Chesterman Beach is on the west side of the Tofino peninsula on Vancouver Island, just south of Tofino town. It is divided into two main sections, Chesterman Beach South (or “South Chestie” as the locals call it) and Chesterman Beach North. Totalling 3 km in length, Chesterman Beach is divided in the middle by Franks’ Island, a tombolo which is an island attached to the mainland by a narrow causeway of land revealed at low tide.
A short path leads to the white sandy beach. The north entrance is best for wheelchair users and pushchairs. The beach itself is long, flat and sandy. It is dog-friendly and popular for surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kite surfing and surf kayaking.
There’s a surf school and the surf is suitable for beginners and experienced surfers in most conditions. The best waves occur at the south-facing end of the Chesterman Beach when there’s a southern swell while North Chesterman faces west and catches the west and northwest swells.
It’s a beautiful beach for long walks along the water’s edge with views of the forested coastline. There are caves and rock pools to explore and you can spot birds, whales and marine life.
Après surf activities include bonfires and barbecues, stargazing, kite-flying or exploring the rock caves and tidal pools edging the broad sandy strip. Look out for sand dollars and sea stars that frequently wash ashore.
Parking (free) is on the street and at car parks on the corner of Chesterman Beach Road and at Lynn Road. Both car parks have washrooms and showers.
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