3 Day Tofino Itinerary for Nature, Food and Relaxation

3 Day Tofino Itinerary for Nature, Food and Relaxation

Tofino is a remarkable destination on Vancouver Island where towering old growth trees give way to wild sandy beaches on the Pacific Ocean.

After multiple visits to Tofino, we've crafted our ideal 3 day itinerary for those looking for a weekend getaway in Tofino. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, food lover, adventure seeker or just looking to relax, our guide covers a blend of unique experiences for your 3 days in Tofino.

Our 3 day Tofino itinerary covers the best places to eat, gorgeous sights you don't want to miss and fun things to do that capture the essence of this remote west coast town.

Overview: 3 Days in Tofino

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The best time of year to go to Tofino

Cox Bay Beach

The best time of year to go to Tofino will depend on what kind of activities you want to do and what your budget is.

Best time to visit Tofino for storm watching: November to February - expect dramatic skies, rainstorms and rough, crashing waves.

☀️ For warm, dry days: July & August - these months are the warmest, have the most sunlight hours, and the least amount of rainfall/rainy days. An important thing to note, however, is that anytime from July - September you could have a smoky haze from wildfires around BC/Washington.

🏄 For beginner surfing: June to August - The waves will be the smallest and the weather the warmest.

🏄 🌊 For advanced surfing: October to November - the waves are bigger, the water is warm and the weather is still calm.

🪙 For cheaper prices and fewer crowds: Late Fall to early Spring - just make sure you check when your favourite restaurants and stores take their holiday break so you don't miss out.

🌅 For sunset dinners: March to October - any months outside of this you'll need to dine between 4pm - 5pm.

How many days do you need in Tofino

Tofino Inlet

Unless you're flying, we don't recommend spending any less than 3 days in Tofino. The drive from Vancouver, including the ferry, takes about 5.5 hours, while the journey from Victoria takes about 4.5 hours. You don't want to feel rushed, considering the drive back.

In 3 days you can see the highlights of Tofino, however if you wish to do more activities and have more downtime, spending 4 or 5 days in Tofino is the ideal amount of time.

🚙 Compare car rental rates

Is it better to stay in Tofino or Ucluelet?


Considering Ucluelet for your accommodation may seem appealing since it's typically cheaper than Tofino, however it's a 36 minute drive from Tofino village. There and back, that is 1.25 hours, which can eat up your time with just 3 days in Tofino.

If you are intrigued by Ucluelet and have an extra day to spare, we recommend staying at Pluvio Restuarant and Rooms and eating at their award winning restaurant which was named one of the best new restaurants in Canada in 2019 by enRoute Magazine.

Check out our list of fun things to do in Ucluelet.

3 Day Tofino Itinerary

Day 1


Check into your stay

Most stays in Tofino have a strict check in time of 4 pm. A benefit of staying in a hotel rather than B&B is that if you arrive early you can easily drop your bags off at the front desk and get on your way to exploring.

Our top hotel picks with ocean views:

🛏️ Browse more hotels in Tofino

Our top B&B picks with ocean views:

🏠 Browse more B&Bs in Tofino

Grab a delectable fish taco at the original Tacofino

Fish taco at Tacofino

You have to try Tacofino's fish taco – it's the best! We are convinced it's the best fish taco in the world.

Tacofino kicked off in a food truck in Tofino and blew up, with spots now in Victoria and Vancouver. Stop by the original food truck and get your hands on those tasty fish tacos.

Stroll down Chesterman Beach

Chesterman Beach

Chesterman Beach is our favourite beach to walk in Tofino - it has lots of action and gorgeous sights. The surfers are fun to watch and we also love glancing at all the beachfront houses and choosing which one we would live in. At 2.7 km long, it never feels too crowded, especially as you make your way down from North Chesterman to South Chesterman Beach.

✔️ Top Tip: don't miss the Carving Shed, a rustic studio right on the beach showcasing local artists' wooden creations.


Dine with 270° ocean views at The Pointe Restaurant

The ambience, food, and view at The Pointe Restaurant all add up to a fantastic fine dining experience. With 270° views of the ocean and Chesterman Beach right from your table, it's the best view for dinner you can get.

The food is top-notch, with Canadian-West Coast inspired dishes that focus on using local, seasonal ingredients. We've eaten there multiple times and are always happy with our experience. You can go à la carte or dive into their tasting menu, which includes a vegetarian option.

As the restaurant is part of the Wickaninnish Inn, we've found that hotel guests get better tables than non-hotel guests.

✔️ Top Tip: Make your reservation for before sunset, so you can watch surfers ride the waves as the sun dips down.

Day 2


Grab coffee at Off-Grid Camper Cafe and take a morning walk along Cox Bay Beach

Another day, another beach! Cox Bay Beach comes a close second to Chesterman as our favourite beach in Tofino. What we love about Cox Bay Beach is its smaller horseshoe shape and bigger waves that you see more advanced surfers ride.

Stop in at the quirky Off-Grid Camper Cafe to pick up a coffee for your walk along the beach. The Vanguard campervan has been transformed into the ultimate coffee bar. 

Enjoy brunch overlooking Cox Bay Beach at The Great Room

Eating eggs benedict in The Great Room

Once you're done strolling along Cox Bay Beach, swing by The Great Room at the Long Beach Lodge Resort for brunch. The views from your table overlooking Cox Bay Beach are beautiful. You don't have to be a hotel guest to enjoy the restaurant, so it feels like a hidden gem. It's also cheaper than brunch at the popular Pointe Restaurant.

