Vernon BC is a growing city situated in the heart of the Okanagan Valley. Its relaxed atmosphere, urban amenities and the multitude of recreational activities draw people from all over the world. Surrounded by lakes, mountains and forests Vernon offers those who make it their vacation destination or their home a wide variety of both indoor and outdoor fun.
With beautiful provincial parks, historic sites, orchards, wineries, art galleries and a world-class ski hill there is plenty to do in Vernon to keep one busy. Whatever your tastes it is easy to get out and about taking in all the city has to offer. We asked top Vernon real estate agent Lisa Salt what to do in Vernon. This is what she said:
A perfect place to bring the family with a great play structure, a splash park and a duck pond where you can feed the birds. Complete with picnic tables, a Japanese garden and beautiful flower beds. If you play tennis or want to go for a run, a well-kept running track and tennis courts are also in the park. This is a good place to spend a few hours.
Open from May 1st through October 31st, Davison Orchards is a fine example of life in the Okanagan. Offering local fruit and vegetables as well as in-house freshly baked goods. Featuring a coffee shop, playground, petting zoo and plenty of space for the kids to run around everyone in the family can find something to suit their needs. If you are around in October head out on a hayride and pick up a pumpkin to carve.
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park
If you like to hike this park is a must see. With tons of trails, awesome views and beautiful scenery. The pathways are not too difficult so you do not have to be an experienced hiker to enjoy a day there. Bring your swimsuit if you feel like going for a swim in the warmer months as the park has more than one beach. Dogs must be on leash throughout the park but there is a dog beach for off-leash fun.
Ellison Provincial Park
Pack a lunch and head out to this picturesque park with lake access. There are public washrooms and plenty of picnic tables. Don’t forget your hiking shoes as there are some nice pathways that lead to great views of Okanagan Lake. If you do not feel up to a hike relax on the beach and spend your day swimming. If you are a camper there are some very nice camping spots at the top of the hill. Make sure to book early.
Historic O’keefe Ranch
Go back in time and visit this very cool peek into early ranching in BC. Founded in 1867 this once self-contained community comes complete with its own post office, blacksmith, church and cemetery. Many of the original buildings still stand. Take a tour of O’Keefe’s mansion, visit the animals, or buy candies and confections in the General Store. There is plenty to see and lots to do. Make a day of it.
Silver Star Mountain Resort
Open year-round Silver Star offers fun in both the winter and summer months. If you love to ski this hill is a great spot to spend the day. Whether you are into Alpine or Nordic skiing or if you just want to ice skate or sled this mountain has it all. In the summer months take the gondola up and hike around or jump on a mountain bike and ride down. When you get hungry there are a number of great restaurants to choose from.
Known by the locals as “Kal Beach,” if you are looking to relax and take in the sun it is the perfect place to pass a day. With soft sand and no drop-off it is a good spot for families and young kids. There are public washrooms and a concession stand if you don’t feel like packing a lunch. Paddle Board and Kayak rentals are available. Hang out on the pier or head over to Alexander’s Beach Pub for lunch or dinner.
Vernon Public Art Gallery
If you are into the art scene or enjoy good art check out this little gallery in downtown Vernon. It is small but it features local art and supports artists in the community. It is free to enter though there is a gift shop with pottery, crafts and artwork if you want to spend some money.