Remote, wild and exquisitely beautiful, Tofino is a wonderland for nature lovers. But with such a huge choice in resorts, motels, B&Bs, campgrounds and hotels, choosing between places to stay in Tofino can feel like a difficult task.
But I’ve got you covered. As a regular visitor to Tofino, I’ve stayed in a range of hotels, resorts, campgrounds and more. I’ve also visited dozens of others to compare the competition.
Based on my own experiences and first hand research, this post will feature my ultimate favourite places to stay in Tofino. It also features a recommendation from my friend Leigh, author of hikebiketravel.com. Read on to get all the details!
Choosing a place to stay in Tofino
To make your stay in Tofino the best it can be, here are some essential tips:
- Narrow down what kind of experience you want first. Do you want to wake up to oceanfront views? Or be right in the bustle of downtown Tofino? Is surfing important to you? Or how about elevated dining? Tofino is a small place and easy to explore wherever you stay, but the vibe and amenities vary between accommodations
- Make a reservation early. Advance booking is essential to secure a great place to stay in Tofino, especially during the summer months when availability can be very low. Popular resorts and campgrounds sometimes book out six months (or more!) in advance for popular weekends and holidays.
- If you can, visit off season. Not only does this offer more choice in accommodation, but prices are also lower. My preferred time to visit is October-December or March-May. January and February can be wonderful months for storm watching, but some resorts and facilities are shut for renovations during this time.
This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I stayed at two of these properties (Ocean Village and Pacific Sands) with the help of Tourism Tofino.
Middle Beach Lodge
Sitting on a headland between two beautiful sandy beaches, Middle Beach Lodge is an adult’s only sanctuary for visitors looking to connect with nature.
The feeling of seclusion is fully maximized by a stay in one of the twenty rustic cliff-top cabins. Although less private, the lodge rooms have a similar aura of peace and quiet.
Short hiking trails crisscross the 40 acre property, with one leading to a mile long private beach. You can either watch the sunset from here or return to the comfort of the Lodge at the Headlands, which features sweeping vistas, comfortable loungers, board games and more.
Included in every stay is a continental breakfast, featuring freshly baked pastries, locally made bread and more tasty treats.
Despite being incredibly central to Tofino’s attractions, Middle Beach Lodge is one of those places I could happily not leave during a short break (especially since dinner is on offer too, by reservation).
Pacific Sands Beach Resort
If you’re looking for upscale surf-in/surf-out accommodation in Tofino, Pacific Sands Beach Resort is a great choice.
All of the palatial suites and beach houses are only steps away from the waves and there’s a surf school (with rentals available) located on site as well.
Planning to stay dry? No problem. With 12 foot high windows and accommodation spread over multiple floors, the luxurious oceanfront beach houses offer a front row seat to all of nature’s glory.
You can watch surfers play in the waves and listen to the roar of the ocean right from the sofa, patio or double soaker tub.
Not only are the waves on Cox Bay some of the biggest in Tofino, but the sunsets can be pretty epic too. Pacific Sands is definitely one of the most scenic places to stay in Tofino.
Long Beach Lodge Resort
One of my all-time favourite places to stay is Long Beach Lodge, overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Tofino. It’s an unpretentious, friendly resort – one you’ll have a hard time leaving.
I love it for its gorgeous, well-appointed rooms with a view (especially the rooms with an ocean facing balcony), the soaker tub, fireplace and lush robes.
But what really strikes a chord with me is how a stay makes me feel – rejuvenated and relaxed. I also love the connection I feel with my husband when I come here and the long romantic beach walks.
While Tofino is known for its great restaurants, I have found the one in the hotel serves meals as delicious as any in town with a view. And nothing beats hanging out in your room, sipping wine watching the sun go down.
Recommendation by Leigh at hikebiketravel.com
Tofino Resort + Marina
Located a short walk from downtown, Tofino Resort + Marina is a quiet oasis on the harbour inlet. Recently renovated rooms provide stylish lodgings with a backdrop of mountains, islands and tranquil ocean views.
Being a resort, it’s the amenities that really enhance a stay here. The on site Adventure Centre offers a plethora of wildlife watching tours plus guided fishing, paddleboarding and more.
Our ‘Cook Your Catch’ adventure was a real highlight of our visit, including a private boat tour, crabbing and fresh crab supper.
The marina complex includes two restaurants – the Hatch Pub and 1909 Kitchen. The latter features a menu sourced and foraged from Tofino’s oceans, shoreline and forests. The food looks as stunning as it tastes.
Total disclosure, I haven’t stayed here (yet). But the concept and location of this place is just too good not to include on this list of best places to stay in Tofino!
Situated on the edge of Tofino’s scenic harbour, Wildpod offers a unique luxury glamping experience with six geodesic domes.
Each dome has a huge panoramic window looking out to the ocean plus an en suite bathroom, kitchenette and propane fireplace.
If you like the idea of camping but don’t have the equipment or desire to sleep on the ground, these geodesic domes are the perfect fit!
For an affordable beachfront getaway, check out Ocean Village on Mackenzie Beach. The distinctive ‘beehive’ cabins sit right behind the sand, offering breathtaking perspectives of crashing waves and sunsets.
Rustic and compact, yet cosy and comfortable, the cabins have everything you need to feel at home.
If you can, choose an upper studio suite. The elevated views offer just a touch more ocean for your money and you get to sleep under unique high arched ceilings.
Protected by rock outcroppings, Mackenzie Beach tends to have smaller waves and winds than other beaches in the Tofino area. This, like the laid back vibe of Ocean Village, makes it one of the best places to stay in Tofino for families.
There’s also a heated indoor swimming pool (the only one in Tofino) as well as a hot tub, surfboard rentals, BBQ area and garden maze.
Green Point Campground
Green Point is the one and only vehicle accessible campground in Pacific Rim National Park. Situated on a forested bluff above spectacular Long Beach, campers can access the golden sands via a short (5 minute) downhill trail.
Most of the campsites are set into the forest, though a handful of oceanside sites have ‘peek through’ views of the beach. There are 94 vehicle accessible campsites (electrical service, access to showers, flush toilets) and 20 walk-in tent sites in the Green Point campground.
Bella Pacifica Campground
There are oceanside, beachfront and forest sites available, offering different levels of privacy and service level.
What the beachfront sites lack in seclusion, however, more than make up with unrestricted views of the surf. All of the sites are within a very short walk of the beach and roaring Pacific ocean.
Bella Pacifica is open from late February to late October each year and campsites can be reserved online. The campground has flush toilets, potable water, coin operated showers, laundry facilities and free wi-fi.
Things to do in Tofino during your stay
While Tofino may be small, there is an incredible about of things to do in the local area. And that is without even considering Ucluelet or the incredible road trip along Highway 4 to get there!
Here are my absolute favourite things to do in Tofino, based on many repeated trips and adventures in the area. I’ve done many of these twice or even three times!
Which will you do?
- Go whale watching – you have the chance to see grey whales, orcas, humpbacks, sea otters and more
- Be awed by giant trees on two rainforest trails in Pacific Rim National Park
- Take a boat or floatplane trip to Hot Springs Cove and relax in the natural thermal pools
- Walk on one of the many spectacular sandy beaches – my favourites are Long Beach, Cox Bay and Florencia Bay
- Have brunch with a view at the Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn (keep alert for wildlife, we saw dolphins here)
- Hike to the Cox Bay lookout for the most epic views of Tofino’s beaches and rainforest
- Eat the best gelato in British Columbia (and buy handmade chocolates for later) at Chocolate Tofino
- Learn fascinating stories about Tofino’s earliest inhabitants during a downtown walking tour
- Take a surfing lesson or rent a surfboard and hit the waves
- Walk the beautiful Tonquin Trail along the coast from Tofino to Middle Beach
- Join a guided First Nation paddle adventure to Meares Island and meet a 1000+ year old Western Red Cedar
- Brave the line (it goes pretty fast) and get take out at the legendary Tacofino truck
- Walk the Shoreline Bog Trail and discover Tofino’s most unusual landscape
- Enjoy happy hour in the Great Room at Long Beach Lodge Resort (2-6pm)
- Discover more about the land, sea, sky and people of Tofino at the Kwisitis Visitor Centre
- Taste local beers or grab a growler fill to go at Tofino Brewing
- Watch the sunset – head to any beach or, if you’re in town, 1st Street dock
- Explore the whimsical 12 acre Tofino Botanical Gardens
- Take a day trip to Ucluelet – highlights include the Wild Pacific Trail and the best fish and chips in BC at Jigger’s
Looking for more info about Tofino? You may find these other posts helpful
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One half of the Canadian/British couple behind Off Track Travel, Gemma is happiest when hiking on the trail or planning the next big travel adventure. JR and Gemma are currently based in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada