Tofino B.C Guide | How to spend three days

Disclosure: This blog post is part of a sponsored collaboration with BC Ferries, The Surf Club, Long Beach Lodge Resort & Mazda Canada. All thoughts and reviews are that of my own!

Well, we finally made our way back to Vancouver Island. We haven’t visited the Island since before Covid. So its been a little while and I’m so happy we could make this road trip happen. It was so much fun!

We went to one of our top places to visit Tofino, B.C. If you ask Owen it’s his number one place to visit. He absolutely loves Tofino! We’ve been traveling there ever since he was a toddler. His first trip was at 3 years old. Drew and I bundled him up and we took him camping in Tofino. We were so excited. It was such a fun trip, seeing him run around the beaches was just heart stopping.

This most recent trip was our fourth time visiting Tofino and so we’ve defiantly accumulated some of our favourite places to visit and eat and tour. We’re sharing ours with you in this blog post and some places are brand new to me because well they are brand new and Tofino keeps adding some good spots that are a must to check out!

B.C Ferries

This trip we actually braved it and packed along both dogs with us. haha. Very brave right! Well, it went awesome and I’m so happy for that. Makes it so much easier to travel with our dogs which we do love exploring with them and having them be apart of these special family memories. Thankfully B.C Ferries is dog friendly. Our ride over on the ferry was beautiful, we’ll take any boat ride and the ferry is one of the most exciting ones to take. The kids love it and to be honest it always makes me a little giddy to!

Whenever we do travel to Tofino we always take the ferry going out of Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo. It always just seems to work well for us and we enjoy this area. Sometimes we’ll even just browse around town at Horseshoe Bay! Lots of neat places to check out and places to eat!

Goats On A Roof

We loveeee stopping here, as do so many and for good reason. It’s such a fun place to stretch our legs before making our way to Tofino. Grab a bit to eat, visit the restroom, check out the goats on the roof! It’s great. This time I grabbed some groceries to take to our resort and lunch!

Getting There Mazda CX-9

The Mazda CX-9, it’s the best road trip SUV for a larger family or even a family with a lot of things to pack including dogs like us! haha We pack up the third row and back with our gear, the pups and second row is for the kids. Everyone packs in so perfectly and so comfortably.

The Mazda 2021 & 2022 CX-9 models have such good ratings with IIHS for safety, and also 1 of 3 three row midsized SUV’s to receive a good rating in the difficult driver pelvis injury measure. With and only 1 of 2 midsize SUVs to receive a GOOD rating in every category! The generation model of CX-9 has been around since the 2017 model year, yet it beat out vehicles that only came out on the market a few years ago. Safety matters!

We love the Mazda CX-9, this was our second road trip testing it out and it reminds us each time just how important it is to have a quality caring vehicle to take our family on road trips. It’s incredibly fuel efficient also, fuel is only used to power i-Activ AWD when necessary. The interiors, like I mentioned are incredibly comfortable but also the quality is over the top with it’s craftsmanship, elegant colours and feel of soft leather. Lots of leg room and seat warmers. Another favourite feature is the 12 speaker Bose sound system that connects to Apple Play, Sirius and the MyMazda app.

Our drive was so smooth even our one hour wait on the Pacific Rim Highway was comfortable thanks to the Mazda CX-9!

One thing that I would recommend before driving to Tofino is to check online and visit DriveBC to check out updates on the Pacific Rim Highway road checks. There is still construction and road upgrades happening and depending on time of day there may be road closures that open every hour on the hour one way for a certain amount of time on that day. So just check in first just in case!

Long Beach Lodge Resort

Our first stop to make in Tofino was of course, where we stayed for three nights. This visit, we were so lucky to visit Long Beach Lodge Resort. Let me tell you now, that we will for sure be heading back there again, we loved it so much. We stayed in one of their Rainforest Cottages. They’re so quaint and adorable. Cozy and dog friendly. There are 41 lodge rooms and 20 cottages in total and all walking distance from the lodge and of course Cox Beach. With a drive distance of 7km into Tofino. Opened in 2002 it’s perfectly set right on the Pacific Ocean with the most breathtaking views of West Coast beauty. Oceanfront and mountains in the setting, it doesn’t get much better than that!

The design of each cottage has award winning architecture that really gives you the comfort of being home even being away. They have two floors with one bedroom upstairs and bathroom. The kids slept upstairs in their own beds and we slept downstairs. On the first floor it has one bedroom, a bathroom and patio out to the private hot tub. Which we loved at all hours of the day.

