By Jonathan Gallegos
on 10.25.13

Canada is widely known for its maple syrup, hockey, Mike Meyers and Canadian bacon — all perfectly excellent things. But beyond the typical clichés, our northern neighbor’s rugged landscape is full of intrigue and adventure. Few places capture this Canadian beauty as well as the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, which provides a relaxing environment and one of the best spots in the world from which to cast your luxuriating gaze.

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Resting on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the Wickaninnish provides a perfect view of the Pacific Ocean that’s worth the price of a night’s stay on its own. The two main buildings at Wickaninnish incorporate cedar, fir, driftwood and stone — architecture that is a happy nod to the surrounding British Columbian landscape. On-the-Beach has the Lookout Library and 20-foot windows for admiring the tumultuous sea; At-the-Pointe features the Pointe Restaurant, which provides a 240 degree panoramic view of the surf and a cozy hand-hammered copper fireplace. Every guest room comes equipped with binoculars, balconies, and flashlights (exploration? Frequent power outages?) and a supreme view of either the ocean or the nearby beach. They also feature local artisans’ creations like driftwood furniture and carved art from the on-site carving shed. The inn’s Ancient Cedars Spa combines locally harvested seaweed, beach-front yoga opportunities and a “holistic and sensorial approach” to deliver peace of body and mind alongside the view. No matter the season, opportunities for bear and whale watching, excellent salmon fishing, birding, kayaking and even stand-up paddleboarding abound.

Head to the Wickaninnish November through February, though, and you’ll experience winter storm watching in all its furious glory. Visitors flock to Tofino to see the mesmerizing sea crashing upon bold cliffs and powerful winds racing through the salty air. Some people take the easy road and view from the hotel with a warm cup of coffee, but others challenge Mother Nature and the ocean by surfing the treacherous waves. Whether you’re participating in the outdoors by actually being outdoors or just admiring them from the great indoors, the Wickaninnish Inn is an outstanding way to encounter untamed nature at its finest.

$300+ per night

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