Shoulder season can be a tricky time to travel. It’s a hit and miss with activities, events, and sometimes weather, but with the right research and local know-how, it can be the best way to see a destination (read: minus the crowds and more bang for your buck).
Vernon, B.C. is great weekend trip for locals – with more than 100 lakes within a one-hour drive, wellness resorts, ski hills and more, it’s a nice getaway that can be nicely slated for a long weekend.
When the family behind Swarovski Crystals opens an Austrian-styled wellness centre in Vernon, one can expect a lot of crystals – 3.5 million crystals to be exact. But that’s not the only eye-catching element to this resort. From soaker tubs in the middle of your hotel room, to outdoor infinity pools and a spa with seven steam rooms and experience showers, one can expect to bask in a serene state of luxury.
This shiny resort on the top of Vernon has two restaurants and the renowned KurSpa on-site, where dining in your bathrobe and slippers are not only allowed, but encouraged.
For the full experience, guests are encouraged to try a wellness package where you can expect to have everything from their spa treatments to naturopath appointments and meal plan tailored to your needs.
Survive a cold sauna that goes down to -110 degrees
If the weather isn’t cold enough for you, try the cryotherapy cold sauna at Sparkling Hill where you’ll give your immune system a seriously cold boost. Wearing as little clothes as possible (read: swimwear) to ensure there is maximum skin exposure, you’ll be given mitts, a face mask, and a protective headband before going through three-chambers where temperatures will get down to -110 degrees Celsius.
This is the first cold sauna of its kind in North America and has known benefits of improving mobility, reducing pain, swelling, and increasing muscle relaxation.
Ski on Silverstar Mountain
If you’re lucky, you may be able to catch the end of the spring season at Silverstar Mountain Resort, B.C.’s third largest ski area. This mountain has champagne powder and terrain for skiers of all levels. Expect a colourful mid-mountain village, with ski-in, ski-out access to slopes.
Silverstar Mountain is a 22-minute drive from Vernon and a 55 minute drive from Kelowna Airport.
Stop at a winery
Stock up on your favourite B.C. VQA wines by visiting a winery or two (or five) on your drive to or from Vernon. Our preferred stops are Gray Monk, Ex Nihilo, and 50th Parallel. Map it out the old-school way to break up the four hour drive.
For more on Okanagan wine, click here.