Photo credits: mitch.kirilo

8 Best Tofino Beaches To Explore And Enjoy In 2023

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The best beaches in Tofino may not have anything to do with the soft, grainy white sand you see in Miami or Maldives. But their fine beauty comes from the log-strewn sands, low tide vistas, and wildlife that reflect the scenery of Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast the locals are always proud of.

The stretch of ocean swathing the lush Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is home to the most stunning beaches in Tofino.

Most of the beaches are connected with a scenic hike crossing the woods or the fiery sunset over the uninterrupted flat horizon.

Keep scrolling to unveil the eight most beautiful Tofino beaches that will have you talking about for years.

1. Chesterman Beach

Best Beach in Tofino for Sunset, Surfing, and Dog Walking

Photo credits: jackwallingtonnature

Being a breezy sandy beach with a long, stunning coastline snuggled within a perfect heart shape, Chesterman is one of the liveliest beaches in Tofino for families and outdoor enthusiasts alike. On any given windy day when fall is around, local surfers and families head out together to listen to the sound of the waves. The abundant wildlife is anchored to the crescent shore with typical Pacific West Coast creatures such as shorebirds, whales, osprey, and otters.

The rocky islands on the north side of the beach are pressed against the soft and hard sand with a lighthouse sitting on top.

If you’re hanging out with friends, get ready to be occupied for the whole day beach combing, skimboarding, and storm watching. You can get here on a bicycle or park your vehicle at one of the designated lots for a fee.

The sunset at Chesterman beach is spectacularly famous. That means soaking in the sunset view from the sheltered shore is a marvelous experience. You can also spend a night or two here at one of the suites and cottages at Chesterman Beach B&B on the left wing of the shore.


  • Public washrooms and shower facilities (North & South access points)
  • Beach pay parking is in effect
  • Beach fires allowed


  • South Chesterman Beach Parking: Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0.
  • Middle Chesterman / Frank Island Parking: 1329 Chesterman Beach Rd, Tofino, BC V0R.

2. Cox Bay

Best Surf Beach and Family Retreat in Tofino

Photo credits: kevin.teichroeb

As the locals attest, Cox Bay goes by as one of the best surf beaches in Tofino along with Chesterman. Easy access from the wooded, boardwalk trail leading out to the viewpoint makes Cox Bay a lot more interesting to visit with your pooch and loved ones.

Cox Bay is sandwiched between the Pacific Rim National Park and Rosie Bay, spanning 1.5 kilometers in length. The west-facing shore puts most directions of the swell into overdrive, making it one of the most consistent beach breaks in Tofino for surfers of all levels. For that reason, Cox Bay has been on the list of surf competitions including the O’Neill Cold Water Classic.

If taking on the 20-minute muddy hike is not your thing, how about hanging by the giant drift logs on the white sands? Or better yet, take your family out and pitch a tent at the Surf Grove Campground.

Wake up in the misty morning followed by the warm sunlight for surfing. If you come in winter, don’t let the chilly days hold you back in doubt because Cox Bay is perfect for storm watching during the coldest months of the year as well.


  • Public washrooms and shower facilities (North entrance)
  • Beach pay parking is in effect
  • Beach fires NOT allowed

Parking: Cox Bay Public Beach Parking: 1441 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0.

3. MacKenzie Beach

Best Beach in Tofino to Kayak, Camp, and Storm Watch

Photo credits: the_travelfun

Sheltered from the open ocean and high winds from the nearby rock outcroppings, MacKenzie Beach is a household name for families seeking a calmer vibe that can’t be found at other beaches.

With less exposure to storms and intense waves, the beach attracts more SUP fans and kayakers. The further rocky islands act as a shield that breaks the surf and remains the relaxing secluded atmosphere.

Even though surfing here is not a norm, you can still venture out during the colder months at the end of the year for storm watching.

Family camping on a fall sunny day under the cool rocks and windswept trees is a typical blissful getaway for the locals here. And don’t forget to engage in plenty of water activities such as frisbee, bocce ball, beachcombing, and swimming.


  • Public washrooms & shower facilities (Hellesen Drive)
  • Entrance ramp & Mobi-Mat, facilitating beach access.
  • Beach fires are allowed.

Parking: Mackenzie Beach Public Access – Hellesen Dr, Tofino, BC.

4. Long Beach

Best Beach in Tofino to Explore Hidden Islands, Water Sports, and Romantic 

Photo credits: mitch.kirilo

Ringing true to its name, Long Beach is not only the longest beach in the Pacific Rim National Park but also the west coast of Vancouver Island. Stretching over 16 kilometers, the extensive sandy shore is full of tidepools that play host to a mashup of life. From crabs and shells to starfish and sea urchins, you name it.

When the tide is low, both hard and soft sand are exposed, beckoning runners and sun-bathers to celebrate its lively outdoor pursuits. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, check out one of the hidden islands during low tide or wait for the powerful gales and waves to crash on the boulders when the storm is close. And when the surf comes crashing in, Long Beach becomes a stage for worldwide surfers, bracing the waves in the heart of the gorgeous panoramic view of the ocean and sky.