The Great Room serves breakfast from 8 AM to 1 PM, so there's no need to rush.

Rent a private sauna on the beach and dip into the ocean

If you're up for a refreshing ocean adventure, try out Tuff City Saunas for a unique beachfront sauna experience. They have two barrel saunas on Cox Bay Beach and one cabin sauna on Mackenzie Beach – all up for private rental in 2 hour time slots.

Bask in the heat of the sauna and when things get too toasty, step outside and take a plunge into the invigorating ocean water.

Since there are only three saunas up for grabs, it's smart to reserve your spot well ahead of time. It's $199 CAD for a 2-hour session, and the sauna fits up to 6 people.

Try a beer or cocktail flight locally made in Tofino

Tofino has many locally owned businesses to try out. Two of these are Tofino Distillery, known for its premium organic spirits, and Tofino Brewing Company, known for its small batch, handcrafted beer. I love that Tofino Distillery offers small cocktail flights so you don't have to taste straight liquor!

The brewery and distillery are located right next door to each other, so you can easily try out both if you like.


Jeju Restaurant Tofino

Eat outstanding Korean cuisine at Jeju

Among the fantastic dining spots in Tofino, Jeju clinches the title for us as the best in town. Everything, from the Korean dinnerware to the presentation and incredible flavours of the dishes, made our meal an absolute standout.

In 2022, Jeju was nominated as one of the best new restaurants in Canada by enRoute Magazine. Go for the tasting menu – it's a reason for a trip to Tofino! Book in advance.

Have a beach fire and watch the moon and stars come out

Beach fire on Chesterman Beach

After dinner, have your own cozy campfire on Chesterman Beach as you watch the moon and stars light up the sky. The crackling flames and rhythmic sound of ocean waves is magical. Both Chesterman Beach and Mackenzie Beach allow campfires from 8 AM to 10 PM, provided there's no fire ban.

🔥 New beach campfire rule: all beach fires must be contained in a clean-burning appliance lifted above the ground, allowing air to flow through. You can get one for cheap from Amazon.

🪵 Where to buy firewood: swing by Bella Pacifica Campground or Gas N Go for bundles of wood.

Day 3


Savary Island Pie Company

Start your morning with breakfast overlooking Tofino Harbour

Start your morning at the Savary Island Pie Company, known for its off-the-beaten-path setting that attracts locals. Indulge in their delectable baked treats, especially the irresistible gooey cinnamon buns. Grab a seat next to the window, where you can enjoy a picturesque view of Tofino Harbour and small fishing boats navigating in and out.

Spend time in nature with an adventurous or relaxing activity

Option 1: Adventure

There are so many adventurous activities to do in Tofino. If you're up for an excursion, choose from one of these exciting things to do:

Option 2: Relaxation

If you would rather spend time in nature at a leisurely pace, we have a lovely day planned for you!

💆‍♀️ After breakfast unwind with a relaxing massage - book a spa tent in the forest at Stillwater Nature Spa, or splurge on the spa cabin at Ancient Cedars Spa and listen to the ocean as your playlist.

🧺 Afterwards, pick up a charcuterie board from Picnic Charcuterie for a picnic on the beach. Order your charcuterie in advance and don't forget to bring a picnic blanket!

🌲 After your picnic, drive over to the Rainforest Trail for an easy 1 km walk on a boardwalk beside humongous trees in an ancient forest. You will feel revived and recharged!

Explore Tofino village

Tofino village may be small but there are many things to do there. Spending time in town is a perfect activity when it's pouring outside.

 🛍️ Shop for artisan products and handcrafted housewares at Merge, The Factory Goods & Gallery, Two Trees, and Caravan.

🐟 Don't miss snacking on smoked salmon from the Dockside Smoked Fish Store. You'll find a daily array of ready-to-eat varieties. Three fresh salmon types straight from the coast undergo either cold or hot smoking. Our favourite is the sockeye candied strips.

🎨 Discover Tofino's First Nations art scene with gems like House of Himwitsa, offering a fantastic selection of wooden carvings, wall art, moccasins, masks, and jewelry. For paintings and original prints, the Roy Henry Vickers Gallery is a must-visit.


Crab at Schooner Restaurant

Eat the freshest seafood at Schooner's

For your last meal, dine at Schooner Restaurant, a seafood institution that has been open for over 70 years. Here you'll find the freshest seafood. Their French onion soup is fantastic and pairs wonderfully with their featured crab of the day.

Or, treat yourself to the Admiral's Plate, a signature seafood platter with blackened cod, halibut, chargrilled salmon, grilled prawns, seared scallops, mussels, clams, and oysters. You also have the option to add half a pound of crab.

Reservations are recommended.

Have a nightcap at the Wolf in the Fog

Handcrafted cocktail at Wolf in the Fog

For a nightcap, dive into Tofino's mixology scene with an innovative cocktail from Wolf in the Fog.

No room at the bar? Another spot with good cocktails, but a more casual vibe is The Bear Bierhaus at the MAQ Hotel.

Enjoy your 3 days in Tofino!

Get started on booking your trip to Tofino

  • 🌃 Accommodation: Booking.com and VRBO are our go-to for finding places to stay in Tofino. Sort by top reviewed.
  • 🚗 Car rental: see Rentalcars.com to compare car rental prices across different companies.

Don't miss our other Tofino travel guides:

Combine Tofino with a trip to Victoria:

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