Prestige Hotels and Resorts is situated in many beautiful communities across British Columbia, including Sooke, Kelowna, and Kamloops. We know just how special and unique each of those communities is, and we’d love to share that with you! This is the first in our Five Reasons to Fall In Love series, where we will give you insider knowledge and perspective on our beautiful communities and all they have!
To do this properly, we spoke with our team members from each community to really get a grasp on what they love to do in their hometowns, and now we’re sharing it with you!
Here are five reasons to love Sooke, Kelowna, and Kamloops!
Sooke – Vancouver Island
Prestige Oceanfront Resort in Sooke is surrounded by the natural beauty of the west coast. With breathtaking views of the Sooke Basin, Sooke Harbour, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Olympic Mountains, Sooke is definitely worth a visit!
Sooke has some of the best kayaking you’ll find in all of British Columbia. With lots of businesses to rent kayaks from and even some that take you on guided tours, it’s a must-do activity in Sooke. Paddling around the Sooke Basin gives you incredible views of the ocean and the coast. If you’re lucky, you’ll see seals or maybe even an orca!
Looking to turn it up a notch? Local adventurers know that going up the Sooke River is where the real challenge is. Don’t forget your life jacket!
Here’s a convenient list of local businesses providing kayak rentals and tours:
East Sooke Regional Park – Aylard Farm
Sooke is surrounded by many incredible parks like the Sooke Potholes. Aylard Farm is a less well-known park, part of East Sooke Regional Park, that is absolutely incredible. It’s accessible and has something for everyone of every ability. Looking for a great picnic spot? Some easy hiking trails? White sandy beaches? Tide pools? You’ve got it all.
Not only does Aylard Farm have everything you need for a pleasant sunny afternoon, but it has easy access to harder hikes and even more beaches. It doesn’t get any better than this!
Geocaching is a great way to add some extra fun to your hiking trip. Set out on a hunt for treasure and experience the beauty of the island. Many trails around Sooke have geocaching locations, but one we highly recommend is the Anderson Cove loop accessible in East Sooke Regional Park.
Anderson Cove Loop is a moderately hard hike that gives you incredible views of the ocean. Reviewers of the hike loved the rainforest, the views, and the challenge! It’s the perfect place to go geocaching for a few hours.
The Sooke Night Market
Sooke Regional Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Sooke and its people. Who knew it’s also a great place for a night market!
The Sooke Night Market takes place over the summer months, with a large collection of vendors, artists and performers from the area. It’s a great place to find your next unique item, from jewelry to art pieces! You can check out their Instagram or Facebook page for the latest updates.
17 Mile House Pub – A Haunted Piece of History
Vancouver Island is full of history. Everywhere you look, there are incredible old buildings, significant monuments, and historical sites. With so much old history, some stories of hauntings are to be expected.
If you’re someone who loves checking out great haunts, we suggest pairing that with some great food!
17 Mile House Pub is a landmark pub in Sooke full of history and paranormal stories. The pub has been around since 1894! it’s served a lot of pints, and it’s seen a lot of tragedy. Click here to read some of their hauntings (and check out that amazing menu!)
Kelowna – The Okanagan
Prestige Beach House Kelowna is nestled perfectly on Lake Okanagan. Kelowna is well known for its wineries, restaurants, and hikes. Surrounded by views of towering mountains, it’s a magical place to be.
Get Served by a Robot Cat
The future is here, and it’s purrfect. Why not have your next meal served by a robot cat? You can do just that at Smitty’s on Highway 97. Grab breakfast before going shopping at Orchard Park Mall, and check it out! The cheery cat roams around the tables, dropping off meals, and playing music. Its expressive face delights children and seniors alike.
Tour Downtown and Pandosy on Wheels
The City of Kelowna has put a ton of effort into creating an active transportation corridor from downtown all the way to the lower mission. It’s a beautiful route that takes you by shops and restaurants and takes you through some of our best parks. With great views of Lake Okanagan, it’s an awesome way to spend a day and get to know the city. The best part is that it’s entirely up to you how far you go!
Ride your bike, rent an e-scooter, or rent an e-bike. Lakeside Eco-Sports is conveniently located right downtown in the Prestige Beach House Kelowna parking lot. They have state-of-the-art e-bikes with preloaded maps! (Only available during the summer months).
The Less Known Beaches are the Best Beaches
Kelowna is perfectly situated on Okanagan Lake. With over 30 beaches, you’re guaranteed to find one that best suits your needs.
Hot Sands and Gyro are two of the most well-known beaches in Kelowna, and while they are really great, we totally get it if you’re looking for something a little less busy. Maybe you’re looking for something with a bit more shade, room to throw a frisbee around, or maybe a place that’s dog friendly? Then you need to check out Cedar Creek Park!
Cedar Creek Park is 7 hectares and is entirely off-leash. Not only are there amazing views of the lake but of the city as well! There’s a beach area, picnic tables, a boat launch, and lots of trails. It’s the perfect place to pack a picnic basket of local goods and spend the day relaxing in the sun with the whole family.
