Top 10 Things to do in Tofino
We have this as the number one activity simply because it is what Tofino is known for even though there are many other things to do. There are a few great surf schools here or you can rent a board from one of the local shops if you don’t have your own. The summer waves are generally the best for beginners and there are quite a few different beaches to give you variety in wave size. Chesterman beach is a popular beach for beginners.
2. Fishing Charters
If you are even remotely interested in fishing, the west coast is a great place to try your luck. Driving 30 mins south to Ucluelet could be worth your time as Ucluelet boasts the largest area of feeding grounds for salmon and halibut from BC to Alaska. Peak times here range from June 15-Sept 15 but you can get pretty decent fishing starting in March/April. Many people come here for 3 days however 4-8 hour day trips are available as well.
4. Hot springs Tours
30 mins by flight or a 45 min boat ride, the trip to up to the Hot springs is very beautiful and half the adventure. The Hot springs have a few different pools to get into. There is also a hike there you can do. You can spend a good part of the day there enjoying the pools in between groups of people coming in if you stay longer than each tour and ask to catch a later boat back to Tofino.
It would be a shame to come to the west coast without spending some time on the scenic beaches of the west coast. These are not beaches of the tropics but rather beaches with the rugged west coast feel. Chesterman Beach are Long Beach are two of the favorites and worth spending some time on. Many of the smaller beaches are worth exploring as well. The smaller beaches also get less traffic since you have to be more intentional to get there.
7. Whale watching/Wildlife tours
The wildlife on the west coast is worth going to see in its natural habitat. Gray Whales pass close to shore during their long trip north during the month of March and early April. Humpback Whales often frequent the Pacific Rim area and you can view whales from either Ucluelet or Tofino. During the summers 2014 and 2015 there were not the normal amount of humpback whales in near shore so make sure you find out about recent sightings.
Bear watching is another possibility and you can do this from boat or on land. The Thorton Creek hatchery close to Ucluelet is a great place to see bears during September. Many of the whale watching boats in Ucluelet and Tofino will do bear watching.
8. Bird watching
The Pacific Rim is right along the pacific fly-way and every year thousands of sea birds pass by on their way to the Artic. Spring time is always a busy time for birds, but summer months also produce a good amount of birds. The Tofino mudflats are one of the hotspots, though it can be hard to view from land. Chesterman and Long Beach are a good place to find sea birds and both have good access.
9. Food/Cuisine – Lunch/Faster food
A good vacation always needs some good cuisine to go along with it and in Tofino you can find some great seafood. Tacofino is a local favorite for lingcod tacos and a must stop. The Wildside grill (same complex) has a great menu of seafood and regular food. The Red Can gourmet is a newer place that opened just outside of Tofino and they are worth the stop in.
Wolf in the Fog opened in 2015 and has been featured in some magazines. The Shelter restaurant is a great place for romantic date and they a few types of seafood including local crab.
10. Ucluelet Aquarium
Run by a staff that is passionate about the sea life on the west coast, here you will find sea life that has been caught during the spring and released in the fall. The aquarium is relatively small but worth the stop if you are interested in sea life. It is a great place to take kids as well and most of the sea life has charts describing how each thrives in nature.