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RECREATION & TOURISM ATTRACTIONS
With a moderate climate producing wonderfully warm spring weather,
beautifully hot and sunny summers, mild autumns and temperate
winters, the North Okanagan boasts a limitless amount of recreational
activities all year long. Contact Vernon Tourism for
a copy of the Vernon & North Okanagan Visitors' Guide and
information on recreation in the area.
Lakes, Beaches & Parks
With over a hundred lakes within driving distance, the North Okanagan
provides the means for a wealth of water recreational activities
such as sailing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, scuba diving, fishing,
boating, water skiing, beach volleyball, house boating, rowing
or just spending the day in the sun. Some of the larger lakes
with public beaches, and boat launches in the immediate area include
and Mara Lake.
For kayak enthusiasts, the Shuswap
River offers miles of
water to explore running from Mara
Lake to Mabel Lake.
The North Okanagan leg of Okanagan
Lake also hosts Western
Canada's only freshwater dive park for those who enjoy
Public beaches on Kalamalka
Lake include Kalamalka
Beach and Juniper
Bay in the Kalamalka Provincial
Park. Okanagan Lake
is over 90 miles long and stretches throughout the entire Okanagan Valley.
Vernon is located on the northern
leg of the lake and has public beaches at Paddlewheel
Park and Kin Beach.
In addition to the beaches and parks, there are three marinas
and the Vernon Yacht Club on the Vernon
end of Okanagan Lake.
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The lengthy Okanagan summers provide perfect golfing weather,
and the season traditionally runs from March until November. There
are eight major golf courses within the North
and over a dozen more within a short driving
distance. Premier courses like:
There are many par three
golf courses in the
North Okanagan for a quick round of golf. Vernon Tourism
can create customized golf packages for the enthusiastic player.
Golf Canada - Golf Okanagan
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Thousands of visitors and locals enjoy the fabulous winter wonderland
in the North Okanagan. Silver Star Mountain is
located 22km (14 miles) from Vernon
and offers a variety of activities including spectacular alpine
downhill skiing/snowboarding with 3.065 skiable acres of terrain, 115 runs
and 11 lifts including two high speed quads. In addition, Silver
Star offers cross-country trails, snowshoe tours, skating and
sledding. The mountain resort has expanded greatly over the past
few years and now houses many amenities such as a variety of accommodations,
conference and meeting facilities, liquor and grocery stores,
restaurants and pubs, as well as hot tub/Jacuzzi/saunas and an
indoor swimming pool.
Just over one hour's drive from the North
White Ski Resort near Kelowna offering 2,565 skiable acres of terrain
with 118 runs, and nine lifts including three high speed quads.
Big White has full resort facilities available. Further to the
south, skiing enthusiasts will find Apex Mountain Resort
On Silver Star Mountain, Sovereign
Lakes Cross Country Ski area provides many trails for the
beginner to the advanced cross-country skier. This network of
cross-country trails has been rated among the best cross-country
facilities in the world. Each year, national and Olympic teams
from throughout the world come to train and use the facilities
on Silver Star.
Also located on Silver Star Mountain is the National
Altitude Training Centre. This centre includes a fitness facility,
a health service wing, climbing wall and a teen centre that are
available for the public. On-mountain guests can use the centre
at no charge and a small user fee is charged for day guests.
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The North Okanagan is a prime area for fishing. With creeks, rivers
and over 20 high mountain lakes in the immediate region, the North
Okanagan has many fishing camps and resorts for the
avid angler. For more information about lakes of the North
Okanagan, contact BC Adventures.
The North Okanagan features provincial
and other park areas that offer pristine hiking, mountain biking,
and nature walk trails for the outdoor enthusiast. Locales such
as Monashee Provincial
, Ellison Provincial Park,Enderby Cliffs,
Silver Star Mountain,
BX Falls & Creek and the Commonage in
offer interesting wildlife and beautiful
landscapes to view. The Aspengrove Equestrian
Academy is a major horseback riding camp located north of
Vernon, offering activities
including camps, riding lessons and horse training. The Icelandic Horse Farm
has been operating for over 20 years and provides the sale of
Icelandic Horses as well as breeding and training.
