Vacations are for relaxation: leisurely breakfasts, mid-morning strolls, and light-filled afternoon drives. Here’s a recipe for a laidback day in and around Kamloops. Spend the morning exploring back-alley murals downtown before hopping in the car for a scenic winery tour taking in hoodoo and river views along the way. As always, designate a driver and check the latest on business hours and operations before you go.
The Art We Are Cafe
Get a dose of creative energy along with your coffee at The Art We Are Cafe, a downtown gallery turned café. Art from local painters and photographers lines the walls, and works of local potters and jewelers are on display. Brunch on bacon wraps, veggie quiche, or housemade spanakopita.
Kamloops Regional Farmers' Market
Walk on over to the Kamloops Regional Farmers' Market, which runs on Saturday (200 block of St Paul Street from 8:30am-12:30pm) and Wednesday mornings (400 block of Victoria Street from 8:00am-1:30pm) through to the end of October before shifting indoors for the winter. Fall brings out a cornucopia of squash and pumpkins to admire while you pick up treats like caramel honey and mini apple pies.
Back Alley Art Gallery
Add a little activity to your day with a stroll around the back alleys of downtown. This self-guided tour leads you through the 31 murals; grab a coffee and soak up the street art at your own pace.
Start the afternoon’s 85-kilometre road trip with a quick jaunt across the Thompson River to Kamloops’ North Shore for lunch. As well as jerk pork and chicken, you’ll find curried goat and oxtail on Jamaican Kitchen's menu and classic Ting Caribbean soda pop.
Privato Vineyard & Winery
Book a tasting in advance and head up Westsyde Road about 15 minutes to the boutique vineyard in the Thompson River Valley wine region. Owned by John and Debbie Woodward, Privato Vineyard & Winery specializes in Burgundian style wines. Prefer cider? It’s all in the family at the adjacent Woodward Cider Co., where brothers Tim, Adam, and Ben Woodward make small-batch craft cider at Kamloops' first craft cidery.
East Shuswap Road
Travelling back towards the city, cross the North Thompson River, take Highway 5 south, and turn left onto East Shuswap Road. Look out for Mount Peter and Mount Paul, Kamloops’ two iconic mountains, on the ridge to the left. Hugging the South Thompson River, East Shuswap Road offers rugged views of hoodoos, grasslands, and sagebrush—you might even encounter bighorn sheep.
Harper's Trail Estate Winery
Follow East Shuswap Road to Harpers Trail Winery, a beautiful spot with a river view. Take advantage of the outdoor tasting lounge and patio, or bring a picnic to enjoy with a panoramic view of the vineyard, rolling hills, and hoodoos. The 2019 Rose and 2018 Cabernet Franc both earned gold medals at the 2020 All Canadian Wine Championship.
Time permitting, continue five minutes down East Shuswap Road to visit the boutique Sagewood Winery, open Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4pm. If the sun is hanging low, cross the river to the Trans-Canada Highway 1 and loop back to downtown Kamloops. At the confluence of the North and South Thompson Rivers, Riverside Park is the perfect place to enjoy golden hour as the sunset casts a glow on the red, orange, and yellow autumn leaves.