You NEED to stay at these two beaches in Tofino



Everyday is a beach day in Tofino.

Photo: Spencer Watson

Despite what you might think, winter on Vancouver Island can be much warmer than the mainland, which means you don’t have to wait until the summertime to hit the beach. In fact, your beach getaway is just a ferry ride or quick flight away.

So what are we doing soaking in the city when we could be relaxing in the sand? There are waves to ride and tide pools to explore!

With so many beaches to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start, but when it comes to beach-life in Tofino, Cox Bay and MacKenzie Beach are an absolute must.

Cox Bay Beach

Photo: Jeremy Koreski, courtesy Tourism Tofino

Home to some of Tofino’s toughest surf competitions, Cox Bay Beach offers consistent waves, incredible tidepools and enough natural wildlife to keep you entertained for hours. This is the perfect beach to play and chill out.

Arguably the best part of Cox Bay is the surf. This is where the island’s seasoned surfers can be found, so even if you’re not ready to hit the waves, you’ll have plenty of fun watching the pros do their thing.  

Pacific Sands Beach Resort

If you’re looking for a place to wind down after an epic day in the sand, be sure to check out Pacific Sands Beach Resort. Located beachfront on spectacular Cox Bay, Pacific Sands Beach Resort sits on the edge of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and is a short scenic drive from Long Beach as well as Tofino’s seaside village centre.

Family-friendly accommodations range from studios to three bedroom Beach Houses, all with fully-equipped kitchens and cozy fireplaces – and those incredible views. Additional amenities include panoramic outdoor decks, relaxing hot tubs, onsite surf lessons onsite surf lessons with Surf Sister Surf Schoolsocial BBQ areas and more—all steps from the beach.

Photo: Pacific Sands Resort Facebook

With Pacific Sands as your hub for year-round activities, experience the wonder of spring/summer whale watching, winter storm watching, and beachcombing. Breathe in  intoxicating ocean air and witness the calm of towering old-growth rainforests with Pacific Sands as a comfortable homebase for enjoying not only Tofino, but also all things Vancouver Island.

MacKenzie Beach

Sheltered from the wind by large tidal rocks, this beach is known for its calm waters and gentle waves, making it perfect for both families and individuals seeking Vancouver Island’s  signature tranquility.

Activities at MacKenzie Beach include stand-up paddle boarding, skimboarding, and exploring the Beach’s rocky tidal zone at its most southern point. MacKenzie Beach also has an entrance ramp, facilitating beach access for everyone in your family or friend group.

Crystal Cove Beach Resort

Photo: Crystal Cove Beach Resort Facebook

For almost 40 years, Crystal Cove Beach Resort has been the go-to destination for those craving an authentic experience of the West Coast wild.

Situated right on MacKenzie Beach, Crystal Cove offers genuine log cabins and first-class amenities located right on the water. Recently ranked the #2 Hotel in Canada for Families, the resort is a known destination for those who “prefer to rough it in style”. “Roughing it” is a bit of stretch, as your stay includes access to private hot tubs, oceanfront views an artisan coffee bar, even an adventure playground for kids.

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Crystal Cove Beach Resort also provides year-round RV camping located minutes from MacKenzie Beach. Sites each have 30 amp power, water hook ups as well as picnic tables, fire pits, wireless Internet and complimentary coffee. With amenities like this, we’ll “rough it” anytime on MacKenzie Beach.

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