Long Beach is also a perfect place to take your loved ones on a date, pressing down the soft sand on a romantic stroll while catching the glimpse of the whales.


  • Picnic tables.
  • Washroom.
  • Campgrounds
  • Fire rings..

Parking: Green Point Campground, BC-4, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0.

5. Wickaninnish Beach

Best Beach in Tofino With Sand Dunes And Authentic Rugged West Coast Feel

Photo credits: tomrsmith93

On any given sunny day, the fiery sunset casts its striking radiant on the waters of Wickaninnish Beach. The soft sand of this popular Tofino beach comes alive, with friendly furry friends roaming free and playing frisbee with their ‘hooman’.

Wickaninnish Beach is linked to the southern end of Long Beach. The locals love Wickaninnish for good reasons, and one of them is because it doesn’t seem crowded even when there are plenty of people visiting. The stretching shoreline seems to run for miles and you can always find a beautiful spot for yourself.

Come to Wickaninnish on a crisp, breezy day to plunge in a distinctive rugged west coast feel. People from other parts of Vancouver Island treat it as their favorite getaway. Even though the beach is close to the downtown core, you still get a sense of solitude.

Beachcombing is one of the best things to do here. The unique sand dunes in this very part of the Pacific Rim National Park have been a massive natural playground for years. So tag your kids along this upcoming weekend and let them collect flotsam, jetsam, and driftwood on a treasure hunting journey.


  • Picnic tables.
  • Shelters.

Parking: Rainforest Trail – Trail B, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0.

6. Tonquin Beach

Best Beach in Tofino to Find Rainforest Trail, Watch Sunset, and Cast Salmon

Photo credits: still_tiddled

Take on a lush, wooded trail snaking through the rainforest and it’ll soon open out to a scenic Pacific Coast stretch where Tonquin Beach resides. You can easily walk there from anywhere in the downtown core.

To make the most of your time here, be prepared for a beautiful hike before reaching the beach. Park your car at the end of Tonquin Beach Road and you’ll see the beginning of the one-kilometer-long trail right next to it. The trail is broken down into a dirt path section and boardwalk section for a moderate hike.

If you come before the sun is out, embrace this chance to soak in its dramatic sunset. The best spot to laze around gazing at the fiery horizon is either at one of the boulders on two ends of the beach.

Every year from June to September, Tofino Beach becomes a lively stage for fishers that cast their lines on Chinook Salmon at the end of the peninsula. Even if fishing is not something you’re keen on, watching orca and gray whales swimming by is another beloved leisure pursuit here at Tonquin Beach.


  • Public washrooms (Tonquin Trailhead)
  • Beach pay parking is in effect at Tonquin Park Road.
  • Beach fires are NOT allowed.

 Parking: 367 Tonquin Park Rd, Tofino, BC V0R 0A4.

7. Combers Beach

Best Beach in Tofino for Quirky Treasure Hunting

Photo credits: jessica.r.rae

Grooming the beach deposits curious items on the sand and rocks, and that’s why Combers Beach becomes one of the coolest beaches in Tofino for the young and old alike.

This is where you want to go to keep up with everything beach-related. There is an easy hike that sends you down to the wide-open water through wind-worn trees. When you reach the rocky outcrop, it becomes a little slippery and challenging to exit the woods. But when the tide is out, getting to the beach is a lot easier.

Once you’ve made it there, the wildlife embraced by the beautiful west coast will hypnotize you. On the way to the big rocks, you can even see nasty sea lions hanging by the ocean in groups.

Combers Beach welcomes strong winds and swells occasionally, but that doesn’t mean it can’t guarantee a stellar picnic outing. There are signs telling you exactly where to swim, and combining it with the scenic hike in the woods will surely stir the heart for a day of relaxation.


  • Washrooms.

Parking: Combers Beach Trailhead: Parking lot, Pacific Rim Hwy, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0.

8. Schooner Beach

Best Beach in Tofino for Surf Casting and Vast Wildlife

Photo credits: katinkacobain

The vast wilderness between Long Beach and Radar Hill is one of the prime spots in Tofino. As you enter the old-growth forest leading out to Schooner Cove, you’ll feel the abundance of plants and the typical smell of a typical West Coast forest dancing in the air.

The hike is appropriate for all ages, but a bottle of water will keep you hydrated and ready for what’s waiting along the way. The hike itself is steeped in the magnificent cedars, firs, and a meandering stream beneath the walkway.

Soon you’ll reach the beach. The beach at Schooner Cove is secluded, nestled at the back of an ample, rocky headland Portland Point that acts as a shelter. It protects the beach from strong winds and engrossing white sand. Walk along the log-strewn sand on a misty fall day, you will see constant gentle swells crashing into the shore, making it a great location for surf casting.

Make sure to plan your trip with the tide. Low tides allow plenty of sea creatures to emerge, especially by the rocks on the islands.


  • Washrooms.

Parking: British Columbia V0R 2Z0.

With so many activities Tofino has to offer, it’s hard to know where to start. But when it comes to a day outdoor on an actual sunny day, these ideas are an absolute must: