Sunset VIew over Cox Bay, from the top of Cox Bay lookout trail.

Beaches in Tofino: A Guide to 10 of the Most Beautiful Coastal Spots in BC

The beaches in Tofino are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Tofino is located close to Pacific Rim National Park, which is a stunning destination on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC.

While there are plenty of things to do around the Tofino area, I personally believe it’s miles of pristine coastline and incredible beaches are a reason for anyone to visit. There are beaches that are great for surfing, even for beginners like me, tide pools full of incredible sea life, and fun activities and spots to have a picnic and catch the sunset.

Best Beaches in Tofino

The Beaches in Tofino offer so much variety! Some are great for surfing, some have calm waters to paddle through, and others have tide pools with sea life. You can get to beaches in Tofino’s by car, bike, or by walking (or my personal fave a combination of these!). A paved trail runs along the highway from Ucluelet to Tofino which creates a safe option for biking or walking. As a bonus, you can have campfires right on the beach around Tofino!

A map of Tofino's best beaches running from Tofino to Ucluelet along the coast of British Columbia
A map of the best beaches from Tofino to Ucluelet

Accessing the Best Beaches in Tofino

The lands within Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are on the traditional territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. Many of these beautiful beaches around Tofino are also located within Pacific Rim National Park. This means you’ll need a Canadian National Parks Pass to park. Park passes can be purchased online, at Kwisitis Visitor Centre, Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre, and the Parks Canada office in the village of Tofino, and if you don’t plan in advance, they are available from the parking ticket machines in the parking lots within Pacific Rim National Park.

So, with this, the 10 best beaches in Tofino

1. Long Beach

A white woman wearing a hat is riding a cruiser bike along the beach in Tofino BC
This was THE most fun! Biking right on Long Beach, Tofino

One of the most popular beaches in Tofino, Long beach is a beautiful sandy beach that stretches over 16 kilometers (10 miles). A personal favourite of mine, to go for a long walk. Another unique thing to do in Tofino, that I personally recommend, is to rent beach cruiser bikes and ride along the beaches. With Long beach being so… well long, youll have miles to explore with a beach cruiser. You can also find nearby hiking trails and on the days when the sun shines in Tofino, you might experience a sunset in Tofino that will be forever etched in your mind!

How to get to Long Beach

Once you arrive in Tofino, you can drive, bike, walk, or take a taxi to Long Beach. The beach is located about 10 minutes south of Tofino on Highway 4. There is a large parking lot at the beach with easy access to the sand and restrooms. There are limited amenities directly at Long Beach. Because Long Beach is within the Pacific Rim National Park, a National Park Pass is required to park.

2. Cox Bay Beach

The sunsets over rocks and sand at the beach at Cox Bay Tofino BC
Sun sets at Pettinger Point, Cox Bay, Tofino, BC, Canada

Cox Bay is another popular beach, it’s a great spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll. The beach is surrounded by forest, and it feels a little secluded. If you walk to the South corner of the beach, you will find Cox Bay lookout trail. When you take this trail; you will have incredible views over the Bay. Despite the roots and mud, I love this trail and the views over the bay!

How to get to Cox Bay Beach

Cox Bay is located just a little further down the Pacific Rim Highway, about 7kms south of Tofino towards Ucluelet. Pacific Sands Resort is located at Cox Bay Beach and has bathrooms, an oceanfront restaurant called the Surfside Grill, firepits, a nordic sauna (open to the public), and bike rentals from Tofino Bike. A Parks Pass is not needed to park here.

3. Chesterman Beach

Up next on the list of best beaches in Tofino is Chesterman Beach. This is a beautiful, wide beach that’s perfect for for all ages. There are plenty of tide pools to explore, and the sand is silky soft and perfect for building sandcastles.

Getting to Chesterman Beach

Chesterman Beach is about 5kms from Tofino. There are no restaurants or activity services here. Public restrooms are located at the parking lot and there is plenty of parking available as there are multiple parking lots at both ends of the beach. Dogs are allowed on Chesterman Beach, however, they are required to be on leash.

4. Another of Tofino’s best beaches, Tonquin Beach

A child running along the sand at low tide at Tonquin Beach Tofino
Playing on the sand at Tonquin Beach, Tofino

Tonquin Beach is a smaller, secluded beach that’s perfect for a picnic, tide-pooling, or walk. Once you have spent some time in Tofino, Tonquin Beach might become one of your favourite beaches. One of my favourite memories of the Tofino area is grabbing takeout food from the Food Trucks (see map below) and having a picnic at Tonquin Beach! If you head to the south end of the beach you will find so many sea creatures including star fish, sea anemones, and sea urchins! ** Look between rocks at low tide, and notice all the circles in the sand.

Getting to Tonquin Beach

Tonquin Beach is walking distance from the village of Tofino. A short hiking trail and some stairs will lead you to this sandy beach. In order to find Tonquin Beach park at the end of Tonquin Park Road, which is located off of Arnet Road in Tofino. There are bathrooms and foodtrucks near the parking lot, and no services directly at the beach.

5. Mackenzie Beach

If you feel up for a swim, the water at Mackenzie Beach is calm and warm (ish). Personally, I enjoy a cold dip, but I will warn you that this water is still cold by most standards. Beautiful sandy pathways connect to other parts of the beach. With the calm water, Mackenzie Beach is a great place to paddle and there are lots of places close by to rent kayaks and paddle boards if you’re feeling adventurous.

Spending Time at Mackenzie Beach

Ocean Village Resort is located directly on Mackenzie Beach if you are looking for oceanfront accommodations. There are restrooms in the parking lot. Also, if you are interested in camping on the beaches in Tofino, Mackenzie Beach has multiple beach front campgrounds. There are no services directly at Mackenzie Beach.

6. Wickaninnish Beach

This is a stunning beach in Tofino that’s perfect for a long walk. Wickannish beach is surrounded by forest, and there are plenty of trails to explore. Officially Wickaninnish Beach is at the end of Long Beach. I love visiting Wickainnish Inn to take in the views from the dinging room too-in storm season this is quite spectacular!


Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre is located at Wickaninnish Beach. There are public bathrooms and picnic tables. This beach is located within the National Park and requires a National Park’s Pass to park here.

7. Radar Hill Beach

Radar Hill Beach is a secluded beach that’s perfect for a quiet picnic or a relaxing afternoon. Located about 15 kms from Tofino just outside of Pacific Rim National Park. The beach is surrounded by towering trees, giving it a secluded feel.Here you will have the chance to experience the natural beauty of the Pacific Rim region. While there are no bathrooms or amenities at the beach, it is well worth a visit for its stunning scenery and opportunities for outdoor activities. You’ll find the Radar Beach Trail and a connector to the Casno Plane Crash Trail close to this beach as well.

8. Florencia Bay

Florencia Bay: This is a beautiful beach that’s surrounded by lush rainforest. The beach is also home to some incredible tide pools, which are great for exploring. As I was born in Alberta I always head to the rocks to find the sea life, it’s so fascinating!! If you pay attention to the sand, you’ll see what looks like cirlces in the sand, that are actually hiding sea anemones.

Getting to Florencia Bay Beach

Florencia Bay is located approximately 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) south of Tofino, along Highway 4. The beach is accessible via a short trail that leads from the parking lot to the beach. This is an incredibly scenic beach with rocky outcroppings, dense rainforest, and stunning views of the ocean and nearby islands. Florencia Bay is also home to a natural arch, which is a popular spot for photography. There are no washrooms or amenities here.

9. Comber’s Beach

A mom and young child sitting on the sand at a beach in Tofino, Comber's Beach.
Comber’s Beach close to Tofino and Ucluelet

Combers Beach is a beautiful, wide beach that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll. The sand is soft and the surf is usually calm. Also located on the south end of Long Beach, and part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This sand feels like silk, and I’ve never wanted to leave anytime I have visited!

Access to Comber’s Beach

Located 22kms south of Tofino, this is a beach close to Ucluelet. Park at the Long Beach parking lot and then walk south along the beach for approximately 1 kilometre or park OR park at the Comber’s Beach Trailhead Parking Lot and walk 500m through the beautiful rainforest.

10. Half Moon Bay

This is a secluded beach that’s perfect for a romantic picnic or a quiet afternoon. The beach is surrounded by towering trees, giving it a secluded feel.

