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"It really is the best of both worlds," explained our guide, Mike, as we dipped our paddles into the inky Pacific Ocean, gliding away from the waterfront dock at Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort. He was describing how the property's unique location in British Columbia’s central coast provides easy access to wildlife in the Great Bear Rainforest and the Pacific marine environment.
It was the first of five days at Nimmo Bay, and my family and I were kayaking through a tree-lined channel to a nearby estuary (a place where a freshwater stream meets the ocean), where we hoped to see black bears in their natural habitat.
"Bears can smell you before they see you," advised Mike after we arrived on the beach and gathered around him to learn how to behave around wildlife. Nimmo Bay's guides promote sustainable bear viewing, and the property is committed to protecting wild bears and their ecosystems.
As we walked toward the estuary, clamshells crunching underfoot, two dark objects appeared in the distance. After a few minutes, one of the glossy-furred black bears stopped flipping over large rocks like they were pieces of cardboard. It then raised its nose and turned in our direction. We stood close together to appear larger and more intimidating, watched and waited. After a few calming breaths (mine and possibly the bear’s), the bear went back to foraging for crabs.
We experienced more wildlife viewing the following day when we explored the Pacific Ocean in a custom-built catamaran on a daylong coastal safari. Massive humpback whales breached the surface before diving into the deep, sea otters backstroked through kelp forests, and Pacific white-sided dolphins charged under the boat's hull to encourage our captain to go faster so that they could play in the boat's wake.
On our final day at Nimmo Bay, my husband and kids soared into the backcountry on a full-day helicopter adventure: hiking alongside 10,000-year-old glaciers and ultramarine-blue lakes, picnicking in the alpine and catch-and-release fly fishing. They said it was one of their best days ever.
At the same time, I had a best day of my own. I hiked among towering old-growth cedar and balsam fir trees, found my deepest exhale in a private yoga session and melted on a massage table overlooking the ocean. Then I enjoyed an alfresco lunch at Little River, the on-site restaurant serving locally sourced West Coast cuisine.
To me, this is another example of how Nimmo Bay offers the best of worlds. Guests can explore 50,000 square miles of terrain accessible by helicopter, boat or on foot. Or, they can choose a day of wellness. At this exclusive nine-cabin property — with world-class amenities such as a fabulous wood-fired sauna floating in the Pacific — guests can do as much or as little as they desire.
Accessible only by helicopter, floatplane or private yacht, the family-owned-and-operated Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort has been welcoming guests for almost 40 years. And they understand family. While there are plenty of tempting adventure opportunities, the owners and staff at Nimmo Bay can even cater to grandparents and grandkids looking for a more sedentary experience.
The DetailsNimmo Bay Wilderness Resortwww.nimmobay.com