While TOFINO is showing the effects of its ever-increasing tourist influx, locals are keeping development to a minimum, clearly realizing they have a vested interest in preserving the salty, waterfront charm that brought them – and visitors – here in the first place. Sleepy in the off-season, the place erupts into a frenzy during the summer.

Crowning a narrow spit, the fishing village is graced with magnificent views. There’s an unexpectedly rich restaurant scene, as well as top-notch accommodation and a wide variety of boat and seaplane tours. Most of the latter have a whale-watching, surfing (Canada’s best surf is close at hand) and fishing angle or provide a means to travel out to the nearby islands and hot springs.

It’s worth visiting the small Whale Centre at 411 Campbell St, home to artefacts centred on local seafaring and First Nations culture. Another notable spot is the Eagle Aerie Gallery, 350 Campbell St, a gallery housed in a traditional longhouse-style building with a cedar interior.

Three fine beaches lie southeast of town: MacKenzie Beach, Cox Bay and Chestermano Beach (for access to the latter take Lynn Rd right just beyond the Dolphin Motel). The quietest beach around is Tonquin: ask at the visitor centre for directions.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are the…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Rugged and vast, Canada has much to explore and enjoy. Driving gives you freedom to travel at your own pace, allowing you to pull over and appreciate scenery al…

05 Dec 2016 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
15 awesome images of Canada

15 awesome images of Canada

Canada is has vast and varied landscape, from beautiful beaches to glassy mountain lakes. It's difficult to capture the country's real beauty in a photograph, b…

09 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month