Tofino is a small and stunning district on the West shore of Vancouver Island in Canada. Famous for the YEAR-ROUND surfing, gorgeous coastlines, and OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD fish tacos; you don’t want to miss the chance to visit this little slice of paradise.
Known across Canada as a fantastic coastal getaway, Tofino is chock full of beautiful views and outdoor activities. You can reach Tofino by plane or by vehicle, depending on how long you have and what else you plan to do. If you are hoping to explore the surrounding area at all, I would highly recommend a vehicle.
Many people will take the ferry over from the mainland and spend anywhere from a few days to a few months exploring Vancouver Island. If you are interested in hiking, surfing, waterfalls, and great food, there will be enough here to keep you entertained for weeks!
For more information on travelling around Vancouver Island, check out these blog posts.
Without further ado, here are 10 of my favourite things to do in the charming seaside village of Tofino, Canada!
The fact that surfing is available year-round in Tofino is very unique. Especially in a country with frequent bone-chilling temperatures during the cold winter months. There are several surf schools in Tofino that also offer board rentals as well as numerous beaches that are great for beginners! For more information on surfing and the different beaches, click here.
Take a Food Tour
A Tofino Food Tour is an excellent way to spend the day while learning about local stories and fascinating history you won’t find in a guidebook. It includes 7 delicious tastings from some of Tofino’s best restaurants and food vendors!
Take a Hike
Any hike along the West Coast of Vancouver Island is bound to be beautiful, but Tofino offers some out-of-the-ordinary hikes that I would highly recommend!
First up is Cox Bay Lookout. At 2.6 kilometres and 115 m of elevation, this hike brings you up to an incredible lookout over the coast. While the ground can be slippery and the trail is a bit overgrown, this is my all-time favourite hike in the area.
The Bomber Hike gives you an opportunity to visit the site of a Royal Canadian Air Force plane that crashed shortly after takeoff in 1945. All 12 crew members survived! The plane remains surprisingly intact despite obvious damages from the crash.
The Rainforest Hiking Trail is an easy 2-kilometre stroll on a well-maintained boardwalk. Perfect for a quick pit stop or an afternoon walk, the 731 stairs will leave you in awe of the massive trees and the lush Canadian forest.
Go Whale Watching
Vancouver Island is famous across Canada for spectacular whale watching and sea life. You can expect to see Gray Whales, Humpback Whales and Orcas as well as Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, and Sea Otters! While the tours are not cheap, they are definitely worth the money. Make sure to choose an outfitter who guarantees a sighting. This means that if you don’t see whales on your tour, you get to keep going until you do.
Shop around the Village Core
Local artists, gift shops, and markets line the streets of Tofino creating a fun and inviting atmosphere to stroll around and shop. You will find tons of locally made goodies and learn a lot about the area.
Relax With Yoga on the Beach
Tofino Yoga offers a variety of classes in a few wonderful locations, including beach yoga! Practicing in this serene setting is a wonderful way to start your day.
Walk the Wild Pacific Trail in Uculet
Only about 40 minutes Southeast of Tofino is the smaller and sleepier town of Ucluelet. It’s worth it to make a whole day of exploring the waterfront if you have the time, but if you don’t, half a day will do. The Wild Pacific Trail stands out as a huge highlight of our entire road trip through Western Canada. Seriously, don’t miss it!
Camp Along the Ocean
There is something so peaceful about camping next to the crashing waves and the rugged beauty of the West Coast. Between Ucluelet and Tofino, there are several places to stop and camp. One of our favourites was Waya Point. They have regular tent sites, yurts, and lodges for folks who enjoy a few more amenities.
Take a Sea Kayaking Expedition
Sea Kayaking is an amazing way to get up close and personal with this section of the coast. From lessons to day trips and multi-day expeditions, you can find a tour that will excite you in Tofino. The world is your oyster, so get out there and explore!
If you enjoy fishing, you’re in for an epic adventure. This area offers incredible Salmon and Halibut Charters. It may be a little pricey, but keep in mind that if you catch it, you can usually keep it! There are some exceptions, but almost everyone steps off the boat with a nice salmon fillet to take how home to through on the BBQ.
There are dozens of guiding companies in the area so do your research and don’t forget to pop a couple of Gravol before leaving the harbour. Nothing ruins a day like being seasick!