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Route 97 Explorer — Manning Park, Osoyoos, Penticton, Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Kamloops

From bottom to top, you’ll see a diversity of sights unlike anything else in Canada!

Day 1 — Vancouver to Manning Park to Osoyoos via Highway 3 (4.5 hours with no stops)

Travel Hwy #3 to Manning Park. Be sure to stop in at the Information Centre and learn about what there is to see and do in the park. This is one of the best parks in B.C to see wildlife nearby. For a spectacular view of the park, consider taking the 6 kilometre drive up to Cascade lookout. The road entrance is located across Highway #3 from the Park Lodge.

As you enter Hedley, consider stopping at the Hedley Heritage Museum. This historic museum showcases photographs, mining displays, and a cabin and log barn that are open for viewing. A heritage park filled with mining artifacts and picnic tables is also located at the site, along with a Tea Room, Gift Shop, and Visitor Information Booth. The museum provides a fascinating overview of the mining history of Hedley that is definitely worth checking out.

When you arrive in Osoyoos, your first stop is the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre. This state-of-the-art venue celebrates thousands of years of Okanagan First Nations habitation on desert lands. The Nk’Mip Desert lands are one of Canada’s three most endangered ecosystems and are home to many endangered plant and animal species. The Centre provides on-site cultural tours, interpretive programs and interactive displays. For the wine enthusiast, make sure to visit Nk’Mip Cellars next door, Canada’s first aboriginal winery.

Overnight in Osoyoos.

NK'MIP Desert Cultural Centre

NK’MIP Desert Cultural Centre, Osoyoos

Day 2 — Osoyoos to Penticton via Highway 97 (1 hour – with no stops)

Before departing Osoyoos visit the Desert Centre. The Desert Centre is an interpretive education and research facility offering insight into this sensitive ecosystem. Tour the elevated boardwalk or take in one of their many interpretive programs.

Travelling north to Penticton and Kelowna, take time to tour one of the many wineries along the Golden Mile. Participate in a winery tour at Inniskillin Winery. You may also want to stop for lunch at Tinhorn Creek Winery and get a taste of the Okanagan in the fabulous Miradoro Restaurant with an outstanding view of the southern Okanagan valley.

Continue to Penticton, beautifully situated between Okanagan and Skaha Lakes. Spend the rest of your day exploring the many wonders of Penticton. The South Okanagan is home amazing wineries, great agriculture, and a colourful history that help shape these communities into what they are today.

From Summerland to Naramata, the abandoned rail bed of the Kettle Valley Railway offers 25 kilometres of hiking or cycling trails — a great way to stretch your legs a see some stunning views of the city. Hoodoo Adventures is offering great all inclusive tours lead by local guides in and around Penticton. A great mix of: family friendly and affordable, relaxing and breath taking, full of information about the ecology and history of the area, fun and fantastic!, adrenaline rushing and personally challenging, memorable and Kodak perfect! Activities offered kayaking on Okanagan Lake, rappelling, hike and bike including the Kettle Valley Trail on the Naramata Bench.

The city provides more windows on the past with museums and historical attractions, including the restored 1914 sternwheeler, the SS Sicamous. While downtown, visit the Wine Information Centre located inside the Visitor Information Centre. The Wine Information Centre offers guests wine touring information, a large selection of chilled wines and daily tasting, and wine sales. Representing over 100 VQA wineries, make the BC Wine Information Centre the starting point of your wine touring adventure!

An early evening tour to Naramata is always a favourite. Wineries dot the landscape along the 15 kilometer scenic drive to the village. Along the way, you may choose to do a tour and some wine tasting at one of the many wineries en route. Visit Poplar Grove Winery, Hillside Estate Winery, Lake Breeze Vineyards, or Red Rooster Winery to name a few. Some of the wineries offer food services and are a great bet for lunch or dinner.

Overnight in Penticton.

SS Sicamous Sternwheeler, Penticton, photo credit: Melissa Barnes

SS Sicamous Sternwheeler, Penticton, photo credit: Melissa Barnes

Day 3 — Penticton to Kelowna (1 hour with no stops)

Continue along Hwy #97 north to Kelowna. One of B.C.’s original estate wineries is just off the highway in Summerland — Sumac Ridge Estate Winery. Known as one of the pioneer wineries of the B.C. wine industry, Sumac Ridge produces a variety of excellent wines including a sparkling Brut that few Okanagan winemakers produce. While travelling through West Kelowna, plan a visit to Grizzli Winery and the many wineries of the Westside Wine Trail. Continuing on, you arrive Kelowna and we suggest a tour the BC Orchard Industry Museum to see how this multi-billion dollar business has evolved and discover how orchard fruit reaches the consumers. Be sure to tour the B.C Wine Museum that portrays humble beginnings years ago and incredible growth in the last 20 years! Both museums are located next to each other .

Overlooking Kelowna, the Okanagan Lavender Farm is one of Kelowna’s most unique and popular attractions. Visitors take self-guided tours to pick lavender, shop the country store for handcrafted essential oils, culinary and home products. Learn how to user lavender to enhance their lives and their recipes. Sample lavender tea, lavender shortbread and much more!