Best Surf Beaches in Tofino

Surfers walking along the beach at Cox Bay Tofino

Tofino is known for its world-class surfing, with numerous surf spots located along the west coast of Vancouver Island. While I love Tofino and the west coast, I am not an expert surfer, fortunately there are options for all abilities!

The Best Surfing Beaches in Tofino.

  • Cox Bay is one of the most popular surfing beaches in Tofino, with consistent waves and a sandy beach. It’s a great spot for beginners and intermediate surfers, as well as long-boarders.
  • Chesterman Beach has two sections, North and South. The North section is better for experienced surfers, with bigger waves and more challenging conditions, while the South section is better for beginners and intermediate surfers.
  • Long Beach is known for its consistent waves and beautiful scenery. Because of its consistent waves, it is a great spot for intermediate and advanced surfers.
  • Wickaninnish Beach waves are typically best in the winter months and are recommended for experienced surfers.
  • Radar Beach a lesser-known Tofino surfing spot. The waves here are generally more powerful and challenging than at nearby Cox Bay, with a mix of left and right breaks. It’s important to note that Radar Beach is not recommended for beginners.

Safety Considerations for Surfing Beaches in Tofino

It’s important to note that surfing in Tofino can be challenging and conditions can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to check the surf report and consult with local surf shops or instructors before heading out. As I have realized, even small waves have a lot of force and can easily knock you down. Just be aware.

Additionally, it’s important to respect the natural environment and follow proper surfing etiquette to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

8 Family Beaches in Tofino

A family with a young child plays at a beach in Tofino.

Tofino has a number of beautiful beaches that are perfect for families with children. Here are the best beaches in Tofino to visit with kids. I have visited all of these with my child, while he was 2, 3, and 4.

1. Mackenzie Beach

Mackenzie Beach is one of the most family-friendly beaches in Tofino. It’s wide stretch of sand, protected cove, and gentle waves mean a calm beach. Fires are permitted on and there are opportunities for beach-combing and exploring the tidal pools.

2. Chesterman Beach

Another great beach for families, with two sections (North and South) that offer different experiences. Chesterman Beach South is sheltered and therefore ideal for younger children, with calm waters and plenty of space to play. The North section has larger waves and is better for older kids who want to try their hand at surfing.

3. Tonquin Beach

Tonquin’s location means a great spot for families who want to enjoy a quiet beach. There are public restrooms at the parking lot, tonnes of sea life and tide pools, and beautiful coves and rocks to explore.

4. Cox Bay Beach

While Cox Bay is a popular spot for surfing, it’s also great for families with children. The beach has soft sand and gentle waves, making it a good spot for younger kids to play and swim.

5. Florencia Bay Beach

Also known as Flo by locals, a small and sheltered cove. The perfect beach for families with calm waters and soft sand. In order to visit Flo, you’ll have to do a short hike with some stairs. There are many connecting hiking trails nearby that offer stunning views of the surrounding rainforest.

6. South Beach

South beach has a gentle slope and calm waters, making it a great spot to wade and splash for families with young children. There are also picnic tables and public restrooms at the Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre.

7. Little Beach

Little Beach is a small and sheltered beach that’s perfect for families with little kids. The beach has calm waters and soft sand, and there are plenty of opportunities for beachcombing and exploring the tidal pools.

8. Terrace Beach

A favourite beach in Ucluelet known for its calm waters and stunning views of the surrounding rainforest. The beach has soft sand and gentle waves, making it a great spot for families with young children.

All of these beaches offer a peaceful and family-friendly atmosphere, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration. When visiting any of these beaches with children, it’s important to follow proper beach safety guidelines, keep an eye on your kids at all times, and respect the natural environment. Of note, there are no lifeguards at any of the beaches around Tofino.

Looking out over rocky shoreline during sunset at Terrace Beach, a family friendly beach close to Tofino and Ucluelet.

Final Thoughts: Best Beaches in Tofino

No matter which beach you choose to visit in Tofino, you’re sure to be surrounded by incredible natural beauty. Tofino’s best beaches have something for everyone. Keep an eye out for sea otters, bald eagles, and even whales, as Tofino is home to some incredible wildlife. Tofino’s best beaches rival many beautiful beaches across the world, and visiting them is a must do west coast experience ! They definitely keep me coming back again and again.

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