Tofino, Vancouver Island Travel Guide

Visiting Tofino on Vancouver Island seems like some distant fairy tale dream. It was all very serene and magical. If you're looking for a relaxing trip filled with beautiful scenery, then Tofino is the place for you. 

There are multiple ways to get to Tofino. We took a ferry (very inexpensive) from Horseshoe Bay Terminal in West Vancouver to Nanaimo, Vancouver Island. From Nanaimo, we rented a car and drove the rest of the way to Tofino. Tip: Make sure you bring your credit card when you rent a car!! We only had debit cards on us when we tried to rent, and we were almost not able to rent a car because of it. We ended up going to multiple car rental companies until finally one agreed to accept a debit card. Save yourself the hassle and just bring a credit card!

Overall, we stayed in Tofino for two days. We had just enough time to experience the things we were most excited about!

What we did:

  • Ferry Views

To get from Vancouver to Vancouver Island, we took a ferry out of Horseshoe Bay Terminal to Nanaimo. Let me tell you, the view from Horseshoe Bay is absolutely stunning! While you wait for your ferry, look out the window and enjoy the view! Once the ferry gets there, get on and go straight to the top and claim a spot outside by the railing. Most people sit inside to escape the wind, but it's so much more fun to stand outside and enjoy the beautiful view. 

  • Free Spirit Spheres

A short drive away from Nanaimo is a magical cluster of spherical tree homes that you can rent! We did not stay here, but we stopped and explored for a little while. The man who makes these spheres lives there and was so incredibly kind and helpful. He showed us how the spheres stay suspended among the trees, how he builds the spheres, and he gave us a tour of the property. Fun fact: each sphere has its own name! If you are interested in sleeping in the treetops in these unique homes, I will include a link here. 

  • Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park

On the way to Tofino, I would recommend stopping at Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park. Here you can stroll through the trails and see beautiful, giant Douglas-fir trees. Although there are sure to be other people wandering around, I found the park to be so calm and quiet. If you're a tree lover like me and like to stop a lot, I would recommend carving out a few hours for this park. This is a must see if you're in the area!

  • Chesterman Beach

Chesterman Beach is a lovely beach in Tofino that I would highly recommend. During low tide, you can explore the tide pools and find sea stars, anemones, and other interesting marine life. I don't have children, but if I did, I would for sure bring them here to explore the tide pools. Even if you're an adult, you will enjoy exploring the beach!

  • Cox Bay Beach

Cox Bay Beach was a very pretty beach in Tofino that was filled with activity! If you like to surf, this is the beach for you. It's also a great beach for exploring, relaxing in the sand, and strolling in the surf. 

What we ate:

  • Tacofino

If you are in Tofino, you must go to Tacofino. It's popular for a reason: the tacos are delicious! Also, I'm not a big kombucha fan, but even their kombucha was good! 

Have any questions or comments? Comment below or contact me! I'd love to hear your thoughts.