The Ultimate Winter Tofino Trip Guide

By Kerry Slavens

YAM’s Editor had the ultimate Winter Tofino experience and she shared her go-to places to stay, eat, drink and play.

Pacific Sands Resort

This oceanside resort is located on Cox Bay, a surf beach right at the edge of Pacific Rim National Park. The resort’s 41-plus acres take in more than 1,000 feet of beach. Each room is a suite and is either oceanfront or has ocean views. All have private decks or patios facing the beach. There are luxe beach houses. Enjoy fire pits, Adirondack chairs and big hammocks. The Surf Shack and Surfside Grill are on site. Don’t miss the Sunset Trail boardwalk to Pettinger Point.

Surf Sister

Started with a cell phone and a van, today Surf Sister is one of Tofino’s largest surf schools with all-female instructors. Classes are coed and for all levels, from beginners to hard-core. 

Tofino Sea Kayaking

Tofino’s original kayaking company since 1988 is for paddlers of all levels, with experienced guides and a program of day tours and multi-day expeditions. Gourmet lunch boxes are available.

1909 Kitchen 

Photo: Jeremy Koreski

Ingredient-driven dishes, sourced and foraged from Tofino’s oceans, shoreline and forests are featured at waterfront 1909 Kitchen. Chef Paul Moran’s passion for foraging, paired with an impressive culinary background, means a distinctly Tofinian menu that represents the true essence of the rugged, bountiful West Coast cuisine: Seafood platters and fresh catch share the table with delicious vegetable-forward dishes. Definitely try the pizzas from the kitchen’s Mugnaini wood-fired oven. 

Wolf in the Fog

Wolf in the Fog’s Chef Nick Nutting

Wolf in the Fog captures the spirit of Tofino with Chef Nick Nutting’s seasonal menu of seafood from Tofino suppliers, meat and grain from Island farmers, and foraged greens and mushrooms. A focus on family-style gatherings, communal dining and sharing plates, encourages guests to engage with their food. Do not miss the Potato Crusted Oysters.


Fresh vegan and vegetarian meals feature many gluten-free choices. Don’t miss the “Buffalo” wings.

Surfside Grill 

Former commercial fisherman Jeff Mikus’s Surfside Grill is a favourite for locals and visitors offering mouthwatering fish and chips, fish tacos, burgers and more.

Tofino Distillery 

Visit the tasting room for flagship spirits, including Small Batch Vodka, Jalapeño Vodka, West Coast Gin, Old Growth Cedar Gin, Psychedelic Jellyfish Absinthe and Rose Hibiscus Gin.

Tofino Brewing Co. 

Visit the brewery’s tasting room for small-batch handcrafted beers like Tuff Session Ale and Kelp Stout, along with pretzels, salty crunch mix and smoked salmon.