Feel it, taste it, smell it, experience it all!
Vast and varied, this is a region of mountains and valleys, of pristine grasslands and ancient forests, cityscapes and pastoral countryside. Your biggest challenge will be to fit in as many experiences as possible while creating your ideal vacation escape!
Take A Hike
Those who love to explore on foot will love what the Thompson Okanagan has to offer. From Berg Lake trail at Mount Robson, to Hut-to-Hut Hiking and exploring of the Alpine and Waterfalls of Wells Gray Provincial Park, we’ve got a trail for you. Hike the Alpine Meadows at Sun Peaks Resort or explore the series of lakes in the Shuswap. From the Kettle Valley Rail Trail to the Great Trail there is something for every level of experience. Climb Giants’ Head in Summerland or take a scenic hike on the trails of Three Blind Mice in Naramata.
Bike the Backcountry
For views that will take your breath away, the Kettle Valley Rail Trail and the Great Trail are yours to explore by bike. There are several options from bringing your own bike, to bike rental, and guided bike tours. Explore the wilderness or take a wine tour. From long distance riders to families with small children or adults with mobility restrictions, there is a tour here for you.
Pedi cab tours can range from winery and lunch options to the full 14 trestle, two-tunnel historic Myra Canyon, a perfect way to spend the day with the entire family.
For those who love to bike, and drink wine, there’s an Okanagan gravity assisted (downhill) bike tour.
Go deeper into the wild with a visit to Bellevue Trestle, a 238m long, 65m high trestle that was saved from the fires of 2003. Cameras are a must!
Explore wild country and shoot to your heart’s content with your camera. Majestic mountains, rolling hills, rushing rivers, tranquil lakes and a desert are full of nature’s creatures—yours to capture. Black bears, Big Horn sheep, fish aplenty, rattlesnakes, endangered species and more birds than you’ll ever be able to count, all live here.
Wildlife encounters at the BC Wildlife Park near Kamloops can be anything from taking guided tours of the park to getting up close to birds of prey and bears. Clover, an orphaned Spirit Bear now lives here in his world class bear habitat.
Explore the lakes of the Thompson Okanagan by kayak. Take a moonlight kayak tour or get your heart beating fast with kayak sailing.
Try your hand at fishing and experience the thrill of landing one of the hard fighting Kamloops Rainbow trout that can weigh up to 4.5 kilos.
Experience a more rustic lifestyle amid rolling hills, refreshing lakes and natural ranchlands. Ranch stays can include everything from spending a day working on the ranch and retiring to a bunkhouse, to ending your day at a luxurious spa.
Train with the Experts
One of the top locations to hone your photography skills is in the Kamloops area. Workshops and tours are available for photographing flowers, water, and even loons. Check with tour operators for the latest information.
Former LPGA professional and champion, A.J. Eathorne, is ranked 10th in the world and you can train with her! Eathorne is part of the Golf Academy team at Predator Ridge just outside of Vernon.
The Okanagan Hockey School in Penticton has hockey programs designed for all levels of players, from ages 5-17 years old. Camps run from early July to late August.
Those with an urge to climb will love the hands on training offered for climbing the bluffs at Skaha Lake outside of Penticton. Group, summer alpine and private instruction is available.
Putter Around the Greens
Fore! Or should we say 79! That is how many 18-hole courses we have in the Thompson Okanagan. Of these, 25 are championships courses. Spend your day golfing against a panoramic backdrop of mountains, rolling hills, sagebrush, orchards, vineyards, lakes and desert country. The Thompson Okanagan has been called Canada’s No. 1 Golf Destination and consistently ranks high year after year for its courses. We have several award-winning courses designed by prominent course architects including Les Furber, Michael Hurdzan, Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Fred Couples.
The weather here is perfect for golf with most courses open from early spring until late in the fall.
History Buff Heaven
You don’t have to dig deep to find abandoned mining ghost towns in Boundary Country. Remnants of our copper mining past can be found from Greenwood to Grand Forks. Step back in time with a visit to the Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park in Kamloops. Displays tell the story of traditional hunting, fishing, clothing, games, food gathering, and cooking of the Secwepemc, and their long-standing connection to the land in and around Kamloops.
Gold Rush fans will love the heritage tour at Hat Creek along the Gold Rush Trail in Gold Country. Tours range from 1.5 hours to two days with guided trail rides from one hour to all day. Bunk down for the night at one of Hat Creek’s RV sites, camping sites,or cabins, in a covered wagon, or a bare bones teepee and miners’ tents. In Hedley, check out the Hedley Heritage Museum.
Take a tour of the SS Sicamous, located on the shores of Okanagan Lake in Penticton. This luxury passenger stern wheeler once transported passengers and cargo up and down the shores of Okanagan Lake.
Wander the grounds of the Pandosy Mission in Kelowna, where Father Pandosy, an Oblate priest, established the first white settlement in the Okanagan Valley in 1859.
In Westbank, First Nation’s heritage comes alive at the Sncəwips Heritage Museum. The museum represents and focuses on the heritage of the Westbank First Nation, with stories of Okanagan Nation and First Nations people around the world.
The Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre is a state-of-the-art interpretive centre built into a hillside. The spacious indoor and outdoor exhibit galleries show the fascinating stories of Canada’s only desert. Experience the land, the legends, and the people with a guided walking tour through some of the 22ha site. Highlights include the sagebrush habitat, outdoor sculptures, a reconstructed aboriginal village, cultural programs and rattlesnake presentations.
Relax and Pamper Yourself
Pamper yourself at Sunmore Ginseng Spa in Kamloops, the only ginseng spa in North America. Ginseng removes stress from the body, promotes cell regeneration, increases circulation, detoxifies your body and tones your skin.
At the Quaaout Lodge on the north shore of Little Shuswap Lake is the Talking Rock Golf Resort. Spend the day at their spa detoxing, doing yoga, aqua-Zumba or getting pampered by professionals.
Variety is the name of the game at KurSpa at Sparkling Hill Resort. There are several saunas ranging from -110°C to 90°C. Choose from wide menu of spa treatments including massage, skin treatments, aesthetics, and hair styling, or indulge in a one week cleanse designed to bring you back in tune with your senses.