If you’ve been to Princeton before, it’s time to go back.
If you’ve never been to Princeton before, now is the time to go.
People from both groups will be surprised and excited about what they see, because the Southern Interior community has been hard at work over the last couple of years revitalizing itself to become a must-stop on any B.C. vacation itinerary.
“It’s been a good transformation,” Princeton economic development and tourism director Gary Schatz says. “It’s been exciting to be a part of the progression of this project and starting to see it come to fruition.”
If little things go a long way, Princeton has travelled a great distance in a short period of time. Town council authorized the production of 15 bronze sculptures, and Princeton has now trademarked the name The Bronze Sculpture Capital of Canada. The art pieces “reflect our history and the wilderness and wildlife that’s here,” Schatz says, “and that’s designed to take you through the town.”
Princeton also erected timber archways at its two main entry points, and three large timber welcome signs greet people as they enter town, which has made an immediate impact. Schatz heard from visitors who said they used to drive through town “for years and years,” but the new archways convinced them that something unique might be happening, so they decided to turn in and have a look.
“They said it made them realize this is really quite a nice, quaint town,” he says.
Another goal was to simply beautify the community as much as possible, so an emphasis was put on flowers and general landscaping work to make it an attractive place to be. The visitor centre was completely revamped, from the new timber facade on the outside to the extensive renovation on the inside.
The town also now oversees the RV park, which is undergoing improvements as well and is a beautiful and relaxing spot for those who are looking to get away for a few days. The town has a couple of splash pads for the kids as well as river access when the water levels are low. There are also 50 lakes within a 20-minute drive from downtown Princeton, and they are perfect for fishing off the dock or going for a cool dip.
The Kettle Valley Rail Trail also goes through town, Princeton Museum has plenty of interactive experiences, Princeton Golf Club is a beautiful and challenging 18 holes, and the China Ridge Trails are 55 kilometres of hiking and mountain biking fun just waiting to happen. No matter what you like to do, Princeton has the answer for you.
While the town may boast a new look, the old small-town charm and hospitality remains. You can come for the day, but don’t be surprised if the laid-back vibe has you wanting to extend your stay.
Princeton is less than a two-hour drive from Kelowna and only a little more than an hour from Penticton.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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