Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Rim National Park’

Storm Watching on the West Coast

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Known for its beautiful summer weather where tourists go to bask in the sun, learn the skillful art of surfing, and possibly partake in a once in a lifetime whale watching tour, the West Coast of Vancouver Island has recently been attracting a new type of vacationer. Winter storm watching has been garnering worldwide attention for the past 15 years or more.

Tourists have been flocking to the coastal towns of Tofino and Ucluelet British Columbia to observe what may possibly be the most awe-inspiring display of ocean storms in the world.

With the season beginning in November and stretching five months through March, there is plenty of time to take in this spectacle. The ‘Wild West Coast’ is home to the Pacific Rim National Park, and with its amazingly dense forests, beautiful wildlife and laid back lifestyle, it is the perfect place to witness the true beauty of Mother Nature. With ocean swells reaching heights of 20 feet and wind gusts raging up to 70 knots, one can truly experience the true potential of the powerful Pacific Ocean literally right on their doorstep.

For those who may prefer to experience the torrential rain and massive ocean swells first hand, a quick trip to the Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is only a few minutes down the road. Other popular locations include Cox Bay and Chesterman Beach, where visitors can witness the magnificent waves crashing along the outer rocks and mile long beaches with the remarkable Lennard Island Lighthouse shining in the background.

For tourists looking for a drier option, one of the Ucluelet, BC Bed and Breakfasts, where you can enjoy a pleasant fire while warming up with a hot cocoa and your favorite book, is the spot for you. Tofino and Ucluelet are also home to world class dining facilities such as The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn and Fetch Restaurant and the Black Rock Resort, where you can take in all the action while enjoying dinner and sipping on a glass of one of Vancouver Island’s excellent local wines.

And for those extreme adventure seekers, there is always a surf shop right around the corner where you can rent a surf board and wetsuit and hit the waves!

20,000 Grey Whales

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

It’s true; over 20,000 grey whales are heading north.  Why, you ask?  Well, obviously because they want to participate in the 25th Annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival taking place on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island from Ucluelet to Tofino, and all of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.  To tell the truth, the grey whales are on their way to Alaska’s Bering Strait and beyond in an annual  migration that has taken place for many, many years.  The festival is newer and a bit shorter and runs from March 19th to 27th.  It is an all out celebration of our coastal lives.  There will be lots of educational material about the grey whales and marine life in general as well as inspirational talks and stunningly beautiful walks.  The festival promises lots of children’s fun and plenty of culinary events for the big folks.  First Nations offer cultural workshops and much more for those who want to experience coastal tradition.  Video enthusiasts can participate in an inspirational, whale inspired, short video contest (check the website for details) with a $500.00 prize!

Allow yourself some quiet time to enjoy a beach walk and to explore the lush coastal rainforest.  Hiking trails are everywhere and range from “couch potato” easy to extremely challenging.  The Pacific Rim boasts some of the province’s finest  BC Bed & Breakfast accommodations, restaurants, and art galleries.

The drive from Port Alberni to the Pacific Rim is a bit windy, but very beautiful too.  Take your time and allow for plenty of stops along the way so the driver can enjoy the stunning scenery guaranteed to mesmerize the entire family.  Of course, the kids will be asking the age old question: “Are we there yet????”  For those not into driving, there is both air and bus service available.