Cradled by mountains and lavished with lovely warm lakes, it’s surprising that within such an idyllic setting exists a city teeming with activity. From its distinct mix of picturesque natural environment and urban amenities, Vernon truly is remarkable. Located within the charming Okanagan Valley, known for its long warm summers and mild winters, Vernon supports a lifestyle that is difficult to replicate.
With an environment as stunning as this, it would be a pity to not spend any time outside - and the choices are endless. Several options are below to help get you started on your adventure.
SilverStar Mountain Resort is a skier or snowboarder’s dream. With a massive skiable area - 3282 acres to be exact - it’s one of the largest in BC. Feel like you have the mountain to yourself on the 132 runs or show off your skills on the jumps, boxes and rails of the terrain parks. The fun extends even after the sun has gone down with night skiing on Fridays and Saturdays.
Need more variety in your winter sports? Why not give snowshoeing, winter tubing or snowmobiling a try?
With fat biking, which are bikes made for riding in the snow, biking season never ends. Once summer comes around, the mountain becomes the second-largest bike park in Canada! If you’re up for a challenge, try your hand at the Beowulf trail - an epic 35km loop.
The dry snowfall in the Okanagan, creating a light, fluffy snow, and the mild winters combine to create the perfect conditions for cross-country skiing. Sovereign Lake Nordic Club supports world-class cross-country skiing with 105km of trails that are groomed daily, making it the largest daily groomed network in Canada.
Boasting over 100 lakes within an hour’s drive, options for lakes near Vernon are truly in abundance. Engaging in watersports such as boating, wakeboard or kayaking at any of these lakes is sure to fill you with exuberance. What sets Ellison Provincial Park apart is that it features Canada’s first freshwater scuba diving park, and it’s the only underwater dive park in the Okanagan. To get started, scuba diving lessons and equipment are available from Innerspace Watersports.
Aside from easy access to Okanagan lake, outdoor activities are plentiful at Ellison Provincial Park so there’s fun for everyone! Pass the day hiking, rock climbing or fishing. Spend the night camping and immerse yourself in nature.
Want to stay active without driving out to the natural surroundings? It’s still possible to maintain an active lifestyle from the many recreational facilities within Vernon. With several ice rinks, including a full international-sized arena, a curling rink, swimming pools, turf fields and a BMX track, staying active within town is easy.
Find time to unwind
Adventure has its time and place, but sometimes you just need to take it easy. Luckily, Vernon has some exceptional places to help you unwind.
Clear your mind with a peaceful round of golf. The Rise was created to provide spectacular views at every hole, taking advantage of its elevation at 1000 feet above Okanagan Lake. The Rise is also the only golf course in Western Canada to be designed by the legendary Fred Couples, so take the time to experience the individuality of each hole of this 18 hole golf course.
Can’t decide on what you want to do to relax? Explore a full range of options at Predator Ridge Resort. Golf is not to be missed at any one of its two 18 hole championship golf courses, which were each designed by a renowned golf course architect. Boost your mindfulness at the yoga studio or three outdoor yoga platforms, including one surrounded by the flowers of more than 2000 lavender plants, or be completely engrossed with a full yoga retreat. In addition to these facilities, Predator Ridge has a wealth of amenities, including pools and hot tubs.
Is relaxation more your thing? Sparkling Hill is a full wellness resort with naturopath clinic, integrative medicine clinic and spa. In addition to providing medicine, the professionals at Sparkling Hill can provide over 100 treatments or advise on health and nutrition, introducing the concept of European holistic wellness of the mind and body. The unique spa is the largest luxury spa in Canada with over 40,000 square feet of treatment space featuring steams, saunas, serenity pools and relaxation rooms.
Experience creativity and artistry
Vernon features a thriving arts scene that should not be missed. Be sure to check it out from the places featured below.
As the largest public gallery in North Okanagan, The Vernon Public Art Gallery (VPAG) presents about 20 exhibitions each year. View works across mediums such as paintings, sculpture, video art and installations. Check out their Art After Dark event in February and October to mingle with others over food and drink while taking part in art activities. Various events are hosted throughout the year, so be sure to check what’s coming up before you go.
Looking to watch a live performance? The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society may be just your spot. With their Meyer Mina digital sound system, everything comes across crisp and clear. Whether you prefer dance, performance theatre or one of their special presentations, keep on the lookout for their live entertainment.
Feel the power of music by going to a performance by the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, which is the third-largest professional symphony orchestra in BC. With its continual push for artistic excellence and renowned guests, each performance is sure to delight.
Savour local delicacies
With the cornucopia of fruits from the Okanagan Valley, it’s no wonder that Vernon is full of fresh and delicious dining options. Paired with a glass of some of the local award-winning wines from the region, the dining is nothing less than exquisite. Though it’s difficult to choose from the well over 150 restaurants in town, a few delectable choices are featured below.
Located in Davison Orchards, Davison Farmhouse Cafe has a full breakfast and lunch menu featuring hearty selections with many of the ingredients grown right on the farm! Famed for their homestyle apple pie, the freshly pressed pure apple juice also shouldn’t be missed.
The Med is refined on every level, creating perfect executed Mediterranean-inspired cuisine in a charming environment. Featuring cuisine from throughout the Mediterranean and using the best local ingredients, you’ll want to keep returning time after time.
Range Lounge and Grill presents dishes inspired by cuisines from all over the world but made from locally sourced ingredients. In addition to having a dedicated sushi chef, the pastry chefs are nationally-acclaimed. Pair your meal with a selection of local wines or craft beers.
A home like no other
Though it’s a small city, Vernon has a number of wonderful neighbourhoods with a range of housing options, whether it’s an apartment or a house with acreage. Being surrounded by three lakes provides plenty of opportunities to live somewhere overlooking a lake.
Moving to a new city can sometimes be a challenge, but this challenge can be eased through the use of a local REALTOR®. Relying on their vast knowledge and experience can go a long way in helping you find the perfect property and providing you peace of mind. With a REALTOR® assisting you to navigate the real estate market and guiding you through different neighbourhoods, you could enjoy an urban lifestyle in a stunning environment in the unexpected gem that is Vernon.