This 2.7 kilometre (1.7 mile) stretch of white sand paradise is the most popular beach destination for Tofino residents. Chesterman Beach is mainly residential, dotted with lovely homes and bed and breakfasts. The beach can be accessed on foot/bicycle via the MUP or by vehicle, turning off at Lynn Rd (North Chesterman) or Chesterman Rd. (South Chesterman). There are parking lots with public toilets and outdoor showers located at the North and South beach access points.
Cox Bay is a smaller, 1.5Km (0.93 mile) beach located at the south end of Tofino. It is covered with fine, white sand and massive driftwood logs piled high on the beach. This sandy beach can be accessed from the North or the South end. From the North end, it is a short walk down a level board walk from the Cox Bay parking lot which is located between two local resorts (Long Beach Lodge and Cox Bay Beach Resort). At the North entrance there are washroom facilities as well as outdoor showers. From the South end, the beach can be accessed via Maltby Road, and a short 5 minute trail will connect you to the far end of the beach. There is an outhouse located at the beach end of this trail, but there are no facilities in the parking lot. Cox Bay beach provides endless, unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean and the waves here can be large with a strong under-tow. Surfing and storm watching are especially popular because of the big waves that Cox Bay enjoys.
Mackenzie beach is the closest of the large beaches in Tofino, accessed from Hellesen Drive. A short wheel chair friendly board walk will connect you to the sandy beach which is protected from storms and high winds by a few well-placed rock outcroppings fronting the beach. The waves are calmer here which makes it a great environment for families and a popular spot for activities such as beach-combing, stand-up paddle boarding, bocce ball, frisbee, picnicking, and swimming. There are public washrooms and shower facilities located at the Hellesen Drive beach access.
Tonquin Beach is located in the town core and is a great spot for swimming, sunning and relaxing. The main beach access is from the Tofino Community hall along the winding Tonquin Trail which descends through old-growth forest down to Tonquin Beach. The second access is from Tonquin Beach Road, where the Tonquin Beach Trail will lead you down a boardwalk and a series of stairs to the beach. The beach and small lookouts along the trail are perfect for enjoying a view of Wickaninnish Island, great sunsets, and the comings and goings of boats. Tonquin Beach was named after the ship that perished in the channel in 1811.
For information about beaches in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, please visit the Parks Canada Website.