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Powell River Travel Guide, British Columbia

Located 142km (88 miles) north of Vancouver on the Upper Sunshine Coast of British Columbia's mainland, Powell River is a lovely small community of about 13,300 residents. Its name is a combination of two words: Powell that comes from the person who named it and River because it lies on the banks of a small river.

The settlers chose this location because it was a strategic point on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, next to a deep-sea port and to vast forests and amid an abundance of lakes and rivers. It did not take long for the little settlement to become one of the largest producers of lumber on the West Coast. Lumber is still the mainstay of the local economy, but from some years now the town has taken in other industries like mining, fishing, tourism, health care, education and arts things are going really well.

Its location provides not only excellent supplies but also excellent views of the ocean, spectacular sunsets and a mild climate all perfect for tourism. One of the hotels that took advantage of the views on offer is Beach Gardens which is strategically placed on the waterfront. It is the best place to stay if you come to Powell River as you will wake up looking at a wonderful view and go to bed with one just as beautiful.

It has a small town atmosphere and it has little to do with today’s modern cities but it is exactly this fact that makes it so attractive for those who are tired of all the hassle the city brings about. Of course you don’t have to imagine that it lacks main amenities like hospitals, hotels and sports centers. Accommodation opportunities abound, there are plenty of great shops and nice boutiques where you can shop, as for the recreational activities there’s the Recreation Complex fully equipped with ice arenas, a swimming pool, a theatre, a golf course and many other facilities.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find no end to the activities available in Powell River which makes for the perfect vacation for all those who live in Vancouver and want to relax in a wonderful setting on the Sunshine Coast. You can find plenty of outdoor activities among which kayaking and diving in the sea-life-rich waters rank among the favorite ones and the best ones. The town makes a good base for fishing too.

Though Powell River still has a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the world this is a condition much to be envied as you’ll find here something precious fresh air and great outdoors. Whenever you come, you're sure to run into some activity or other.

The town itself is worth visiting too as it has a rich historical heritage that can be sampled at the Powell River Historic Museum that mounts art exhibits of a quality you'd expect in a museum in a major city. History buffs should visit the National Historic District called “Townsite” that is the old Powell River town. But there are other small communities that will enchant the visitors. Cranberry and Wildwood are just two of them.

Homesite should also appeal to history enthusiasts who will love the late Victorian style buildings. It is another old part of the town built near original lumber mill and hosting more than 30 commercial buildings and about 400 residential buildings.

You can wonder why you went out of your way to come here, or you can relax and take the city on its own terms, as a fun and unpretentious town.

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