The road to Prince Rupert was so incredibly eclectic. We saw wildlife, sun, rain, waterfalls, huge moutain ranges, water, snow and more. As in every roadtrip, it’s often the road more than the destination that really makes you revel. You can read about our journey through the center of BC here (part 1) and here (part 2).
Now as you might have read in the second article listed above, we arrived in Prince Rupert under what I would call the most heavy rain I have ever witnessed. For those of you who are not familiar with Prince Rupert, it is a fishing and boating town located on the North Coast of British Columbia and 40 miles south from Alaska (Ketchikan).
Unfortunately, spending days in the rain in a van is a little bit more challenging than it would be in your own home. After a long day of exploring under the rain, it’s hard not to get back to a source of heat (we only had a candle) and dryness. The van is totally dry but it’s quite hard to get your own clothing to dry for example.
So because of this weather defiance, we had to take what we could. Out of 3 days in Prince Rupert, we were only able to hike once (but what a hike!) and to explore downtown without any rain once. The rest of the time, we read books and played games in Vanito or visited local restaurants and coffee shops. So in this article, I’ll tell you about these 3 things :
- Our last morning : exploring downtown
- Hiking the Butze Rapid Trail
- A few coffee shops and restaurants we loved in Prince Rupert
Let’s get started 🙂
1. EXPLORING DOWNTOWN
Well, as to set a precedent, I should start with what we did last! On our final morning in Prince Rupert, the rain had finally stopped for a couple hours and we were eventually able to take a lap around downtown. Downtown Prince Rupert really consists of a couple of charming streets and a quaint harbour. From the latter, a few whale watching tours, fishing boats and a ferry to Port Hardy (& other destinations) usually depart. That morning, it was particularly quiet and we did not cross the path of one soul. However, a harbour seal and a blue heron greeted me as I arrived to take pictures.
My highlights of downtown were the beautiful street art murals representing local wildlife (orcas, grizzlis, wolves) and the small shops surrounding Cow Bay.
2. BUTZE RAPID TRAIL
When you check on TripAdvisor, this trail might be the first thing that pops up in “things to do in Prince Rupert”. And obviously, that’s for a reason. The trail is a 3.2 miles loop (5.2kms). It’s a fair balance between flat, steep incline and descent. I would say that because of that, the hike is family and kids-friendly. Don’t forget your mosquito repellent, your rain boots and rain jacket and you should have everything you need for this pretty hike along the coast of BC.
There has been some wolf activity in the area, so keep your dog on a leash and remain aware. It’s very wild and not heavily trafficked out there! What I loved most about the hike was the view over the rapids, the numerous lush plants and huge trees paving the trail, the several openings on the beach and the beautiful coast. There is also a swing on the beach, a cute little spot for a photoshoot if you manage to see it under the sun!
3. GOOD ADDRESSES IN PRINCE RUPERT
- FOR SUSHIS
While in Prince Rupert, you are in a fishing town. So my first recommendation is to take advantage of that and enjoy the freshest fish there is. Our favorite sushi restaurant is OPA SUSHI. On all the blogs I followed and read before the trip, everybody was recommending Fukasaku of Prince Rupert. It seems like it’s also a wonderful option but I particularly loved how wallet-friendly and delicious OPA was.
For only $50 CAD for 2 people, we ordered the Omakase – we had an incredible assortment of Sashimis, a soup each, 2 drinks as well as 2 starters (gyozas and a salmon/tuna poke bowl). Their sockeye salmon was particularly fresh and service was wonderful. I also thought the location itself was beautiful and cozy, particularly on a rainy day (which happens often enough!). We had fantastic views over the harbour and the bay.
2. FOR COFFEE
For coffee, I’m not gonna lie, there is not TONS of choices. But the little Cowpuccino’s coffee house not only has great chai lattes but also offers a plethora of plugs and a great wifi connection, which on a rainy day in a van, really matters! Service was lovely too.
3. FOR BEER
The craft beer scene in BC and Alberta is quite developed. As you make your way across the provinces, you can follow their “ale trail”. We’ve been able to taste a ton of good beers in BC overall (especially in Whistler). At the Wheelhouse brewing company, you’ll be able to taste 8 different beers (2 flights will do the trick for you to taste everything they have on tap). I found the beers really tasty but quite heavy. However what I absolutely loved was the atmosphere of the place. Fisherman’s and travelers mix up in this local joint and you can see people come here for a good time!
As we were leaving Prince Rupert, we also visited their “sunken garden” but I have to admit if was a bit disappointing and the weather was starting to become really bad again so we didn’t take pictures or stayed long. Finally I know there is a canning factory just outside of Prince Rupert (in Prince Edward actually) that seems to be very interesting and offers guided tours. However, they were closed for the whole 2020 season.
I would overall describe Prince Rupert as a quaint, humid, wild little fishing town. We loved the local vibe and their fresh produces. The hike was definitely a rainforest heaven and when the rain calms down (remember Prince Rupert is known as “The City of Rainbows”, as it is Canada’s wettest city, with 2,620 millimetres (103 in) of annual precipitation on average), it has some beautiful sights to offer!
If you’re heading back down to Vancouver Island or trying to go to Alaska by boat, I think it’s definitely a great place to stop by for a couple days.
Have you ever been to Prince Rupert?
Coco, Bobby, Nola & Vanito!
COPYRIGHT: All pictures belong to Fanny Cohen Sanchez, @fannychn on Instagram, Three Times Nine 2020.