You’re here as part of a bigger circle trip and en route to Alaska, Haida Gwaii, Vancouver Island, or along the Yellowhead Highway to destinations unknown.
You have just an afternoon and an evening and you want to get out and explore. Easy. Getting a little taste for the town at the end of the highway is simple, once you’re pointed in the right direction.
If wildlife is on your list, Rupert is a great place to see incredible animals.
If you arrive early enough, getting a spot on a wildlife viewing tour is a breeze. For marine wildlife, join a tour that will explore nearby stomping grounds for humpback whales, getting you up close and personal with some of this planet’s largest and most mysterious creatures. For the big ticket land mammals, you’ll want to get up to the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary where you’ll have an intimate glimpse of the extraordinary Ursus arctos, better known as the grizzly, or brown bear. Several tour operators offer short daytrip excursions into the spectacular protected area; many combine whale watching en route. And for bird watchers, well, you’ll have a great time on both of these tours, or you can arrange something uniquely avian focussed. Even just walking around town will give you a good view of eagles, ravens, and shorebirds.
For some fresh air and exercise, head out on one of Prince Rupert’s many gorgeous trails.
On a short visit, your best bet is Butze Rapids, located just out of town. The 5.4 km trail is suitable for all ages and abilities (but is not wheelchair accessible) and features some great interpretive signs highlighting local flora and fauna and excellent views of the unique North Coast forest and craggy coastline.
In town itself, the Museum of Northern BC is a must (in summer, open daily from 9-5 and from October through May, closed Sundays and Mondays). From June to September catch a guided tour at 10:30am, 2pm, or 3pm. If you miss these times or are travelling during the off-season, they will try to help set up a tour for you. Another must is the Icehouse Gallery, a local artisan-run gallery where you might find a souvenir to take home with you. Speaking of souvenirs, Cow Bay has plenty of funky little shops to browse through and on both 2nd and 3rd avenues you’ll find more shopping selections.
If you're keen, hop on a fishing boat.
Snagging a fish or two is pretty easy, with a little forward planning. Reach out to one of the many sport-fishing guides and you can get yourself out on the water. Great fishing grounds are never far from the city so even if you’re pressed for time, you should be able to sneak in a trip to a prime spot for salmon or halibut, with time left over to catch the sunset.
Once you’ve had your fill of short explorations, get yourself a bite to eat at one of Prince Rupert’s many great restaurants and cafes. Then, kick back and relax with a beverage and watch the ocean until the sun goes down.