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Watching the breakers roll in at Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.Kit Spence for The Globe and Mail

Family fun:

  • MacKenzie Beach
  • Where to find it: Two kilometres south of Tofino
  • What to expect: An offshore reef protects MacKenzie Beach from the full force of the Pacific Ocean, making it popular with families. From our beachfront cabin at Ocean Village, we cycled this sandy beach in about 15 minutes.

Unbridled beauty:

  • North and/or South Chesterman Beach
  • Where to find it: Between MacKenzie Beach and Cox Bay
  • What to expect: A dreamy seascape connected at low tide to Frank Island. Singer Sarah McLachlan has a house here. The renowned Wickaninnish Inn anchors the north end. That thud you hear is a hot tub lid closing.

Surfers' delight:

  • Cox Bay Beach
  • Where to find it: Between Chesterman Beach South and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
  • What to expect: Big surf. No reefs or islands get in the way of the raw force of nature here. Public hot showers are available near the entrance to the Cox Bay Beach Resort.

Nature lovers:

  • Long Beach
  • Where to find it: Between Tofino and Ucluelet
  • What to expect: The longest stretch of sandy beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Because it's in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, development is prohibited. The Twilight movies were filmed partly at Incinerator Rock, at the beach's north end.

Where to rent bicycles:

It's possible to cycle Tofino's beaches year-round. The worst storms are between December and February. Daily average temperature in January is 4.5 degrees C.

Bike rentals:

  • Ecoeverything, 650 Campbell St., Tofino, 250-725-2338
  • The Groovy Movie Store,1180 Pacific Rim Hwy., Tofino, 250-725-2722
  • Ukee Bikes, 1559 Imperial Lane, Ucluelet, 250-726-2453

Special to The Globe and Mail