Tofino activities and attractions. For a little village on the ragged edge of the wild Pacific, there are a remarkable number of things to do in Tofino. No, chances are you won't find a full Philharmonic concert, but you will find hikes, cruises, kayaking, whale-watching and bear-watching tours. And more!
Once you arrive there is certainly no shortage of activities to choose from. The ever-popular whale watching, wildlife tours (including bears), and fishing charters and tours are rewarding, as well as sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and surfing, but if that’s not your thing, no worries! There are plenty of land-based attractions and activities to enjoy, such as hiking, bird watching, and natural hot springs.
A walking Tofino Food Tour is a 3 hour event, a culinary attraction that many describe as a hightlight of their visit to Tofino British Columbia. Your time will be spent tasting delicious samples and learning the local history surrounding the town and its restaurants. Open to adults 19+, childcare is available, max group size is 6. This is a great activity for your first day in Tofino!
Beside this Food Tour, see Tofino Food Tour for these three additional offerings....
Here are Tofino activities and attractions in the town of Tofino:
606 Campbell Street, Tofino, BC, V0R 2Z0
Jamie's Whaling Station is the original whale-watching tour company in Tofino BC. They've been providing excursions into Clayoquot Sound and Barkley Sound since 1982.
Their fleet of 9 whale and wildlife viewing boats include the 60-foot "Lukwa," the 50-foot MV Chinook Princess, the 40-foot MV Stellar Sea, the 35-foot MV Pacific Springs, and 5 custom-built 29-foot zodiac-style open air boats.
Jamie's will take you:
Book early! Their summertime tours are frequently sold out.
606 Campbell St, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0
Toll Free: 1-877-479-3232
(Book tours through Jamie’s Whaling Station)
Paddle West Kayaking: Professionally guided day- and multi-day tours, kayak rentals, and customized overnight tours designed for all kayaking skill levels.
1084 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, BC
Hours: All year long - 8am to dusk.
Admission: CAD$8 (students), $10 (seniors), $12 (adults). Age 12 and under are free.
Tofino Botanical Gardens: Take a self-guided around the 12 acres of gardens and forest and relax with coffee and snack at Darwin's Cafe afterward. Admission is valid for three days. Open year round 8 am - dusk. Dog friendly.
350 Campbell Street, Tofino, BC
Hours: Year round, 10a-5p (Jan-Feb 10a-4p)
Eagle Aerie Gallery: Always something new to see at this artist-owned gallery located in a traditional Northwest coastal longhouse. Full range of art is on display with thorough explanations of artistic interpretation. Gift shop has cards, books, calendars, jewelry and more.
691 Industrial Way
Hours: 11am-10pm daily
Tofino Brewing Company: A must for the visiting beer enthusiast! Something for everyone's preference. Fun, friendly staff.
Chesterman Beach: Just outside the Pacific Rim National Park, south of Tofino village on the west side of the Pacific Rim Highway, this beach is known the world over for its gorgeous sunsets. Watch the surfers or explore the sea life at low tide. Frank Island is accessible at low tide; but don't forget to walk back before the tide rises again!
Cox Bay Beach: This Tofino activity is located along the Pacific Rim Highway just south of Chesterman Beach. Short walk through the forest to reach the beach. Free parking.
Tonquin Park: Walk to the trail head from town (behind Tofino Community Hall on Arnet Road) or if you prefer to drive, there is a parking area at the end of Tonquin Park Road. Head through the forest and down the gravel trail (with some stairs) to the beach area for excellent photo opportunities!
The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a non-contiguous stretch along the Pacific Ocean side of Vancouver Island. BC. It stretches from just south of Tofino, BC, bypasses Ucluelet, BC, and then includes islands and the coastal regions just north of Port Renfrew. All of the Pacific Rim National Park protects regions of temperate rainforest, long sandy beaches, and rocky and rugged Pacific coastline.
There are a number of Tofino activities located within the nearby Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, all of them subject to modest entry fees....
Pacific Rim National Park: Rainforests, sandy beaches, well-maintained trails, islands, first nations history, wild ocean and breathtaking views are all included in this spectacular national park. Ideal for walking/hiking enthusiasts. Dogs are permitted (on leash at all times) at the Long Beach area only.
Pacific Rim National Park is subject to entry fees. Youth age 17 and under enter for free.
Rainforest Trail (Pacific Rim National Park) is a popular choice for hiking and is sure to be a beautiful experience no matter the weather. It’s short enough for small children but not stroller or wheelchair friendly due to stairs. Trail A begins across the highway from the parking lot. Trail B starts from the parking lot. Stroll along a well-maintained boardwalk and admire the vegetation and wildlife. Stop to read information plaques along the way.
Need some peace and quiet to soak in the beautiful scenery away from the hubbub? Enlist a boat to drop you off on your own island beach for the day. Don’t forget to check the weather and tides and ask for advice!
As for all Tofino activities within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the Rainforest Trail is subject to entry fees.
Long Beach: The aptly named Long Beach stretches 16 km (10 mi) along Wickaninnish Bay between Tofino and Ucluelet. Come to surf the waves or simply enjoy surf- and people-watching. Hard packed sand makes for easy walking.
As for all Tofino activities within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, enjoying Long Beach is subject to entry fees.
Schooner Cove: Near the Tofino Long Beach airport on the Pacific Rim Highway, this short, 2 km (round trip) hike originates at a parking area and continues down stairs and boardwalk through the forest to the beach. Lots to explore, especially at low tide.
As for all Tofino activities within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the Schooner Cove and Trail are subject to entry fees.
Hot Springs Cove: For a soak in natural mineral hot springs head to Maquinna Marine Provincial Park and Protected Area, 30 miles north of Tofino. This is a great day trip destination and is only accessible by boat or sea plane. Check with your tour/travel guide for tide conditions; high tides can make the pools inhospitable, especially in winter. Upon arrival plan to walk for about 30 minutes through old-growth rainforest to reach the pools. Due to stairs and wet, slippery rocks this adventurous Tofino activity isn't for everyone.
Maquinna Marine Provincial Park Website provides a wealth of info:
Lone Cone Hike: You'll have to earn the spectacular view at the top of Lone Cone mountain on Meares Island, but it's well worth it, especially on a clear day. Hiking boots are a must and this hike will be best enjoyed by someone who is experienced and fit. Take a 15-minute ride via water taxi to the trailhead and don't forget plenty of water and adequate snacks.
Big Tree Trail: Take a water taxi to the trailhead on Meares Island. Wear proper footwear as the trail can be muddy and slippery and there are stairs. The largest Western Red Cedar Tree is named the Hanging Garden due to the number of trees and other plants growing from it. It is 60 feet wide and estimated to be 2,000 years old! Boardwalks extend around the tree, offering plenty of viewpoints. Round trip hike is under 3 hours.
Walk the Wild Side Trail: This amazing trail on Flores Island (arrange a water taxi) will take you through lush forest and across 8 beaches with plenty of opportunities along the way to glimpse wildlife. Plan for a round trip day hike of 8.5 hours or take it easy and spend the night at one of the three camping areas or anywhere along the trail. Be prepared for sudden weather changes and make sure to store food appropriately to prevent unpleasant encounters with bears.
Ucluelet, BC, located 25 miles (40.25 km) south of Tofino, is Tofino's sister town. Ucluelet offers its own slate of attractions, including the Wild Pacific Trail with stunning views of the rugged Pacific shoreline, and the Amphitrite Lighthouse (pictured below).
Consider adding tours, cruises, or a scenic hike in Ucluelet to your list of Tofino activities.
See Ucluelet British Columbia for much more information (link coming).