Fall fun in Kamloops

I’ve been to a fair number of small-ish towns and cities in British Columbia (a few favourites are Invermere, Cranbrook and really just anywhere in the Columbia Valley).

This weekend marked my first trip to Kamloops, BC. A three hour drive from Vancouver, Kamloops is located at the confluence of the two branches of the Thompson River near Kamloops Lake.

Again and again on this three day trip, I experienced these beautiful rivers through hiking, biking and winery adventures.

We had an amazing view of the rivers while enjoying a delicious brown bag lunch from The Art We Are at the top of Kenna Cartwright Park, the province’s largest municipal park.

After a quick nap, we went for a pub crawl – on bikes! 100 cyclists took over the city streets as we biked from the beautiful Riverside Park to Red Collar Brewing for a pint, before heading to The Noble Pig for a second draught.

The third and final stop was at the Brewloops Block Party at Red Beard. Complete with food trucks, beer booths and Ferris wheel.

Saturday in Kamloops are idyllic. I highly recommend you start by into the most divine eggs benny ever at Hello Toast. Be sure to get there early or be prepared to wait in a long line. The wait is worth it.

Follow that with strolling the lush  Kamloops Farmer’s Market, open until late October.

Try the ground cherries if they’re in season. Amazing.

Nothing says BC like a winery tour, right? We hit the Kamloops Wine Trail and visited four local wineries to learn about vineyards in the region, and of course, sample a lot of wine.

The cheese board at Monte Creek Ranch Winery was divine. We dined on the outdoor patio overlooking the Thompson River.

Pro tip: Book TasteFull Excursions and no one has to play designated driver!

Sundays are for playing – we headed up to nearby Sun Peaks Resort, renting bikes to hit the trails on a ride up to McGillivray Lake.

A popular ski hill in the winter, summer and fall are still plenty of fun at Sun Peaks. Hiking, biking, canoeing and kayaking are all part of the typical summer itinerary. We spent an hour on McGillivray Lake with our guide Campbell, who offered a regional history lesson highlighting the fur traders while we paddled leisurely.

And offroad Segway. It’s a thing! We rode Segways up a mountain trail for beautiful views of the village.

Finally, stand up paddle boarding. I’m not going to lie – we were a little apprehensive about SUPing in October. We had received a light dusting of snow overnight and it was only 2 degrees when we reached Heffley Lake, but were optimistic about not going for an accidental dip. The gorgeous fall sun and calm weather were the perfect combination for a warm and serene couple of hours on the water. Our instructor Brodie, owner of Paddle Surfit, was gentle and knowledgeable and had us feeling confident on our inflatable boards within minutes.

Kamloops is definitely a hidden gem of a city. Have you visited Kamloops? What was your favourite activity?

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