When I moved to Prince George from Metro Vancouver just over two years ago, one of my biggest fears was that I was going to regret leaving a place where there was so much to do.
As an avid outdoor adventurer, I frequently used Vancouver and its surrounding areas for its unlimited alfresco regions. I loved being able to walk out my front door, hiking shoes on, and be flooded with a plethora of options on how I could spend my day.
I wasn’t expecting to have these sorts of opportunities in Prince George. After all, there’s no ocean, no beaches, and no large scale mountains. So how could this place offer me anything that surpasses the beauty that is Vancouver?
It took me only days to find out that my new hometown offers an alluring array of opportunities in its own right. And although, it’s not the typical mise en scène that’s offered in Vancouver… the part of me that craves to be unique and uncommon is more excited about this than disappointed.
Below you’ll find my list of the top 6 places in Prince George that will make even your worldliest of Instagram followers just a teeny bit jealous.
The train bridge
The Train Bridge has really come into its own these days; a favorite subject for many local photographers, it shows up frequently on local Facebook pages. One of the best times to view the bridge is in winter , when the exhalation of the mills in the background mixes with the limited light of the night. The push and pull dance of the smoke it emits creates a hypnotizing space where watchers become fully encased in the realization that there is truly beauty in everything – you just have to allow yourself to see it.
The beautiful sub-community of Summit Lake is a picturesque paradise located 30km north of the city. The area surrounding Summit is home to swimming holes, hiking trails, and Teapot Mountain.
Anyone looking to leave everything at the office and reset each day can purchase a lakefront home with nightly orange and purple sunset skies like this for around $300,000.
Nechako River banks
A hidden gem that is not too often showcased about Prince George is a number of places you can go just to meet awesome people. Just like an old country music video, weekenders pack up their lawn chairs and coolers and head down the river banks for a night of dancing, fishing and sky watching. Whether you’re sitting on the back of a tailgate or on an old plaid car blanket, you’re almost always going to end up meeting new friends. The Nechacko River banks are guaranteed to give you one of the best views in North Central BC, and most likely a few of the best nights of your life.
About 15 minutes past the city limit signs is a small lake community whose residents are as warm and cozy as the cabins themselves.
If you’re lucky enough to own property on any of these lakes, you’ll find that there are fewer houses here than at most other lakes, meaning you’ll have ample space (and privacy) all to yourself. A lack of or non-existing cell service forces digital separation and brings residents back to a place where human interaction is necessary. Enjoy morning coffee while watching the still of the water or spark up the fire pit and view the stars as night falls. This is a truly private retreat as access to the lake is only available through resident’s cabins.
No Prince George best places list would be complete without the mention of one of the city’s favourite winter pastimes: snowmobiling. Trails around here are available for every ability level, from the nervous first timer to the long-time sledder, and all will reward you with incredible mountain views just waiting to be photographed. If you are looking for untouched early morning snow with crisp mountain air, the boundless snow-capped land of Prince George has you covered.
Anywhere in town to view the northern lights
There are people in this world who will never have an opportunity to see the northern lights. Those people most likely won’t live in Prince George. Being in north-central BC has its benefits; the further north you go, the better your chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis. For the residents of a city like Prince George, that means having the advantage of seeing the night’s sky painted a few times a year. Use a northern lights tracking app to time your best day, pack a blanket and some cocoa and make your way to the edge of the city limits. You’ll soon find yourself underneath the dancing lights, a northern wonder some will only read about in textbooks.