In Tofino, you can’t help but feel connected with nature - it’s all around you. It fills your ears with crashing waves, the song of birds, the bark of playful sea lions. You’ll find that almost all of Tofino is perfumed with the sweet scent of the salty sea and the fragrance of rich forests. Plus, there’s sofl very much to see! Being a town with a vibrant tourism industry, you'll find no shortage of things to do while you’re in Tofino, whether you’re visiting for the first time or the hundredth.
Where is Tofino?
Tofino is a natural, beautiful and wild destination on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is part of the Ha-Hoothlee (or traditional territories) of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. You’ll find Tofino nestled beside Pacific Rim National Park, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, Clayoquot Sound and seemingly endless inlets, beaches and forests to explore.
Our Favourite Things to Do in Tofino
1. Visit Pacific Rim National Park
Pacific Rim National Park has many trails, beaches and islands to discover. One of the most popular sections of this park is Long Beach. Just like it sounds, it’s a lovely long beach that you can walk for many kilometres.
Travel Expert Tip: “There’s lots of natural beauty to see along this rugged coastline, but you should also keep your eyes out for any marine debris that can wash up on the shore. Try doing a mini beach clean-up during your walk as a way to give back to the gorgeous beach you are enjoying.” Chantal Kerr
2. Go Surfing
With so many beaches to admire, you may find yourself tempted to get right in the water and surf! Remember that you’ll need a wetsuit for these waters, and a lesson in safety and technique is always a good idea as well.
Check out top surf schools in Tofino such as Surf Sister,Pacific Surf Co. or Live to Surf to ensure you get quality lessons. Your friendly instructor should have you riding those waves in no time!
3. Wildlife Watching
Keep your eyes peeled for the abundance of wildlife in Tofino, including eagles, sea lions, harbour seals, deer, bears, whales, wolves and more!
Flight Centre has friends among the best wildlife tour companies in Tofino. Our Expert Travellers can help you pick the perfect organized tour for you best chance of viewing bears, whales, and more.
4. Eat & Drink
Even though Tofino is remote, the culinary options are world-class. Fresh seafood, of course, is the VIP on most menus: smoked salmon, fish tacos, chowders. But boutique coffeeshops, vegetarian must-trys, and one-of-a-kind watering holes aren’t hard to find either. Take a big bite out of Tofino with a guided food tour!
Some of our favourite foodie stops in Tofino are:
Wolf in the Fog
Must-Try: Cedar Sour
Tacofino food truck
Must-Try: Fish tacos and diablo cookies
The Pointe Restaurant (at the Wickaninnish Inn)
Style: Fine Dining (Smart Casual Dress Code)
Must-Try: West Pacific Seafood’ Sablefish with an extensive wine menu to pair it with
Must-Try: The salmon surf bowl and a Shelter Mule
5. Explore Tofino’s History
Tofino has a rich culture and history. Pay a visit to the Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum and explore the Nuu-chah-nulth history and current traditions, the fishing, trade, geological history and more. We also highly recommend a guided Tofino history and culture tour which will help you understand this special area with a deeper appreciation.
6. Go Kayaking
Paddling the Tofino Inlet and the Meares Island coastline are both well-loved routes among Tofino locals. Due to currents, navigation complexity and safety, a guided kayak tour is a must. Talk to your Expert Traveller about guided kayak tour options and we’ll be sure match you with one that suits your interest and paddling experience.
With many unique shops to explore, most of which are locally owned, it’s easy to support local businesses during your shopping adventure. There are also many artists that call Tofino home, so there will be no shortage of fine products to tempt you.
Travel Expert Tip: “Roy Henry Vickers Gallery is a must-visit, as a world- renowned Canadian First Nations artist his gallery building itself is a work of art.” Chantal Kerr
Just down the highway from Tofino is a town called Ucluelet. In this town you will find the majestic Wild Pacific Trail. The trail follows the coastline and journeys through the forest complete with close-up views of old growth cedars, wind-swept trees, and even ancient shipwrecks! Bring. A. Camera.
9. Enjoy Some R&R
There are just as many ways to relax as there are to explore in Tofino. If the weather is right, you can try catching a class with Tofino Yoga which regularly hosts yoga outside on Mackenzie Beach or at the lush Tofino Botanical Gardens.
Travel Expert Tip: “The Ancient Cedars Spa, part of the Wickaninnish Inn is a gorgeous spa overlooking North Chesterman Beach. Enjoy their spa services or even semi-private or private yoga in their Rainforest Haven room.” Chantal Kerr
10. Go for a Bike Ride
Tofino has a wonderful, paved trail that winds through town and is perfect for biking. It’s approximately six kilometres and provides a great way to see the town, beach-hop, shop-hop or just enjoy the ride. If the sand is hard enough, you may even be able to ride your bike along the local beaches.
If you didn’t bring a bike, don’t fret, there are many places in town to pick up a bike rental, some hotels and resorts offer bike rentals directly as well.
Nobody likes disappointment. To ensure your trip to Tofino goes as smoothly as possible, it’s more important than ever to make your bookings with a travel advisor. Reach out to us today and ask how we can help you Book With Confidence.