Welcome to Prince George, BC!
Prince George is the biggest city in Northern British Columbia and is located just a few miles north of Kamloops. Prince George owes itself to the forest industry, as people settled the area by chopping down trees. Even today, the forest industry is still the biggest employer in the city, and because of the city’s position on the Fraser River, Prince George has expanded significantly. As a result, today it has been able to expand enough to gain a new image.
Prince George might be a city way up in northern BC, but it is not devoid of culture. In fact, it is the opposite with beautiful art galleries, a thriving food scene, notable museums, music festivals, and of course, absolutely breathtaking natural landscapes. Vancouver might be the biggest city in BC, but Prince George is the most picturesque, and a worldwide local knows that heading to smaller cities oftentimes provide a great and authentic experience.
Worldwide Local Tip: Prince George’s public transit system is pretty good and reliable with service usually every half hour. Prices range from $2.25 for a single ticket to $5 for an entire day pass which is likely your best option if you’re traveling through Prince George without a car. However, if you do have a car, that is probably the easiest way to get around the city.
Enjoy Nature in Prince George
While there are a lot of amazing parks located around Prince George, Cottonwood Island Nature Park is one of the best. A favorite among locals and visitors alike, you can get lost in the trees and nature while you partake in some outdoor activities like jogging, fishing, boating, skating, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing, during the winter. The park runs along the Fraser River and the Nechako River, making the views stunningly serene. The trees here are over 300 years old and there are several little islands to explore, that can be walked to when the tide along the river is low.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you’re the adventurous type, try to find all the trees in the woods that have been carved by local artist Elmer Gunderson. A fun and free way to spend an afternoon is trying to find all of the elaborate faces he carved into the trees. Pack some food, along with some solid walking shoes, and make a day of tracking them all down!
Eat Like a Local in Prince George
For a relatively small northern Canadian city, Prince George has its fair share of great food options. A worldwide local knows that trying the local cuisine is always a must, and in Canada, the sheer diversity is what’s considered the “local cuisine.” Places like Amigo’s has some of the best Mexican in the city in a casual and low-key environment, and Indian Essence serves classic Indian dishes in an upscale dining room. Since this is British Columbia you’ll want to try North 54, if you’re in the mood for splurging. The salmon is amazing and comes from only a few miles away.
Worldwide Local Tip: For the more casual and adult experience there’s CrossRoads Brewing. The craft beer company was started by two locals friends who started their business in a space that was once a garage and has now grown to take over a building for over 70 years old. Tours of the brewery are offered where you’ll get to taste all their various styles and indulge in some food at their tap house.
For the Stargazer
The northern part of Canada is where you can get some amazing views of the night sky and space (and even aurora borealis). The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada operates an outpost in Prince George and is open to visitors. Checking them out is a totally unique experience, that few locals ever bother to do. Prince George observatory offers guests a closer look at planets, stars, and galaxies. Try out the mighty Cassegrain telescope (one of the largest in Canada) or the Celestron and Newtonian in their observatory dome.
Worldwide Local Tip: During the winter months, the dome (and the Prince George weather!) can get pretty cold as it is unheated, but guests can still check out the other areas of the observatory and learn about things like astrophotography software and high definition cameras for taking pictures of space. The entrance is free on Fridays, but donations are always accepted.
Enjoy Your Stay in Prince George, Canada!
Prince George has everything that a worldwide local would love: great food, beautiful nature, and amazing opportunities to learn, not only about the city itself but the world as a whole. Make sure to stop by Prince George when you’re around British Columbia.