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{{IsPartOf|Northern British Columbia}}

Revision as of 23:07, 24 November 2010

For other places with the same name, see Prince George (disambiguation).

Prince George is a major service centre in Northern British Columbia, Canada. It is the largest city north of Kamloops in BC, and known as BC's Northern Capital. Prince George is located at the crossroads of highway 16 (East-West) and highway 97 (north-south). It is situated in a large valley at the confluence of the Fraser river and the Nechako river, both significant, high flow rivers.

From the very beginning, Prince George was built around the forest industry. Today, the forest industry is still the largest employer in town. Prince George has a significant industrial areas North and South of town, along the Fraser River. This includes 3 pulp & paper mills, several chemical factories, several saw mills and an oil refinery. Since its beginnings, Prince George has diversified significantly. Today, Prince George has a large government presence, an important court house, a large provincial jail and the University of Northern British Columbia, one of five British Columbia universities.

In spite of several interesting and exciting natural features, and a few notable museums, a superb Prince George Folkfest in July, a fabulous art gallery, a fantastic seasonal farmer's market, and many other attempts by the city to make Prince George an interesting tourist destination, Prince George remains a stop; a service center for transiting tourists, and not a destination on most travelers' itineraries.

Contents

Get in

By air

Air Canada [1] and Westjet [2] have regular, direct service from Vancouver, BC as well as connecting service to the rest of Canada. The Prince George Airport is located fifteen minutes from the city centre. There is Taxi service available, as well the PG Airporter[3].

By car

Prince George is located at the intersection of TransCanada 16 and Provincial Highway 97. It's an 8-10 hour drive north from Vancouver, and an 8 hour drive west from Edmonton. Prince George has all services in town, including dealerships for most major car manufacturers. Prince George is a frequent stop for people en route to travel the Alaska Highway.

By bus

Greyhound Canada[4] has frequent service north to Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Whitehorse; south to Vancouver, Kamloops and Kelowna; east to Jasper, and Edmonton, and west to Terrace and Prince Rupert. The bus terminal located at 1198 Victoria Street.

By train

VIA Rail Canada[5] offers service west to Prince Rupert and east to Jasper. The train runs once a day, east and west on alternating days. The station is located at 1300 1st avenue. It is open only during arrivals and departures of the train in the early morning and late evening.

Get around

By bus

BC Transit[6] operates Prince George's public transit system, which features 14 bus lines. The service is somewhat reliable, with most buses running once every half hour. Fare options include single rides ($2.00/adult, $1.50/child) day passes ($4.50/adult, $4.00/child).

By taxi

Prince George has two taxi companies, they are:

  • Prince George Taxi - +250 564 4444
  • Emerald Taxi - +250 563 3333

Cab rates in Prince George are comparable to rates in other medium sized cities in North America.

By car

Personal car is the easiest way to get around P.G. Most major rental outlets in North America have offices in town, as well as at the airport.

See

  • Mr. PG: A large statue of man with tree stumps for legs and arms, around 10 metres high, has to be seen to be believed. Mr. PG stands near the tourist information centre at the intersection of Highway 16 and Highway 97.
  • University of Northern British Columbia Grounds: Located high above town, the view from the campus is spectacular. There are lots of hiking trails and mountain bike paths in Forests for the World behind the campus.
  • Fort George Park: Located just outside of downtown, Fort George is a pleasant river side park with a large playground.
  • Connaught Hill - A small hill in the middle of town, take the short drive to the top to see a spectacular view of town, as well as enjoy the gardens and shaded areas on the summit.
  • Prince George Courthouse: This impressive, new building features a prominent dome roof.
  • Nechako River Cutbanks: These large banks of sand along the Nechako river are a striking view. In mid-summer, the cutbanks formerly hosted the Prince George Sandblast, where competitors ski and snow (sand?) board down the sandy cutbanks to the city below, but the annual event has been cancelled as a result of injuries and accidents. This competition has been featured in several of Warren Miller's ski movies over the years.
  • Forests for the World: Located on Cranbook Hill, is a short drive from the downtown core, with hiking, Shane lake, a picnic area, and a lookout point. A good place to see wildlife without going too far.
  • Specialty Avenue: In recent years, 4th Avenue has been emerging as a revitalized downtown area. There are several unique shops including, Homework (a clothing store), Books & Company (a cafe/bookstore/concert venue), J.J. Springers, Dandy Lines, Kathy's Quilt Shop, and Darlenes Handwovens.
  • Railway & Forestry Museum:[7] is located east of downtown, on the other side of the railway yards along River Road. The museum features lots of old railway equipment, including a number of coaches in the process of being restored. Some notable pieces of equipment include the Russel Wooden Snowplow, BC Rail Electric locomotives and the BC Government Coach "Endeavour". There is also a miniature railroad that operates seasonly and offers rides around the museum grounds.
  • Huble Homestead [8] This historic site located 40km north of Prince George, just off Highway 97 consists of the house of trader Al Huble who arrived in 1904. There are various other buildings, including a blacksmith shop, general store, and trapper's cabin, some original and some reconstructed. The site is located at the south end of the historic Giscome Portage, once an important route between the Fraser and Peace River systems. During the tourist season interpreters in period costume are on hand and a blacksmith is at work at the forge. It is also a nice site for a walk or picnic. Admission is by donation.
  • Two Rivers Art Gallery:[9] This large, public art gallery is located right downtown in an impressive, purpose-built building. The gallery features art by artists from all over British Columbia. A highlight in Prince George, and well worth the admission price. Admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for children and free for all on Thursdays.

