Things to see and do near the BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel

See the Mars Water Bombers! The World's Largest
Flying Boats are on Sproat Lake, BC

Martin Mars

One cannot help but be astounded by the spectacle of the largest water bombers in the world, moored on Sproat Lake, only 13 km (8 miles) northwest of Port Alberni. Head for Coulson Flying Tankers visitor centre on Cherry Creek Road, off Tofino Highway 4. In the summer, you can participate in a guided tour of the gigantic red and white Philippine Mars water bomber.

On tour, you will learn impressive details about what the Mars is capable of. It can pick up 27 tons of water in 25 seconds to take to forest fire areas. Each Mars water bomber carries over 27000 kilograms (60000 pounds) of foam. It can make a drop every fifteen minutes. Each drop can cover 1.6 hectares (4 acres).

Feats described above require a crew of four dedicated to the highest standards of safety, and a safe, durable airplane. The Mars established airlift and endurance records still valid today, long after being sold by the US Navy. You will not regret thrilling your entire family with a visit to the mighty Mars on Sproat Lake.

Once at Sproat Lake, considered by locals to be "a piece from Heaven", don't leave until you've experienced swimming in water far warmer and clearer (you can see thirty feet down!) than the West Coast ocean, or boating, windsurfing, water skiing, fresh water fishing, houseboating, hiking, biking, or just kicking back to improve your tan on one of the wonderful beaches in two Provincial Parks.

Port Alberni Golf

Beauty, enjoyment and challenges are the name of the game when it comes to Port Alberni golf. The par 70 Alberni Golf Club, located on Cherry Creek Road, is nestled in beautiful forests around Mount Arrowsmith. Golfers of all levels will follow a salmon-bearing stream along the course.

The Hollies Executive Golf Course also has breathtaking views of Mount Arrowsmith. The 9-hole par 30 public course is located at 3133 Alberni Highway, only 2 km past the Visitor Information Centre on Highway 4, and no tee times are required!

Web Address: www.albernigolf.com

Port Alberni Fishing Charters

Port Alberni is a destination point known around the world for its year round, phenomenal salmon, halibut and steelhead fishing. An ocean city, and home of the Stamp, Somass and Sproat River systems, it's easy to see why fisherpersons are lured to the ultimate fishing city. Port Alberni is known as the Salmon Capital of the world for the more than one million salmon which pass by each year. Ask our willing staff to direct you to our many local fishing charter companies, which specialize in salmon expeditions and guarantee a catch of fish whether offshore or in our protected waters.

Port Alberni Events

Entertainment and other highlight events abound in Port Alberni. If you can bear to tear yourself away from your fishing charter, except on Labour Day, you will want to attend some of the major exciting things to do happening right in our city:

Folk Fest

Begin your July 1 Canada Day celebrations on a high note! Music and dance performances will keep you hopping throughout the weekend.

Thunder in the Valley

Drive to our airport this August to hear and see some of the most thrilling drag racing in our neck of the woods. Come out to the Port Alberni airstrip turned ¼ mile dragstrip for "Thunder In The Valley", the two non-stop days of drag racing on Vancouver Island's longest drag strip. It is the largest motor sport event on the Island, with over 250 racers competing for cash prizes and numerous exhibition vehicles it promises to be a loud and exciting two days.

There will be food and beverage vendors, retail vendors and activities for the kids. There is something for the whole family to enjoy! Come take pleasure in a fun filled weekend of things to do in August, either watching or participating.

Alberni Forest Fest

This event happens at the end of each July, and celebrates with festivals, concerts, a Stomp dance and logging demonstrations which appeal to all, young or old.

Salmon Festival

Among its many salmon related activities, this annual event features a fabulous fishing derby. Why not try your luck before you return home with well-deserved bragging rights for your trophies? The festival is a must-see thing to do, and is scheduled for Labour Day.

Web Address: www.salmonfestival.ca

Port Alberni Fall Fair

You probably love to meander through the maze of exhibits, animal displays, and especially the food sampling booths in your own community. In early September you can learn why Port Alberni's midway, agriculture shows and logging demonstrations compare with the best.

