It fascinates me to hear people who live in Prince Rupert speculate about what visitors could possibly do here.
Of course, most of these people have already experienced many of the Prince Rupert’s attractions and just don’t realize it.
I’m also fascinated to hear locals say that they haven’t been to the Museum in a long time, or have never been there. Or that they don’t know that this fascinating and large cedar building with a giant Visitor Centre banner out front is, in fact, our Visitor Centre. People will travel from around the world to visit the Museum of Northern BC, and be deeply moved by collections. When a visitor asks what they should experience in Prince Rupert, this is always my first suggestion.
And what community of 13,000 people has so many museums? The Museum of Northern BC also operates Kwinitsa Station, the performing longhouse and carving shed. The Prince Rupert Fire Museum is a gem, and visitors with some family connection to Prince Rupert are always fascinated by the Archives. And if visitors are on foot, that doesn’t mean they can’t visit North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site. There are regular buses every day throughout the summer, making it an inexpensive way to experience the last bastion of a way of life that helped shape the entire west coast of North America.
If you’re interested in knowing more about what there is to do, or learning specifics such as what time those buses leave for North Pacific, it’s worth a visit to the Visitor Centre. Learn more about the excursions that draw visitors to Prince Rupert, the fishing charters, wildlife watching excursions to see the bears of the Khutzeymateen or the humpbacks, flight seeing trips, and so many more. The Visitor Centre also provides information on accommodations from hotels and motels, to bed & breakfasts, hostels, campgrounds and cabins.
I said that many locals have experienced many of Prince Rupert’s tourism amenities without completely realizing it. One example of this is restaurants. Prince Rupert is well known for having extremely good dining – often surprising visitors given the city’s size and location. If you were hosting a visiting friend for a couple of days and made a list of places they should eat, you’d run out of meals before you ran out of restaurants.
But the most popular and enduring attraction to visitors is something that most of us take for granted. At TPR Monika and I are quite accustomed to seasoned travellers barely able to string together a sentence because they’re so busy eagle watching. Or seal watching. Or boat and ship watching. Or just taken, suddenly, by a certain view. One of our most frequent suggestions, and one we often include on itineraries, is a walk on Butze Rapids Trail.
The other thing that remains in the memories of visitors is how friendly Prince Rupert can be. I’ve heard it said, and seen it written on comment cards, more times than I could possibly count.
Realizing the full extent of what Prince Rupert has to offer makes us better ambassadors for our community – and there is a need for that. We have magnificent volunteers who act as Cruise Ship Ambassadors, and I salute their efforts at every opportunity, but remember that we can all play at least a small role. Remember that while a cruise ship might bring 350 or even 2,300 people, we already have that many visitors in town on any given day between May and September.
Stop and say hello when you have a minute. You’ll be delighted to find out how ready these people are to share your love of our town.