Vernon, Salmon Arm, and Golden: Five Reasons to Fall in Love

Prestige Hotels and Resorts is situated in many beautiful communities across British Columbia, including Vernon, Salmon Arm, and Golden. We know just how special and unique each of those communities is, and we’d love to share that with you! This is the second 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 Vernon, Salmon Arm, and Golden!

View of the Lumby Valley and the Monashee Mountains from the top of Blue Nose Moutain Trail in Vernon

Vernon – The Okanagan

Prestige Vernon Hotel and Prestige Vernon Lodge and Conference Centre are surrounded by incredible hikes and mountain biking trails, history, art, and more. Vernon is officially the trail capital of BC! Not only does Vernon have ample trails to choose from, but the quality of their trails is supreme.

Caetani Centre

Some historical houses just aren’t like the others. The Caetani Centre is an incredible heritage home that is over 125 years old. The house once belonged to Sveva Caetani, a renowned artist, writer, and teacher. Sveva’s life story is fascinating, and her art is a true reflection of that. Svevi left the house to the community when she passed in 1994 with the hope that it would serve as a cultural facility for art and critical exploration.

The Caetani Cultural Centre Society operates the house and grounds, and they often host special festivals and events. It’s a great place to spend a day and learn about the interesting history of the Caetani family and witness Sveva’s art. Don’t forget to take a walk in the gardens!

The Caetani Centre also has an artist residency program for creative individuals; what a great place to really focus on your craft.

Hike Blue Nose Mountain

Are you looking to get your heart pumping and take in some incredible views of the Okanagan Valley? Blue Nose Mountain is the place to be! With a distance of 4.5 km and an elevation gain of 35 m, it’s one of the best hikes in the area.

At the top, you’ll find sweeping views of Lumby and the Monashee Mountains towering in the distance. It’s a magical place to stop and catch your breath, and we suggest bringing lunch! Not only does this hike have breathtaking views, but it also has an old-growth cedar tree with a clearly marked sign, which is a great for a photo opp!

The hike is rated moderate, and it is suggested that you start the loop from the right. There are a few switchbacks along with the elevation gain, but the hike is rated well for families. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but they must be on leash. This is grizzly bear country, after all.

Echo Lake in Creighton Valley

There’s no doubt the Okanagan has some of the best, most well-known lakes in British Columbia. Kalamalka Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes you’ll find in the Okanagan, and the beach is always full of people enjoying the warm sand and jewel-toned waters.

Are you looking for just as mystical of waters but maybe fewer people? You need to check out Echo Lake.

Echo Lake is less than an hour from Vernon. It’s a magnificent tree-lined lake with turquoise waters, and it’s a great spot for swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing. Inside Echo Lake you’ll find rainbow trout, lake trout, and kokanee. Echo Lake sure has everything to offer.

Bring lunch and have a picnic on one of the picnic tables! It’s a great place to spend the day and take in the natural beauty of the Okanagan.

Don’t forget to listen for the echo! After all, that is how it got its name.

Enjoy the best Gelato at La Carraia

Those hot summer days hit differently when you have delicious, authentic Italian gelato. La Carraia is set to impress. This charming gelato shop offers 60 delicious and authentic Italian gelato flavours, from classic favourites like pistachio and stracciatella to more unique creations like black sesame and limoncello.

Originating in Florence, Italy, in 1990, La Carraia expanded to Canada in 2008. Since its arrival in Vernon, it has quickly become a community staple. Not only does it offer authentic gelato, but pastries and lunch as well.

With so much selection, you’ll have to go again! Whether you’re a local or just passing through, a visit to La Carraia Gelato shop is a must-do for anyone with a sweet tooth and a love for authentic Italian flavours.

Enjoy Farm to Table at Cambium Cider Co.

Are you looking for a truly unique Vernon experience? How about a farm-to-table restaurant that changes its menu each week? Cambium Cider Co. has all that to offer and more.

Formerly known as BX Press Cidery, Cambium Cider Co. is a shared vision between a chef, a cider maker, and an orchardist. While their cider-tasting experience is well-known in Vernon, their restaurant is an intimately well-kept secret. The creative meals consist of local produce and BC-raised meats. Their commitment to using only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients is evident in every dish they serve.

Reservations are required at Cambium Cider Co., and their hours are limited. But trust us; it’s worth planning ahead to experience the magic of this unique restaurant. Come see why Cambium Cider Co. is quickly becoming a must-visit destination for foodies and cider-lovers alike.

