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Port Alberni comes into its own on Vancouver Island

© by Suzanne Morphet
Remember Port Alberni? That little town you sped through in your rush to get to surf mecca Tofino, BC? Of course you don't. You will now-because Port Alberni, the waterfront village 80 km (50 mi) west of Vancouver Island's Nanaimo, is coming into its own. And there's plenty to do. The former logging town is groovy with a steam train, wine tasting, bear sighting and primo angling.

Map Of Area

     Riding a train that choo-choos and spouts steam from its shiny blank engine sure beats the subway. If this was the 1920s, and you worked at the McLean Steam Sawmill-now a National Historic Site-this is how you'd get to work.
     If sawmills don't turn your crank, get off the train at the Chase and Warren Estate Winery and sample a glass or two of Alsatia from grapes grown right there. It's refreshing on a hot summer day, which is fitting, because Port Alberni is the hot spot on Vancouver Island, with summer temps in the high 20s (high 60s F).
     Port Alberni You might notice that this town is still pretty wild, even after all the logging. In fact, you can see bears from the boardwalk! At low tide, they come out from the bush on the other side of the Somass River to fish and catch crabs.
     You can fish, too. Port Alberni is not just the self-proclaimed "Salmon Capital of the World;" it's "Canada's Ultimate Fishing Town," according to the World Fishing Network.
     If you want to eat fish, head to Codfather ( 5413 Argyle St., 250-723-7114) on the quay for nine kinds of smoked salmon (teriyaki is my fave) as well as fresh salmon and halibut. The bears will be jealous.

Photo Credits
Courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission

Suzanne Morphet's travel stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, up! magazine (West Jet's in-flight magazine), Homemakers and numerous other publications. Morphet recently co-authored The Vancouver Island Book of Everything. She is based in Victoria, BC.

If you go
Tourism BC: www.hellobc.com
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_alberni
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Port_Alberni
About.com: http://govancouver.about.com/od/mostpopularcities/a/Port_Alberni.htm
Places of worship: http://www.yellowpages.ca/search/si/1/Churches...
Fiction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Oppel

Travel Aid
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Maps (Google interactive map): http://maps.google.com/
Maps (Mapquest) U.S. & Canada: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/main.adp
Maps (Mapquest) World: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/main.adp?country=GB
Media Guide (local newspapers with current listings): http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/
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Click for Port Alberni, British Columbia Forecast

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