N O R T H - O K A N A G A N

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With a moderate climate producing wonderfully warm spring weather, beautifully hot and sunny summers, mild autumns and temperate winters, the North Okanagan boasts a limitless amount of recreational activities all year long. Contact Vernon Tourism for a copy of the Vernon & North Okanagan Visitors' Guide and information on recreation in the area.


Lakes, Beaches & Parks

With over a hundred lakes within driving distance, the North Okanagan provides the means for a wealth of water recreational activities such as sailing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, scuba diving, fishing, boating, water skiing, beach volleyball, house boating, rowing or just spending the day in the sun. Some of the larger lakes with public beaches, and boat launches in the immediate area include Okanagan Lake, Kalamalka Lake, Mabel Lake and Mara Lake. For kayak enthusiasts, the Shuswap River offers miles of water to explore running from Mara Lake to Mabel Lake. The North Okanagan leg of Okanagan Lake also hosts Western Canada's only freshwater dive park for those who enjoy scuba diving.

Public beaches on Kalamalka Lake include Kalamalka Beach and Juniper Bay in the Kalamalka Provincial Park. Okanagan Lake is over 90 miles long and stretches throughout the entire Okanagan Valley. Vernon is located on the northern leg of the lake and has public beaches at Paddlewheel Park and Kin Beach. In addition to the beaches and parks, there are three marinas and the Vernon Yacht Club on the Vernon end of Okanagan Lake.

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The lengthy Okanagan summers provide perfect golfing weather, and the season traditionally runs from March until November. There are eight major golf courses within the North Okanagan and over a dozen more within a short driving distance. Premier courses like:

There are many par three golf courses in the North Okanagan for a quick round of golf. Vernon Tourism can create customized golf packages for the enthusiastic player.


Golf Canada - Golf Okanagan
Okanagan Reservations

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Thousands of visitors and locals enjoy the fabulous winter wonderland in the North Okanagan. Silver Star Mountain is located 22km (14 miles) from Vernon , and offers a variety of activities including spectacular alpine downhill skiing/snowboarding with 3.065 skiable acres of terrain, 115 runs and 11 lifts including two high speed quads. In addition, Silver Star offers cross-country trails, snowshoe tours, skating and sledding. The mountain resort has expanded greatly over the past few years and now houses many amenities such as a variety of accommodations, conference and meeting facilities, liquor and grocery stores, restaurants and pubs, as well as hot tub/Jacuzzi/saunas and an indoor swimming pool.

Just over one hour's drive from the North Okanagan is Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna offering 2,565 skiable acres of terrain with 118 runs, and nine lifts including three high speed quads. Big White has full resort facilities available. Further to the south, skiing enthusiasts will find Apex Mountain Resort near Penticton.

On Silver Star Mountain, Sovereign Lakes Cross Country Ski area provides many trails for the beginner to the advanced cross-country skier. This network of cross-country trails has been rated among the best cross-country facilities in the world. Each year, national and Olympic teams from throughout the world come to train and use the facilities on Silver Star.

Also located on Silver Star Mountain is the National Altitude Training Centre. This centre includes a fitness facility, a health service wing, climbing wall and a teen centre that are available for the public. On-mountain guests can use the centre at no charge and a small user fee is charged for day guests.

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Outdoor Adventure

The North Okanagan is a prime area for fishing. With creeks, rivers and over 20 high mountain lakes in the immediate region, the North Okanagan has many fishing camps and resorts for the avid angler. For more information about lakes of the North Okanagan, contact
BC Adventures.

The North Okanagan features provincial and other park areas that offer pristine hiking, mountain biking, and nature walk trails for the outdoor enthusiast. Locales such as Monashee Provincial Park, Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park , Ellison Provincial Park,Enderby Cliffs, Silver Star Mountain, BX Falls & Creek and the Commonage in Vernon offer interesting wildlife and beautiful landscapes to view. The Aspengrove Equestrian Academy is a major horseback riding camp located north of Vernon, offering activities including camps, riding lessons and horse training. The Icelandic Horse Farm has been operating for over 20 years and provides the sale of Icelandic Horses as well as breeding and training.