The cottages do have high speed internet and three 27″ televisions. Boardgames and for the forgetful packers like ourselves raincoats and umbrellas. Staying at the Long Beach Lodge was just what our family really needed to reset our drained batteries. Having everything so close was really relaxing. They are also dog friendly to and we so much appreciated the cute little spot they had set up for the pups. The long drive made this a special treat for both of them!

Our first evening we visited The Great Room for dinner. The window views of the beach is incredible, I think it’s the best window views of the beach in Tofino actually. It’s wild the surrounding views. All four of us had the best meals and left feeling just warmed up after a long day of driving!

After dinner in The Great Room we took an evening walk down to Cox Bay Beach, it’s such a hit for our family. We love exploring this beach. We’ve been here a bunch of times and it never gets old. We hit such a beautiful hour, golden hour no rain. It was a core memory for sure! The dogs played and the kids played.

The Sandbar Bistro

Ok, we loved this outdoor patio eatery. YUM! I tell you, the fish and chips here are to die for. The best! It has an awesome beach view patio casual dining or to go. It’s a great place to grab a drink or a bite to eat for anyone walking along the beach or resort guests. It’s such a great place to eat!

The Surf Club

What fun! We have to say if you go to Tofino, you have to get surfing lessons and try it. This was our first time hanging out surfing. Owen, Ella and I did the rental and lessons at The Surf Club that is located right there at Long Beach Lodge Resort. First thing in the morning we walked down and got suited up at The Surf Club. The kids were so cute in their wet suits!

Julia was our teacher and she was amazing, so sweet and so caring. So patient with the kids and myself haha. We had the best time with her. Learning and just really having fun. Not being professionals but honestly just having a good time laughing and trying something new.

The Surf Club is a special place, its a fun gathering spot not just for surfing but here you’ll also find coffee drinks, popsicles, pool table, hot tub, cozy fireplace, change rooms and showers. It’s really just a great hang out place while there.

Our lessons hit the best kind of weather that morning. We were out by 10am, learnt the basics and got right out in the water. The wetsuit really kept us warm and dry, especially since it was still quite a cold season haha. The water was actually freezing but we stayed pretty dry. Owen, he stood up a few times and I got up twice. It’s tough but honestly it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I loved it and Owen loved it even more. He thanked me a million times for taking him! haha Ella loved shell searching haha.

Merge Goods

Owen and I, on one of our days we decided to go into town and be tourists. Browse the shops, coffee stops and get some goodies. It was the best way to spend a rainy day. We visited Merge Goods, the cutest little gift shop with Canadian made goods and handmade goods for home and body and a little bit of everything.

Rhino Coffee

This is our place to get coffee! Every time we go here. We love Rhino coffee and they’re donuts, of gosh so good. Right in town walking distance to all the shops and so easy to stop and grab and go!

RedCan Gourmet

This is the pizza place to go to! We are a huge pizza eating family, I mean who doesn’t love a good pizza even when away right? We love ordering pizza from Redcan Gourmet, we usually call in and pick up to take back to our place. So so good. They have lots of other really amazing things on their menu to check out to!

Cox Bay Beach Lookout

This was our first time heading this way, it’s a beautiful lookout hike at the end of Cox Beach. We managed to try to get to the very top but with Macy it was tricky because it was very muddy. So we recommend hiking boots and things you don’t mind getting muddy. There are no signs so also would bring along your all trails app to guide you. But honestly even as far as we got it was still super gorgeous lookout spot!

Tuff City Saunas

We didn’t manage to find time to get here but it is a really cool spot I do want to check out and visit. Tuff City Saunas, is an outdoor sauna right along the beach with different options to choose from in different locations. You can book online and bookings start at 2 hours! For sure check them out!


Ahhhh the original Tacofino food truck, the place of heaven tacos and a place my whole family loves to eat at. We love Tacofino and often visit when we’re in Vancouver, so of course we love going here. It’s the original food truck that’s tucked away on the right hand side on the way into Tofino!

Beach Visits

We love to beach hop, all along Tofino there are tons of beaches to choose from. Chesterman Beach, Long Beach, Cox Bay, Mackenzie, Wickaninnish Beach! You can’t go wrong with any of these. Keep your eyes out for the shells!

Going Home

We had the best few days, even if we just lounged on the beach walking around finding shells and trails. A trip to Tofino doesn’t have to be packed with things to do all the time, it’s nice but sometimes it’s also nice to just take it all in and chill out with the things closet to you!

Keisha Lynne, xx

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