Vernon, located in the Okanagan Valley region of British Columbia, Canada, is a city surrounded by stunning natural scenery, including three breathtaking lakes and majestic mountains. Despite being a bustling commercial district, Vernon offers a plethora of fun and exciting activities for visitors and residents alike. From outdoor adventures to family-friendly attractions, this guide will showcase the best things to do in Vernon, as well as provide recommendations for dining and accommodations.
When visiting Vernon, you’ll have no shortage of options for things to do and see. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, exploring hidden gems, or looking for family-friendly activities, Vernon has it all. Immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of the Okanagan Valley while enjoying a wide range of recreational activities.
Discover the region’s top tourist attractions, such as Kalamalka Beach with its crystal-clear waters, or venture out to BX Falls for a refreshing hike. Explore the vibrant downtown area with its charming shops and murals, or sample delicious local cuisine at renowned eateries like EATology and Helmut’s Sausage Kitchen. Experience the area’s rich cultural heritage by visiting the Kalamalka Indigenous Garden or learning about the city’s history on the Grey Canal Historic Trail.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, food lover, or history buff, Vernon has something to offer everyone. So pack your bags, put on your adventure hat, and get ready to explore everything that Vernon has in store for you!
- Enjoy a variety of outdoor activities in Vernon’s stunning natural surroundings.
- Explore hidden gems and tourist attractions that showcase the region’s beauty and history.
- Indulge in delicious local cuisine and experience the vibrant food scene in Vernon.
- Discover the city’s cultural heritage by visiting indigenous gardens and historic sites.
- Plan your itinerary with recommendations for dining and accommodations to ensure a memorable stay.
A Quick Introduction to Vernon
Vernon, located in the Okanagan Valley region, has a rich history and cultural heritage. The city’s original name, Nintle–Moos–Chin, given by the Syeelhwh Nation, means “jumping over place where the creek narrows.” Vernon is situated on the traditional territory of the Syilx (Okanagan), Secwepemcúl’ecw, and Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. This diverse cultural background adds a unique dimension to the city’s identity.
How to Reach Vernon
If you’re looking to explore the picturesque city of Vernon, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s easily accessible by car. Whether you’re driving from Vancouver or Calgary, hitting the road and embarking on an unforgettable journey to Vernon is a convenient and scenic option. The drive from Vancouver to Vernon takes just over 5 hours, covering a distance of approximately 444 miles. From Calgary, the drive to Vernon takes just over 6 hours, spanning a distance of approximately 555 kilometers. So, get ready to enjoy a leisurely drive through breathtaking landscapes as you make your way to this charming city.
Vernon is not just a stopover destination; it’s also a fantastic convenient weekend getaway. If you’re a resident of the Okanagan Valley, you’ll be thrilled to know that Vernon is just a short 2-hour drive from Penticton. This proximity makes it an ideal choice for a quick weekend escape, where you can unwind, explore, and immerse yourself in the wonders of Vernon without spending too much time on the road. Pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready for an incredible weekend adventure in Vernon, your ultimate convenient weekend destination.
Weather and Climate in Vernon
Vernon, British Columbia, experiences a semi-arid climate, characterized by hot summers and mild winters. The city is known for its idyllic weather, making it a perfect destination for outdoor activities throughout the year.
In the summer months of July and August, Vernon basks in long, sunny days. The semi-arid climate offers ideal conditions for engaging in a wide range of outdoor pursuits. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, water sports, or simply exploring nature, the summer in Vernon provides ample opportunities to indulge in these activities.
The warm climate extends into the shoulder seasons of April, May, June, September, and October, ensuring that visitors can continue to enjoy outdoor adventures during these months. Spring and fall in Vernon offer pleasant temperatures and showcase the vibrant colors of the surrounding landscape.
Even the winter months in Vernon are relatively mild compared to other regions in Canada. With temperatures rarely dipping below freezing, outdoor enthusiasts can still enjoy activities such as hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing in the nearby mountains.
So whether you’re seeking an action-packed summer getaway or a serene winter retreat, Vernon’s semi-arid climate provides the perfect backdrop for your outdoor adventures.
Top 10 Must-Do Activities in Vernon
To make the most of your visit to Vernon, be sure to include these top 10 must-do activities in your itinerary:
- Soak up the sun at Kalamalka Beach: Spend a day at this picturesque beach, known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and sandy shores. Relax, swim, or engage in various water sports and activities.