The North Okanagan is also highly recommended for bird watching as the region boasts the highest number of different species of birds in the British Columbia Interior. A map of over 20 bird watching locations is available through Vernon Tourism.

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Sports Activities

The region also plays host to many other outdoor recreational activities. The
Okanagan Skydive Centre, the Okanagan's largest professional skydiving facility, is located in Vernon and provides skydiving lessons. The Take Off Paragliding School also offers instruction and training. As well, the region has many outdoor activities such as baseball, lacrosse, soccer and lawn bowling, paragliding, roller blading, tennis and horseback riding, to name a few.

The North Okanagan plays host to the annual Funtastic Summer Festival. This festival is the largest summer sports festival in all of Canada, and attracts teams from all over Canada and the US. Activities of the Festival include slow-pitch, bowling, beach volleyball, tournaments as well as a mountain bike jamboree and a Texas scramble golf competition.

Hockey is a major part of winter life in the North Okanagan . Organizations such as the North Okanagan Minor Hockey Association promote getting youngsters and teens involved in the game. The Vernon Vipers Hockey Club provide for great sports entertainment for the area. Each of the cities in the North Okanagan has ice arenas or winter sports complexes.

Other winter activities include snowshoeing, skating and even dog-sledding. The Hunter's Range Trail System just north of Enderby is considered to be the best snowmobile range in Canada covering over 200 square km. of groomed and un-groomed trails. The region also has facilities for a myriad of indoor activities including basketball, volleyball, swimming and racquetball. Vernon has a five-pin bowling lane that offer league play as well as public bowling. The North Okanagan also has fitness centres in Armstrong, Enderby and Lumby. In Vernon many fitness centres offer tanning, juice bars, personal training, aerobics, weights, racquetball, and ladies-only areas.

The National Altitude Training Centre at Silver Star Mountain Resort is the only facility of its kind in Canada. Operating on a year-round basis, the Training Centre offers comprehensive training and testing to all levels of individual and team athletes. Already associated with Cross Country Canada and Biathlon Canada, the Sports Science Department at the Training Centre is researching and developing new methods to improve the sports performance of both the elite and the recreational athlete.

Located 1,915 metres, (6,280 feet) above sea level and with a vertical height of 760 metres (2,500 feet), in Silver Star Mountain Resort's unique village community, the 1,200 square-foot Training Centre houses weight-training and physio/massage facilities, the Sports Medicine/Science Department, testing equipment, office space, locker rooms and equipment storage. The multi-purpose activity room accommodates up to 225 people and is designed to function as a lecture theatre or aerobic workout room. In addition, an outdoor paved track provides six-plus kilometres for roller skiing, and 30 kilometres of track available for cross-country skiing in the winter months, and for running or mountain biking in the summer.

Silver Star Village amenities, including restaurants and accommodation, are within easy walking distance of the Training Centre, and different recreational activities are available depending on the season.

If training is a priority for you or your team, the National Altitude Training Centre will provide all the facilities you need. Group or individual packages including meals, accommodation with use of facilities and services can be designed specifically to suit your needs.

Wesbild Centre is a new multi-use facility, completed in 2001.  With fixed seating capacity of 3,656 and standing room for 500, this facility provides a great venue for all types of activities including sports, concerts, trade shows and conventions.  The Wesbild Centre can house an Olympic sized ice surface and with the additional concourse space offers one of the largest trade show spaces in the Interior.  The Wesbild Centre boasts a state of the art sound system and no facility comparable in size in the Pacific Northwest has the audio quality this facility offers. 

The Vernon Recreation Complex offers an indoor pool for lessons, fitness classes and lane swimming. As well, a weight room and fitness facility is available. The complex also includes the Priest Valley indoor and outdoor ice rinks, two gymnasiums and a curling rink. Other arenas in the area include: Armstrong Hassen Memorial Arena, Village of Lumby Arena, Vernon Civic Arena, National Training Rinks in Vernon, and Enderby & District Winter Complex.

