Winter Storm Watching

We were built for this...

Gale force winds, giant swells and lashing waves - just another winter’s day on Vancouver Island’s rugged West Coast.  Experience the spectacular fury of a West Coast winter storm up close a la carte or as part of our Storm Watcher's package. Whether you bundle up and join the seabirds dancing in the wind or watch it all from the comfort of your fireplace-warmed suite, winter storm watching is an awe-inspiring experience that invigorates the soul.

Typically the most reliable time period to enjoy the, “Storm Watching” experience in the Tofino or Pacific Rim areas is from November 1st through the end of February although it is not unusual to have an early storm or two arriving in late October and even a late storm arriving in early March.

Storm watching at the Wickaninnish Inn was named a Canadian Signature Experience by the Canadian Tourism Commission in 2011. Remote Passages in Tofino was also named a Signature Experience for their marine adventure excursions - a wonderful way to get out and explore Clayoquot Sound! 


Making the Wickaninnish Inn a memorable Storm Watching destination began long before the Inn was even built. The McDiarmid family would visit the Inn's eventual site from their nearby Cabin at the height of a storm to see where the waves broke, how high they came up onto the rocks and into the forest and where the most spectacular views of the crashing waves could be seen. These memories and a whole host of other Storm Watching ideas were then incorporated into the design of the Inn so from the ground up the Wickaninnish was planned to be the best storm watching destination on the coast of North America from Mexico to Alaska.

Storm Watching Amenities

Full rain gear is provided in each and every guest room and rubber boots sized to fit are also available so guests can enjoy their own walk on the beach or through the rainforest in comfort and style without taking up precious luggage space. Additionally there is a gum boot and rain gear drying unit as one arrives into the Driftwood Café: guests can hang up whatever is wet, turn on the boot dryer and enjoy a specialty coffee, hot tea or soothing hot cocoa by a crackling wood fire while everything is drying and be ready to brave the elements again within 15 minutes. The Lookout Library offers a range of rainy day activities, such as games, Stave Puzzles, and a selection of periodicals to enjoy, with an expansive view of the waves rolling onto Chesterman Beach. 

For many guests the ultimate yin to the yang of storm watching is time spent in Ancient Cedars Spa located right on the Inn’s Ocean Level. In particular the Cedar Sanctuary ( a free standing double treatment room) offers clear unobstructed ocean views and unrivaled spa treatments as close to nature’s edge as mother nature and the legal setbacks allow.  

In the Guestroom

Finally, guestrooms and public spaces all feature ocean or beach views throughout the Inn so a variety of storm views are available throughout the Inn. After a solid beach walk, relaxing spa treatment and maybe a wonderful lunch in The Pointe Restaurant or Driftwood Café perhaps a retreat to your guestroom might be in order. Turn your comfortable arm chair towards the window and with the fireplace beside you gaze out your rain streaked window to enjoy mother nature’s performance down the beach or on the rocks below with your balcony door cracked open enough to hear the wind whistling by as the trees bend to mother nature’s will.

"On the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, there is no such thing as bad weather just poor clothing choices!"

- Charles McDiarmid


  • A Proud Relais & Chateaux Member
  • Rated a Top Travel Destination