Shuswap Lake

Salmon Arm – The Okanagan

Prestige Harbourfront Resort Salmon Arm is perfectly situated on the edge of the estuary on Shuswap Lake. It’s a quick walk over to the world-famous wharf and the bustling downtown stores and cafes. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the world’s largest treble cleft!

Tour the Farm at Grass Roots Dairies

Did you know Salmon Arm is home to Canada’s first 100% grass-fed dairy farm? Grass Roots Dairies is proud to invite you down to the farm for a tour and a tasting!

Established in 1983, this 45-acre farm has spent years perfecting its cheese recipes. In 2009 they began selling bottled milk. Originally their products were only available locally, but now they can be found in a variety of locations in the Shuswa, Okanagan, and the Lower Mainland. You can always order online if you’re located anywhere else in Canada.

They make their own cheese, which you can watch them make, as well as milk, yogurt, and quark. For those who don’t know, quark is similar to cottage cheese but differs in texture and how it is produced.

Visiting the Grass Roots Dairies is a great (and delicious) learning experience; oh, did we mention there’s a petting zoo? There are goats!

Escape Reality at The Arc Gaming Centre

Enter virtual reality and explore the game library at The Arc Gaming Centre. With adventure around every corner, you’re in for a great experience.

The staff at The Arc are knowledgeable and passionate. They are there to help you have the best VR session possible. There are 8 stations available, and a driving simulator. With a vast library of games, there really is something for everyone. If you like horror, adventure, sword fighting, rhythm, kid-friendly games, and multiplayer options. Bring your friends and try out a virtual escape room!

What a great way to spend a rainy day!

Meikle Studios and The Night Cafe

Make art, create memories, and take a class! Meikle Studios is all about doing what you love and expressing yourself.

Meikle Studios provides a warm and funky space for people to explore their artistic side. Check out their events page and see the different paint nights they offer and when they have live music shows. It’s about so much more than just painting!

Not only is it the coolest art studio in town, but there’s also the Night Cafe that has an assortment of snacks, flatbreads, mains, and crepes! For drinks, they have a wide selection of coffee, beer, and cocktails.

Open late, Meikle Studios and The Night Cafe are the most unique nightlife you’ll find in Salmon Arm.

Chocolate With Geoseph

Do you have a hard time saying no to anything chocolate? Would you love to learn about the art of fine chocolate making? Chocolate With Geoseph has you covered.

Geoseph’s goal is to guide people on their journey to appreciating fine chocolate and helping them understand what it’s all about. He has over 15 years of experience in the industry and is passionate about education.

Geoseph offers many options for a fine chocolate experience. There are public and private classes available where you can learn the chocolate-making process, from the cocoa bean to the most delectable truffles imaginable. If you don’t have time for a class, book a drop-in and enjoy a tasting and a chat with Geoseph. Beyond the Chocolate 101 class, Geoseph offers themed classes to extend your education further. If you’re looking for an extra enjoyable tasting, book a guided tea and chocolate tasting session!

Catch the Latest Movie, Experience History, and Support the Arts at Salmar Grand Theatre

Seeing a movie in Salmon Arm is much more than just seeing the latest Hollywood blockbuster.

The Salmar Grand Cinema is a historic movie theatre. It opened its doors in 1949 and has been a beloved part of the community ever since. For context, 1949 was when the first Volkswagen Beetle arrived, the first Emmy Awards, and the first Polaroid camera was introduced!

While the history of the Salmar Grand Cinema is fascinating, the most interesting thing about it is actually the ownership structure. The Salmar Community Association owns the theatre, a non-profit organization founded in the 1940s to promote the arts in the Salmon Arm area. A board of volunteers runs the association, and all profits from the theatre are reinvested back into the community through various cultural and educational initiatives.

In addition to showing the latest Hollywood releases, the Salmar Grand Cinema hosts various special events throughout the year, including film festivals, community screenings, and live performances. The theatre has become a gathering place for the community.

Overall, the Salmar Grand Cinema is a unique and historic institution in Salmon Arm. Its community ownership and commitment to promoting the arts have made it a beloved part of the local culture for over 70 years.

Kootenay National Park

Golden – The Kootenays

Prestige Inn Golden is surrounded by adventure. With four national parks within a few hours driving distance, there is everything an adrenaline junkie could hope for. Not into the extremes? Don’t worry; there’s plenty to see and do for all activity levels.

