More than any other time in recent memory, travellers are seeking solitude, a respite from a stressful, harried, hyper-connected world. That’s where Princeton, British Columbia, comes in, located due south of Kamloops, B.C., just north of the border with Washington State.
It’s hidden gem here, a quaint town enveloped by majestic mountains of B.C. interior, valleys, and forests. Princeton is a gateway to some of the most natural, unspoiled wilderness settings in Canada.
Disconnect to connect
Princeton is situated on the banks of the Similkameen and Tulameen Rivers, so fishing is a big draw to this region. During the summer months people come here to kayak and canoe. The surrounding mountain trails are popular with mountain bikers and hikers, especially on the China Ridge Trails. There you will find stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. At night, sit back with a drink and count the stars.
The town was established in the 1800s during the gold rush. So there’s also a real character here, a rich history, seen in part through the heritage buildings and artifacts that dot the town. A popular spot for visitors is the local museum, showcasing the history and culture of the area. There are walking tours of the town that people take as well. There’s an art gallery and studio featuring the work of local artists.
Princeton, British Columbia: The Bronze Sculpture Capital of Canada
People stay in hotels of all shapes and sizes, cottages, motels, charming bed and breakfasts, as well as wide variety of camping sites. There are craft fairs, fishing derbies, and Copper Valley Music Festival in August.
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But what you might not know is that Princeton is the “Bronze Sculpture Capital of Canada” which is itself a big tourist draw. A popular tourist attraction is the Bronze Sculpture Walk, which takes you by 15 pieces of work, through Princeton’s main streets. The work there highlights the diverse wildlife of the area.
Two bronze elk greet you as you drive through the giant wooden archway entering the downtown. Outside of the Princeton Visitor Centre is a bronze moose. Next to the Copper Pit, a popular dining spot downtown where people gather after a day of hiking or skiing at China Ridge, is a cougar sculpture. Wolf sculptures are outside the Princeton Museum. Eagles play a significant role in folklore, especially in First Nations culture. There’s a beautiful bronze sculpture of an eagle downtown next to the Villager Motel.
Head here for a virtual tour of the bronze sculptures around Princeton.
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