Tofino Travel Guide: The Westest Coast


Guess what guys? I finally took the "no" out of Tofino. Meaning, yes you guessed it! I finally made it to our westest coast! I did so in style, thanks to Ford Canada's latest Ford Fusion – which has air conditioned seats, automatic high beam lights, and a great sunroof, which were just a few of my favourite features. Read along for my best tips on how to spend 2 days in Tofino, BC.

Tofino Travel Guide: 2 Days in Tofino, BC

How to Get There

Driving to Tofino in a Ford Fusionford canada in tofino

If you can, definitely drive. We drove from Vancouver onto the Ferry, stayed the night in Tofino with my boyfriend's family, and then continued on to Tofino the next morning in our winter-tired, fully-equipped, and fully-fuelled Ford Fusion. Because the drive is quite windy, definitely make sure you are driving a vehicle you are comfortable in. An all-wheel drive will come in handy during the winter months, and snow tires can be quite necessary as the roads get slippery. I'd strongly suggest waiting until daylight to make the drive; nighttime can be dangerous because of all the twists and turns on the way. We made it from Nanaimo to Tofino in about 2.5 hours, including a stop at Starbucks. Explore the vehicle features of the Ford Fusion that I loved, which will make your drive to Tofino that much better and safer. Be sure to book your ferry ride ahead of time on BC Ferries, and arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure to ensure your spot isn't given away.

Or, you can opt to fly instead. I feel that would another incredible way to get to Tofino. Check out the best-priced flights on Skyscanner.

Where to Stay

Chesterman Cabin Stay Tofino Chesterman Cabin Stay Tofinochopping wood at chesterman cabin tofino

We stayed at the most wonderful, beach-side 3 bedroom home called the Chesterman Cabin, which is located just a 5 minute trail walk to Chesterman Beach. This place had a wood-burning fireplace, a private hot tub, and a fully-equipped kitchen and propane BBQ, which essentially made our weekend and gave us an opportunity for some real downtime with nothing much more than laughs, good food, and board games.

I recommend Chesterman Cabin for your stay in Tofino – get all the info here. Or, if you want something a little smaller, check out Stay Tofino for all the best places in this westerly gem of a place.

Where to Eat

the original tacofino

  • Tacofino: It's absolutely mandatory that you visit the original Tacofino while visiting Tofino, especially if you are a Vancouver-dweller, but don't expect much in the way of ambience. The lineup is massive, so be prepared to wait about an hour from line-to-taco – but know while you are huffing and puffing that the wait is well worth it! I recommend the fish tacos. So delicious! Ps. If you're really hungry, you can always call ahead and order. They answer sometimes.
  • SoBo: For both ambience and mouth-watering food, I'd recommend a more upscale, sit down meal at SoBo, right in the heart of Tofino. We had a full-course dinner for four here, and though it wasn't the cheapest meal out there, the wide variety of foods made it well worth it. Some of the best oysters I've ever had! Oh, and don't pass up the ice cream sandwiches to go.

What to Do

hot springs cove tofino bc

  • Hot Springs Cove with Jamie's Whale Watching: If you're at all interested in the natural wonders of the world, then this day trip is for you. We travelled to Hot Springs Cove with , which is about an hour boat ride from Tofino. When you arrive, you are required to do a 30 minute hike (on a very easy wooden trail with stairs) to reach the hot springs. Here, you'll find a changing area to leave your things, put on your swimsuit, and get into the hot springs before you freeze! (If you opt to visit during winter like we did). At first, the hot springs were quite crowded, but once the first boat of people left, I really enjoyed the hot springs. They did not smell of sulfur like others might, and I found the mineral-enriched water super hydrating on my skin and hair. The refreshing waves from the ocean helped to keep the hot water suitable for a long (3 hour) period of time. Bring lunch and a waterproof GoPro if you can!

What to Pack

what to pack for a weekend in Tofino

  • Pack your things in a small, carry-on size suitcase like mine from – something compact yet expandable to fit all your things!
  • Bring a duffle bag for your extras, like waterproof jackets, beach towels (if not provided by your stay), and camera gear. My favourite duffle bag is from Herschel Supply Co. 
  • Waterproof clothes: bring at least a waterproof jacket and rain boots, especially if you are visiting in the winter.
  • GoPro with Waterproof Case: If you're a photography or videography enthusiast, this will be your most life-saving piece of equipment when visiting Tofino and doing some water sports, whether surfing or visiting the hot springs.

There you have it: a weekend in the westerly gem of Tofino, and endless things to do and see – you'll have to take a second trip of course. Visit Tourism Tofino for  all the details on this city!