Transplanted Nova Scotian Ronnie Lee got his Tofino start cooking at weekend BBQ pop-ups in his friend’s backyard. But word of—and smells from—the east coaster’s smoker prowess soon spread and, before long, a restaurant was in the works. Lil’ Ronnie’s Beachside BBQ now delivers revelatory beef brisket daily thanks in part to 18 hours of smoking, but also its provenance from Beretta Farms, an ethical ranch raising animals without the use of antibiotics or hormones. 1101 Pacific Rim Hwy., Tofino

Family-run Jeju’s menu isn’t vast, which means that each of its Korean dishes is thoughtful and perfected. The tiny restaurant recently added charcoal bossam, a char-grilled pork belly served with arugula, ssamjang and pickled radish. Take note: the K.F.C. lettuce wraps with sweet spicy gochujang and pistachio often sell out. 101–120 Fourth St., Tofino

Dish at Jeju

Stop by the new location of Adriana’s Sandwich Shop for classic sandwiches with a twist (Broccoli Bob with broccolini, pickled carrots, arugula and sriracha; prosciutto parmigiana with arugula and lemon pesto) and pizza (salami and honey; kale with mozzarella and lemon). 4–131 First St., Tofino

Pizza at Adriana’s Sandwich Shop
Adriana’s Sandwich Shop

Shelter Restaurant, a Tofino mainstay for over 20 years, recently moved to new digs in the former 1909 Kitchen but brought their local faves with them. The classic Meares Island chowder features local catch (as does the Surf bowl with locally caught wild salmon); the salted sourdough with salted butter is baked in-house. This summer they’ve got the Seaside Smash cocktail (gin, Chambord, lemon and rosemary) on tap. 634 Campbell St., Tofino

Shelter Restaurant
Shelter Restaurant. Photo by Kyler Vos


Accommodation at Mackenzie Beach Resort includes beachfront cabins, reimagined Airstream trailers and their newest addition: 240-square-foot modern suites built by Vancouver Island’s Aux Box. These stunning prefab units pack elevated punch with a private deck, firepit, indoor and outdoor showers, kitchenette (with local Rhino coffee) and ensuite (with Canadian-made Oneka toiletries refilled locally by Ucluelet’s The Den). 1101 Pacific Rim Hwy., Tofino

Airstream glamping at Mackenzie Beach Resort
Mackenzie Beach Resort

Ranked one of the world’s best stretches of sand, Chesterman Beach’s three kilometres of spectacular sun and surf are just a quick three-minute walk from a gem on Airbnb. Designed by Vancouver-based Scott and Scott Architects (Formula Fig; Leisure Centre), the three-bedroom Chesterman Cabin feels modern but not spare and cold, with birch plywood walls and radiant-heat concrete floors. Nestled in the trees sits a hot tub a stone’s throw from the sleek glass sliding doors. 1358 Chesterman Beach Rd., Tofino

If you build it, they will come. The Wickaninnish Inn, which needs no introduction as Tofino’s grande dame, was first the vision of Dr. Howard McDiarmid, who moved to the area in 1955 to head up the local hospital. His children, Charles and Bruce, brought that vision to life by clearing the land by hand so that, in 1996, a proper beachfront hotel could finally welcome well-heeled international visitors to the area. In The Pointe restaurant, dine while listening to the soundtrack of crashing waves live-piped through speakers. 500 Osprey Ln., Tofino

The Wickaninnish Inn
The Wickaninnish Inn. Photo by Simone Mondino

Skip the set-up at Surf Grove campground with their new rigid-roofed A-frame tent rentals. With sturdy shelter overhead, storm watch safe and dry from a queen bed that fits snugly under the pint-sized peak. Each campsite includes a fire pit with chairs, onsite laundry and picnic table as well as room for one pitched tent. 1451 Pacific Rim Hwy., Tofino

Opened in the summer of 2023, the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s Tsawaak RV Resort and Campground—adjacent to the Indigenous-owned Tin Wis Resort Lodge—offers 34 RV sites and 13 longhouse cabins just steps from Tin Wis (MacKenzie) Beach. The visitor centre features a gallery for local Tla-o-qui-aht artists to showcase their work while a retail shop stocks essentials—like marshmallows, of course. 1119 Pacific Rim Hwy., Tofino


Just 15 minutes from Tofino’s harbour by boat sits the new Moon Jelly Bathhouse where seaweed bathing promises to lower stress, increase circulation, relieve skin conditions and calm the nervous system. Rich in antioxidants and minerals including zinc, potassium, magnesium and iodine, the new spa’s seaweed is sustainably harvested from the Naas Foods kelp farm near Tofino. For six hours, soak, plunge, bask, sweat, swim and rinse on your own private floating sanctuary with lounge, day beds and sky hammock hung over open water in the northernmost bay of Lemmens Inlet. Shi’s Marina, Tofino

Moon Jelly Bathhouse
Moon Jelly Bathhouse. Photo by Jae Lazar

In partnership with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, the Tofino Resort and Marina’s remote floating sauna dock sits in total solitude (it’s a 35-minute boat ride from town). Once here, immerse yourself in the healing powers of a wood-fired cedar sauna, paddle boarding and plunging in the pristine waters of a quiet bay a world away. 634 Campbell St., Tofino

Tofino Resort and Marina's floating sauna dock
Tofino Resort and Marina. Photo by @wzylouisey Louise Tuck 21

This story was originally published in the May/June 2024 print issue of Western Living magazine. Get your free subscription here