Less Known, Equally Loved, Food
If you’re in Kelowna, and you’re looking for good food, you really don’t have to look far. Kelowna is full of exceptional locally-owned eateries. From creative burger joints to the highest calibre of chefs at wineries, there are so many well-known options.
What about some less well-known, but equally great, restaurants? Here’s a list of some of the lesser-known, but equally loved, restaurants in Kelowna.
Roma Nord Bistro
Roma Nord Bistro is one of Kelowna’s best-kept secrets. If you’re looking for a wonderful dinner spot for a special event, you’ve found it. This is the most authentic Italian food in Kelowna. Inspired by the relaxed piazzas of Rome, Roma Nord Bistro is an experience like no other. Located in the Rotary Centre of Arts in the north atrium, you can enjoy dinner and a show! Reservations are highly recommended.
Yama Kitchen has some of the best sushi in all of Kelowna (not to be confused with Yamas Greek Taverna, which is also delicious!). An authentic mom-and-pop shop with rolls that are double the size of what you’d normally find in a sushi place. With reasonable prices and great service, it’s a well-loved Kelowna staple. It’s located down Richter, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, so it is often missed by tourists.
Okanagan Pizza is your best bet for a locally owned phenomenal pizzeria. With fresh ingredients and soft crust, they are sure to impress. There’s a reason this pizzeria is a UBCO student staple, and it isn’t just their reasonable prices. They deliver to anywhere in Kelowna, so there’s no reason not to get a couple of delicious pies delivered right to your hotel room.
Rent a BBQ Boat on Okanagan Lake
Sure, taking a boat out on Okanagan Lake is a Kelowna summer staple. But did you know you can rent BBQ boats? Maegs BBQ Boats have them available to rent, and you can even book guided tours.
These boats are great for your next social event or a lazy summer afternoon with your family. They are circular-shaped with a BBQ right in the middle to allow for easy socializing and relaxation. They even have a convenient ladder on the side for a dip in the lake! Boats are rentable for up to three hours, and you can bring your own food to BBQ, or they can provide some for you.
Kamloops – Thompson Okanagan
Prestige Inn Kamloops is our newest property, and we are so happy to be a part of the community. Kamloops has some of the most interesting terrains in all of British Columbia, making for some of the best hiking and mountain biking. Its dessert environment is the perfect backdrop to your next adventure!
Hit the Driving Range and Have the Best Breakfast in Kamloops
Mt. Paul Golf Course has a great driving range and the best breakfast in town. It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy some sun, without breaking the bank. Kamloops has many wonderful world-renowned golf courses, but Mt. Paul sets itself away from the rest with its accessibility. All skill levels are welcome here!
The clubhouse restaurant is a sure bet for a delicious breakfast. The friendly staff and talented cooks will have you well-fueled before your golfing experience!
Follow The History
Kamloops first became a city in 1893! Its history is everywhere, and there are many museums to visit. Kamloops encourages you to face history and learn from it.
A lesser-known, darker side of history, can be found on a memorial in Peterson Creek Park. In 1962 three RCMP officers were shot by George Booth, after reports of a man shooting a gun into the air. While Booth’s motive is lost to history, it is believed that he had previously been committed by his father to Riverview Hospital and that his father had told him the RCMP had him committed. At the time, this was the largest RCMP shooting in British Columbia.
After shooting the three officers, Booth took off up Peterson Creek, where eventually, some off-duty police officers found him and shot him. You can follow a trail up past the cell towers, where there is a small memorial plaque for Booth.
While many people know of the plaque in Peterson Creek Park, not many know of the plaque for Booth. It is a sad moment in Kamloops history that provides us with an opportunity to pay respect to the brave RCMP members and to contemplate how mental health issues were handled in the past and how we continue to handle them moving forward.
Mt. Dufferin at Sunset
Hiking up to the top of Mt. Dufferin provides some of the most exceptional views of Kamloops, Kamloops Lake, and the North and South Thompson Rivers. There are stunning vistas everywhere you look! The trail is moderately difficult, and it is advised to wear proper footwear.
While these views are great at any time, to make it extra special, we suggest hiking up to catch the sunset. With the purples, pinks, and oranges in the sky and the unique terrain in the Kamloops area, it’s a truly unreal experience.
Are you looking for the best “hole in the wall” eatery in Kamloops? Tiger Ramen is the place to go. Offering traditional Japanese meals, the food truly speaks for itself. It is beloved by locals for its authentic charm and consistently great service. Whether you’re looking to dine alone, in a small group, or order takeout, it’s definitely one place you won’t want to miss. Hours may vary; please check their Facebook page for hours of operation and contact.
Their ramen is to die for, and you’ll be craving it months after you visit the city!
Back Alley Art Gallery
Kamloops has many art galleries all around the city, but did you realize the city itself is an art gallery? There are over 30 murals all around the town. The city has a great map you can use here.
With different unique art styles, each piece has its own charm and story. There are portraits of artists, incredible underwater scenes, a big bear, and more!
Wow, was it ever hard to stick to only five highlights in these communities! We know there is so much more to discover and love. Leave us a comment about your favourite activities in Sooke, Kelowna, or Kamloops!