Stories & Features

150 B.C. places: Okanagan-Shuswap

Curved trestle on Kettle Valley Railway's Myra Canyon
Cycling over the trestles in the Myra Canyon section of the Kettle Valley Railway trail makes it one of the most family-friendly cycling adventures around.

Numbers 51 to 77 on our list of 150 great B.C. places

What's this list about? Celebrating Canada's 150th by exploring B.C.

51. Myra Canyon Park

The Kettle Valley Railway is no more, but the 18 wooden trestles and two tunnels that make up the Myra Canyon section near Kelowna are very much alive and well. Hike the old railbed, or better yet, bike the trail to cross as many trestles as possible. It's a family-friendly B.C. gem.

52. Caravan Farm Theatre, Armstrong

To celebrate this 29th year of this off-beat and off-the-beaten-track theatre experience, Caravan Farm Theatre is bringing back one of their most popular shows, The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw. The outdoor shows are famous for their use of several different locations on the farm, and you can make a day of it with a tailgate picnic and/or a sampling of the Okanagan food available at the concession. Can't make it in the summer or fall? There's always the one-act sleigh ride show in the snow.  

53. Planet bee honey farm & meadery, Vernon

After all that wine tasting in the Okanagan, it's time to get the kids in on the act. Taste test, for free, 20 different varieties of honey. Then try some honey wine.

54. Cinema Under The Stars, Vernon

Check the Cinema Under The Stars site in a few weeks for a list of this summer's movies. Grab a blanket and enjoy.

55. Whitewater paddling, Shuswap River  

One of BC Hydro's smaller and lesser-known dams, Wilsey Dam and Generating Station is east of Vernon at Shuswap Falls, just down-river from our popular Shuswap Falls Recreation area, where there's a canoe pull-out, picnic tables and a viewing platform. Paddlers also enjoy the Shuswap River Picnic Area, which offers a portage around a chute in the river further upstream. Get details and location info on both sites, on our Shuswap River page.

56. Starlight Drive-in, Enderby

Awesome Okanagan weather. Popcorn. Double features. Nuff said. The Starlight is less than a half hour drive from either Salmon Arm or Vernon.

57. Paul's Tomb & Knox Mountain hike, Kelowna

You could do this hike in less than 90 minutes, but leave yourself at least another hour to drink in the views of Kelowna at the top, the quirky Paul family tomb built by an eccentric pioneer in the early 1900s, and to go for a dip at the beach you reach at the turn-back point of this loop. See the Paul's Tomb hiking map here.

58. Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park

One of the great things about B.C. is that our cities and towns are so close to fantastic recreational opportunities. Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park epitomizes this, a stunningly beautiful lakeside park at Vernon that serves up great swimming, canoeing, hiking and biking trails.  And in the summer, it turns a breathtaking green, the result of dissolved limestone that crystallizes.

59. Salmon Arm Wharf, Salmon Arm

It's a local favourite and a must-visit for those touring the area. A big part of the payoff is the wildlife you see from the Salmon Arm Wharf, in particular the birds that include ospreys and their nests. Did you know the wharf is the longest curved inland wharf on the continent? Time your visit for a WOW (Wednesday on the Wharf) live music performance.

60. Kangaroo Creek Farm, Lake Country

One TripAdvisor review described Kangaroo Creek Farm as "the best petting zoo anywhere." Kids are basically nuts about petting kangaroos, wallabies, emus, and capybaras. It's a good idea (and a whole lot of fun) to read in advance of your arrival the visitor rules of conduct, which include: "Pet kangaroos on the back. Don't scruff them up the way you would a dog." Got it.  

Cycling Frisby Ridge near Revelstoke
Cycling Frisby Ridge near Revelstoke.

61-62. Epic mountain bike trails, Revelstoke

Few of us ever get a chance to bike on singletrack in the high alpine, but Revelstoke offers two fantastic areas for just that. The blue-rated Frisby Ridge trail is closest to town and less technical than the black diamond-rated Keystone Standard Basin, accessed from  logging road midway along Highway 63 north between Revelstoke and Mica dams.

63. The Enchanted Forest, near Revelstoke

With so much potential to be a tourist trap, this one defies logic, in large part because it's irrestible to pre-schoolers and it's a beautiful walk in the forest. Here's a typical TripAdvisor entry from a visitor to The Enchanted Forest: "My son was in complete awe of the whole grounds, the fairytales, the adventures. In complete 6-year-old sincerity he stated, 'I never want to forget this memory!'."

View from top of Revelstoke Dam shows penstocks and parking lot for the Dam Visitor Centre.
You get a great idea of the scale of Revelstoke Dam after taking an elevator up to the dam crest as part of your Visitor Centre tour.

64. Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre

Get an idea of the scale of hydroelectric power in B.C. at BC Hydro's Revelstoke Dam, with interactive exhibits, a view of the powerhouse, and an elevator ride up to the top of the dam for a great view of the valley.

65. Floating down the Penticton channel

Floating down the Penticton River Channel is about as far removed from whitewater kayaking as a gondola ride is from hang gliding. But it's a decades-old tradition in Penticton: unique, relaxing and plain fun. Bring your own tube or air mattress, or rent one for the day. Just don't forget sunscreen and a floating cooler.

66-67. Anarchist Mountain & Mount Kobau, Osoyoos

You can hike or drive to the popular Anarchist Mountain viewpoint above Osoyoos Lake, or you can join stargazers at nearby Mount Kobau's dark sky park. This year's Mount Kobau Star Party is July 22-30.

68. Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad Museum

Poul Pedersen always wanted a model train set as a kid, but never got one. As an adult, he has made up for lost time, with the most impressive model train experience - occupying a floor of a non-descript building in an industrial area outside Osoyoos - you'll ever see. Look closely at the Osoyoos museum's scenes of tiny, hand-painted figures added to scenes in villages and on beaches. The guy has a great sense of humour to go along with all that patience.

69. Ice cream at Tickleberry's, Okanagan Falls

Can you handle three scoops of three different flavours? There's a flavour for everybody at Tickleberry's, famous in large part for its chocolate-covered fruit, including blueberries, cherries, apricots and raspberries.

70. S.S. Sicamous Museum, Penticton

It's a boat. It's a museum. It's a popular wedding venue. It's a lovingly-preserved stern wheeler, a luxury passenger boat launched in 1917 to regularly take passengers from Penticton to Okanagan Landing with 14 stops in between.  

71-77. Wine tasting (and dining), Oliver & Osoyoos

Not to be outdone by the popular wine & food experiences of the Kelowna area and the Naramata Bench, the Oliver and area options (and the juicy reds) just get better each year. Burrowing Owl's Sonora Room and Nk’Mip's Spirit Ridge Resort got things rolling years ago, and we now have Tinhorn Creek's Miradoro and Hester Creek's Terrafina to add to the fun and variety.