Winter storm watching is one of the best ways to experience the west coast of British Columbia. Vacationers have been flocking to Ucluelet and Tofino to go storm watching and west coast sightseeing for years. The storm watching season begins in November and goes through March, with the peak of the season falling from December to February.
Each season there are on average 10 to 15 storms that will leave travelers with epic pictures and a reason to come back next year. The best storm watching in British Columbia can be found in the quaint, picturesque fishing towns of Tofino and Ucluelet, which are connected by Long Beach, the most expansive beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Whether you are an experienced storm watcher or someone looking for a new west coast sightseeing adventure, neither of these two destination spots will disappoint. There are numerous hotels and inns in Tofino and Ucluelet catering to those who have travelled for the sole reason of experiencing one of the area’s incredible storms, and many of these places also offer guided tours or deals on extended stays.
The raw power of the Pacific Ocean is incredible, and what better way to experience it first-hand than staying on the coast where you will be able to see and hear all the incredible sounds produced?
Long Beach is a Hotspot for Powerful Winter Storm Watching Sights
Long Beach is perhaps one of the most impressive and popular beaches in all of British Columbia. Boasting rocky islands and a consistent surf exposed to the open Pacific Ocean, it is a must-see for surfers and storm watchers alike.
Running alongside the Tofino-Ucluelet highway and connecting the two villages, Long Beach is also a hotspot for those interested in winter storm watching. The shore-side trees bend and waver to the gale-force winds, and the rainfall is intermixed with bouts of joyful sunshine. Driftwood finds its way to the beach and the puddles that are left behind bring out the kid in all of us. You can either opt to watch the impressive storms from Long Beach, outfitted in full raingear, or from the comfort of a beachside inn snuggled up by the fireplace. Either way, seeing the giant waves and the rip-roaring tide make its way up the coast is something everyone should experience.
When is the Best Time to Go West Coast Sightseeing?
Book a vacation to Tofino or Ucluelet anytime from November through March and you will surely be in for a treat. Located along the Pacific Ocean, both fishing villages offer the opportunity to witness the huge swells, incredible winds, and swaying trees.
The swells often cause the sea to extend upwards of 10 to 12 metres, and continue for 8 to 12 hours after the storm has passed. The extreme forces of nature are working overtime during these winter months, and are oftentimes completely unpredictable. The west coast sees nearly 5 metres of annual rainfall, so you can imagine why storm watching in this area is so popular!
If you are a nature-lover and a storm-chaser, British Columbia’s west coast should definitely be on your bucket list. Both Tofino and Ucluelet cater to visitors hoping to experience one of the storms this part of the country is so well-known for, and there are many different options sure to appeal to every type of visitor.
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