Port Alberni is located in a pristine wilderness area and offers some unique attractions of its own.
At the foot of Argyle Street, at "Harbour Quay" you will find a commercial area with, art galleries, gift shops and dining for visitors. A marvelous view and great photographs of Alberni Inlet can be had from the top of the Clock Tower.
Nearby, from Argyle Pier, the MV Frances Barkley departs for day cruises along the coast from Port Alberni to Bamfield and Ucluelet. Visitors will also see the Broken Group Islands or other coves and bays as the ship stops in to deliver supplies. The vessel is a vital means of communication and transportation for isolated communities along the Alberni Inlet. Black bears and bald eagles are often sighted along the shore.
Also nearby, The Maritime Discovery Centre is designed to provide people with an opportunity to explore the maritime history of the Alberni Inlet and the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The centre's unique lighthouse structure serves as a beacon to our waterfront, and is a focal point for exhibitions with a maritime theme.
The Alberni Pacific Railway operates the Baldwin 2-8-2 T (saddle tank) Steam Train which departs from the restored E & N Station near Harbour Quay, and travels 10 Km to The McLean Mill National Historic Site, an interpretive centre with the last working steam-powered sawmill and steam donkey in western Canada. Sawmill, steam donkey demonstrations and Guided Tours are offered specific days during the summer season and special events are also offered through-out the year. We recommend you reserve ahead as you won't want to miss the Beaufort Gang Robbery! Please visit their website to check the schedule.
The Port Alberni area history is preserved at the Alberni Valley Museum in the Echo Centre on Wallace Street. Exhibits feature area history, Native culture, fishing, agriculture, mining and forestry. Children are welcome to delve into the hands-on displays.
Robertson Creek Hatchery is on the Stamp River. Millions of Coho, Chinook and Steelhead are released each year. The best time to visit is in September and October when massive numbers of returning fish can be viewed from fish ladders. The hatchery holds an open house each October when the Chinook return.
Stamp Falls Provincial Park is also a good spot for wildlife viewing. In the Autumn, thousands of fish pass through this area of the river on the way to their spawning grounds. At any one time, visitors are able to see hundreds of fish in the river pools below the falls. Otters and Bears are also frequently seen, however, visitors should take the usual precautions when in any wildlife inhabited areas.
Sproat Lake not only boasts a fully provisioned provincial park complete with petroglyphs, but is also the home base for the massive Martin Mars Water Bombers, the world's largest water bombers still used to fight forest fires in western North America.
Thunder in the Valley Drag Racing, happens on the 2nd weekend in August and is the premier drag racing event on Vancouver Island.
If you happen to visit during the Labour Day Weekend, take in the annual Salmon Festival. This event, held at Clutesi Haven Marina, has over $40,000.00 in prizes. In July the Sockeye Salmon Derby, held at Alberni Harbour Quay provides competition for those with physical disabilities.
In August and September, during the large fish runs into the Somass River, Victoria Quay at the foot of Johnston Road is a popular spot for Black Bear Watching.
The Alberni Valley is a bee-hive of activity during our annual prize winning Fall Fair on the 2nd weekend in September. Come check out the Logger Sports, Entertainment and view the fun filled "Tractor Pulls" as well as many other family events and displays.
Port Alberni and the Europa Club go Oom-pa-pa-ing with the largest and best Oktoberfest on Vancouver Island.
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