Two Days In Prince George
Located on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation in Northern British Columbia is Prince George, a city that perfectly balances urban conveniences with natural beauty. One of my goals this year was to explore more of my own country, so when the opportunity arose I jumped at the chance to explore Prince George, a city that was new to me when Central Mountain Air announced direct flights from Edmonton.
I only had two short days in Prince George but in that time I developed a love and admiration for this city that I'd happily visit again. I was lucky enough to be hosted by Tourism Prince George and Central Mountain Air along with Sandy of The Pretty Secrets, Karlie of Miss Wanderlust, Phil of Baconhound, Kelsy of Twirls and Travels & Andrea of Adventures in Hankiland and we had a jam packed couple of days.
Our flight there was incredibly quick and convenient (only one hour!). And once we landed we were immediately off for our packed days ahead with the loveliest tour guides Annie and Anna.
The first stop was at Ohh Chocolate and Ohh boy I could have probably just stayed there all day to eat! Admittedly I wasn't too hungry when we got there for breakfast but I had a cappuccino that was basically the size of my face (so obvs it was amazing) and a breakfast sandwich that was absolutely delicious. In addition to their coffee and food, they have an open chocolate kitchen where their chocolatiers create delicious treats in house that looked to die for! Note to self for next time (+ to you all), definitely try the chocolate.
After our breakfast we were off to the Two Rivers Gallery where we took in different artwork including the standout 'Standing Split' structure on the rooftop by David Jacob Harder. This unique structure was definitely one of my favourites along with 'The Capturing Joy Project' by Bobbi Carpino, a collection of images portraying all kinds of moments of joy.
After our art experience we embarked on a free walking tour where we learned a bit about the history of Prince Goerge. A few of the fun facts that stuck with me....
- Prince George is home to Canada's tallest wooden building and the designer in me couldn't help but admire the use of modern and natural materials, this building definitely caught my eye!
- In what became a twisted ongoing joke throughout the trip, we've learned that several prominent buildings downtown have caught fire over the years. There seems to be quite the trend of historical buildings that caught fire many years ago, only to be repaired and refreshed and are now thriving businesses.
- Prince George has hosted a Pride Parade since 1997, celebrating their 20th Pride Parade this year - YES to that!
-The original City Hall was once home to a brothel (!) but once that scandalous tidbit of information became known to the public, a new home for City Hall was found
I really enjoyed the walking tour and learning bits of history from this city that we otherwise would have never learned!
After we walked up a bit of an appetite it was time for lunch and it did NOT disappoint. We were absolutely spoiled with the most incredible charcuterie at Butella Burning. I sipped on Pimms, ate away at the charcuterie then decided to keep it light with the Melon and Proscuitto salad that had a very excellent proscuitto to salad ratio! haha On their patio they grow many of the herbs and greens they use in their own food, it was a gorgeous space and their pizza oven is definitely a showstopper!
After lunch we stopped to The Exploration Place for a quick stroll through the museum and my favourite, a trip on the little steam train called 'The Little Prince', (I know, too adorable, right?!). I don't think they'd ever seen a group of adults so pumped to ride a train and I won't lie, it was a lot of fun! Once we recovered from the excitement of our train ride we checked into the Prestige Treasure Cove hotel for a quick nap (AKA food coma! lol) and freshened up for the evening's activities and what I was most excited for - the wine and beer tours!
Prince George is home to Northern Lights Estate Winery, British Columbia's most northern winery that makes delicious fruit wine! I won't lie, when I heard fruit wine I was expecting overly sweet wine but I was beyond pleasantly surprised when the tasting began. There was one wine that I don't think I'd have known wasn't a traditional grape wine if I hadn't been told! The grounds were beautiful, the tasting room was excellent (more charcuterie, yes please!) and I loved learning about this relatively young winery that's taking the BC wine scene by storm! This was definitely a highlight of the trip for me (surprise, surprise! haha)
After our wine tour the booze cruise continued to Pacific Western Brewery where we learned all about Cariboo brew and got to learn firsthand the process of how and where the beer is made and then came the best part, the sampling! As a girl who's 'not a beer girl', I was worried I maybe wouldn't find a beer that I liked but that turned out to not be a problem haha. I found that I really enjoyed the Blonde and Honey brews + they have an alcoholic root beer that's deadly sweet but totally delicious.
To end the night we stopped for dinner at North 54 and you guys - holy man. If you're visiting Prince George this restaurant is a must visit and trust me, try the scallops. This tasty spot was the perfect way to end the day or so I thought - until Kelsy suggested we hit up the casino! Now I should say I'm basically useless in a casino. I get too intimidated to play anything at a table and I don't really get how the slots work but with my $10 credit and on my third spin I won $30 and based on my levels of excitement you'd probably have thought I'd won $3000! lol I'm telling you guys, happiness comes from celebrating the small victories ;) haha
Scallops photo via North 54
Fast forward to the next day, our group ate breakfast at Hummus Brothers, the restaurant beside our hotel. Just take my word and if you're there have the cinnamon bun. I promise you it will not disappoint.
In need of a bit of exercise to try to burn all of the yummy food we ate we headed off to The Ancient Forest/ Chun T'oh Whudujut Park which was (aside from the winery), without a doubt my favourite part of the trip. I was in absolute awe of this forest - not only was I SHOCKED to learn that British Columbia is home to a rainforest (Whaaaat?!?!) but also I was so happy to learn that this park is universally accessible thanks to a recently completed universal access boardwalk. (AKA, wheelchair, walker, stroller, etc accessible!) To me this was huge, I have several people in my life who personally struggle with accessibility and so often individuals with those limitations wouldn't get to enjoy a space like this so that was a big A+ in my eyes! I don't think I can articulate just how special this place is. If you're into outdoor hiking and general outdoorsey-ness, this alone is worth the trip, I promise you.
All of us instagramming and photo taking bloggers took our sweet time in the Ancient Forest so before we even had a chance to finish the trail it was time to head back for lunch before going home. Our second last stop was for finger lickin' good BBQ and our final meal in Prince George did not disappoint. I'm still dreaming of those ribs from The Copper Pig.
Lastly, no stop to Prince George would be complete without stopping to check out the fabulous Mr PG. Can you tell we're bloggers?! ;) haha
I want to send out a HUGE thank you to Central Mountain Air and Tourism PG for hosting us for an incredible two days. I will say that the more I travel my own country and visit new cities, the more I realize how important it is to see your own country and learn more about the history of the areas we live in. Visiting new cities and meeting small business owners gives me more love and appreciation for my country with every trip I take so thank you for opening my eyes to another fantastic city!