TOFINO, B.C.-Tucked on the edge of Vancouver Island, Tofino is a thriving surf town with tons of character - and characters. Avoid the summertime crowds by heading west in the winter months for a taste of the wild West-Coast lifestyle and discover how Tofino got its "Tough City" nickname. Check out these top five spots from

Rhino Coffee House: Starting a day of exploring with a strong cup of coffee is a must, so head straight to Rhino, a funky surf-inspired coffee shop with house-roasted beans and an all-day breakfast menu that'll hit the spot.

Wolf in the Fog: This compact, contemporary bar and restaurant may be small but its menu and cocktail list are mighty. Pulling inspiration and ingredients from its natural and cultural surroundings, Wolf in the Fog is the fun place for a languid lunch.

Caravan Beach Shop: Looking to snag a souvenir that truly represents Tofino's beach-town vibe? Then head to Caravan Beach Shop. Its shelves are stocked with wooly sweaters, surfer-print socks and "Salty Sea" scented candles.

Long Beach Lodge Resort: Sitting right on the edge of Cox Bay, one of Tofino's most consistent surfing beaches, Long Beach Lodge Resort is the quintessential beach resort. It combines a clean New England esthetic with that wild West Coast vibe to provide comfortable accommodation, top-notch cuisine and access to all the outdoor activities Tofino is known for.

Tofino Brewing Co.: Using Pacific Northwest hops, high-quality malted barley and fresh, mountain spring water, the gentlemen at Tofino Brewing Co. are whipping up small-batch beers worth tasting again and again.

Because Tofino is situated in a coastal temperate rainforest, it can get wet here. According to, Coastal temperate rainforest covers only 0.2 percent of the earth's surface. A cool fact to keep in mind when it's raining is that Clayoquot Sound is home to a rare ecosystem which is dependent on this rainfall.