As B.C.’s amazing spring weather continues, there’s no better time to walk among some of North America’s biggest, oldest trees in the gorgeous Cathedral Grove. Halfway between Parksville and Port Alberni, this enchanting forest is one of a few remaining ancient Douglas Fir and Red Cedar ecosystems in B.C., with the largest trees towering at 250 feet tall and 800 years old. In this area, you’ll also find unprotected archeological artifacts left behind by this area’s Indigenous Peoples. These peoples modified the giant trees as part of their traditional use of the forest, stripping off the red cedar bark for aboriginal and ceremonial purposes – some date back to 1137 AD.
Cathedral Grove is in MacMillan Provincial Park, which has a network of trails to explore. You can access the Grove by the main highway through the park, with Douglas Firs inhabiting the south side of the road and Red Cedar on the north side.
If you do wander into the Grove, we hope you’re going with a large group of friends - it takes several people to give one of the giant firs a hug! And PLEASE – leave the cigarettes in the car and out of the forest! If this ancient forest moves you, feel free to “feed” the donation tree next to the main trail, and know that your contributions will go towards youth team trail projects, volunteer projects, revegetation projects and new signs to ensure the park remains open and protected.
While you’re in Port Alberni wandering the trails of Vancouver Islands majestic old-growth forests drop your bags at the Best Western Plus Barclay Hotel so you can come home to amazing amenities and a comfortable bed at the end of the day. Book your stay online for fast, easy reservations and don’t forget to pack your hiking boots!
Valentine’s day is rapidly approaching—and you know what that means! If you haven’t done any planning yet, don’t panic. It sounds like a romantic trip to Port Alberni is in order! We’ve found three of our favourite Valentine’s Day events, so all you have to do it show up.
Valentine Craft Show – Feb 13
Get ready for the big day by sneaking out to this great craft show. You’ll be able to pick up all kinds of gifts for your partner from local artists and artisans—and maybe even a couple things for yourself! From jewelry to cards, Avon to nails, tarot card readings to plenty of baking and treats, there’s bound to be something for everyone. Located in the quaint Cherry Creek Hall, this is a great chance to see the community at its finest. Learn more here.
The Bread of Life Valentine’s Fundraising Dinner – Feb 13
Now we know this isn’t Valentine’s day, but think of it as a practice run that will also be helping others enjoy a better Valentine’s Day. The Bread of Life dining hall will be hosting a delicious dinner of appetizers, beverages, salad, Mexican pie, desserts, and more, all for only $10. The funds raised will go to the Bread of Life, where they will use the money to help feed and support the homeless and impoverished. A great deal, and a great cause! Learn more here.
Valentine’s Date Night – Feb 13-14
Now for the big night! Head over to Drinkwaters Public House for a romantic four-course meal. A candlelit experience set to the live piano melodies of Gary Hodi. The meal will be from House Chef Steven Muise, and is sure to make any evening delightful. Then, walk off the meal at the beautiful Sproat Lake Landing, where you can take in the mountain, lake, and forest views of Port Alberni. Learn more here.
Once you’ve drunk in the sights of Port Alberni (and perhaps a couple of glasses of wine), head back to our hotel, where you’ll fall in love with your cozy room. Book yours today. We look forward to your visit!
On the hunt for fun around beautiful Port Alberni, BC? Well, as always, you’re in luck! Over the coming weeks, our region is scheduled to host dozes of exciting events, all of which are very much worth checking out!
Here are some of the upcoming highlights!
Alberni Valley Bulldogs Home Games
This November, Port Alberni’s beloved BCHL team, The Bulldogs, are scheduled for four, action-packed home games. On November 6th, watch them take on the Vernon Vipers. One night later, on the 7th, watch them tangle with the Prince George Spruce Kings. Then, on the 10th watch as they take on the Nanaimo Clippers before playing their last November home game against the Langley Rivermen on the 15th. All of this hockey fun goes down at the Weyerhaeuser Arena, just moments from our centrally located hotel. Learn how to get your tickets here!
A Little Bit Country Concert | November 20
If you prefer live music to live sports, turn your attention to Point Alberni’s ADSS Auditorium where, on November 20, you’ll have the chance to enjoy some awesome country music. Scheduled to appear are performers like The Chris Buck Band, Rod Black and Lauren Spencer-Smith, who combine for a country concert that’s sure to get you moving. The show begins at 7:00pm. Get your tickets at the auditorium!
