Princeton Travel Guide

Explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Princeton - read our comprehensive travel guide to plan your next vacation!

Introduction to Princeton

Nestled in Similkameen of Thompson-Okanagan, Princeton is an underrated destination in British Columbia. Boasting stunning natural scenery and rich cultural heritage, Princeton is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, this charming town has something for everyone - from hiking and biking to skiing and fishing.

In this travel guide, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of Princeton, highlighting the must-visit attractions, the best things to do and see, where to stay, and how to stay safe and healthy. So, whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history buff, or a foodie, Princeton has something to offer.

List of Places to Visit in Princeton

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Princeton & District Museum

Located in the heart of Princeton, the Princeton & District Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the rich history and culture of the town and its people. The museum houses a collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that chronicle the early settlement days, the mining boom, and the First Nation heritage. The highlight of the museum is the 1892 log jail which has been painstakingly reconstructed and now serves as the focal point of the museum.

Vermilion Forks Field School

The Vermilion Forks Field School is an archaeological site that dates back to the early 1900s. The site is located near the confluence of the Tulameen and Similkameen rivers and was an important hub of activity during the early days of Princeton. The field school offers guided tours, lectures, and hands-on workshops that give visitors an immersive experience of the area’s cultural heritage.

Natural Attractions of Princeton: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Cascade Mountains

The Cascade Mountains are a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With an elevation of over 2000 meters, the mountains offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Similkameen valley. Visitors can hike or bike up to the summit of the mountains, or take a scenic helicopter tour to get a bird’s eye view of the mountains and the valley.

Similkameen River

The Similkameen River is a picturesque waterway that winds through the heart of Princeton. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the riverbank, rent a kayak or a canoe to explore the river, or go fishing for the popular steelhead and salmon.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Princeton

Princeton is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of hiking and biking trails that cater to all skill levels. Here are some of the best hiking and biking routes in Princeton:

KVR Trail

The Kettle Valley Rail Trail is a popular hiking and biking trail that stretches for over 600 km from Midway to Hope. The trail runs through historic railway tunnels, over wooden trestles, and through stunning landscape, making it a must-do for anyone interested in the area’s history and natural beauty.

Chain Lakes Trail

The Chain Lakes Trail is a scenic hiking trail that winds its way through the Cascade Mountains. The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is suitable for hikers of all skill levels. The trail leads to several alpine lakes where visitors can take a dip in the crystal-clear waters and enjoy a picnic amidst the serene beauty of nature.

Best Things to Do in Princeton: Activities and Tours

Princeton ATV Tours

Princeton ATV Tours offer visitors an exciting and adrenaline-fueled way to explore the backcountry trails and scenery around Princeton. Visitors can choose from a range of guided tours, ranging from easy to challenging, and explore the stunning Cascade Mountains on an ATV.

Princeton Snowmobiling Tours

Princeton Snowmobiling Tours offer visitors a thrilling way to experience the winter wonderland of the Cascade Mountains. With state-of-the-art snowmobiles and expert guides, visitors can explore the snow-covered terrain and enjoy the stunning views of the mountains.

Week-Long Itinerary for Princeton

If you’re planning to spend a week in Princeton, here’s a suggested itinerary to help you make the most of your stay:

Day 1: Arrival and Princeton & District Museum Tour

Day 2: Hiking the KVR Trail

Day 3: Whitewater Rafting on the Similkameen River

Day 4: Scenic Helicopter Tour of the Cascade Mountains

Day 5: ATV Tour of the Backcountry Trails

Day 6: Fly Fishing on the Similkameen River

Day 7: Departure

Food and Drink Scene of Princeton

Must-Try Dishes

Princeton Poutine

Princeton Poutine is a local favorite that is not to be missed. This hearty dish consists of crispy fries, topped with savory gravy and cheese curds - the perfect comfort food after a long day of hiking or biking.

Smoked Salmon

The Similkameen River is known for its delicious salmon, which can be smoked and enjoyed alongside a glass of local wine or beer.

