Port Alberni Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by canuck68
  • Port Alberni
    by canuck68
  • Girls Ball Game.
    Girls Ball Game.
    by canuck68

Port Alberni Things to Do

  • First Nations

    There are many First Nations (Native) people living here. Their presence is becoming increasingly strong.\Therefore it is possible to view/buy many native crafts.The picture below is of two large carvings which sit near the Somass River. One figure welcomes those coming to town from the river and the other faces the main street where many tourists...

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  • Viewpoint out over Sproat Lake

    (work in progressAs you approach Sproat Lake from Tofino and Ucluelet in the south, there's a signpost for a viewpoint out over Sproat Lake. From the road, there is no well defined path to follow, so you'll end up doing some scrambling and a little bush bashing in order to look out over the lake. Frankly the view isn't hugely spectacular compared...

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  • Home to the Martin Mars water bombers

    (work in progress)Float planes are so much part of the British Columbian landscape that I didn't register at first that there was anything unusual about the red and white planes moored on Sproat Lake. Until I realised that it was in fact massive and the only reason why this wasn't immediately apparent was because it was dwarfed against the backdrop...

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  • A town that's a very counterintuitive...

    (work in progress)My first impression of Port Alberni was one of astonishment - how could a settlement 40km inland from the coast display a 'tsunami risk' signboard on the town limits? But despite my double take, there it still was, so I made a mental note to raise the issue with our local VTer, the delightful canuck68 when we met up a few days...

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  • Port Alberni's fantastic salmon fountain

    (work in progress)It's no secret that I'm a great fan of municipal sculpture, especially when it reflects the historical or cultural context of its location, so it's unsurprising that I fell in love with the salmon fountain at the Harbour Quay in Port Alberni.Salmon have been part of this local ecosystem for a very long time. The oldest salmon...

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  • The salmon 'ladder' at Stamp River Falls

    (work in progress)It's almost impossible to overstate the significance of salmon to the culture and economy of British Columbia: in 2011, the salmon fishing industry directly contributed C$30 million to the B.C. economy, which translated to a post processing value in excess of C$100 million. That's big money by anyone's standards, so it's not...

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  • Glorious fall colour at Sproat Lake

    (work in progress)We visited Vancouver Island in mid October. The timing was dictated by business commitments rather than choice, but one of the attractions was the hope that we would experience some of the Fall colours.In this regard, our experience was a little disappointing. Although the timing was good, our visit came right at the end of a...

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  • Port Alberni's bright and breezy Harbour...

    (work in progress)The obvious place for tourists to begin their visit to Port Alberni is to head for the Harbour Quay, which is located at the end of Argyle Street, abutting Alberni Inlet. It overlooks a working harbour, which counterintuitively is a salt water port, linking to the Pacific Ocean 40km to the west.I suspect that the Quay has...

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  • Some people get REALLY into Halloween!

    (work in progress)For me, Halloween is the quintessential North American festival, and for this reason, I particularly enjoy visiting in the late autumn so that I can enjoy the preparations, if not the celebrations themselves.But there's enthusiasm, and then there'll obsessive excess, and I suspect that this house falls into the latter category!...

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  • Visit Echo Center

    Echo Centre is the community gathering place. It is a fairly large complex housing the swimming pool and facilities, the museum, library and meeting rooms. It is a busy place but there is lots of parking. The Echo Sunshine Club (Seniors) is a large group for the over 55's and very active. Their activities are numerous and include carpet bowling and...

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  • Visit The Harbour Quay

    The Harbour Quay is a favorite meeting place for locals and tourists alike. There is a variety of stores which are discussed in "Shopping"; a variety of eating places; and tables outside where you can bring your coffee or tea etc. and visit with friends as you breathe in the fresh sea air.Tourists can get the MV Frances Barkley from their office at...

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  • Water Activities in Port Alberni

    We are blessed with lots of water in Port Alberni and the many activities that go with it.Fishing is very popular. You can rent a boat or join a charter on the Somass River. Or just go for a pleasure trip down the Alberni Canal. At Sproat Lake (which is very large) you can view the Coulson Water Bombers. They are gigantic.The swimming is excellent...

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Port Alberni Hotels

Port Alberni Restaurants

  • Coffee and sandwich shop

    This coffee shop is unique. The menu is varied and delicious. The atmosphere has been carefully created and the lattes the best. The Canvas Cup showcases local artists and the walls are lined with art which make great conversation pieces. The menu boasts many different kinds of drinks. The soups are healthy and delicious and the desserts are...

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  • Great Food In or Out

    This is a steak and seafood bistro which has become very popular. It is situated just off the main road (Johnson) at the bottom, and just at the turn off for points west.It is possible to sit on the patio which affords a view of the Somass River. I was impressed with the speed of service and the willingness to please when we went there for...

