What it lacks in size, Kamloops makes up in charm, quirky characters and plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore. This laid-back resort community of roughly 91,000 residents packs a punch when it comes to friendliness. And for skiers, Sun Peaks, Canada’s second-largest ski resort, is a mere 30 minutes’ drive away. —Michelle Hopkins
stay. Our preconceived notions about Sandman hotels were dispelled as soon as we entered the ultra-contemporary foyer of The Sandman Signature Kamloops. Our guest room at this chic downtown hotel provided the perfect backdrop to unwind. Relax by the indoor swimming pool and hot tub, or watch a game at Shark Club Sports Bar & Grill. Don’t feel like cooking in your fully equipped kitchen? Globally inspired cuisine using locally sourced ingredients, Moxie’s Grill & Bar offers a wide selection. In the morning, lace up your runners, and head across the street for a walk or jog along Riverside Park. Over at Sun Peaks Resort, the Residences at Sun Peaks Grand offers all the deluxe amenities a spoiled gal could want, while within a stone’s throw of three mountain peaks—Tod Mountain, Sundance and Mt. Morrisey. Curl your toes by the fireplace while enjoying the mountain views, or wrap yourself in luxurious comfort in your king size bed and indulge in your beautifully appointed surroundings.
do. We all know not to drink and drive, but what about biking for beer? The Brewloops Bike Pub Crawl combines two fall favourites: beer and cycling. Sip bike-themed handcrafted beers from local brewers while you enjoy zipping along the streets of downtown Kamloops. Then end by journeying to the raucous after fete, Brewloops Block Party, for some live music, food truck fare and loads of fun. For a different two-wheeled option, the Segway X2 tour will see you whizz uphill and downhill along the village’s paved trails before heading out onto more rugged terrain along Sun Peaks cross country routes. Stop along the Vista Trail to the golf course’s 13th-tee lookout where many brides and grooms love to have their snaps taken. Last but not least, with live music, Kamloops’ farmers’ market is jam-packed with kiosks offering fresh and organic produce, artisan cheeses, coffees, baked goods and crafted jewelry and art of all kinds.
wine. A winery in Kamloops? You don’t say. Well, Monte Creek Ranch is definitely sip worthy. This award-winning, newly minted winery (its first wines were released in June 2013) sits on a working ranch, sharing its vineyards with a herd of cattle and some horses. After some wine tasting, take a step back in time by checking out the wall mural dedicated to the city’s infamous past. From train robberies to stagecoach transport, to cattle ranching, Kamloops was once home to the true wild west drama and this winery proudly displays that history on its wine labels.
and dine. At Kamloops’ The Noble Pig, enjoy one of its in-house craft brews with its widely popular Cajun seasoned crispy pickles dipped in the spicy dill ranch dip. Not so great for the waistline but those pickles are oh so good for the taste buds. In Sun Peaks, a local favourite is a classic True North eatery, The Voyageur Bistro. As an ode to all that makes our country great, the walls are adorned with a collection of Canadiana artifacts, including a 1930s Peterborough canvas cedar strip canoe and a richly woven tapestry depicting a Hudson Bay fur trapper. The cuisine is focussed on traditional French ingredients such as bison, bannock, pea meal bacon, maple syrup and root vegetables. Finally, a favourite local watering and dining hole recommended by locals is Sun Peaks’ Bottom Bar & Grill, where the must-eat dishes include a daily homemade soup and signature fish tacos.
spa. Foot baths were once a daily habit in China. At Sun Peaks Massage & Spa, that ancient tradition hasn’t died off. Wrapped in a cosy blanket, sit outside on the deck overlooking the peaks while indulging in a 20-minute foot soak before heading indoors for a soothing hot stone massage.