September, 2015 Archives

Fall Foliage Around Kamloops!

Fall always seems to sneak up on us. The relaxed, easy vibe from summer is replaced almost overnight with the hustle and bustle of back to school, regular work hours and a change in temperature. However, if you live in or near Kamloops, you also know how beautiful it can be so, grab a pumpkin spice latte and head out to explore the beautiful landscapes that surround us.

Stay in town: Overlanders’ Beach, located just 5 minutes from downtown is a great spot to explore fall colours. With a vast sandy beach, soak up the fall sun as you walk along the water front with views of yellows, reds and oranges across and behind you. Bring a blanket and picnic to fully savour your surroundings.

Head North: Take a drive into Lac du Bois. October brings a golden touch to the acres of protected grasslands. Enjoy a once-a-year view of blood red pickleweed that surrounds road side swamps and lakes - don’t forget your camera! If you want to stretch your legs, continue up to Isobel Lake to do a nature loop amongst a mix of evergreens and deciduous trees.

Head West: The Hoodoos, located east of downtown on Tranquille Rd are a beautiful sight year round. However, there is something about a fall sunset that captures these million year old rock formations just a little differently. The sun has warmth to it at this time of year that captures the cool brown earth at just the right angle which culminates one of the most spectacular sunset scenes in the city. 

Head East: When is the last time you have been to the Adams River Salmon Run? Even in non-peak years, the chances of witnessing this remarkable event are high. Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park is a beautiful location to take the family. With well-marked and easy to walk trails, this is prime fall foliage terrain. Pair that with the bright red and green salmon spawning beside you and you have hit, what we like to refer to as, “the fall jackpot”. 

Head South: The drive from Kamloops to Merritt via the old Highway 5A is absolutely stunning.  It will bring you back to a simpler time.  As you pass by established ranch lands and farms, take note of the colours around you. The white bark from the popular trees that are sprinkled alongside a handful of lakes offer a striking contrast to the orange leaves above and golden grasslands behind them. Although this drive only takes about an hour, we’d recommend giving yourself more time as there are plenty of spots to pull over and take it all in. 

Posted in Attractions, Nature, Tourism,

Weekend Getaway Guide for Couples in Kamloops

Weekend Getaway Guide for Couples in Kamloops

Instead of roses and chocolates, what about kayaks and downtown bistros? For a romantic getaway, leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and make your way to Kamloops! This charming city is well known for its peaceful landscape and plentiful activities. Here at Expedia.ca, we love a good romantic vacation, which is why we’ve partnered with Kamloops Tourism to present you a couples getaway guide to Kamloops. 

Eat

Candlelight and shared desserts are what romantic outings are made of. For something extraordinary, take your partner to Brownstone Restaurant. The red brick eatery is famous for their exquisite presentations and flavours. However, their theme nights are when they really shine. For instance, they might prepare a menu that was served to the first class passengers on the Titanic, while on another night, they will serve a menu based on Julia Child’s favourite dishes. Check the calendar before making reservations. For an afternoon restaurant, don’t skip Storms on the River, which rests right on the South Thompson River. Needless to say, seafood is king here. Order up some peppercorn crusted scallops, garlic prawns, and Kamloops rainbow trout, while enjoying a light breeze on the patio.

Play

Lace up your boots, and go on a couples hike around Kamloops, one of the most popular activities in town. Luckily, there’s a ton of easy trails if you and your love are looking for a simple path with good views. Hike around McConnell Lake Loop, for instance. The distance spans 3.7 km, with an hour and a half estimated walking time. Here, you’ll spot forest trees, patchy earth, and the river’s edge. The Kenna Cartwright Tower Trail is another good option. It’s roughly 3.5 km long, with an unbeatable view of Kamloops from the summit. If you prefer pathways of a different sort, take your partner on a Kamloops wine trail. This tour includes a visit to four wineries, with flavors from the Thompson Valley tingling your taste buds. Of course, there are other Kamloops activities aside from drinking and hiking. Try out some horseback riding on a ranch, kayaking on the rivers, or indulge in a couples massage downtown.

Stay

After a day of wine tasting and exploring around Kamloops, it’s only right to have an elegant hotel room to lay your head, and Expedia.ca has got your back. Consider a stay at the Plaza Hotel. The 67-room hotel is located downtown, with soft sheets, eco-friendly amenities, and plush bathrooms. It also includes breakfast in the morning, so you and your partner can start the day off full and happy. Another good option is Hotel 540. Here you can enjoy a rooftop pool, hot tub, and sweeping views of the cityscape. It’s a great place to unwind and get ready for a new day out on the town.

Treat your partner to a weekend trip to Thompson Valley. Between sips of wine and bites of lobster, you might just find yourself falling in love with Kamloops.

Expedia Canada Staff Writer

Posted in Tourism, Travel,

Kamloops Flavours Trail Part 3: West

This is the final installment of my three part series on the Kamloops Flavours Trail, allowing visitors to get a feel and taste for the flavours of our region. Read about parts 1 and 2 here: Kamloops Flavours Trail Part 1: City Limits and Kamloops Flavours Trail Part 2: East.

You may look at the Flavours Trail brochure, see that the West trail is 480 km (298 mi) long, and wonder whether all that driving is worth it for the tastes in between. I’m here to tell you that it is! The stunning scenery you pass while driving the Flavours Trail West is what sets it apart from the others.

That said, to truly appreciate this incredible region I recommend you consider an overnight stay along the route and split the drive into two days. There are plenty of things to see and do if you have the extra time.

So grab a coffee, buckle up, and get ready to take a tour of the trail with me!


Drive along Kamloops Lake. Photo: Amber Harding
Drive along Kamloops Lake

After a stunning drive from Kamloops past pretty Kamloops Lake, the first stop is Suede Hills Organic Farm. Suede Hills is not only an organic farm, but all of their products are completely vegan!