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  • Good Food..Great Menu

    I have been here several times and never been disappointed. The menu boasts a wide variety of dishes both for lunch and dinner.The ambience is friendly and relaxed and very much family orientated. Children are welcomed and are given crayons and something to color. This plus the food must keep them happy as I have yet to hear a little one cry.The...

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  • We Wait and See.

    This restaurant is a pub style restaurant. It is situated right on the edge of the Alberni Canal so affords a wonderful view. The restaurant is fairly spacious and there is a deck outside overlooking the canal where your meal can be enjoyed on a nice day. The restaurant has closed it's doors. That is the status right now. Hopefully they will...

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  • Fine Dining

    This restaurant has been a favorite in Port Alberni for many years. It has recently been renovated to create a wonderful Bavarian atmosphere. The facade of the building is an immediate draw.Kathy K. (owner) and her staff have been providing wonderful service to very loyal clients and tourists and they do it with a smile.The food is always good. The...

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  • Great Seafood

    The Clam Bucket is a popular restaurant in Port Alberni. The service is good and the food plentiful.The name could be misleading as they serve all kinds of food and it is always good.There is a glassed in area that is nice to sit in to get a view of the water. I like everything I have had there but my favorite is the Beef Teryaki. I like stir...

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Port Alberni Transportation

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    Tofino Bus

    by canuck68 Written Feb 13, 2008

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    Tofino Bus Lines
    The Tofino Bus Lines offer an excellent bus service from Nanaimo (where you would exit the B.C. Ferries from the B.C. Mainland) to Port Alberni and on through to Tofino.
    The buses are modern, large and comfortable. Large windows offer the tourist great views of the Island scenery highlights which are Cameron Lake and Cathedral Grove when riding from Nanaimo to Port Alberni.

    I have used this service and can personally attest that the drivers are very courteous, able and willing to go that 'extra mile'.

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Port Alberni Shopping

  • Buying Souvenirs

    This shop is loaded with souvenirs of Port Alberni, B.C. and Canada. It has some First Nations art as well. There are also sweatshirts and T shirts. Lots of Postcards and other memorabilia.Because there is a lot of merchandise in the store, take your time and browse. I have bought gifts and Canadian souvenirs. The prices range from very cheap to...

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  • Art and Souvenirs

    This shop specializes in art and features local artists. They also do framing. There are beautiful postcards, blank greeting cards and a wide variety of paintings from the modest in price to fairly expensive. What you buy would depend largely on your taste and on your budget. As stated above there is a wide selection. That special painting can be...

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  • Port Alberni Hotels

    13 Hotels in Port Alberni

    116 Reviews and Opinions

Port Alberni Local Customs

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    Fishing off the pier on a summer day 1 more image

    by canuck68 Written Apr 2, 2010

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    There are several interesting and very well done wall murals around town. They can be found on the sides of buildings.

    Two examples are pictured below. There is a large mural painted on the Best Western Barclay Hotel at the corner of Stamp Ave. and Roger Street.

    They are all worth a look.

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Port Alberni Warnings and Dangers

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    Off-highway logging truck

    by Darby2 Updated Nov 4, 2008

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    Logging trucks always have the right-of-way on the backroads in this area. Travel by the public is allowed on private logging roads, but only after normal working hours, usually 5:00 PM -6:00 AM. Some roads may be gated. These trucks carry huge loads of 100 tons or more and take up both lanes. If you happen to meet one, pull over as far as you can on the shoulder and allow it to pass and ALWAYS TRAVEL WITH YOUR HEADLIGHTS ON! During dry weather, the roads can be very dusty as well, limiting visibility.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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Port Alberni Off The Beaten Path

  • Go Exploring

    This is a picture taken in October at Roger Creek Park. The leaves are a spectacular color.At any time of the year it is a nice little park to take a picnic lunch and just relax for a while.It is close to the center of town so easily accessible. It's also an easy walk from the Barclay Hotel.

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  • Birding In Port Alberni

    If you are a birder you are always looking for good places to see birds when you are traveling. The best place to bird in "Port" is on the other side of the river from town. It is the mouth, or estuary of the Somass River. Here there is a great diversity of habitat; marsh tide channels, thickets, deciduous forest, coniferous forest, open water, and...

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  • Logging roads to the wilderness

    There are hundreds of miles of logging roads in the area. Some are private but allow for the public to travel after working hours. Always watch for logging trucks. These are off-highway trucks carrying huge loads, more than 100 tons, and always pull over to give them the right-of way.

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Port Alberni Sports & Outdoors

  • canuck68's Profile Photo
    Bulldogs Mascot 1 more image

    by canuck68 Updated Feb 19, 2008

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    Hockey is very big in Port Alberni so you can always take in a game. The Bulldogs play in the BC Junior League and have a very big following. Their home is the PA Multiplex. The players actually come from all over Canada and are all NHL hopefuls. On game night the arena is filled to capacity.

    Equipment: If you are going to skate you will of course need your skates or rent them.

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