Tofino is just the most beautiful place. It’s a town on the West Coast of Vancouver Island full of beautiful beaches, woodland hikes, surfers and amazing food and drink. Tofino has the most incredibly relaxed vibe and I just knew Andrew would love it, so we headed there for four days during our trip to Canada this May. But the weather is notoriously unreliable. So what do you do in Tofino in the rain?
Given Tofino’s position right on the coast and in front of mountains, the weather is very changeable. In the summer they call August “Fogust” because the hot and cold air buffeting against each other creates a beach full of misty skies. While we were there, we got one of the hottest days of the year so far, but it did also absolutely bucket down one day. I was worried we wouldn’t have much to do, but it ended up being one of our busiest days.
Here’s what we did to keep ourselves busy in the rain.
- Head for a coffee and a doughnut at Rhino Coffee House. They roast their own beans and both coffee and food are absolutely delicious. Grab a seat inside or shelter under the little porch outside and watch the world go by.
- Go for a rainforest walk. About 20 minutes drive along the Pacific Rim Highway from Tofino there are a couple of boardwalks called the Rainforest Trail. They are under such a dense tree canopy that even if it is chucking it down, you won’t get drenched. Read through the signs, admire the ancient trees and get out in nature.
- Grab some unbelievable mexican food at the original Tacofino. Tacofino is a taco truck slightly out of town that serves up freshly made tacos, burritos, gringas and fudgy chocolate brownies. Order a whole load of food and eat it in your car or under the awning.
- Catch a live band at Jamie’s Rainforest Inn. Every Tuesday night, live bands play in the lounge bar and you can grab $5 beers and even more good food. If you don’t want to drive, grab the free shuttle there and back from town.
- Wander around the gift shops. Tofino is full of artistic types and they produce some beautiful blown glass, woodwork, prints and more.
- Walk to Frank Island. We bumped into a lady in Tofitian (more of that in a second…) who told us to walk from Chesterman Beach to Frank Island at low tide. It was raining, but I still LOVED the walk. We had a fly by from two bald eagles nesting on the island and once out there we scrambled over rocks and looked for crabs in the rock pools. Definitely worth getting a little bit damp for.
- Grab a drink at Tofitian. Tofitian is another incredible coffee shop in Tofino, just outside of town on the highway. The branding is super cool, the coffee is to die for and it is right next door to Chocolate Tofino if you want a sweet treat.
- Try a flight at Tofino Brewing Company. A flight is a four glass selection of beers that you can get at the Tofino Brewing Company tap house for just $6. We tried all the beers between us and then grabbed a few pints of our favourites afterwards.
- Sit on the balcony, read a book and admire the view. OK so the picture above was taken in the sunshine but the view was still beautiful in the rain, with the fog rolling in off the peaks and the sea planes taking off.
- GET WET! Tofino is just so amazing, if you’re there and it rains all the time then don’t let that stop you enjoying the scenery. My favourite walk was the Nuu Chah Nulth walk along the coast, linking South Beach and Florencia Beach. There are tons of trails to do and they are well worth getting wet for.
As well as everything above, you can go bear watching, whale watching, surfing, paddle boarding and eat and drink yourself silly at a multitude of restaurants. I had what has got to be the best chicken burger of my life at Shelter (so much so we went back there again and I ordered *exactly* the same thing). The sushi also looked really good at The Inn at Tough City and if you want something a bit more upmarket then book a table at Wolf in the Fog.
We stayed at Tofino Harbourview Motel, which was in the perfect spot for us – spitting distance from town and a short drive away from the main beaches.
Do you like the sound of Tofino? Have you ever been?
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