Magic Cottage Craft & Gift Sale | November 28- December 12
Christmas is just around the corner. That means its time to start thinking about your seasonal shopping, and in Port Alberni, you’ll soon have the perfect chance to cross some items off your list. Starting on November 28, head down to 3945 4th Avenue for a charming craft and gift sale, complete with handmade chocolates and treats, jewellery, vintage collectables, fabric crafts, paper crafts, knitted things, clothing, glass work, needlework, Holiday decor and lots more!
Yes, there’s plenty going on in Port Alberni this November. All it takes to partake in the fun is a room at our cozy hotel! Book yours today and enjoy wonderful amenities, a great location, and fantastic rates! We look forward to welcoming you to town!
When the warm weather arrives, B.C.’s farmlands spring into action - and Port Alberni is no exception. Our town hosts two fantastic farmers’ markets through the spring and summer months, and there is no better way to experience Vancouver Island than to taste some of its fresh produce and peruse unique artisanal products. Pick up a handmade keepsake or grab a bit to eat - it doesn’t get much more fresh than this!
The Spirit Square Farmers’ Market at the Harbour Quay is a familiar meeting place for the Port Alberni community every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. It’s right on the water’s edge, and there is a great playground for little ones close to the marketplace.
The Port Alberni Farmers’ Market also happens each Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., at the First Baptist Church on Cherry Creek Road.
Both farmers’ market locations are less than 10 minutes from our beautiful Port Alberni hotel, the Best Western Barclay. A selection of our rooms also have a refrigerator, so you can pick up some delicious fresh produce to munch on later. Book your room at the Barclay today for our best rates - use our secure online reservation and have a great time in Port Alberni!
Point of Interest: Mars Water Bomber May Be Back In Action
For the last few years, the iconic read and white Martin Mars water bomber has been sitting idle on Sproat Lake near Port Alberni, and has become quite a regular stop for tourists. Built for the Navy during the Second World War, it’s quite a sight! It also carries the most water of any water bomber in the world: 27,000 litres, to be exact.
Recently, the plane’s owner and the province of B.C. have agreed to put the old girl back into action to help combat this year’s particularly bad forest fire season. You just may get a rare chance to see this historic water bomber in action over Sproat Lake this summer!
Climb aboard the Oracle at Alberni Charters
and discover the beauty of British Columbia’s west coast. Alberni Charters offers breathtaking luxury boat tours along Barkley Sound where you and your crew can enjoy fly-fishing for salmon just off the shore of Port Alberni.
The Oracle is a 34-foot CHB crawler that
can comfortably sleep six and is equipped with fishing deck, fly bridge, front deck, stove, barbeque, and private washroom. In other words, it’s got everything!
Alberni Charters offers multiday charters, custom group charters of up to twelve people and day charters. You can visit their website for more details on pricing.
Barkley Sound is home to a collection of islands called the Broken Group Islands just off Vancouver Island. Downstream from Port Alberni there are millions of salmon that migrate every year to their spawning grounds in the sound. Not only will you be met with salmon, but the sound is also swarming with halibut and bottom fish.
On your boat tour you can expect there to be as much fishing as your heart desires as well as crabbing, prawning, hiking, swimming on the beach, oyster picking and a tasty shore cookout of all of the seafood caught along the way.
You will also have a chance to catch a glimpse of killer whales, porpoises, shrimp and rockfish. Not to mention the beautiful mountains that surround the stunning area.
The Best Western Barclay Hotel is just a short drive away from the port that is home to the Oracle and Alberni Charters. You can trust us to offer you a comfortable stay before your three-hour tour out on Barclay Sound. Contact us now for the best rates guaranteed.
Got a craving for live entertainment? Well, as a guest of our cozy Port Alberni hotel, you’re very much in luck! This winter, our beautiful corner of British Columbia is alive with great live shows of all kinds, from music to theatre, and everything in between. Here are some of the highlights!
Seussical the Musical | All Winter Long
Coming soon to Port Alberni is a fantastic, Dr. Seuss inspired event, aptly titled Seussical the Musical—it rhymes, get it? The show is hosted by the Capitol Theatre, which you’ll find just moments from our cozy hotel—a six minute drive away, to be exact. It kicks off in mid February, and runs all the way through till March 7th. So, no matter the time of your visit, you’ll probably be able to catch this fantastic show before you go, don’t you know? Ok...we’ll leave the rhyming to Dr. Seuss. Get your tickets for just $25 (and $15 for kids 12 and under) at the Rollin Art Centre.
