The Thompson Okanagan boasts enviable temperatures and attractions year-round, but it’s those magical months when spring seeps into summer that the area’s outdoor adventures and luxurious offerings become simply irresistible. The diverse landscape of British Columbia’s Southern Interior includes lush grasslands and pristine bodies of water that are perfect for admiring while also reveling in the region’s wide array of restaurants, wineries and nightlife. The best part? It’s easier than ever to get there, thanks to WestJet’s daily flights to both Kelowna and Kamloops.
Kelowna, Gateway to the Valley
As the thriving seat of the region, Kelowna is the perfect point for beginning any Okanagan getaway and an ideal home base for day-tripping adventures. Start your first day early with a pleasure-craft cruise of the breathtaking Okanagan Lake before venturing into the adjacent Knox Mountain Park to explore its serene trails. Then, take the short trip into Kelowna’s culturally vibrant downtown core, where you’ll find a variety of shops, craft breweries and farm-to-table dining options to enjoy.
As you settle in to the carefree Okanagan lifestyle, it’s very likely you’ll start wishing you didn’t have to leave. But, if you’re at all like the growing number of visitors who fall under the Orchard City’s spell, you’ll quickly realize you don’t have to say goodbye. The number of part- and full-time residents in Kelowna keeps growing, thanks in no small part to the allure of ONE Water Street, the height of urban life at the doorstep of nature’s wonders.
The property at the heart of Kelowna’s four-season livability breaks the mould by offering the indulgence of a resort stay in harmony with the long-term comfort of modern residential amenities. When you’re not out golfing, tasting wine or relaxing on the beach, you’ll be enjoying ONE Water Street’s indoor health club or outdoor facilities like the hot tub, two pools, dog park or firepits. Suites range in size from studio condominiums to three-bedroom townhomes, meaning there’s room for families, singles and retirees, alike. Consider the possibilities while gazing once more at Okanagan Lake, situated just one block away. It’s a view worth waking up to, day after day.
Kamloops, Where Art Meets All-Terrain Adventure
The second largest city in B.C.’s interior has all the tempting features you’d expect of the Okanagan: a booming cultural scene, mouth-watering cuisine and a variety of recreational terrain. Kamloops’ hoodoos, sandstone canyons, gorges and freeride mountain-biking slopes offer untouched adventure areas where thrill-seeking and the peace of being alone in nature converge.
Those looking to get social have no shortage of opportunities, either. The city is home to lovely winery patios and inviting tasting rooms where guests can share laughs and conversation over a bright but balanced bouquet — and the beer-lovers on your trip can enjoy the spontaneity of Kamloops’ playful craft brewing community.
Evenings in Kamloops often end in the arts district, where the symphony orchestra and local theatre companies will leave you saying “brava.”
No matter what you choose to do in the Kamloops area, make time for some of bustling events peppered throughout the eight-month warm season, such as the International Buskers Festival in July and the incredible Kamloopa Powwow in August.
PEACE OF MIND IN PARADISE
Okanagan life is synonymous with being carefree. Having peace of mind is always easier when there’s a professional law firm you can trust, and NixonWenger LLP in Vernon has you covered. From real estate to injury and family to business law, let them worry about it so you don’t have to.
Summerland, Sun-drenched Splendour
The highlights of sumptuous Summerland, in the heart of wine country, are best described in three words — playing, relaxing and savouring. And no place makes it easier to do all three than the Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa.
A perfect summer day here begins with a swim in the resort’s expansive courtyard pool. As you splash and soak, you’ll be treated to peaceful views of Okanagan Lake and the surrounding mountains. Following a light breakfast — which you can grab at the on-site bistro or make for yourself in your suite’s gourmet kitchen — venture out to explore the area. Take a hike to the volcanic peak of Giant’s Head Mountain, visit the local wineries and artisan food producers, or take a ride on an historic steam train.
Later, check into the resort’s South African-inspired iKhaya Day Spa to revel in a deep tissue massage or facial as you plan your next day’s adventures.
There’s enough to do throughout the Thompson Okanagan to fill an entire season, and more. Just remember that you’ll enjoy it best by taking it at the pace that’s right for you. Play, relax or savour — every choice you make is a good one.
A Peek Beyond the Valley
Just between the Okanagan and the Alberta border lie the rugged but inviting Kootenay Rockies. Whether you want to hike through national parks, learn about local history in quirky ghost towns or venture out on a thrilling helicopter tour, the regal Kootenay Rockies are another area of B.C. worth exploring this season.