- Visit BX Falls for a refreshing experience: Explore the beautiful BX Falls trail, where you can witness the waterfall cascading down the rocks and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
- Hike to the top of Middleton Mountain for stunning views: Embark on a hiking adventure to reach the summit of Middleton Mountain, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Vernon and its surrounding landscapes.
- Indulge in a delicious brunch at EATology: Sample mouthwatering brunch dishes made from locally sourced ingredients at EATology, a popular café known for its creative and flavorful menu.
- Sip on cider at BX Press Cidery: Experience the art of cider-making at BX Press Cidery, where you can enjoy tastings of their handcrafted ciders and learn about the cider production process.
- Explore the scenic beauty of Rattlesnake Point: Take a hike or bike ride along the trails of Rattlesnake Point, a stunning area that offers breathtaking views of Vernon and its surrounding nature.
- Enjoy water activities on local lakes: With numerous lakes in the area, take advantage of swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, or canoeing on the pristine waters of Vernon’s local lakes.
- Walk or bike along the Okanagan Rail Trail: Experience the beauty of the Okanagan Valley by walking or cycling along the Okanagan Rail Trail, a scenic path that stretches for miles, offering picturesque views of the surrounding landscapes.
- Try local craft beers at Marten Brewing Co.: Quench your thirst with a visit to Marten Brewing Co., a local brewery that offers a wide selection of craft beers brewed onsite. Enjoy a tasting flight or relax in their welcoming tasting room.
- Swim at Juniper and Jade beaches for a relaxing day by the water: Spend a leisurely day at Juniper and Jade beaches, known for their tranquil atmosphere and stunning natural surroundings. Take a refreshing swim or simply unwind and soak in the beauty of the surroundings.
These activities will allow you to discover the diverse natural beauty and unique experiences that Vernon has to offer. From sandy beaches to breathtaking trails, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city.
More Activities in Vernon
In addition to the top 10 must-do activities, Vernon offers a plethora of other attractions and experiences for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a foodie, art lover, or outdoor enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. Here are a few more activities you won’t want to miss:
Vernon Tasting Trail
Embark on a culinary adventure along the Vernon Tasting Trail. Discover local wineries, breweries, and distilleries, while indulging in delicious samples of wine, beer, and spirits. Immerse yourself in the region’s rich flavors and connect with the passionate artisans who craft these beverages.
Murals in downtown Vernon
Take a stroll through the streets of downtown Vernon and admire the vibrant murals that bring the city to life. These colorful works of art depict local history, culture, and natural beauty, creating a captivating outdoor gallery for visitors to enjoy.
Shops on 30th Avenue
Explore the unique boutiques and shops along 30th Avenue. From trendy fashion stores to charming gift shops, you’ll find a diverse selection of goods to browse and purchase. Support local businesses and discover one-of-a-kind treasures to take home as souvenirs.
Kalamalka Indigenous Garden
Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the Kalamalka Indigenous Garden. This beautiful garden showcases traditional Indigenous plants and serves as a space for cultural celebration. Learn about the rich history and traditions of the Syilx (Okanagan) people as you explore the serene pathways and vibrant landscapes.
Davison Orchards Country Village
Experience the charm of the countryside at Davison Orchards Country Village. This family-owned farm offers a variety of activities, including tractor rides, apple picking, and interactive farm tours. Sample fresh produce, indulge in homemade baked goods, and browse the country store for unique gifts and treats.
Vernon Farmer’s Market
Immerse yourself in the vibrant local community at the Vernon Farmer’s Market. Stroll through the market stalls, filled with fresh produce, locally-made crafts, and homemade treats. Engage with the friendly vendors, soak up the lively atmosphere, and support the local economy.
Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery
Experience the artistry of distilling at the Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery. Take a guided tour and learn about the production process behind their award-winning spirits. Sample a variety of handcrafted liquors and discover unique flavors that reflect the region’s agricultural bounty.
Grey Canal Historic Trail
Step back in time on the Grey Canal Historic Trail. This scenic trail follows the route of the historic Grey Canal irrigation system, which played a crucial role in the development of the region. Enjoy a leisurely hike or bike ride along the trail, taking in panoramic views and learning about the fascinating history of Vernon.
Dining in Vernon
Vernon is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide range of dining options to suit every palate. Whether you’re craving a hearty breakfast, a savory lunch, or a decadent dessert, Vernon has something for everyone. From local cafes to international cuisine, explore the culinary scene of this vibrant city.
