Activities & Adventures Beaches

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The lifestyle in Tofino revolves around the beach whether you surf, take walks on the sand, are a sunset lover, or practice yoga.

Choose from a multitude of beaches, each with different features that make them memorable. Wander the length of Long Beach, explore tide pools at Crystal Cove on MacKenzie Beach, or walk the tombolo on Chesterman Beach at low tide. Natural wonder is all around you. 

Beach safety

There are no lifeguards on the beaches in Tofino or Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Before you visit the beach, learn how to stay safe from potential hazards like riptides and unexpected waves. 

Running on the beach in the wind with the surf crashing in the background
Bocce ball game on the beach with friends

Beach, all day long

Lazy days on the sand are what summer is all about, while leaning into the wind and feeling the power of a storm is a quintessential winter activity. From frolicking in the waves with a board to playing in the sand building castles or passing a football around, there are endless things to do at the beach all year round. 

Sea slug on kelp
People with buckets on a beach digging a sand castle

Look closely

Rediscover your child-like curiosity and investigate the microcosm of life living in tide pools. There is an entire drama unfolding at your feet: from the mussel and gooseneck barnacle-encrusted rocks to the ochre stars “chasing” them and the tidepool sculpins trying to avoid sea anemone tentacles. 

Flora & fauna

Find your perfect beach

Uncover what makes each beach special.

Sunset over Cox Bay looking South with Cox Point in silhouette.

Cox Bay Beach ( č’ahạ yis )

Home to most Tofino surf competitions, this crescent-shaped beach offers consistent surf, tidepool exploration at its north and south ends and some little alcoves between driftwood for solitude. Spectacular for winter storm watching, you’ll also find Long Beach Lodge Resort, Cox Bay Beach Resort, Pacific Sands Beach Resort and Surf Grove Campground here.

Person walking down the Florencia Bay stairs with a surfboard, surrounded by forest, heading to the beach.

Florencia Bay ( qaanimč’a )

Known for its impressive sand cliffs that meet the shoreline, Florencia Bay is located at the southern end of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The trail to the beach is approximately 1.2km long and access involves a wooden staircase. Call it a stairway to heaven.

Aerial photo of Lovekin Rock looking out from treeline to the beach out to the ocean.

Long Beach ( yaaqsis )

Situated within Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, this beach borders old-growth forest and is the longest on the west coast of Vancouver Island, stretching over 16 kilometres. The gigantic boulders sitting at the water’s edge and in the surf, known as Incinerator and Lovekin Rocks, make this beach iconic.

Beach view with small resort cabins

MacKenzie Beach ( tinuwis )

Sheltered from most of the wind by large tidal rocks, this beach is known for its calm waters with only the gentlest of waves. It’s a popular destination for families with small children. There’s also an entrance ramp, facilitating beach access for everyone. 

Aerial photo of the tombolo that divides Chesterman Beaches (North from South) and extends out to Frank Island in the middle. Clayoquot Sound is visible in the background.

North & South Chesterman Beach ( n̓an̓ak̓ʷuuʔa / yuʔatu )

A tombolo or sandspit joins North and South Chesterman beaches. At low tide walk out to Frank Island, explore the tidepools or drop by the Carving Shed near the Wickaninnish Inn. Both ends are popular spots for surf lessons.

Wedding couple in a sandy cove at Tonquin Beach.

Tonquin Beach ( ƛaakašiis )

The trail to Tonquin is approximately 250 meters long, with two sets of stairs and a scenic wooden bridge. Take in the distinctive rock walls and a small rock island. In rainy weather, walk the Tonquin Trail between Tonquin Beach and Middle Beach for views of the islands surrounding Načiks. 

Two people walking along the dunes at Wickaninnish Beach with surfboards in hand

Wickaninnish Beach ( kʷisitis )

Between weather-bleached driftwood on the edge of golden sand dunes and the ocean's powerful waves, this vast stretch of sand is a living postcard. Its westerly exposure makes it a surfing destination - also bringing wind onshore. Wickaninnish Beach is situated within Long Beach, in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. 

Aerial photo of Long Beach stretching out to the south of beach with people scattered on the beach and cars in the parking lot. Washrooms and changing rooms at a beach facility along Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Motorized scooter on a boardwalk Rolling waves and surfers from above Person walking their dog on leash at the beach with another person ahead of the dog

Beaches 101

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