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If there’s one thing we’ve grown to appreciate even more about BC over the past year, it’s the fact that there’s so much to discover within driving distance from our hometowns.
When you’re bored at home this season, you don’t have to stick to the same old walks around your neighbourhood (they were fun while they lasted). Instead, you can hit the road in search of unscripted adventure in Kamloops, where exploring like a local is the norm.
Anyone who considers themself a wine connoisseur or enjoys visiting wineries for tastings with an idyllic backdrop is spoiled for choice in this rustic yet paradisal city. Kamloops is home to BC’s newest wine region, the Thompson Valley. But wine is just one of many facets to a trip to this emerging region, so we’ve curated a three-day itinerary to consider.
First, the hotel check-in
Upon arrival in sunny Kamloops (BC’s second-sunniest city, which gets over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually), you’ll want to drop your bags at your hotel before settling into that long-awaited out-of-office mode. With an abundance of hotel package deals to choose from at participating hotels throughout the city, from Sandman Signature Hotel Kamloops to Coast Kamloops Hotel & Conference Centre, you can make the most of your summer getaway and fit more than you might think into a few days.
Brunch with a view
Should you wait until the second day of your vacation for brunch and a cocktail with a view? We think not. ROMEOs Kitchen + Spirits on Rogers Way dishes it up until 3 pm, and it’s the perfect place to get a taste of Kamloops’ innovative food and beverage (locally known as suds and grub) scene. Take a seat on the patio, order the farmer’s omelette with crispy bacon and a Caesar as your drink on the side, and take in the gorgeous city and mountain views before you.
Try a water activity
Since it’s easy to spend the afternoon and evening on the lake in Kamloops, it’s a no-brainer to try a water-based activity while you’re there. Recharge by gliding along Heffley Lake on a standup paddleboard by booking a rental and lesson with Paddle Surfit. Or, if something even more leisurely is calling your name, you could rent out a paddleboat for you and three friends at Bruker Marina, or rent a kayak or water bike at The Concession at Riverside Park.
Dine al fresco
In Kamloops, you can follow your water adventure (whether calming or a little more of a workout) at one of the city’s patio spots. With options galore, you might find it a challenge to pick just one. We recommend visiting Brownstone Restaurant on Victoria Street to indulge in locally sourced fare like the pan-roasted halibut alongside a glass of wine. Another wonderful option — with arguably the best city-view patio — is Masons Kitchen + Bar on Clubhouse Drive. Here, you can’t go wrong with a couple of appies and a glass of house-made white sangria.
The grub scene (see how quickly the local lingo sets in?) in Kamloops just keeps on giving. For that reason, it would be a shame to miss out on breakfast dishes at the city’s much-loved spots. Hello Toast on Victoria Street is a great choice for early risers because it opens at 7:30 am almost every day (and it has a patio). For an absolute treat, order the strawberry shortcake stuffed toast and savour each bite. Another patio-perfect breakfast destination with scrumptious eats? The eclectic Red Beard Café on Tranquille Road (hello, homemade bagels).
Selfie in the hoodoos
After your tasty morning fuel-up, hit the trail through the golden hoodoos, one of Kamloops’ iconic geographical features. The Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park is about a 10-minute drive east of Kamloops, offering diverse trails on top of the benchlands and through the hoodoos. Whether you choose the more difficult Hoodoo Trail or the easier Benchlands Trail, the rewarding views of the Thompson Valley and getting up close to the rustic features are worth it. Don’t forget to take a selfie (safely, of course) with the hoodoos behind you for an Insta-worthy snap!
Go winery hopping
After your hike, a quick shower, and potentially a power nap, you can dedicate a chunk of the day to discovering why the Thompson Valley is a flourishing wine region in BC. Home to Monte Creek Winery, Privato Vineyard & Winery, Harper’s Trail Winery, and Sagewood Winery, the valley has one of the northernmost vinifera growing areas, producing balanced reds and crisp, fruity whites. The best part? You can do your own tour or book with a local tour operator for anywhere from a three-hour to a half-day tour.
Follow wine with pizza
With a newfound appreciation for the Thompson Valley wine region, you can make BOLD Pizzeria on Columbia Street your last stop of the day. This popular foodie haven serves up handcrafted pizzas inspired by the classic approach adopted in Naples, Italy. Do yourself a favour and order the bruschetta, the signature meatballs, and the renaissance pizza with a thin crust.
One last brunch session
On your last day in Kamloops, start the morning off right with one last local brunch session at Mittz Kitchen on Victoria Street. The eatery is renowned for its Canadian cuisine with a global flair, made using local ingredients. Visit between 11 am and 2 pm on Saturday or Sunday to try the Mittz Breaky with eggs, bacon, smash browns, grilled tomatoes, and house-made biscuits. Find a table on the patio and order a coffee while your dish is prepared fresh in the kitchen.
Try your hand at golfing
There’s no better way to end a getaway to Kamloops than with a round of golf at one of eight championship courses. Take in the city views with a round at Big Horn Golf & Country Club, where every hole spotlights a different canvas of the city. Or, test your skills with 18 holes at one of BC’s top public courses Tobiano or Talking Rock Golf Course.
With the ongoing wildfire situation in British Columbia, you may encounter implications on travel. Do your part and stay informed with the following resources: DriveBC.ca,
Air Quality Health Index, BCWildfire.ca, and the Tourism Kamloops Webcam.