Things to do in Tofino

As we delve into the top 10 things to do in Tofino, My senses were on overload the moment I stepped off the plane in Tofino. The crisp ocean air slapped me awake, carrying the whisper of pine needles and the roar of waves crashing against the rugged cliffs. This wasn’t just any destination – it was a portal to a wild wonderland, and I, an adventurous soul with a thirst for untamed beauty, was ready to dive in.

Tofino Long Beach
Tofino Long Beach

My first taste of Tofino magic came in the form of surfing. Long Beach, with its endless stretch of golden sand, beckoned like a siren song. I signed up for a lesson at Long Beach Surf School (1444 Pacific Rim Hwy), where patient instructors transformed me from a landlubber into a wave dancer (well, kind of). The feeling of catching my first wave, the board gliding beneath my feet as I skimmed the turquoise water, was pure adrenaline – a moment etched forever in my memory.

But Tofino’s playground extends far beyond the surf. One day, I found myself paddling through the glassy waters of Clayoquot Sound with Tofino Expeditions (420 Campbell Rd). The emerald rainforest clung to the cliffs, dripping with moss and alive with the chatter of birds. We kayaked past curious seals basking on rocks and marveled at ancient cedars that seemed to touch the sky. The silence, broken only by the whisper of paddles and the gentle sigh of the ocean, was an intoxicating balm to my city-weary soul.


Speaking of giants, my encounter with the majestic humpbacks was nothing short of life-altering. Jamie’s Whaling Station (157 Campbell Rd) took me on a breathtaking tour, and there I was, mere meters away, as a leviathan breached the surface, its immense body glistening in the sunlight. The power, the grace, the raw beauty of it all – I swear my heart skipped a beat. That night, huddled by the crackling fireplace at The Wickaninish Inn (419 Chesterman Beach Rd), the memory still danced behind my closed eyelids.

But Tofino wasn’t just about adrenaline-pumping adventures. It was also a place to reconnect with my inner explorer. I hiked through the cathedral-like cedars of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the air thick with the scent of damp earth and pine needles. Each step felt like a whispered prayer to the ancient wilderness, each towering tree a silent guardian. I stood transfixed, the panoramic view of the ocean stretching out before me like an endless turquoise canvas. At that moment, I felt small, yet strangely connected to everything around me.

Of course, no Tofino adventure is complete without indulging in its culinary bounty. Fresh seafood, plucked straight from the ocean, was a constant delight.  The sound of the waves lulled me into a state of pure serenity, the taste of salty air on my lips a constant reminder of this wild paradise.

Exploring 5 Unique Things to Do in Tofino

1. Coombs Country Market – More Than Just Goats (But Seriously, the Goats!)

Forty minutes after disembarking from the ferry, you’ll stumble upon a village straight out of a storybook – Coombs. But beyond the gingerbread-esque buildings lies a treasure trove known as the Coombs Country Market. This isn’t just any market; it’s a sensory explosion of fresh-baked goodness, local crafts, and yes, the pièce de résistance – goats grazing on the living roof (from March to Thanksgiving, that is). Don’t just gawk at these grassy-topped lawnmowers – peek behind the scenes for a hidden farmers’ market bursting with fresh produce, homemade treats, and unique finds. Remember, rub Buddha’s belly for good luck on the rest of your journey – karma points are always welcome.

Bonus Bite: Butcher Bliss – Fueling Your Tofino Adventures

Two minutes down the highway, tucked away like a secret, lies a haven for carnivores – the Tofino Meats Company. Forget gas station jerky – this butcher shop crafts artisanal sausages and bacon so good, you’ll be planning your next breakfast around them. Stock up on thick-cut slices of paradise and prepare for drool-worthy Tofino mornings.

2. Cathedral Grove (Macmillan Provincial Park) – Where Trees Tell Ancient Tales

Cathedral Grove
Cathedral Grove

Get ready to shrink next to giants. As you enter Cathedral Grove, towering Douglas firs, some pushing a thousand years old, will have you feeling like a hobbit in Fangorn Forest. This old-growth wonderland isn’t just a pretty face – it’s a living history book. Breathe in the crisp air, feel the soft moss underfoot, and let your imagination wander through the stories etched in the bark. Keep an eye out for the eerie remnants of old-growth logging notches – silent whispers of a bygone era. And if you’re here during fall, prepare for a pumpkin extravaganza! Locals bring their old gourds, creating a vibrant orange tapestry amongst the green giants.

3. J&L Drive-In – Nostalgia on a Tray

Halfway to Tofino, in Port Alberni, your inner child will squeal with glee. Pull up to the J&L Drive-In, where greasy spoons reign supreme. Shakes, burgers, fries – it’s the classic drive-in experience, complete with friendly servers taking your order through the car window. Crank up the oldies, roll down the windows, and indulge in a burger that tastes like childhood summers.

4. The Hole in the Wall – Nature’s Hidden Gem

Forget the padlock fence – the real treasure lies beyond. 50 kilometers from Tofino, tucked away beside the highway, is The Hole in the Wall. Follow the staircase down to a secluded wonderland where smooth rocks, polished by ancient river currents, shimmer in the sunlight. Take a deep breath of fresh air, listen to the rushing water, and capture Instagram-worthy shots that’ll make your friends jealous.

5. Tofino Visitor Centre – Your Tofino Compass

Before diving headfirst into Tofino’s wild beauty, fuel your inner explorer at the Visitor Centre. Maps, park passes, local recommendations – it’s your one-stop shop for unlocking all the secrets this magical place holds. Get expert tips on where to find the perfect wave, rent your surfboard, and discover hidden hiking trails that’ll leave you breathless.

Tofino sunset
Tofino sunset

As my Tofino adventure came to a close, I knew I was leaving a piece of my heart behind. But it wasn’t just the breathtaking landscapes or the heart-pounding activities that stole my soul. It was the feeling of belonging, of being a part of something bigger, wilder, and more ancient than myself. Tofino taught me to respect the rhythm of the tides, the power of the ocean, and the delicate balance of this precious ecosystem. It challenged me to push my limits, embrace the unknown, and find wonder in the simplest things.

So, if you’re seeking an adventure that will leave you breathless, a place where nature paints with a bold brush and whispers stories in the wind, then make Tofino your next destination. Pack your sense of wonder, a touch of resilience, and an open heart. This wild jewel awaits, ready to weave its magic into your soul, just like it did mine.