It’s the festive season in Tofino, so slip on your gumboots and some raingear!  While there’s a warm, fuzzy place in our collective Canadian memory for a snowy winter, we’re sharing the coastal version of how the holidays are celebrated on the far left coast.

The pre- or post- beach walk:
It’s hard to beat the sensation of walking on a beach and hearing the ocean’s lull after a filling holiday dinner.  If the day has been mostly clear, gaze up.  Away from the glow of the city, Tofino’s always been a little “light” on street lighting, making for impressive yearround stargazing.
Local tip:  Check the tides before you head to the beach – you’ll want to go at low tide or at least at ebb tide (when the tide is going from high to low) to give yourself plenty of room to wander.

The Christmas crab boil:
There’s nothing more coastal than tasting some locally-caught Dungeness Crab for a special occasion!  Pour on some butter (plain or garlic flavoured is great) and you’ll be eating as many Tofitians do.  If your tastes run more carnivorous, Tina Windsor’s tiny, mighty Picnic Charcuterie is a purveyor of quality cured meats and provisions.  Don’t miss the ham cured in a Tofino Kelp Stout brine – or any of her other creations for that matter.

The Christmas (or New Year’s Day) surf:
Work yourself into a 4 or 5mm wetsuit or wander down to the beach to watch surfers run into our cold waters, which hover between 9° and 15° C. However you choose to enjoy it, this is a Canadian winter experience you won’t soon forget.

Tofino Winterlights:
The Tofino Botanical Gardens are aglow with thousands of tiny lights in this inaugural season of Tofino Winterlights.  The lights are on nightly (including Christmas and New Year’s Eves) until January 8th.  A one-time donation of $10/adult gets you in for unlimited visits to the display, and a calendar of events at Darwin’s Café includes storytime and some live music (admission may apply.)

There are more small, locally-sprouted events happening in Tofino over the holidays.  View them here for the big picture.  You may also want to consult our handy listing of holiday restaurant hours, as some Tofitian restaurateurs take time to relax and recharge.  Here’s to your happy holidays!


Updated Highway 4 Road Closure Schedule at Kennedy Hill