Sandman Hotel Group features properties located within a rich mosaic of neighbourhoods and surrounding areas, each with a distinct, welcoming personality. We have compiled a list of useful information below to enhance your stay.
Smithers (population 6,000) is a naturally beautiful, welcoming and small Northern BC town with stunning vistas in all directions.
A plethora of summer and winter activities attract locals and visitors alike. People come to Smithers to fish, boat, camp, hike, ski, shop or listen to the local musical talent.
Many visit (and have moved to) Smithers for its easy access the outdoors and the local entertainment scene.
A four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle, equipped with winter tires during the snow season, is the best way to get to and around Smithers and area.
Downtown and recreational areas close to town are easy to explore on foot but many attractions are outside of the main town core.
Rental cars are available – at the airport or downtown - if visitors wish to have a vehicle while they are in Smithers but don't drive there.
Looking for things to do in Smithers? The town is an oasis for everything outdoors. An abundance of mountains, rivers and lakes – not to mention fossil beds and cultural sights – are all within a few minutes from downtown and easily accessible for self-guided visitors or those on tours.
The Smithers Visitor Centre, at the corner of Main Street and Highway 16, is a great source of information for things to do in town. The centre has comprehensive guides and brochures on specific activities such as hiking, biking, fishing and more.
Famous Smithers Musicians - Musicians and music lovers congregate in this small town, including several famous artists: Alex Puentes, a Canadian Juno-award winner originally from Cuba, Jenny Lester from the Hungry Hill band, roots singer Mark Perry and others.
These and about 50 more local groups, plus hundreds of fans, keep the music scene swinging year-round while various out-of-town acts also travel through town regularly.
Musical performances in town range from classical to blues to rock, roots, folk, reggae, punk and celtic.
Festivals and Events
Several music festivals take place in the Bulkley Valley and are a pretty big draw for visitors. For instance, the Midsummer Music Festival, which usually happens in June, is a three-day long annual festival that began more than 25 years ago.
It hosts approximately 70 acts including a few headliners and many supporting regional bands. The festival is a relaxed and fun, family-oriented affair.
For information on shows and musical workshops, which also happen frequently in town, ask at the Smithers Music Centre and Mountain Eagle Books, two shops in the downtown core.
Dance, Drama and Art
Other than music, Smithers offers several other artsy entertainment choices, such as local and travelling dance and drama productions. The art gallery in the Central Park Building on the corner of Highway 16 and Main Street is also worth a visit. The art shows there feature talented regional artists and change monthly.
Shopping on Smithers' Main Street
The town's main commercial hub is great for browsing in delis and eateries, unique local boutiques, outdoor clothing and equipment outlets, and retail chain stores.
It's here shoppers find everything from the trendiest touring skis and 100% hemp underwear to Indian prayer bowls and fresh, regionally-raised and locally-processed meat.
Stretching from the railway tracks at the bottom of Hudson Bay Mountain to Highway 16, Main Street cuts through the centre of Smithers' downtown core.
Just a few short blocks with four-way stops at every intersection, the area's slow traffic and easy-to-read signs make it pedestrian-friendly. The alpine look of most buildings also makes for a pleasant atmosphere.
Some of the shops along the strip have been there for decades, others are less than a year old. More and more specialty businesses are moving into the prized real estate area all the time, packing the five or so blocks with great options.
Another Smithers shopping treat is the Bulkley Valley Farmers' Market, which takes place Saturday mornings from May to September.
The market is held in the parking lot next to the Central Park Building, the town's former courthouse, on the corner of Highway 16 and Main Street.
Vendors sell a range of homegrown produce and homemade sweets, treats, arts and crafts; buyers can purchase anything from juicy tomatoes to knitted baby booties.
The atmosphere is friendly, and social with musicians playing in the background and locals socializing as much as shopping. The market is a great place to experience friendly Smithers' culture.
Music and "Big-Box" Stores - Art, books and music of regional artists are available for sale at the Old Ranger Station Gallery & Gift Shop in Telkwa, a 10-minute drive east of Smithers.
Following Highway 16, the station, an older white building with green trim, is on the riverside of the road halfway through town.
Bigger shops, such as big-box stores, hardware stores and grocers are also in Smithers – some downtown, others on the outskirts along Highway 16.
Various knick-knack and clothing shops also dot the blocks surrounding Main Street shoppers should take time to weave on and off the main drag.