The North Okanagan has many private and community organizations for many activities including sports, and associations for activities such as swimming, figure skating, horseback riding, skiing, soccer and hockey. Please contact the local Chamber of Commerce for more information.

Greater Vernon Parks and Recreation
Telephone: (250) 545-6035
Fax: (250) 550-3705

Enderby Parks and Recreation
Telephone: (250) 838-9256

Armstrong/Spallumcheen Parks and Recreation
Telephone: (250) 546 9456

Lumby Parks and Recreation
Telephone: (250) 547-6404

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Major Tourism Attractions

Tourism is a major part of everyday life in the North Okanagan. Recognized for the outstanding weather, many visitors flock to the region to partake in the unlimited activities and observe the spectacular scenery. From the many cultural and social amenities such as art galleries, theatre companies and museums to the unlimited amount of recreational activities, the North Okanagan has rapidly become a premier tourist destination for visitors from all over the world. Call Vernon Tourism for accommodations, tour and event bookings, or a customized North Okanagan adventure any season of the year.

Hills of orchards, vineyards and farmland provide the basis for many tourist attractions in the North Okanagan. Executive Wine Tours provides guided tours of many of the exciting attractions including wineries and heritage locales. One of the most renowned locations to visit in the North Okanagan is the historic O'Keefe Ranch. Founded in 1867, the attraction is a museum site with restored buildings that provides the visitor with a glimpse into life in the 1800s.

The Larch Hills Winery is a farm winery located at the north end of the Okanagan Valley, with incredible views overlooking Enderby and the surrounding rural area. Enjoy the warmth and friendliness of this small winery and contact them for viewing and tasting hours at (250) 832-0155.

Hunting Hawk Vineyards is situated in the beautiful farming area of the Spallumcheen.  This winery offers spectacular wines and visits can be arranged by appointment.  Contact the winery at 1-250-546-2164.

Davison Orchards & Farm Market offers orchard tours and animals to visit as well as special events for the entire family to enjoy.

The Swan Lake Nurseryland Fruit & Garden Centre houses a flower shop, ice cream stand, bakery and deli, an appetizing array of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as an extensive selection of garden tools, supplies, seeds, bulbs, and nursery stock. A premier tourist stop, the Centre also offers many unique souvenirs and local delectable food items.

For a full listing of the farm markets and fruit and vegetable stands in the area, contact Vernon Tourism.

The Village Cheese Company in Armstrong, is a micro cheese plant that provides the opportunity to watch the master cheesemaker, as well as sample and purchase from the wide selection of cheeses produced in the plant.

The Okanagan Spring Brewery is the leading craft brewer across the province, brewing with no additives of any kind. Visitors can contact the brewery to arrange a tour of the facilities by calling 1-800-663-7037 or (250) 542-2337.

The Kingfisher Interpretive Center is located east of Enderby near Kingfisher Creek and is a non-profit society incorporated to foster a sense of stewardship towards the environment. The organization has evolved from a community-run fish hatchery to a year round interpretive center with values and practices encouraging wildlife preservation. The Center works to promote and develop environmental ethics, provide facilities for education and research and manage projects that aim to increase public awareness with regards to environmental issues. For more information contact

Kingfisher Environmental Interpretive Center
RR#2 Site 14A, Comp 6
Enderby, BC V0E 1V0
Phone: (250) 838-0004

The Okanagan Science Centre is the only Science Centre in the Interior of BC. The Centre offers hands-on exhibits, science programs, on-site planetarium, and Canada In Space displays. The Centre operates many programs, including the Science on Wheels program, which brings the world of science to those who are unable to visit the Centre.

Okanagan Opal Inc. is located in Vernon and is the first company to produce and market Canadian Opals. Prior to 1991 there were no documented opal deposits in Canada, until the Klinker Opal Deposit was discovered in the hills above Vernon. Okanagan Opal Inc. provides the opportunity to purchase Okanagan opals in the gift shop or dig for opals on a digging trip.

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