This blog post was updated on June 26, 2015.

Winter Storm Watching Getaways on Vancouver Island, Flickr: Gabriel

 Storm Watch with Your Loved One!


The borage of winter storms that hammer coastal Pacific Northwest during the winter put on quite a show. Mother Nature wallops the beachfront with howling wind, pelting rain, and 30-foot surf, creating a spectacle that people would pay to see. In recent years, beachfront resorts in the region have realized that nature’s fury, marketed the right way, is a great tourist draw in what is otherwise an incredibly quiet offseason. Storm watching has become all the rage and hotel packages revolving around the phenomenon are more popular than ever.
Tofino, British Columbia has become the storm watching capital of Canada. Located on the northern reaches of Vancouver Island, this isolated port town sees 10-15 good storms per season, dumping almost 200 inches of rain, often diagonally or horizontally.  Curling up by a fire in a luxury lodge with a glass of wine in one hand and your loved one’s digits in the other while watching the frigid winter storms pummel the cozy resort is the sort of romantic getaway that couples dream about.  Properties like the top ranked Wickaninnish Inn are luring guests in with reduced rates, a luxury spa, newly remodeled rooms and an elegant restaurant featuring massive panoramic windows, so you don’t miss a moment of the action outside.  While the peak season rates may be a bit too expensive for some travelers, the off season values give budget minded tourists the opportunity to experience a remarkable slice of Pacific Northwestern Luxury
Tofino’s winter weather is also becoming popular with tourists seeking outdoor adventure. Those looking to immerse themselves in the winter storm action can zip up their dry suits and join the locals for a surfing adventure. A little cold rain, sleet, or even snow flurries won’t keep the diehards in this surf town from the opportunity to catch some big waves. Winter kayaking is another water-based method of experiencing the storms that is growing in popularity. Those who prefer to stay on land but still immerse themselves in the storm can opt for a guided nature walk on the Wild Coast Trail.
While the storm season is at its peak November through March, there is no sure fire way to guarantee that your trip to Tofino will include a massive bout of weather.  If a wrench (cleverly disguised as sunshine) gets thrown in your storm-watching plans, you will be happy to learn that there is still plenty of fantastic scenery to enjoy.  Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is just down Highway 4 and features desolate sandy beaches, old-growth coastal temperate rainforest and historical First Nations archaeological sites. Of course, champagne, a sunken tub, and a picture window with ocean views aren’t half bad either.


Photo: Gabriel

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