Local Beverages


The Similkameen Valley is home to several award-winning wineries that produce some of the best wines in British Columbia. Visitors can go on a wine tasting tour, sample the local wines, and take home a bottle or two of their favorites.

Craft Beer

Princeton is home to several local microbreweries that specialize in craft beers and ales. Visitors can stop by and enjoy a cold beer, sample the local brews, and learn about the brewing process.

Where to Stay in Princeton: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Princeton offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. Here are some of the best places to stay in Princeton:

Riverside Motel

The Riverside Motel is located in the heart of Princeton, just a stone’s throw away from the Similkameen River. The motel offers clean, comfortable rooms, and is a great base for exploring the town and its surroundings.

Paradise Motel

The Paradise Motel is a family-run motel that offers cozy, stylish rooms with all the modern amenities. The motel is located in a peaceful, scenic location, and is perfect for a relaxing vacation.

What to Buy in Princeton: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Handcrafted Pottery

Princeton is known for its pottery, which is crafted by local artisans using traditional techniques. Visitors can shop for unique, handcrafted pottery pieces as souvenirs or gifts.

Locally Made Jams and Jellies

The Similkameen Valley is famous for its fresh, locally grown produce, which is used to make delicious jams and jellies. Visitors can take home a jar of their favorite flavor as a reminder of their trip to Princeton.

Local Culture and Customs of Princeton

Princeton is a close-knit community that values its cultural heritage and traditions. Visitors are encouraged to respect the local traditions and customs, and to engage with the locals to learn more about the town and its people. The town hosts several cultural events and festivals throughout the year, which offer visitors a glimpse into the local way of life.

Best Time to Visit Princeton

The best time to visit Princeton depends on your preferences and interests. The summer months (June-August) are ideal for hiking, biking, and outdoor activities, while the winter months (December-February) are perfect for skiing, snowmobiling, and other winter sports. Fall (September-November) is a great time to visit for those who want to enjoy the beautiful fall colors and the harvest season.

Do’s and Don’ts of Princeton


  • Respect the local culture and customs
  • Engage with the locals and learn about the town and its people
  • Explore the natural beauty of the area


  • Leave garbage in public places
  • Ignore safety warnings and regulations
  • Damage or disturb the natural environment

Safety and Health

Safety in Princeton

Princeton is a safe town with low crime rates. However, visitors are advised to take standard safety precautions, such as locking their vehicles and not leaving valuables in plain sight. Visitors should also be aware of the wildfire risk during the dry season and follow local guidelines.

Health in Princeton

Princeton has a range of health services, including a hospital, medical clinics, and pharmacies. Visitors are advised to have travel insurance and to bring any necessary medication with them.

Getting to Princeton: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Princeton

The nearest airport to Princeton is Penticton Regional Airport, which is located approximately 1.5 hours away by car. Alternatively, visitors can fly into Vancouver International Airport or Kelowna International Airport, which are both located approximately 3 hours away by car.

Bus Stations Near Princeton

Greyhound Bus lines offer regular services to and from Princeton.

Other Options

Visitors can also drive to Princeton, with the town being located approximately 3 hours away from Vancouver and 2 hours away from Kelowna.

How to Get Around in Princeton

The best way to get around Princeton is by car. There are several car rental services available, and visitors can also bring their vehicles with them. There is also a local taxi service available for those who prefer not to drive.

Where to Go Next from Princeton: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Manning Park

Manning Park is a spectacular natural wonderland located approximately 1.5 hours away from Princeton. The park boasts stunning alpine scenery, extensive hiking trails, and skiing and snowshoeing in winter months.


Osoyoos is a charming town located approximately one hour away from Princeton. The town is famous for its vineyards, orchards, and warm weather. Visitors can indulge in wine tasting tours, explore the local farms and orchards, and relax by the lake.


Princeton is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its stunning natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and a range of outdoor activities, it’s the perfect destination for those who want to explore the unspoiled beauty of British Columbia. Whether you’re a nature lover, foodie, or adventurer, Princeton has something for everyone.