Bountiful is the word that best describes the Thompson Okanagan
From wine-fed beef to delicious fruits, garden fresh vegetables, and beverages, this area is bursting with flavour and adventure. With ranches, orchards and over 200 wineries, you won’t run out of things to do, see and taste!
There are many wine trails throughout our area. Take a self-guided tour or sign up with one of the many tour operators. You can tour by bus, luxury SUV, electric bike, regular bike and even by kayak! From the Kamloops Wine Trail in the north, the Golden Mile in the South and the Similkameen Valley in the west, you’ll find plenty of varietals to sniff, sip, and swirl.
Take a tour through one of our wine trails.
- Kamloops Wine Trail
- Lake Country Scenic Sip
- Lakeshore Wine Route
- Kelowna Fab Five
- Downtown Grapes and Grains
- Westside Wine Trail
- Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive
- Naramata Bench
- Okanagan Falls Corkscrew Drive
- Oliver/Osoyoos Wine Country
- Similkameen Wine Tours
Breweries, Distilleries, Cideries and Mead!
Some of the best adult beverages are created right here in the Thompson Okanagan. Regional and seasonal beers, fruit liqueurs, honey mead, and spirits all contribute to the heady flavours of our area. Tours are available year round, or you can taste them on your own! Pick your favourites and prepare to be amazed. Here is a partial list of our remarkable adult beverage makers:
- Three Ranges Brewing – Valemount
- Noble Pig – Kamloops
- Red Collar Brewing – Kamloops
- Crannog Ales – Shuswap
- Honeymoon Meadery at Planet Bee – Vernon
- BX Press Cidery – Vernon
- Marten Brewing Co. – Vernon
- Okanagan Spirits – Vernon and Kelowna
- Tree Brewing – Kelowna
- Meadow Vista Honey Wines – Kelowna
- Urban Distillers – Kelowna
- Cannery Brewing – Penticton
- Bad Tattoo – Penticton
- Maple Leaf Spirits – Naramata
- Legend Distilling – Naramata
- Left Field Cider Co. – Logan Lake (Merritt)
- Fairview Cidery – Cawston
- Firehall Brewery – Oliver
- Ridge Brewing – Osoyoos
Get out in the fields!
Get up with the sun and experience life on a farm or ranch at one of the several located here. Should relaxing be more to your liking, there are plenty of petting zoos and farm and orchard tours to fill your days. Harvest time is especially entertaining with an Apple Train ride through Davison Orchards. Grab a freshly made fruit smoothie at Matheson Creek Farms. Check out Gatzke Orchards farmstay by the lake or make your way through one of the several corn mazes. Fresh squeezed juices, fresh baked pies, lavender jams and tasty goat cheese are all right here in the Thompson Okanagan.
If you prefer all your produce in one place, check out our legendary Farmers’ Markets. You’ll find one in almost every town and city; after all, this is a land of plenty. Some move indoors for the cooler months, giving you the opportunity to enjoy our local flavours in all four seasons.
Year round markets can be found in Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna, and Penticton.
Taste the Regions of the Thompson Okanagan
There are several distinct climates in the Thompson Okanagan and each provides their own taste experience. There’s naturally raised lamb, fresh milk and milk products, grain fed beef, pastured chickens, free-range pork, ancient grains, honey and a long list of fresh vegetables and mushrooms. Corn is so abundant and delicious here they celebrate it with a festival in August. The ranchlands of the north are the perfect place to find wine fed beef. There’s even a ginseng spa where you’ll be pampered and then fed a ginseng infused lunch!
As you travel south, ranchlands and fields give way to orchards and vineyards. Get your camera ready for the blossom extravaganza that takes place from mid-April to mid-May. Harvest time begins in June with cherries and continues on through to late September with plums, peaches, pears and apples.
There are many ways to enjoy the flavours of our region:
- In Armstrong, take a trip to the Log Barn 1912 where you’ll be taken back in time with old-fashioned sausage, cheese, jams and jellies and their famous butter crust fruit pies. Artisan cheese can also be found at the Village Cheese Company, where you can experience their Cheddar Squeakerz (cheddar cheese curds).
- Learn all about the importance of bees with tours of Arlo’s Honey Bee Farm in Kelowna and Planet Bee in Vernon.
- The Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm in Kelowna offers a different kind of taste tour with everything made from lavender.
- Drink in the tradition of the Dutchmen Dairy in Sicamous or take in the breathtaking landscapes at Covert Farms in Oliver.
- Discover Boundary Country’s regional specialties served with a heaping dose of local charm. Try old-world dishes like borscht soup made the Doukhobor way, paired with more modern trends, many locally sourced in the farm-to-table tradition.
Food Fests and Feasts
We love to celebrate in the Thompson Okanagan. Sun Peaks Resort combines winter recreation and wine at their festival, while the spring and fall wine festivals have intimate tastings at local wineries and restaurants. Over 250 wineries can be found in one place at the spring and fall WestJet wine tasting events.
Kamloops is home to Chefs in the City, with local food prepared by local chefs to tantalize your taste buds. For outdoor family fun, there’s the three-day Ribfest in August.
Each year in February, Kelowna hosts the two-day Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championships. In March, Devour Kelowna highlights local chefs, distillers, brewers and wineries.
In April, the Okanagan Fest of Ale in Penticton highlights over 30 local breweries from across BC.
Throughout the region several events have guests wandering in fields where restaurants, wineries, distilleries, and breweries challenge themselves to put forward their best. Imagine chefs, farmers, fishers, ranchers, food artisans, vintners, brewers, and distillers all in one place. Now imagine yourself wandering from tent to tent sampling their wares. These are Foodie celebrations — Thompson Okanagan style.