Since you’re in one of the most beautiful areas of Kelowna, a drive further along the lakeshore is a must to visit Carmeli’s Goat Cheese Farm. Carmeli’s goat milk contains no additives or preservatives and they use no stimulation processes in their production, making sure every type of cheese reaches its true maturity. You can sample any cheese and we suggest taking a little slice to go along with the wine you bought earlier this afternoon. The two will make a perfect pairing in your hotel room. Try their home made Gelato — unbelievable!

Not far away across the orchard bench lands, your last stop of the day is Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Here you’ll take in the magnificent view of the valley from the deck of the Okanagan’s busiest winery as well as the country’s largest certified organic winery and stay for a late afternoon dinner.

Travel Trade Partners:
Grizzli Winery

Overnight in Kelowna.

Summerhill Pyramid Organic Winery, Kelowna

Summerhill Pyramid Organic Winery, Kelowna

Day 3 — Kelowna to Salmon Arm and Kamloops via Highways 97B & 1 (3 hours with no stops)

Continue to north along Hwy #97 to Vernon. Visit the Allan Brooks Nature Centre. The panoramic view surrounding this ridge top location is a perfect introduction to the diverse nature of the North Okanagan. Wander through the naturescape gardens or take a stroll on the grasslands trail. This is the perfect place to see yellow-bellied Marmots and birds of prey!

Another popular destination in Vernon, particularly for those with a sweet tooth is Planet Bee. As well as tours and tastings, you can see live honey bees busily working behind glass in demonstration hives.

Just outside of Vernon, Historic O’Keefe Ranch awaits. The ranch is an ideal stop for lunch in the Cattlemen’s Restaurant. Take a step back in time and experience ranch life as the pioneers of the North Okanagan once did. Take the time to walk through the O’Keefe Mansion and St. Anne’s Church and have a look in the General Store and Blacksmith Shop.

Travel north to Salmon Arm. The downtown area is a delight with many unique stores. Within walking distance, you can take an evening stroll along the world’s longest inland pier on famous Shuswap Lake! Many of the opulent houseboats that ply the lake are moored here.

While in Salmon Arm, take a moment to visit the R.J. Haney Heritage Park and Museum. Salmon Arm history is alive in the buildings and gardens such as the Haney House and the relocated Broadview Schoolhouse. Stroll through the heritage gardens or the 2 kilometres of nature trails. This is a wonderful destination to step back in time.

As you depart Salmon Arm, two popular road side businesses are definitely worth stopping at especially if you have kids or are looking for fresh local produce. Demille’s Sweet Corn & Produce offers an amazing variety of home grown fruits and vegetables. They also have ice cream, picnic tables and a children’s corn maze and petting zoo. If you’re a cheese lover, consider a short drive to Grass Roots Dairy. Drive down their long tree lined entrance into a world of European dairy products. Grass Roots has a variety of Gouda cheeses and make sure you check out the hundreds of golden wheels of cheese!

If wineries are an interest, Salmon Arm boasts the 2 most northerly climate wineries (ideal for white wines). Be sure to visit Recline Ridge, Larch Hills, Celiste Springs, Sunnybrae and Marionette Winery in the rolling hills around the Shuswap.

If time allows on your way to Kamloops, we suggest a stop at the British Columbia Wildlife Park. Located approximately 15 minutes east of Kamloops, it is home to over 65 local and endangered species, including grizzlies, moose, cougars, snakes, birds of prey and others. The new Discovery Centre includes the Eco-Discovery gallery with fun interactive displays, wildlife encounters and interpretive presentations. The Amphitheatre presents daily falconry demonstrations in July and August. Or visit the Kamloops Heritage Railway and take a ride in a heritage train pulled by 100 year old 2141 steam locomotive ‘Spirit of Kamloops’ in July and August.

Overnight in Kamloops.

Clover, Spirit Bear, BC Wildlife Park, Kamloops photo credit: Doug Sage

Clover, Spirit Bear, BC Wildlife Park, Kamloops photo credit: Doug Sage

Day 4 — Kamloops to Vancouver via Highway 1 (5 hours with no stops)

In the morning, a must visit only four blocks away is beautiful Riverside Park. There is also great shopping in the area and, when you’ve had enough, stop into one of the many restaurants for a bite to eat. Before departing Kamloops, visit the Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park and experience the rich cultural history of the Shuswap People. Attractive museum exhibits, outdoor cultural displays, and a unique gift shop make this a “can’t miss” destination. Before departing Kamloops, you may want to go for an hour’s hike to the top of Kenna Cartright Park in west Kamloops. The parking lot is next to the Trans Canada Highway and the half hour trail and the view at the top provide stunning views overlooking Kamloops!

More adventure awaits with a scenic trip down the Fraser Canyon along the Trans-Canada Highway #1. Allow plenty of time to drive this stretch of highway known as one of the most unique in the province.

Lunch in an oasis…this aptly describes Kumsheen Rafting Resort Known for years as one of the premiere rafting companies on the Thompson and Fraser Rivers, Kumsheen also has a remarkable poolside restaurant and makes for a perfect stop through one of Canada’s hottest climates.

Continue west on the Trans Canada Highway to Vancouver.

Destination Information:

Tourism Shuswap
Tourism Kelowna