Well, no offense to any Prince Rupertian, but there's not much to do in this place. The whole town is rather spread out so it's hard to get a good feel around. Tourists, upon disembarking from the cruise ship, should head to the left. This area is called Cow Bay. It's a typical tourist trap with it's overpriced souvenirs. But it offers a great view of the waterfront. If you head to the right, this is normally the crewmember way to get into Prince Rupert. You go up a set of stairs that takes you to your basic America-looking street full of supermarkets and a crappy mall. Zeller's is in this mall to help with your junk food needs. Tim Horton's is located behind the mall just a short walk across a parking lotl. A favorite hangout for my friends and myself while here was just kicking it at Tim Horton's.
This museum is an absolute must see if you visit Prince Rupert. Although it is small, it is worth the admission. The museum is downtown in a long house (a traditional First Nations building), and is easy to spot when you get to the right area.
The museum houses artifacts pertaining both to First Nations culture and also to Northern BC's seafaring history. There is information about life in Prince Rupert during the late 19th century, as well as models of ships and recreations of workspaces. The First Nations displays include clothing, tools, handicrafts and other things of interest.
While I visited, the museum also had a great temporary display of First Nations art in the West Coast tradition. There were several Haida artisans represented. The art was spectacular, and included carvings, masks and textile work. There was also an art display by a local artist in the small gallery housed in the museum. The work was in various media, and it complemented the rest of the displays quite well.
The entry fee for the museum is $5 CDN. You can also opt to take a tour for a little more.
The North Pacific Fishing Village is a fantastic heritage site located just outside of Prince Rupert in Port Edward. The site is home to one of Port Edward's old canneries as well as a small village that is representative of a turn-of-the-century cannery. The site is still under construction and many buildings and displays are not open yet, but what is there is incredible and is well worth the visit.
There are tours that run all day in the cannery, as well as live demonstrations and reenactments. One of the most interesting displays is definitely the canning line, which remains fully functional and is turned on several times during the day for visitors to examine. Other features include the net loft and its relics, old residences, various artifacts and documents, as well as several outbuildings and offices. If you participate in all the tours and also take time to explore on your own, you could easily spend a whole day at the site.
For more pictures and information, check out my travelogue.
Spending a day on a fishing boat in just about any place is pretty much a guarantee of a great day, but most especially in British Columbia. It was still the very beginning of the season that day, but we came home with a nice 30 lb. salmon!
When in the BC area, a great thing to do is get on a float plane, which is a small plane that takes off and lands in the water. They stay at low altitudes, which provides for great views of the beautiful BC coast.
Once we got downtown, we decided to take a tour to the Fishing Village. On the way our guide pointed out many things. We saw coastal deer right along the road. The highway was very wavy. He explained that the ground was all muskeg and that the road was built by pouring asphalt over tree trunks. Then we came to the "tree of lost soles" (pictured). Our guide told us a tradition started when someone nailed a shoe on the tree to mark the way. This tradition is continued today as people from all over the world nail shoes to the tree.
When we got to the Fishing Village, we were allowed to plan our own time there. You are allowed to walk around and read about things at the Cannery and Village. There were also tours, one explaining the Canning equipment and another explaining the diffferent varieties of salmon and their life cycle. Then there was the feature show, a one-man play telling the story of the Skeena River through the lives of 8 characters of the time. It was excellent. You could also eat lunch - salmon of course - at the restuarant.
At the Museum of Northern BC I purchased a booklet with a map and the pictures and details of totem poles around the city of Prince Rupert. I began the walking tour but only saw about half of the poles. Some were farther away and I didn't have time to do the whole tour. It was nice to have the booklet so I could read about the totem poles as I was looking at them.
The Kwinitsa Station is a restored railroad station that is open to the public - for a small fee. There were 400 of these stations built along the Grand Trunk Railroad - all exactly alike. It was well worth the fee to walk through and see the rooms as they would have been furnished back in the heyday of the old railroad. There is also a nice area around the station where one can relax and enjoy the harbor view.
We went through the museum on our own and saw and read about the exhibits. There were exhibits about First Nations history and culture, the Hudson Bay Co, and the importance of shipping and the railroad. I also had an interesting discussion with one of the native people at the carving shed (pictured - behind the totem pole in the trees) which is sponsored by the museum. He was carving a personal item and his wife was weaving an item of cedar strips and cotton fibers. He invited us to come back to the museum a little later because he was going to tell 3 Tsimshian stories. We did return and the stories were quite interesting: "The Box of Light", "Sister Moon and Brother Sun", and "The Beauthful Princess". Since I have some Native American background I am interested in learning more about their history.
On the road from Prince Rupert to Prince George (Yellowhead Highway) we saw a few bears, here the brown bear we caught on camera.
This is a small museum located in Prince Rupert that displays history of the various aboriginal groups from the area, as well as the influence of the Europeans and Chinese in the area.
KP is just about one of the best places you can go to relax, fish, kayak, hike, fly fish, etc. The lodge is very secluded and very well-managed, making your stay there worth every cent.