The North Okanagan is also highly
recommended for bird watching as the region boasts the highest
number of different species of birds in the British Columbia Interior.
A map of over 20 bird watching locations is available through
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The region also plays host to many other outdoor recreational
activities. The Okanagan
the Okanagan's largest professional skydiving facility, is located
in Vernon and provides skydiving
lessons. The Take Off Paragliding School also offers instruction and
training. As well, the region has many outdoor activities such
as baseball, lacrosse, soccer and lawn bowling, paragliding, roller
blading, tennis and horseback riding, to name a few.
The North Okanagan plays host
to the annual Funtastic
Summer Festival. This festival is the largest summer sports
festival in all of Canada,
and attracts teams from all over Canada
and the US.
Activities of the Festival include slow-pitch, bowling, beach
volleyball, tournaments as well as a mountain bike jamboree and
a Texas scramble golf competition.
Hockey is a major part of winter life in the North
. Organizations such as the North Okanagan
Minor Hockey Association promote getting youngsters and teens
involved in the game. The Vernon Vipers Hockey Club provide for great sports entertainment
for the area. Each of the cities in the North
Okanagan has ice arenas or winter sports complexes.
Other winter activities include snowshoeing, skating and even
dog-sledding. The Hunter's Range Trail System just north of Enderby
is considered to be the best snowmobile range in Canada covering over 200 square
km. of groomed and un-groomed trails. The region also has facilities
for a myriad of indoor activities including basketball, volleyball,
swimming and racquetball. Vernon
has a five-pin bowling lane that offer league play as well
as public bowling. The
also has fitness centres in Armstrong, Enderby and Lumby. In Vernon many fitness centres offer tanning,
juice bars, personal training, aerobics, weights, racquetball,
and ladies-only areas.
The National Altitude Training Centre at Silver Star Mountain
Resort is the only facility of its kind in Canada. Operating on a year-round
basis, the Training Centre offers comprehensive training and testing
to all levels of individual and team athletes. Already associated
with Cross Country Canada and Biathlon Canada, the Sports Science Department
at the Training Centre is researching and developing new methods
to improve the sports performance of both the elite and the recreational
Located 1,915 metres, (6,280 feet) above sea level and with a
vertical height of 760 metres (2,500 feet), in Silver Star Mountain
Resort's unique village community, the 1,200 square-foot Training
Centre houses weight-training and physio/massage facilities, the
Sports Medicine/Science Department, testing equipment, office
space, locker rooms and equipment storage. The multi-purpose activity
room accommodates up to 225 people and is designed to function
as a lecture theatre or aerobic workout room. In addition, an
outdoor paved track provides six-plus kilometres for roller skiing,
and 30 kilometres of track available for cross-country skiing
in the winter months, and for running or mountain biking in the
Silver Star Village amenities, including restaurants and accommodation,
are within easy walking distance of the Training Centre, and different
recreational activities are available depending on the season.
If training is a priority for you or your team, the National Altitude
Training Centre will provide all the facilities you need. Group
or individual packages including meals, accommodation with use
of facilities and services can be designed specifically to suit
Wesbild Centre is a new multi-use facility, completed in 2001. With fixed seating capacity of 3,656
and standing room for 500, this facility provides a great venue
for all types of activities including sports, concerts, trade shows
and conventions. The
Wesbild Centre can house an Olympic sized ice surface and with the
additional concourse space offers one of the largest trade show
spaces in the Interior. The Wesbild Centre boasts a state of the
art sound system and no facility comparable in size in the
Pacific Northwest has the audio quality this facility
The Vernon Recreation Complex offers an indoor
pool for lessons, fitness classes and lane swimming. As well,
a weight room and fitness facility is available. The complex also
includes the Priest Valley indoor and outdoor ice rinks,
two gymnasiums and a curling rink. Other arenas in the area include:
Armstrong Hassen Memorial Arena, Village
of Lumby Arena, Vernon
Civic Arena, National Training Rinks in Vernon,
and Enderby & District Winter Complex.
