to do in Tofino.
15. Visit the Chocolate Tofino
Visiting The Chocolate Tofino and trying all their deliciously prepared homemade chocolates, ice creams and gelato is one of the best things to do in Tofino.
The Chocolate Tofino is set up in a picturesque setting with outdoor seating and serves some of the best-salted caramel sundaes, chocolate ice cream, truffles, gelatos and assorted chocolates.
If you want to try some of the best-assorted delicacies of Tofino, you must visit Chocolate Tofino!
Location: 1180A Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0, Canada.
16. Eat at Some of the Popular Restaurants in Tofino
Tofino has an incredible food culture with an extensive list of scrumptious delights. One must not visit Tofino and leave without trying their local eateries.
Exploring all the popular restaurants and trying different cuisines is one of the most exciting things to do in Tofino.
Tacofino is a popular food truck in Tofino serving delicious tacos, burritos and gringas. This iconic food truck has been a popular spot for tourists all over the world and has since been spread over various locations.
Try their Baja-style fish tacos, vegan burrito, tuna taco, carnitas tacos, black bean tacos and chocolate diabolo cookies.
Location: 1184 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0, Canada.
16.2 Sobo Restaurant
SoBo(Sophisticated Bohemian) is a popular restaurant in Tofino serving seafood dishes using locally sourced ingredients in a rustic and chic setting.
Try their smoked fish chowder, polenta fries, manilla clams, killer fish taco, miso-slathered broiled oysters, mushroom pizza with a pesto base and goat cheese, mussels, huevos rancheros, buckwheat Sobo noodle salad and tofu pockets.
Location: 311 Neill St, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0, Canada.
16.3 Wolf in the Fog
Wolf in the Fog is one of the finest restaurants in Tofino set up in an aesthetic and elegant sitting overlooking the magnificent sea.
Start with their small plates like potato crushed oysters and work your way through their delicious roasted black cod, charred octopus, tater tots, shrimp eggs Benedict, smoked tuna dip, halibut sausage, gnudi with yam and Brussel sprouts, lamb pasta and basque cheesecake.
If you are planning to visit Tofino, don’t miss out on Wolf in the Fog to have an incredible dining experience with your friends and family like never before.
Location: 150 Fourth St, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0, Canada.
17. Get on a Scenic Flight
One of the best ways to see Tofino is from high above. Take a scenic flight from the Tofino harbour and witness some of the most breathtaking landscapes of the town.
Viewing the beauty of Tofino from above is a completely different and breathtaking perspective that one must experience. There are various scenic flights you can choose from to have an incredible and satisfactory journey.
One of the most recommended scenic flights is The Tofino Air which offers various seaplane tours like Hot Springs Cove tour, The Coastal tour, the Sand to Summit tour and the sunset coastal tour.
Tofino is a beautiful town in Clayoquot Sound offering a plethora of intriguing landscapes, sporting activities, magnificent hiking trails, informative tours and excellent culinary experience.
From going on a whale-watching tour to taking a scenic flight to explore the town in its entirety, there are a lot of things to do in Tofino that are jaw-dropping!
Also, check out Most Beautiful Places in Canada.
1. What is Tofino famous for?
The sunsets in Tofino are legendary. Tofino is the first spot that springs to me when you think of tropical and Canada.
2. Which month is ideal for travel to Tofino?
The warmest and sunniest months to visit Tofino are unquestionably July and August.
3. How long does it take to travel by ferry from Vancouver to Tofino?
With rest stops along the route, the trip will probably take a little bit longer than the estimated 5.5 hours for a direct travel.