Hey, y’all! We are Beth and Oliver of Exploring the Okanagan!
We travel all around the Okanagan and as Kamloopsians (and an actual married couple), there is nothing we like more than supporting our vibrant city and the small businesses that make it so unique. We’ve teamed up with Tourism Kamloops and Luv’n the Loops to take you along on all best date ideas in Kamloops as suggested by our followers on Instagram! To amp up the fun, we threw the over 300 suggestions in a bag and spent a jam-packed 36h doing as many of them as we could.
The result? A truly epic staycation in the heart of beautiful B.C.
We had a blast visiting our favourite haunts, as well as trying several new-to-us spots, and we can’t wait to share the results with you so you can start planning your Kamloops vacation.
Our date spanned two days, with a relaxing evening spent at the wonderful Kamloops Sandman Signature. We’ve split our trip into 2 blog posts as we managed to pack 13 unique dates in the 36 hours that perfectly celebrated the passion of the Kamloops community. Read through dates, 1 - 6 below, or jump to day 2 and dates 7 - 13 here!
Try one, try all, you really can’t go wrong with any of these unique local date destinations.
1. START YOUR VACAY OFF RIGHT WITH A HEARTY AND IG-WORTHY BREAKFAST AT HELLO TOAST
Our first stop on our 36h date obviously needed to be somewhere delicious to fuel us up for our grand adventure. The chefs at Hello Toast served us up right with a decadent breakfast of fluffy, berry-filled French toast, topped with fresh blueberries and handmade cream. The pièce de résistance? Definitely the shortbread crumble sprinkled on top. Ultimate *chefs kiss*.
We also ordered the Fast Eddy breakfast sandwich with a thick, fluffy egg, topped with the best hollandaise sauce we’ve ever tasted. PLUS, the homestyle hash browns were nothing to sneeze at, either!
2. GET SOME FRESH AIR AND STRETCH THOSE LEGS SNOWSHOEING AT HARPER MOUNTAIN
After fuelling up at Hello Toast, we were energized and ready to take on the day. Luckily, next on the list was a visit to Harper Mountain!
Harper Mountain is a family-owned ski hill with a tube park, cross-country skiing, and loads of snowshoeing paths. A little hill with a big heart, Harper Mountain is all about family! If you happen to bring your littles along, this is a great family destination, and kids will especially love the tube park. The snowshoeing is also the perfect light physical activity, and we loved trekking through the backside of the hill on our snowshoes.
Afterwards, we took a beat to warm up with some hot cocoa in the lodge by the fire and enjoyed a quiet moment together. A fantastic way to start the day and get our steps in, plus set the tone on a high note for the rest of the trip!
3. POP IN FOR A FRESH AND FLAVOURFUL LUNCH AT MITTZ KITCHEN
After our snowshoe excursion, we headed back into town for lunch at the fabulous Mittz Kitchen. We tried the Cobb salad, and it did not disappoint! Creamy poppy seed dressing, lots of creamy blue cheese, pulled chicken, and, get this - a bacon-wrapped tempura egg! This salad was unlike one we’ve ever had, and we enjoyed every bite.
Other notable menu items? The Portobello Pear Salad, Crispy Chicken & Waffles, Maple Sriracha Glazed Chicken Sandwich, and the Peanut Shrimp Crunch Noodle Bowl, to name a few! You will be drooling over the menu the moment you sit down. We guarantee it.
4. GET INKED WITH SWEET COUPLE’S TATTOOS AT BIGFOOT TATTOOS
As this is something we’ve wanted to do for a while now, we knew one of the stops on our Kamloops tour had to be to see the talented Kelly Wright (@artistkgw) for couple tattoos. Oliver got a bunny, and I got a bee – those who know us won’t be surprised by these choices! Oliver is a lifelong beekeeper, and owns an apiary with his brother, and I have had rabbits as pets earning me the nickname bunnie since childhood. We couldn’t be happier with Kelly’s work and highly recommend this talented, well maintained shop as a whole if you’re looking to add a permanent reminder of your trip to Kamloops.
5. INDULGE IN A NEXT-LEVEL DESSERT BEFORE DINS AT GOLDLEAF PASTRIES
Whimsy and taste all in a perfect little bite from Goldleaf Pastries! Not only is it Kamloops’ destination for cakes and pastries BUT also home to some of the most darling confectionery treats this side of the Thompson Okanagan!
This glossy neon beauty was stuffed with a tart berry compote and rich, creamy mousse. The squeezable capsule inserted at the top added an extra blast of bold berry flavour. We thought it was a whimsical touch to an already top-notch cake. Talented pastry chef Carly Harding and her team really know how to bring the wow factor!
Treat yourselves to a gorgeous cake like we did, or pick up some pastries and French macarons to enjoy in your hotel room later.
6. HEAD TO MAURYAS RESTAURANT BAR AND BANQUET FOR A FRAGRANT DINNER SPREAD
We truly wish we could waft the scent of this beautiful meal from Maurya’s restaurant through your screen, but we guess we have to settle for sharing a photo with you. Butter chicken is a must! Maurya’s is one of our favourite restaurants here in the ‘Loops, so we were delighted when it was one of your date suggestions. Maurya’s blend of spice, textures and bold flavours is unparalleled and a must-try on your visit if you like Indian food. Chef Dilip’s fresh and innovative menu is a delight to the senses (try not to drool into your lap when you check out the website photos).
We were honoured to snag the opportunity to try their new, not on the menu yet, mint chicken. Bursting with juices straight from the clay oven and rubbed down with mint sauce, the chicken is served on a bed of onions that cook down at your table - it’s a pretty magical foodie experience if we do say so ourselves.
Another big perk of Maurya’s: the extensive craft cocktail menu. Try the Guava Bellini or the East-Indian Cappucino (or both – we don’t judge). You’ll be glad you did.
INTERMISSION: SPEND A RELAXING AND ROMANTIC EVENING AT KAMLOOPS VERY OWN SANDMAN ‘SIGNATURE’ HOTEL
Pampering is the name of the game at The Sandman Signature, with dark, moody rooms and dramatic lighting paired with bright, clean white bathrooms, plush robes, and deep soaker tubs.
This oasis away from home was juuuust right, and we slept amazingly in our plush bed. Our room also had a kitchenette, which, let’s be real, minus an oven, was an even more efficient layout than our kitchen at home. It had all the basics we’d need to cook in the room, including a full-sized fridge.
The ceilings were 15-16 feet high, and both rooms had floor-to-ceiling windows dressed in black-out curtains so you could choose to let in the view of Riverside Park from your Juliette balcony.
Can you imagine being here in summer, throwing open the balcony doors, and listening to Music in The Park from your private skybox…
Hey, Sandman… can we stay forever?
And with that, day 1 is in the books. It was a day filled with good eats and great adventures exploring Kamloops and the businesses who are the life-blood of the vibrant Kamloops community.
Buckle up for dates 7-13 including a live comedy show at the Sagebrush theater.