Ratio Coffee and Pastry
If you’re looking for the perfect spot to start your day, look no further than Ratio Coffee and Pastry. Indulge in their delectable pastries, crafted with passion and precision. Pair it with their artisanal coffee for a truly unforgettable breakfast experience. The cozy ambiance and friendly staff make Ratio Coffee and Pastry a must-visit in Vernon.
Helmut’s Sausage Kitchen
For a taste of authentic European sausages, make your way to Helmut’s Sausage Kitchen. This local gem is known for its traditional recipes and high-quality ingredients. Sink your teeth into a juicy bratwurst or savor the flavors of a hearty sausage platter. With its warm and welcoming atmosphere, Helmut’s Sausage Kitchen offers a true culinary journey.
Cheese lovers rejoice! Wedge Cheesery is a must-visit destination in Vernon. Step into a world of artisanal cheeses, carefully selected from local and international producers. Whether you prefer soft and creamy Brie or bold and tangy Cheddar, Wedge Cheesery has a wide selection to satisfy your taste buds. Pair your cheese with a glass of wine for the ultimate gastronomic experience.
If you have a sweet tooth, Kin+Pod Chocolate is a haven of delight. Indulge in their handcrafted chocolates, made with love and passion. From silky-smooth truffles to crunchy chocolate bars, each bite is a heavenly experience. Kin+Pod Chocolate combines the finest ingredients with expert craftsmanship, resulting in pure cocoa bliss.
Discover the culinary treasures of Vernon and embark on a gastronomic adventure like no other. Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur, a sausage enthusiast, a cheese aficionado, or a chocolate lover, these establishments will leave you craving for more.
Where to Stay in Vernon
When it comes to accommodations, Vernon offers a range of options to suit every traveler’s preferences. Whether you’re looking for a cozy bed and breakfast, a luxurious resort, a convenient hotel, or a spacious vacation rental, Vernon has it all.
You can choose to stay in the heart of downtown Vernon, where you’ll be surrounded by vibrant shops, restaurants, and attractions. This is a perfect option for those who want to be in the midst of the city’s bustling atmosphere.
If you prefer a more tranquil setting, there are accommodations available in the serene countryside surrounding Vernon. Imagine waking up to breathtaking views of rolling hills and majestic mountains, enjoying the peacefulness of nature while still being close to all the city has to offer.
For those seeking a resort experience, Vernon has several options that will cater to your needs. These resorts feature top-notch amenities such as swimming pools, spas, golf courses, and onsite restaurants, ensuring a truly indulgent stay.
If you value a personal touch, consider staying at one of the many charming bed and breakfasts in Vernon. These cozy establishments offer comfortable rooms, friendly hosts, and delicious homemade breakfasts, providing a warm and welcoming experience.
Alternatively, vacation rentals are perfect for families or larger groups, as they offer spacious accommodations with multiple bedrooms, living areas, and kitchens. This allows you to have the convenience and comforts of home while exploring all that Vernon has to offer.
Whichever type of accommodation you choose, you can rest assured that the accommodations in Vernon will provide you with a comfortable and convenient base to enjoy your time in this beautiful city.
Plan Your Visit to Vernon
To plan your visit to Vernon, refer to this comprehensive travel guide that highlights the top activities, dining options, and accommodations in the city. Create an itinerary that allows you to make the most of your time in Vernon and explore the hidden gems that make this city a truly special destination. Additionally, find helpful tips and recommendations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to Vernon.
Start your journey by exploring the top activities in Vernon, such as soaking up the sun at Kalamalka Beach, hiking to the top of Middleton Mountain for stunning views, or enjoying water activities on local lakes. For a taste of the local culture, visit the vibrant murals in downtown Vernon or embark on a culinary adventure along the Vernon Tasting Trail. Make sure to check out the dining scene in Vernon, with unique establishments like Ratio Coffee and Pastry, Helmut’s Sausage Kitchen, Wedge Cheesery, and Kin+Pod Chocolate offering a range of flavors and experiences.
When it comes to accommodations, Vernon offers a variety of options to suit every traveler’s preferences. Choose from hotels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals, each providing unique amenities and experiences. Whether you prefer to stay in the heart of downtown or enjoy the serenity of the surrounding countryside, there is a perfect accommodation option for you in Vernon.
As you plan your visit to Vernon, take advantage of this travel guide to ensure you don’t miss any of the city’s highlights. With a well-organized itinerary and helpful tips for visiting Vernon, you can have a memorable and fulfilling experience in this beautiful Canadian city.