March 20th, 2016 is the Spring Equinox AKA the first day of Spring! The temperature is rising, the snow is melting, the sun is shining and our flurries have turned to rain falls. The birds are gracing us with their beautiful songs, soon this will include our less musically inclined friends, the Canadian Geese and everyone is getting ready for another amazing Okanagan Summer. Not only at the Visitor Centre but all of Vernon BC is gearing up for the thousands and thousands of Visitors from all over the world to ensure their experience here is an unforgettable one. Would you happen to be planning an Okanagan Spring or Summer getaway this year? Maybe you’re just looking for some amazing activities to immerse yourself in through the warmer months? Either way Vernon has everything you could possibly desire during a Canadian Spring or Summer!
Just to name a few of our personal Vernon BC favourite Okanagan activities there are gorgeous hikes leading to panoramic BC viewpoints, incredible lakes, beautiful beaches, campgrounds with a natural ambiance to them, world renowned Wineries, unbeatable spa and golf resorts and so much more.
Hiking Trails alone I could talk about all day so I’ll focus on Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park Hiking trails the Twin Bays and Crest Trail as well as Kalamalka Lookout trail located on the opposite side of the lake. These trails attract thousands of tourists yearly and for a good reason! Kalamalka Lake is called the “Jewel of the Okanagan” by many is due to its unbelievable green colour in the summertime (really words cannot describe its beauty). The park has trails from beginner to advanced and everything in between, these trails lead to small beaches along Kal Lake as well as view points overlooking the lake and beyond. The park is a great place to get lost for a morning or afternoon. Just a few other hiking trails around Vernon would be the Middleton Mountain Trails, Grey Canal Trails, BX Creek & Falls Trail and Ellison Park Trails. (PC IG @adamdon Adam Donovan at Ellison Park)
We’re extremely fortunate to have not 1, not 2 but 3 lakes and many beaches located directly within Vernon BC and many more within an hour of us. Swan Lake is a lovely smaller lake located at the North end of Vernon, it is surrounded by a few Campgrounds and a hiking trail. Swan Lake is much more calm and not as busy as our other 2 lakes! Next would be Kalamalka Lake which is known for it’s amazing colours and perfect temperature during the Summer. Perfect for paddleboarding, boating, water sports and swimming! Kal Beach is extremely popular throughout the Spring and Summer with the option to rent from Kalavida Surfshop. You can kayak, paddleboard and more without ever leaving Vernon. Kalamalka Lake also has 2 Provincial Parks on either side, Kekuli Bay Provincial Park and Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park. Finally we have Okanagan Lake has Ellison Provincial Park attached and stretches 135km from Vernon BC all the way to Penticton BC. This beautiful deep water paradise is perfect for any summer activity really and is best known for being home to the mysterious Ogopogo Lake Monster. Don’t worry too much though, if he is real he’s pretty shy and shouldn’t bug you & if he does be sure to snap a picture! (PC Thomas Bullock Kalamalka Lake)
Although the Wineries are not located directly in Vernon there are many in Lake Country (which is only a 20 minute drive) and Kelowna (which is only a 45 minute drive).
Lake Country is the home for a few world-renown wineries. Located with scenic views overlooking Okanagan Lake you can easily spend a few days indulging in phenomenal wines, views and atmosphere. One by one, the featuring wineries all have something special to offer. 50th Parallel is known for its rare granite soil and renown Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines. Ancient Hill Estate Winery features an enchanted European style winery with stunning views overlooking farmlands and horse ranches. (PC: Ancient Hills Estate Winery)
A marvelous setting to enjoy sun, rural beauty and excellent wines. The Gray Monk Estate Winery is founded by the Heiss Family, which is the oldest, family-owned winery and the first to plant Pinot Gris vines in Canada. Definitely a must to visit as they offer fabulous lunch options at their world-class Grapevine Restaurant. While driving through our beautiful “backyard” be sure to visit any of the other wineries as they all have unique features.
We are also fortunate to be home to some amazing spa, relaxation and wellness establishments, resorts and Golf courses. Just outside of Vernon is the luxurious Sparkling Hill Resort and Spa in the heart of the Predator Ridge Golf course. Although we have many spas in town Kurspa at Sparkling Hill is very unique and extravagant. With 7 unique spas and saunas, an indoor salt water pool with Swarovski crystal décor above and all around the resort, their cryo cold sauna (which is the ONLY cold sauna in North America!) as well as all the usual services you’d expect of a spa it really can’t be beat. (PC : ‘Kurspa’ http://www.sparklinghill.com)
Our city features a total of 5 world class golf courses. Located on the outskirts of Vernon is the prestigious Predator Ridge : Known for it’s world-class golf, stunning views and fine dining options. Located along side the historic site of O’Keefe Ranch is Spallumcheen Golf & Country Club, aka “the gem of the North Okanagan”. The Vernon Golf & Country Club is centrally located and the oldest golf course in Vernon. Easily accessible and with over 200 yards holes is Hillview Golf. The Rise , a signature Fred Couples designed golf course is located on the edge of Vernon 1000ft above Okanagan Lake. One by one, a golfer’s dream! (PC: Spallumcheen Golf Course)
I could go on forever about the Summer and Spring Activities you could plan on your own, with friends or family. Vernon is truly an amazing place to be year round but especially when the weather begins to warm up. Be sure to check out our website Tourism Vernon for activities, ideas, and destinations in and around town as well as our Events Calendar for all the best activities and festivals 365days a year!