Web Address: albernifair.com

Oktoberfest Port Alberni

You won't find a bigger Oktoberfest anywhere else on Vancouver Island. It's still a little early in the year to resign yourself to a blanket in front of your fireplace. Instead, prepare to enjoy our special blend of music, food, singing, and of course, some great beer while you sing-in the fall, which happens in October, naturally.

Magic Cottage

Stock up on unique Christmas gifts and decorations that artisans from Port Alberni and throughout the Island have spent the year meticulously creating. Look for our opening early in November.

Featured Local Attractions

Lady Rose Marine Services

Spend your first night at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel and board the Francis Barkley in the morning for a day of scenic sailing. The historic Francis Barkley emulates the slower pace of life of yesteryear and you'll have plenty of time to look for wildlife and enjoy the scenery as well as make the acquaintance of your fellow passengers. Return in the late afternoon and enjoy your second night at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel.

Web Address: www.ladyrosemarine.com

The Mclean Mill National Historic Site

This 1926 sawmill is a steam-operated company, in fact, the only commercial steam-operated sawmill in Canada. Watch those sharp blades cut wood, and arrange a purchase for yourself. You can ride in style on a restored 1929 Baldwin locomotive. Climb aboard our steam train at the 1912 CPR station.

Step back in time and experience Canada's only steam-operated sawmill. Discover the inventive machinery, simple dwellings and unique characters that created this lumber camp in the midst of the forest at McLean Mill. The "Tin Pants Theatre" troupe will entertain you with stage shows at the Nikkei Theatre and will show you around the site as if you were just starting work at the mill. You'll see the old original buildings and lots of restored logging equipment around the site including a steam donkey, logging trucks, graders and lumber carriers. A must see on your Vancouver Island vacation!

The Robertson Creek Hatchery

A visit to the Salmon Capital would not be complete without a visit to Vancouver Island's most successful hatchery. Best yet, underwater viewing areas at each fishway allow you each fall to look the fish right in the eye.

Rainbird Excursions

We take you to places off the beaten track to the wilderness gems. Few people know of these unspoiled locations where you can relax and admire "what nature hath wrought". Each trip is an opportunity to discover the natural history of an incredible part of the world. You will learn about the trees, flowers, birds, fish and animals. And the scenery is fabulous!
Toll Free: 1 866 723 7102

Web Address: www.rainbirdexcursions.com

Kayaking and Adventure at its best

We're in the memory making business.
Time. It's your most valuable asset. When you take a world class adventure with Batstar Adventure Tours, nature's rhythms take over and you'll relax, recharge and rejuvenate. Our professionally guided sea kayaking, bicycling and hiking trips are designed for busy people who want us to take care of all of the details, including gear and gourmet meals. Enjoy our site and contact us with any questions. We run our own trips.

Cathedral Grove

If you thought the Martin Mars water bombers were immense, wait until you wander the trails on either side of the highway and stand next to the gigantic Douglas Fir trees that have stood there for more than 800 years. Cathedral Grove is only 20 minutes away from the BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel.

Maritime Centre

This unique maritime museum has been constructed from an actual coastal lighthouse. Known as Port Alberni's Maritime Discovery Centre, the centre and its companion Hutcheson Gallery are located at 2750 Harbour Road, next to the city's deep-sea harbour. Mates and maties are invited to view the many exhibits and step inside this real lighthouse. Don't forget to view the historic Bamfield Lifeboat.

West Coast Edge ATV Adventures

During your stay at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel be sure to experience an ATV rental from West Coast Edge.  No trip to Port Alberni is complete without a scenic adventure on an ATV under the superivsion of the professionals at West Coast Edge.  To book your ATV rental please inquire at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel front desk or simply call 778.421.EDGE (3343).

Port Alberni Salmon Charters

With a diverse and abundant marine life truly make Port Alberni the ultimate fishing town.  Enjoy a fishing expedition with Port Alberni Salmon Charters while you stay at the Best Western Plus Barclay Hotel in Port Alberni, BC.  To book your fishing charter call Port Alberni Salmon Charters directly at 250-735-6503.

West Coast River Charters

West Coast River Charters pride themselves on showing visitors to Port Alberni the best fishing experience possible.  For more information please inquire at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel front desk or call 250-723-0136.