Famous for its fine wine, fresh fruit, and vistas, Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia is one of those vacation travel spots that visitors never want to leave. Whether it’s a wine tour, a visit to one of the local ranches, long hikes through the meadows and up the mountain trails, golfing in one of the over 50 courses located throughout the area, or enjoying a wide range of winter sports, this magnificent spot located in the Canadian Rockies is not to be missed.
Transportation to and from Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia
With several major highways running through the area, Thompson-Okanagan is easily reached by the rest of Canada and the United States. Bus services are connected to Thompson-Okanagan, as well as the train service from Kamloops. The airports at Vancouver, Seattle, and Calgary provide excellent service connecting to the airport at Kelowna.
Climate in Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia
Thompson-Okanagan is dominated by a moderate climate, with summers that are hot and dry and winters that are more temperate than in other Canadian Rocky cities. Spring is warm and sunny, bringing blossoms to their fullest in April and May. In the autumn, the region shimmers with color from the wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and trees that abound.
Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia Wine Tours
There are many wine tours available in Thompson-Okanagan, offering the visitor the chance to determine the length and focus of his or her tour. Travel through the lush wine country, past the teeming orchards in the Okanagan Valley. Pick your mode of transportation and find out why Thompson-Okanagan is one of the most interesting and exceptional travel destinations on the map.
Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia Cattle Ranches
Most of the remaining ranches in Thompson-Okanagan are located in the north. Visit a working ranch such as O’Keefe Historic Ranch, located 7.5 miles north of Vernon. Here you will find beautifully restored buildings, including the oldest Catholic church in British Columbia. Visit the original log house, the general store, and the O’Keefe mansion, all dating back to the 1860’s. The town also boasts a working blacksmith, and studios for pottery and woodworking where all crafts can be purchased. Don’t forget to stop in at the museum where you will learn about the history of ranching as well as the cowboys who roved the terrain.
Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia The Grist Mill and Gardens
The Grist Mill and Gardens at Keremeos is famous for its old apple orchard. Located southwest of Penticton in the Similkameen region of southern British Columbia, the entire area is known for its plentiful produce. Visit the Living Museum of Wheat where fields of wheat grow a-plenty in some of the best organic gardens in Canada. Here you will find displays of a variety of implements and see demonstrations of the milling process. Costumed actors recreate events as well as the personalities that were a part of the history of this famous mill.
Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia Golf
Golfing in Thompson-Okanagan is a major attraction, with over 50 world-class courses to choose from. Thanks to its warm climate; its vineyards, orchards and lakes; and its brilliantly sun-filled days, Thompson-Okanagan offers the golfer some of the best golf courses in Canada for perfecting their game. Visit the Salmon Arm Golf Club in the Thompson area and the Rivershore Golf Club and The Dunes in Kamloops for some spectacular scenery surrounding the courses. In the north and central areas of Thompson-Okanagan, you will find the Okanagan Golf Club and the Harvest Golf Club, both beautiful world-class greens for perfecting your game. And for a challenging course, try the Fairview Mountain Golf Club or the Osoyoos Golf and Country Club.
Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia On the Water
Shuswap Lake is ideal for anglers, boaters, water-skiers, swimmers, and nature lovers of all kinds. With 621 miles of beautiful beaches, waterfalls, marine parks, forests, and hiking trails, the lake is abundant with things to do. Rent a houseboat instead of a hotel room for a unique vacation where you can explore the region, dock in a secluded cove, and have your dinner under the shining moon.
The 38 yard wide gorge in the wild Fraser River, Hell’s Gate, is one of the most electrifying sights in Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia. Take the Hell’s Gate Air Tram for a view of the turbulent cascade. Here you will see Hell’s Gate Fishways, home to sockeye salmon swimming their way up river on their way to their spawning grounds. Descend to walk the suspension footbridge where observation points are strategically located for viewing the river that disgorges over 200 million gallons of water per minute. Tour the museum to learn about the life-cycle of salmon, visit the beautiful gardens, and have yourself a delicious meal at the restaurant where you will eat the freshest salmon you’ve ever sampled in your life!