Ross Neilsen | February 8
If you’ve got a hankering for live music, head down to Char’s Landing to catch the fantastic stylings of Ross Neilsen. A New Brunswick native, Neilsen’s fantastic blues and roots inspired music is sure to get your foot stomping. The show runs from 8:00 to 10:00 pm, making it the perfect way to spend your Sunday night. For more information, contact email@example.com. Enjoy the show!
Mother Goose on Ice | February 27
If you’re traveling with children, this might be the perfect event for you. Head down to the Alberni Valley Multiplex, which is just a three minute drive from our hotel, to watch Mother Goose come to life on ice! Tickets are a truly affordable $5.00, and can be purchased at the Echo Centre or MASC Office. The fun begins at 7:00pm— don’t miss it!
Yes, as always, Port Alberni is abuzz with fun this winter. That fun is yours to discover—all it takes is a room at our cozy hotel. Book yours today!
Port Alberni has a long tradition of arts and an exciting History. If you’re staying with us this fall, check out a few of these great arts and history attractions around town.
Port Alberni Community Arts Council
The Rollin Art Centre at the Port Alberni Community Arts Council is our town’s hub for all things fine art. Housing a gallery, gift shop and classroom, the facility welcomes visitors to view its exhibitions year round. This fall, two of our town’s best artists are being exhibited: Elspeth Watson and Norm Nicholson. Watson has put a Japanese spin on her work recently and Nicholson has captured his world travels in this beautiful exhibition. Click here to find out more information about this exhibition.
Alberni Valley Museum
Explore the heritage and history of the Port Alberni area at this one of the finest community museums in all of British Columbia. You’ll discover Nuu Chah Nulth art, the history of logging and fishing in the area and experience some of the unique folk art to emerge from our area over the years. This fall, check out “We are all one: Residential School Children’s Art” which explores the role of art in healing the wounds created by these schools that forced children from their families over generations: an important exhibition for history buffs.
The McLean "Steam" Sawmill
Port Alberni has a long and venerable history of logging and you can check this out this fall at the McLean "Steam" Sawmill, the only commercial steam-operated sawmill operating in Canada! Check out the mill and experience the Tin Pants Troupe as they bring history to life with entertaining fables of the good old days and lead group tours of the site. Also on site is the Steam Pot Café, so you can fuel up after checking out all the exciting sights and sounds of the mill.
Welcome to Port Alberni, a beautiful B.C. town nestled between ocean and mountain forest. Book your stay at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel today!
Port Alberni is known for its incredible mountain and ocean scenery and vast expanses of beautiful scenery. If you’re staying in our town this summer, check out a few of these great nearby provincial parks. And remember, the region is home to many black bears so follow these safety tips when experiencing Port Alberni’s great outdoors.
Named after the early colonial administrator Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, Sproat Lake Provincial Park is located only 15 minutes from Port Alberni and offers great swimming, fishing, waterskiing and windsurfing opportunities. There are also a few hiking opportunities in this small park that lead to some mysterious and well preserved petroglyphs created by the people Indigenous to the area. Every Saturday throughout the summer, a Park Naturalist will present an interpretive program for children at 3pm and 7pm. Check with the Park Host for program locations.
Stamp River Park features a few great hiking trails and opportunities to take in great waterfalls and river rapids. An annual attraction of this park is the running of the salmon, which circle in the pool below Stamp Falls before climbing the fish ladders on their way to the spawning beds. Beginning in late August, you can witness these determined fish ascend the river.
The oldest Provincial Park in British Columbia, Strathcona straddles the rugged mountain-peaked centre of Vancouver Island. The park is a great place for backcountry camping and excursions, with over 250,000 hectares of forests, lakes and alpine tarns. If you’re looking to day-trip to the park, check out the Buttle Lake or Forbidden Plateau areas. A popular activity is canoeing on Buttle Lake, which offers scenic views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Welcome to Port Alberni where ocean meets city meets forest. At the BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel we do everything we can to make your stay in our town enjoyable and hassle free. Relax in our pool, work out in our fitness centre or luxuriate in our spa. Whether you’re looking to get outdoors or get some R&R, we’re pleased to welcome you today!
Sixteen acts are now booked for the Quay of Sea music festival to play free of charge for the public this Canada Day at Harbour Quay. Less then a 5 minute drive from the hotel you will find excellent entertainment this holiday weekend.
26TH YEAR OF OKEE DOKEE SLO-PITCH IN PORT ALBERNI
If you havent registed or purchased your tickets yet this is going to be a Funtastic event. Who made Who tribute band, ZZ Top tribute band and so much fun and entertainment it is hard to believe they can fit it all in one weekend.
We have special rates placed aside in the hotel for this weekend and hope that you come and stay with us while enjoying all the fun.