Rainy Days
How to Spend a Rainy Day in Vancouver Island North

Embracing the rain is an integral part of the culture and climate here in Vancouver Island North- when we celebrate the beauty of a misty rainforest and the quiet of a drenched morning. Whether you choose to hibernate and relax indoors or enjoy the raw power of nature outdoors- there are countless things you can do on a rainy day in Vancouver Island North. So grab your raincoat, pull on your boots, and get ready to explore. Here are a few of our favourite rainy day activities not to be missed.

Cozy up for a coffee and a relaxing read at Cafe Guido and The Book Nook

A Port Hardy staple, the warm and welcoming atmosphere at Cafe Guido beckons visitors and locals alike to nestle in on a rainy day. When you arrive, venture downstairs to the Book Nook to find a new read to enjoy. We love their selection of British Columbia-based authors and stories from Indigenous authors featured throughout this local bookshop. After you find a good read, grab a fresh coffee and breakfast treat and settle into the cafe to escape the rain for a while. You won’t regret a stop at this local treasure.

Educate yourself in wonder at the Whale Interpretive Centre

Located in picturesque Telegraph Cove on their historic boardwalk, The Whale Interpretive Centre features the largest collection of marine mammal skeletons in British Columbia and is a must-stop destination on any trip to Vancouver Island North. The perfect spot to hunker down with family and learn about the rich history of the local marine life, as you glance in awe at the impressive whale skeletons that surround the center.

Discover the Quatse Salmon Centre and learn about this integral ecosystem of fish
An education facility dedicated to supporting salmon enhancement and conservation, a visit to the center means the opportunity to learn about the incredible importance of this fish to the entire coastal ecosystem. A perfect spot for children and adults of all ages, there’s multiple indoor galleries and covered viewing areas that make it a great spot to spend a rainy afternoon.

Connect with your mind and body at Wild Coast Yoga

Located in Port Hardy, Wild Coast Yoga features several drop-in classes that are perfect for stretching and relaxing on a trip to Vancouver Island North. Pre-registration is required through their website, and they offer several different yoga-centric classes including children’s yoga, hatha, and meditation sessions.

Devour a flight of locally crafted beer and split a pizza at Devils’ Bath Brewery

Enjoy the spectacular view of the Port McNeil coastline as you sip these locally crafted beers at one of our favorite local spots. Founded by three brothers who grew up in Port McNeil, Devils’ Bath Brewing Co. is the perfect place to escape for the rain for a cozy meal with your travel companions. Featuring an array of food and beverage options, there’s something for everyone at this North Island staple.

Pamper yourself at Northern Bliss Day Spa

Once you have your fill of the great outdoors, relax and be pampered at Northern Bliss Day Spa. Located in Port Hardy, Northern Bliss Day Spa is a beauty salon offering hair, nails, massage, and other forms of self-care that make any vacation truly blissful.

Take the ferry to Sointula for lunch at Coho Joe

Hop on the BC Ferry at Port McNeil and go for a relaxing boat ride over to Sointula. Malcolm Island is an absolute must-see spot on any Vancouver Island itinerary, and Coho Joe is the place to fuel up for a day of adventures. With views of the ocean from their dining room, enjoy a wide range of breakfast and lunch options, with locally brewed coffee from North Island’s own Burly Bean Coffee Co.

Visit a museum and learn about our history

There are countless museums that offer visitors different perspectives of the area and its history and culture. First, venture over to Alert Bay to the renowned U’mista Cultural Centre to learn about the traditional culture and history of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw. In Sointula, visit the Sointula Museum which explores the Finnish settlement of Sointula and the maritime history of the island. And finally explore the Port McNeill Heritage Museum and Port Hardy Museum, located in each of their respective towns, to learn more about the history of this region.

Discover local artisans creative work at an art gallery

There are countless artists and creatives that call Vancouver Island North home, and spending a rainy day exploring some of the galleries and studios is a great way to pass the time in wonder. Taking the Vancouver Island North Art Tour is a great place to start, where you can explore at your own pace and pick your own itinerary according to your artistic interests. You can download the map here.

Enjoy a rainy day beach walk in peaceful solitude

And finally, there is no better way to embrace a rainy day than to take a quiet walk on one of the area’s incredible forests, trails, and beaches. There’s nothing quite like exploring the coast in peaceful solitude, where nature is the only sound you hear. Some of our favorite rainy day walks include Storey’s Beach to watch the shorebirds dance along the water, or exploring the caves of Little Huson Caves Park. Ensure that you pack your gear appropriately for wet weather and changing conditions, and always be prepared for the unexpected.

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