The North Okanagan has many private
and community organizations for many activities including sports,
and associations for activities such as swimming, figure skating,
horseback riding, skiing, soccer and hockey. Please contact the
local Chamber of Commerce for more information.
Vernon Parks and Recreation
Telephone: (250) 545-6035
Fax: (250) 550-3705
Parks and Recreation
Telephone: (250) 838-9256
Armstrong/Spallumcheen Parks and Recreation
Telephone: (250) 546 9456
Parks and Recreation
Telephone: (250) 547-6404
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Major Tourism Attractions
Tourism is a major part of everyday life in the North
Okanagan. Recognized for the outstanding weather,
many visitors flock to the region to partake in the unlimited
activities and observe the spectacular scenery. From the many
cultural and social amenities such as art galleries, theatre companies
and museums to the unlimited amount of recreational activities,
the North Okanagan has rapidly
become a premier tourist destination for visitors from all over
the world. Call Vernon
Tourism for accommodations, tour and event bookings, or a
customized North Okanagan adventure any season of the year.
Hills of orchards, vineyards and farmland provide the basis for
many tourist attractions in the North Okanagan.
Wine Tours provides guided tours of many of the exciting attractions
including wineries and heritage locales. One of the most renowned
locations to visit in the North Okanagan
is the historic O'Keefe
Ranch. Founded in 1867, the attraction is a museum site with
restored buildings that provides the visitor with a glimpse into
life in the 1800s.
The Larch Hills Winery is a farm winery located at the north
end of the
incredible views overlooking Enderby and the surrounding rural
area. Enjoy the warmth and friendliness of this small winery and
contact them for viewing and tasting hours at (250) 832-0155.
Hunting Hawk Vineyards is situated in the beautiful farming area of the
winery offers spectacular wines and visits can be arranged by
appointment. Contact the winery at 1-250-546-2164.
Orchards & Farm Market offers orchard tours and animals
to visit as well as special events for the entire family to enjoy.
The Swan Lake Nurseryland Fruit & Garden Centre houses a flower
shop, ice cream stand, bakery and deli, an appetizing array of
fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as an extensive selection
of garden tools, supplies, seeds, bulbs, and nursery stock. A
premier tourist stop, the Centre also offers many unique souvenirs
and local delectable food items.
For a full listing of the farm markets and fruit and vegetable
stands in the area, contact Vernon Tourism.
Cheese Company in Armstrong, is a micro cheese plant that
provides the opportunity to watch the master cheesemaker, as well
as sample and purchase from the wide selection of cheeses produced
in the plant.
Spring Brewery is the leading craft brewer across the province,
brewing with no additives of any kind. Visitors can contact the
brewery to arrange a tour of the facilities by calling 1-800-663-7037
or (250) 542-2337.
Kingfisher Interpretive Center is located east of Enderby
near Kingfisher Creek and is a non-profit society incorporated
to foster a sense of stewardship towards the environment. The
organization has evolved from a community-run fish hatchery to
a year round interpretive center with values and practices encouraging
wildlife preservation. The Center works to promote and develop
environmental ethics, provide facilities for education and research
and manage projects that aim to increase public awareness with
regards to environmental issues. For more information contact
Environmental Interpretive Center
RR#2 Site 14A, Comp 6
Phone: (250) 838-0004
Okanagan Science Centre is the only Science Centre in the
Interior of BC. The Centre offers hands-on exhibits, science programs,
on-site planetarium, and Canada In Space displays. The Centre
operates many programs, including the Science on Wheels program,
which brings the world of science to those who are unable to visit
Opal Inc. is located in Vernon
and is the first company to produce and market Canadian Opals.
Prior to 1991 there were no documented opal deposits in Canada,
until the Klinker Opal Deposit was discovered in the hills above
Vernon. Okanagan Opal
Inc. provides the opportunity to purchase Okanagan opals in the
gift shop or dig for opals on a digging trip.
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