Insider Tip: Be sure to check their hours, as the farm is not open on weekends.

If you time it right, you’ll likely be getting ready for some lunch and/or pie after Suede Hills, which makes the next stop – Horstings Farm Market just outside of Cache Creek – perfect. We were very ready to eat and enjoyed amazing homemade sandwiches, soup, and pie with ice cream on their back deck, while admiring the view of the hills and orchards around us. We may have eaten our pie and ice cream first!
 

Horstings Farm Market near Cache Creek. Photo: Amber Harding
Horstings Farm Market

The next part of the drive, Cache Creek to Lilloeet, is the most beautiful of the whole trail, and the 88 km (55 mi) through the mountains passes in the blink of an eye. I wish we’d had our kayak and fishing gear to spend a couple of hours on Pavilion Lake. Next time!

 Pavilion Lake in Marble Canyon. Photo: Amber Harding
Pavilion Lake

Your next stop is the Fort Berens Estate Winery. This is where having some extra time built into your day is important. We would have loved to enjoy a glass of wine on the patio, but we had a lot of driving ahead of us so we opted for a tasting. Next time I would break the trip up and plan to camp at Marble Canyon Provincial Park or Sky Blue Resort on Pavilion Lake, then spend an entire afternoon on the patio at Fort Berens Winery enjoying their food and wine!

The view from the tasting room at Fort Berens Estate Winery in Lillooet. Photo: Amber Harding
Check out the view of the mountains from the tasting room!

 The vineyard at Fort Berens Estate Winery in Lillooet. Photo: Amber Harding
The vineyard.

After purchasing two bottles of wine (the Chardonnay and the Reisling), we headed back toward Ashcroft. Our next stop: Desert Hills Ranch. This is their main location (a second is right beside Horstings Market outside of Cache Creek), and it’s a perfect place to pick up some fresh fruit for the rest of your drive and visit their baby animals.

Heading out of Lillooet and back to Ashcroft. Photo: Amber Harding
Heading out of Lillooet and back to Ashcroft.

From Ashcroft, continue to Spences Bridge and visit Hilltop Garden Farms & Campground. Because we did the tour on a Sunday, we were unable to visit this stop as they were closed. It’s located on a heritage site, the former home of world-famous ethnographer James Teit.

I hate to pick favourites, but the last stop on the tour may have been my favourite. Left Field Cider Company is located on Highway 97C, which is a quiet, beautiful stretch of road that runs between Logan Lake and Merritt.

Left Field Cider Company between Merritt and Logan Lake. Photo: Amber Harding
This little cider company has the most tranquil outdoor picnic area overlooking the orchard.

Apparently if you give them 24 hours notice, they will prepare a picnic for you. We had a great time tasting (and purchasing!) six different ciders.

Left Field Cider Company between Merritt and Logan Lake. Photo: Amber Harding
I will be back, Left Field Cider!

Seven hours, five stops and 480 kilometres (298 miles) later, we were home. Whew! I was more than happy to crack the Chardonnay from Fort Berens and settle in for a glass of wine at the end of the day. As we get into fall and the leaves start changing, this drive will become even more beautiful. Don’t let the distance intimidate you. I promise – it’s worth it!

Written by Amber Harding, blogger for Destination British Columbia

 

This is the final installment of my three part series on the Kamloops Flavours Trail, allowing visitors to get a feel and taste for the flavours of our region. Read about parts 1 and 2 here: Kamloops Flavours Trail Part 1: City Limits and Kamloops Flavours Trail Part 2: East.

You may look at the Flavours Trail brochure, see that the West trail is 480 km (298 mi) long, and wonder whether all that driving is worth it for the tastes in between. I’m here to tell you that it is! The stunning scenery you pass while driving the Flavours Trail West is what sets it apart from the others.

That said, to truly appreciate this incredible region I recommend you consider an overnight stay along the route and split the drive into two days. There are plenty of things to see and do if you have the extra time.

So grab a coffee, buckle up, and get ready to take a tour of the trail with me!

- See more at: http://blog.hellobc.com/kamloops-flavours-trail-part-3-west/#sthash.xNggTQxG.dpuf
Posted in Attractions, Tourism, Travel,

Last Kick at the Can at Paul Lake!

Is it really Pumpkin Spice season? Man, time flies! Well before the snow starts to fall and the lakes start to freeze, how about heading off for one last weekend fishing excursion, and hey…it’s even right in our own backyard.

If you turn right on Paul Lake Road just off the Highway 5 North, follow it up for 16km and you will see Paul Lake Provincial Park on your right hand side. Head on down to the day use parking lot by the lake and grab your fishing gear, where you can either fish off the dock by the boat launch, or launch a small fishing boat in.

If you are going to go later in the day, make sure you bring a jacket as it does get chilly…definitely made the mistake of not bringing one up there and boy was it cold in flip flops! Fish were jumping left, right and center and not a single bite. But to watch that sun set in behind Gibraltar Rock, sure made the night with my partner in adventure that much nicer and worth every minute!  Gibraltar Rock is also a really nice hike which starts at the end of the parking lot with the most breathtaking views of the lake and mountains.  This hike is also dog friendly (on-leash) and family friendly.  Although we didn’t venture up to the top this time, we’ll be back next season to conquer! 

After a few hours on the water we decided to have a bite of our own. So we started up a campfire, had a weenie roast and camped under the stars at the Paul Lake campground with layers and layers of blankets. Of course we had a bit of downpour, but that just makes the adventure that much more exciting. As for now, we packed up our boat and fishing rods and will be waiting to go back out as soon as that snow melts!

Michelle
Visitor Information Counsellor