Here is a list of our favourite touristy things to do around Greater Vernon.
Davison Orchards is one of the Staples of Vernon life dating back to 1933. Of course, the foundation of Davison is the orchard, however, it has grown into so much more. It’s all consists of fresh, local produce grown right here in Vernon. And of course, the kids love it here more than anyone, plus you can bring your dog on a leash as well. In behind the buildings there’s tons of fun things for them to do including the number one activity in my mind which is feeding the sheep. It’s also fine to just watch the goats play, and let them try to eat your jewelry! You can also pet the goats as well. There are other farm animals as well such as the mule, the horse, and of course the chickens. There’s a huge sandpit and Toy tractors, tree houses and the list goes on! One of the highlights for the kids is Johnny Popper farm tours which is a must-do for the little ones. The view over the valley is spectacular. The façade is of a Country Village outside and inside this building is so many cool things you better make sure to bring your credit card, because it’s tough to get out without a purchase. Whether it be gifts, fresh farm-made jams, their own nothing added except our awesome apples apple juice, fudge, salad dressings and you may as well be ready, as I was, to buy one of their homemade pies! The Farmhouse Café on the property serves homemade soups, sandwiches and of course – Davison pies – or you can grab and go a latte at the Cannery. And that is Davison Orchards, our local farmers for 4 generations.
A neighbouring property to Davison is Planet Bee, a place where you can see, learn and discover about the honey bee’s plight and also have honey and mead tastings! First stop obviously is the mead tasting room. The mead is prepared right here in Vernon from the fermenting process to the bottling stage. You can taste the mead at Planet Bee, or you can go straight to purchase one or more of the many kind of mead they sell. You can also taste and buy so many kinds of honey or any number of gifts in the store as well and there are many options of what can be made from bee stuff – and they’re all found here! You can also learn all about the honey bee and even watch them make the honey in their little bee box that hopefully never breaks. Yikes. Although this guy is good with it. Outside the building there are a number of very beautiful bee-friendly gardens. And that’s Planet Bee.
Collaboration between Lake Country, City of Kelowna, the Okanagan Indian Band and the North Okanagan Regional District. Since 1925 The CN Rail line used to transport produce and lumber from the Okanagan across the country. Kelowna Pacific Railway went into receivership and stopped rail service in 2013 and CN Rail then formally discontinued the rail line. After that the local governments stepped forward to purchase the discontinued corridor. Beginning in 2016, a two-year community fundraising campaign and some grants raised the $7.8 million that was needed to develop the trail. The Okanagan indigenous people’s name for the trail route is xwił iʔ sw̓kʷnaʔqin, meaning ‘road – of the – Okanagan People’. Long before we used this route for transportation, the Syilx Okanagan people occupied and used this area for hunting, fishing, gathering, social and ceremonial purposes and you will learn much about these people on the trail. One of the great parts about the trail is how flat it is so people from all ages can walk or bike the trail with no issues. Over 24 km of the trail follows lakeshore and creeks so the scenery and wildlife is pretty aweomse. And that’s the Rail Trail on Kalamalka and Woods Lakes.
Kalamalka Provincial Park
Located 8 km south of Vernon city centre and is 3,218 hectares. This park wasn’t established as a park in 1975, there’s no camping or anything, it’s a day use park with beaches and trails. And, most importantly to the four-legged variety, it has a dog beach where you can explore, view the lake and play in the water.
It has incredible views over Kalamalka Lake which is a moral lake which means when the lake warms in the summer the dissolved limestone crystallizes and gives the lake its distinct blue and green color. There are so many cool places to explore in the park and there is a link to a great map below.
Predator is an amazing golf resort community and even if you don’t golf, there’s a ton to do and see here. There are 2 full 18 hole championship golf courses, the Predator course and the Ridge Course and a golf resort community of over 700 homeowners, it’s no wonder that Predator Ridge is known as Canada's premier golf resort community and one of the best golf resorts in North America. It has so many amenities and for tourists, if you’re wanting to get a feel for the place, lunch on the patio overlooking the course, or visit Pallino’s for an awesome wood-fired pizza, the Commonage Market for a Starbucks latte or for a local bottle of the region’s best wine or just hang out overlooking the view. There is a state-of-the-art practice facility as well. And as for the real estate – check out the Lodge for an idea of what your next vacation property may look like and make sure to take a drive around the look at some of the beautiful homes built and being built around the area. There’s playgrounds, pickleball, tennis, yoga, a fitness center and 35 kms of dog-friendly walking, hiking and biking trails as well at Predator.
Sparkling Hill was built from the vision of an Austrian hotelier who absolutely loved BC And Alberta, and in fact called the Okanagan Valley “heaven on earth”, launching the wellness resort and spa which was modeled after those in Europe. The project was personally financially backed by the famous Swarovski of the Austrian Swarovski crystal empire, and opened the resort in 2010. There is a 40,000 square foot European inspired KurSpa – Kur meaning Healing in German which has saunas, steam rooms and the cold sauna which is -110 degrees celcius! Which was the first in North America. When asked why Vernon, he said “I found heaven on earth, four beautiful seasons, a wonderful climate, beautiful lakes, at these rolling hills and a perfect infrastructure” ~ Hans-Peter Mayr. Please note the resort is for adults only, and pets at Sparkling Hill.
If you’re around Vernon on a Monday or Thursday morning, be sure to stop by Kal Tire Place for some fresh local veggies, maybe some veggies you can grow yourself, some locally grown meats, and to listen to some of the local entertainers. There are many places to eat at the market that you will no doubt enjoy. You can find all this at the Vernon Farmer’s Market, Monday and Thursday in season at Kal Tire Place.
BX Cidery is a super fun place to spend a day or an evening. You can do cider tastings if you wish or just order a flight of 4 of the best ciders you will ever drink. The BX is named after the Barnard’s Express & Stage Line, which was one of the oldest, largest, and longest-running stagecoach companies in North America, starting in 1861 and this 3rd generation farm is located on part of this land . Some of their ciders are actually named after historical figures involved in some way with the Barnards Express and You can read the stories on the bottles!
All the drinks are made on-site, most are alcoholic however there are some that aren’t. There is a huge assortment especially in the summertime when there are so many fruits in seasons to make booze out of. And the wood-fired flatbreads….. wow…. Don’t leave without trying the dessert flatbread, I guarantee it will be a hit! It’s such a nice place to spend an evening out in the orchard and watching the entertainment at BX Press Cidery.
When you’re in Vernon whether it be in the winter when you can go and downhill or cross country ski, or whether it’s in the spring, summer or fall when you can go ride up the gondola and go biking, hiking on their pet-friendly trails, Silver Star a great place to visit, well worth the extra 26 minutes to get there. With 16 kilometers of hiking trails plus you can see all the skiing trails etc. – Silver Star is great for those wanting some fun outdoor activities. It’s somewhere you can go hiking and biking that’s a lot cooler in the middle of summer than down below. And if you’re not into skiing or snowboarding, you can snowshoe or go skating or tubing in the winter. Also, you can check out the Village while you’re there.