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.
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!