Surfing the best shores of Tofino

surfing in Tofino
Surfing in Tofino

When you think of Canada you might first think of maple syrup, hockey and the rugged wilderness and winters of the north. However you probably wouldn’t immediately think of white sand beaches. British Columbia’s best kept secrets are the islands that dust the horizon on the west coast, surrounding the city of Vancouver. On Vancouver Island, Tofino makes the perfect getaway for a couple’s retreat or even a weekend staycation with friends. Here you can escape the cacophony of city life, and enjoy the tranquility of white sand beaches on a coastal Canadian shoreline. Here is your ultimate itinerary for a 3 day, 2 night weekend getaway on Tofino.

Surfing in Tofino

  • Getting to Tofino
  • Surfing in Tofino
  • Chasing the sunsets in Tofino
  • Where to eat in Tofino – My restaurant recommendations
surfing in tofino

Getting There

As Tofino is situated on the south coast of Vancouver Island, it does make it a little challenging to travel to, with a 2 hour ferry ride and a 3-4 hour car ride to the destination. Although the road trip may sound daunting, rest assured that there are lots to do and see while making your way down to south coast, making the journey more memorable:

  • Goats on the Roof, in Coombs (30 mins from Nanaimo Ferry Terminal) :
    • One of the most unique places to stop by on your journey to Tofino is Coombs where you’ll be welcomed by some friendly four legged creatures – well, on the roof! Here you can either indulge in some mouth watering Italian food on the patio of Cuckoo’s Trattoria, enjoy a guilty pleasure at Billy G’s Doughnut Shop, or grab last minute groceries at the Old Country Market.
  • Little Qualicum Falls (10 min drive from Coombs):
    • Stretch your legs here for a 2km loop that takes you to 2 incredible waterfalls. Here you can take a moment to be in awe of these natural wonders, hearing nothing but the rush of water cascading over the ridged canyons.
  • Cathedral Grove located in the MacMillian Provincial Park (15 min drive from Qualicum Falls):
    • The impressive sheer sizes of Douglas Fir trees that extend out 9 meters wide and over 100 meters high will leave you spellbound, as you step foot into the Cathedral Grove forest. These magnificent and ancient pillars of green dating back to 800 years old will have you believing that you’re on another planet.

Surfing in Tofino

Once you catch a glimmer of the crystal shorelines between the red cedar or hemlock trees, you’ll know that you’ve reached the serene coastal destination of Tofino.

If you’re looking to surf, Tofino is renowned as one of Canada’s top surfing destinations, attracting surfers of all levels to its crashing waves and beautiful beaches. If you’re looking for the best surfing spot in Tofino, Cox Bay Beach or Long Beach might be the place for you! With their peaceful beaches with roaring waves, it’s the perfect place for you to challenge yourself with honing your surfing skills. Long Beach notably gets its name from its iconic shoreline, stretching 16 kilometers from end to end, surrounded by pacific rainforests. While Chesterman Beach is known for its wide beachfront; perfect for beach picnics, storm watching or enjoying a sunset. 

Some of my surf rental recommendations in Tofino:

Chasing the Sunsets

If you’re searching for places to chase a sunset in Tofino look no further than Cox Bay (extra points if you’re earning the view with a hike up Cox Bay Lookout), Tonquin Beach, Wickaninnish Beach in Ucluelet, or 1st Street Dock in the heart of Tofino town. Make sure to keep an eye out for bike rentals, so that you can ride a bike along the sun kissed beaches at sundown.

Where to eat in Tofino – My restaurant recommendations

After a long day in the sun, grab a cocktail and perch yourself on one of these two patios in “downtown” Tofino. Wolf in the Fog and Shelter pride themselves as noteworthy and tourist friendly restaurants that have an abundance of fresh seafood options and local ingredients. Although Wolf in the Fog may have more unique sharing plate options, Shelter has unparalleled patio views of the Tofino marina that make your drinks and dessert taste that much sweeter.

surfing in Tofino

Our thoughts about Surfing in Tofino

Although the travel time might be long to some, hidden away in the south of Vancouver Island Tofino it is one of British Columbia’s best kept secrets for a weekend getaway. Offering breathtaking and charming scenery in a pristine coastal setting and perhaps even beckons you to adventure outdoors in its pacific rainforests. 

There are endless adventures that await you on the island, you do not want to miss out on this destination when you make your next trip to the pacific northwest! If you’re interested in viewing accommodations for your upcoming trip to Tofino, we would recommend the following places:


Meet Annika Nyberg, our new guest writer! Annika is a passionate travel photographer based in Vancouver, BC. With a rich background of living in diverse locations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, and now Canada, she brings a unique perspective to her travel stories. Annika often shares her travel photography along with tips and itineraries on her Instagram, and she has recently started creating content on TikTok (@annixnyberg).

Having visited numerous countries across Europe, Asia, North America, and beyond, Annika’s writing aims to inspire readers to explore hidden gems and experience the beauty of new places. Her passion for adventure and deep appreciation for cultural diversity shine through in her stories.

Stay tuned for Annika’s engaging tales and practical advice. As she shares her adventures in British Columbia, Singapore, and other exciting destinations. Want to know more about Annika? Visit our team page for more information.


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