Do

  • The Exploration Place:[10] This small museum located in Fort George Park offers local history, as well as a hands-on natural history and science exhibit for children. Hours vary from season to season and should be verified before visiting.
  • Touchwood Tours:[11] Touchwood Tours offers forestry tours to view the current on-the-ground practices of a sustainable forest management process. The day long trips include transportation, lunch, expert tour leaders and the chance to interact with local workers on a one on one basis. Tours must be booked in advance.

Activities

  • Skiing and Snowboarding: There are several ski areas around town. Hart Highlands is a small hill located right in town. 1/2 an hour west is Tabor ski area, another 1/2 hour west is Purden ski area. These hills feature fairly long runs and interesting terrain.
  • Fishing: Ferguson Lake is 15km north of Prince George featuring a 50ft dock, an old homestead site, canoe launch and interpretive trails. This is a great place to fish with the kids from the dock.

Buy

The major shopping areas are: Pine Centre Mall, Parkwood Mall, and the Westgate Plaza. There are also several 'big box' style retailers, including a Walmart, Costco and Superstore which are on the west side of town along highway 16.

Prince George also has a small downtown area, which has several local stores. Some of the downtown stores include: Books & Company, located on the edge of downtown, a very nice local book shop that features books by local authors. Meow Records is another interesting local shop located on Brunswick Avenue, offering used and new records and CDs. It is also a great way to get connected with the local music scene. Kumbayaz, a First Nations gift shop features many local made products.

Eat

  • Cimo Mediterranean Grill, 601 Victoria Street (Victoria and 6th), 2505647975. Good ingredients, excellent preparation, but so-so service come together at Cimo. A solid restaurant for any city, but a real find in such a small city.
  • North 54 Excellent, friendly service combines with a lovely decor to give an exquisite restaurant. Not a cheap restaurant, but the high quality steaks and pasta are well worth the price.
  • Spicy Greens serves up home made Indian cuisine that will keep your taste buds popping. The food is very good and the prices very reasonable.
  • Sushi Hut ‎, 104-892 Central Street East Prince George, BC V2M 3B8, Canada (250) 612-0028, (250) 612-0028, [12]. An awesome place to have sushi!

Drink

Prince George has many fine pubs and bars around town, some favorites include:

  • The BX: A favorite among locals, has good food and cheap beer, located just west of downtown.
  • Shooters Sports Pub: Located across from the multiplex and downtown on Brunswick St.
  • The Generator: If you want to have a good time the Generator is the place to be. Cover charge is typically $4.00
  • The College Heights Pub: Located in the suburb of College Heights, west of town. This English-style pub has very good food.
  • The Alpine: Neat pub located up in Hart Highlands, north of town. Very good food and low prices. Out of the way, but a good place to check out after an evening of skiing.
  • Jake's Steakhouse: Located near 3rd Ave and Vancouver St, this steakhouse has amazing steak for reasonable prices. Try the coleslaw for a tasty salad.
  • The Clozout Club. Located diagonally across from The Generator above the Happy Monkey, is Prince George's only Gay club. Cheap drinks, good music, friendly atmosphere. 100% of all donations go directly to supporting the local Pride societies. Open Friday and Saturday nights. $5 cover donation. (53.917673,-122.745867)

Sleep

There are numerous hotels & motels in Prince George, along Highway 97/Central, along Highway 16 West, and downtown. For those seeking hostel level accommodations Prince George is not particularly well equipped to suit that style of travel. The CNC dorms (listed below) are one option available during summer, and camping is available in the outskirts of the city.

  • The Coast Inn of the North, located on 7th & Brunswick, is generally considered the high-end accommodation in Prince George.
  • Ramada, Right in the downtown core on George St.
  • Treasure Cove, On the junction of Highway 97 south & Hwy 16 W. Attached to the Treasure Cove Casino.
  • Sandman Inn, on Central St beside Dennys.
  • Esther's Inn, just off Central, is popular for families with children because in addition to hotel rooms and a restaurant it has a swimming pool, a steam room, whirlpool baths, and water slides.
  • College of New Caledonia Residences, $20 per person per night without linen, $25 with. Only available May through August.
  • Grama's Inn, just off Central near Wendys.
  • Economy Inn, right downtown, rooms are spacious and clean, with free fast wifi. Staff are very friendly.
  • Downtown Motel, located near 4 Seasons Swimming Pool and the Civic Centre.
  • Bon Voyage Motor Inn, Located on Highway 16 west, this motel is somewhat outside of the city itself. Connected to Bon Voyage shopping plaza.
  • Travelodge Goldcap, located on Brunswick St.
  • Four Points by Sheraton, Newest hotel in town, located on Hwy 97 just south.

Get out

Routes through Prince George
Prince RupertWeneez  W noframe E  UrlingJasper
Dawson CreekChetwynd  N noframe S  QuesnalKamloops


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