Take a Historic Route on Horseback

Take in the views as you trot along a historical piece of British Columbia. Bear Corner Bed & Bale offers guided horseback tours around the Blaeberry River and the Columbia Valley.

The Blaeberry River and its surrounding nature are breathtaking and were a critical part of the Kootenay Indian Trading Route for indigenous people and, eventually, European fur traders. The Kootenay Indian trading route, also known as the Kootenai Trail or the Kootenay Wagon Road, was a historic trail that connected the Pacific Northwest with the interior of British Columbia.

The trail was used by many different indigenous peoples, including the Ktunaxa (Kootenay) First Nations people, for centuries as a trade route between the Columbia River and the Rocky Mountains. The trail passed through the rugged terrain of the Rockies and was known for its difficult river crossings and steep mountain passes.

The Blaeberry River was one of the critical points along the Kootenay Indian trading route. The river was an important water source for travellers and a natural landmark for navigation. The trail passed through the Blaeberry River valley, which was home to many First Nations communities and served as an important trading hub.

The trail is not accessible by car, but Bear Corner Bed & Bale offers tours on horseback.

Roam With the Buffalo at Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch

Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch sits in pristine meadows, surrounded by wetlands and forests with incredible mountain views.

Educational buffalo tours operate from May through to the middle of October. Leo Downey has been in Golden since 1998 and has raised this buffalo herd. He offers tours once a day, where he will share his personal stories of living with the buffalo all these years. Learn about the history and behaviour of buffalo as he walks you through the herd.

Not only will Leo educate on buffalo, but he also teaches the art of fire making using the Bow Drill method, a traditional Indigenous method. Leo has spent many years living off the land and loves to teach others how to do so in harmony with nature.

Explore Bugaboo Park

Golden is surrounded by parks! Many are world-famous and bring adventure junkies from all over to experience their natural wonder. A lesser well-known one, but just as excellent, is Bugaboo Park.

Bugaboo Park is a natural wonderland that promises adventure, beauty, and exploration. With towering peaks, turquoise lakes, and endless alpine vistas, this pristine wilderness area is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

You’ll discover some of the world’s most breathtaking hiking, rock climbing, and mountaineering routes. From gentle strolls to challenging ascents, there’s something for every level of adventurer! Marvel at the surreal landscapes as you explore the park’s rugged terrain, including glaciers, waterfalls, and alpine meadows bursting with wildflowers.

The park is named after a distinctive rock formation called the Bugaboo Spire. The Bugaboo Spire is a striking peak that rises over 3,300 meters (10,800 feet) above sea level.

The name “Bugaboo” is believed to have originated from a First Nations word, “Bug-a-boo,” which means “an object of fear.” This name was likely given to the area by early explorers who were intimidated by the rugged and remote terrain.

Over time, the name “Bugaboo” became explicitly associated with the Bugaboo Spire and the surrounding area, and it eventually became the park’s official name. Today, Bugaboo Park is a beloved destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and its iconic Bugaboo Spire remains one of the park’s most interesting attractions.

Get a Cup of Coffee and Find Your Next Great Read

Bacchus Books & Cafe is a unique and quirky refuge for those searching for the nourishment of the body and mind!

The first floor is filled with new and used books for perusing. They have a hugely impressive collection of used titles; who knows what you’ll find! Of course, you can definitely find the newest best seller as they are always on top of updating their stock.

The second floor is where you will find Bacchus Cafe. Bring up your new book and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of good food and good coffee. This cafe has so much more than just cookies and muffins; they have an all-day breakfast menu, soups, sandwiches, and well-crafted Bowls.

Bacchus Books & Cafe is the perfect place to spend a rainy day, a sunny day, a snowy day… really any day!

Explore Quartz Creek Trail and Discover Quartz Lake

Are you looking to get some fresh air and stretch your legs on an uncrowded trail? Golden’s surrounding area has plenty to choose from, but there’s just something so special about Quartz Creek Trail.

Ideal for hikers looking for a moderately difficult hike, the Quartz Creek trail brings you up with an elevation gain of 590 meters to Quartz Lake. It’s an out-and-back trail that takes roughly three and a half hours to complete. It’s a great trail for birding because of the lack of traffic it receives. The trail winds its way through towering forests, past shimmering streams, and up to the sparkling waters of Quartz Lake, a great place to have a picnic camp for the night!

The trail is accessible by road, but depending on the time of year, a 4×4 vehicle may be recommended.

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 Vernon, Salmon Arm, or Golden!

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