Top Five Winter Activities in Tofino:
- Surfing: You already know this, but surfing is cool. It's super fun, and it's incredibly accessible to surfers of all levels in Tofino. If you don't know what you're doing take a lesson from one of the many surf schools we have here. If you are already geared up and have some questions, stop by your local surf shop and ask away. Just don't miss out on the opportunity to get your surf on.
- Dining: From quaint funky diners to world class restaurants on the ocean, Tofino has it all in terms of dining experiences. If you're here on the weekend or a holiday, make a reservation. Otherwise, the winter is pretty mellow in Tofino, so walk on up to any restaurant -- they really are all good.
- Hiking: One of the best kept winter secrets in Tofino is that hiking is more fun. Why, you ask? If it's raining, you'll have great rain gear and won't notice that much because you'll be in an old growth rainforest. If it's not raining the winter weather in Tofino is incredible and the light is even more spectacular. Get your hiking boots on and go!
- Paddle Boarding: Flat water SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding) is the new sea kayaking (we like sea kayaking in the winter too!). While the winter swells are intimidating, Tofino's inlet waters are often calm in the winter, and can offer tranquil, almost otherworldly experiences. If you don't have a lot of experience (and we mean if you're not an expert), hire a guide. Paddle boarding and kayaking in the inlets is safe if you know what you're doing, but the winter conditions can be dangerous without a lot of ocean and paddle board knowledge.
- Wine or Tea by the Fire: If your vacation rental or hotel doesn't have a fireplace, don't worry as many restaurants in Tofino have fireside dining. If you and your loved one don't want to have a big dinner, snuggle up to the fire with a great glass of wine (many wine lists in Tofino are fantastic) or a Vancouver Island beer or a cozy cup of tea. Winter is the time to decompress with beverages!
Winter is Surfing Season
Visitors to Tofino often ask us "What is one thing you recommend doing while we're in Tofino?". In the winter, our answer is always two words: "Go surfing!" From absolute beginner to world-class expert, Tofino has a beach that is right for you. Take a lesson if it's your first time and rent gear if you don't have any or just didn't want to haul your gear with you. It's practically a guarantee that there will be a wave in the winter.
Winter is restaurant season in Tofino because you rarely need a reservation -- some weekends and holidays may seem busy, but nothing like the summer months. If you like wine, you're in luck. And if you like cozy fireside dining, even better because many of our restaurants have fireplaces and some even have covered, outdoor seating with overhead heaters and blankets. Oh, and did we mention winter is seafood season? Enjoy!
Whether it's on a beach or in the rainforest, winter hiking in Tofino is incredibly rewarding. Between Ucluelet and here there are tons of trails and beaches to choose from and because you brought your good rain gear it doesn't matter whether it's raining or not. And if you happen to get blessed with good weather, the winter light on the water is spectacular!
Getting to Tofino
While it is possible to fly directly to Tofino, most folks drive in their own vehicle. As such, we've prepared a getting here page, which details the amazing drive out to the wonderful west coast. We also have a full page of maps.
If you are looking for bus service to Tofino, please be aware that Tofino Bus offers exceptional scheduled bus and charter bus services from Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Port Alberni and the Comox Valley. For more information about Tofino Bus, visit their website.