Chesterman Beach, British Columbia
If you don't know what it feels like to be the lone soul walking on a vast beach along the Pacific shore, then Chesterman is the ideal spot for your rite of passage. This 1.5-mile sandy beach in Tofino on Vancouver Island's wild and remote west coast is where the local surfers go when they're playing hooky or prepping for the international competitions that are held here annually. Fringed with B&Bs, West Coast-style homes, and a thick coastal rainforest, the often-desolate Chesterman Beach is great for beachcombing. At low tide, you can walk to Frank Island and explore its tidal pools.
What to Do: Stop by the Wickaninnish Inn's carving shed and watch talented artists at work. Learn to surf or paddleboard. Hike the trails in Pacific Rim National Park or head into Tofino for a surf-town vibe.
Getting Here: Catch a ferry or flight from Seattle or Vancouver to Victoria on Vancouver Island, then drive four and a half hours up the island and across a mountain range to reach Tofino.