Just north of the Okanagan lies the often overlooked Shuswap. Though also tied together by a major lake, the region has its own distinct flavour from its more populous neighbour to the south. Composed of friendly communities and an easygoing lifestyle, there’s plenty of reasons to live in the Shuswap. Here are 5 things you’re sure to experience regularly while living here.
Sicamous is the houseboat capital of Canada, and it’s not hard to see why. Located between Mara Lake and Shuswap Lake, the district allows easy access to the lakes, which offer stunning scenery. As Shuswap Lake stretches across the Shuswap, there’s no better way to explore the region than to leisurely travel in the comforts of a houseboat.
Houseboats are boats that allow people to live as they would in an actual home. These are full of amenities, including full kitchens, hot water tanks, furnaces and full washrooms. Some houseboats are even equipped with hot tubs, so you can enjoy the gorgeous views of the mountains - while drifting along in a hot tub!
Boating experience is not required nor is it necessary to have a Pleasurecraft Operator’s Licence for rental boats, so you book a rental at any time - provided that the boats are not all booked! With boats that can sleep from 6 to 30 people, invite your friends or relatives and enjoy an unforgettable experience together.
2. Tsútswecw Provincial Park
Tsútswecw Provincial Park, formerly known as Roderick Haig-Brown Park, has amazing rapids, which are fervently frequented for white-water rafting and kayaking. Its 26km of trails are also great for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing when there’s snow and hiking or mountain biking the rest of the year.
Perhaps what’s most notable about Tsútswecw Provincial Park is the sockeye salmon. Adams River is home to one of the largest sockeye salmon runs in North America. Although you can catch a glimpse of the salmon every year, upwards of millions of sockeye salmon travel up the river every fourth year!
3. Salmon Arm Wharf
Although Salmon Arm is the largest community in the Shuswap, it remains easy to walk or bike to wherever you need to go in the city. One of the city’s highlights is the Salmon Arm Wharf, which is the longest curved inland wharf in North America.
Get a closer connection to Shuswap Lake with a leisurely stroll on the wooden wharf alongside the water, providing the perfect opportunity to watch wildlife such as birds and otters. Once you reach the end of the wharf, why not head to the concession stand to pick up a sweet ice cream treat?
4. Roots & Blues Festival
With almost three decades of history, the Roots & Blues Festival is the largest multicultural music festival in the BC Interior and has established itself as a major outdoor event in Western Canada. The four day event features six stages and around 80 performances, so there’s plenty of variety.
The whole community becomes involved as pre-festival events begin in the week leading up to the festival. Best of all, entrance to many of the weeklong series of concerts is by donation only. The Community Super Crawl on Thursday night is particularly high-spirited with entertainment throughout the downtown core.
If you need a break from the concerts at the festival, check out the artisan marketplace with handcrafted items, all produced in Canada. You can also head over to the international food village onsite, where choices from over 25 food vendors await you.
5. Wholesome foods
The difference is immediate once you taste the food here, which is grown locally with dedication and care. Being this natural and fresh, even the simplest foods can be savoured. With the many local fruits and vegetables, no matter how they’re eaten, your meal is sure to be delicious.
The Shuswap is renowned for its fantastic dairy farms producing some of the best milk you’ve ever tasted, acclaimed ice cream and award-winning cheeses. Enjoying one of these cheeses with a glass of wine from one of the local wineries cannot be topped.
The Shuswap features a homey community with an abundance of activities that you can enjoy regularly. If you’re settling in, it may be hard to choose between the many communities that extend across the region. Luckily, you can count on someone with local knowledge, and an excellent place to start is by contacting a REALTOR®. Not only do they have deep knowledge about real estate within the region, but they can provide expert advice on the different communities. After finding the ideal community, and the ideal property, be prepared to call a place that offers peace in the outdoors home.