Thompson Okanagan Information
The Thompson Okanagan region in the BC Interior, often referred to as the Okanagan Valley in the south and the High Country region in the north, is a diverse, year-round visitor’s destination enjoying four ideal seasons for summer fun at the lake to perfect skiing conditions in the winter. Situated between the Cascade Mountains and the Monashee Mountains, the varied geographical landscape with its highest mountain in the north, scenic waterfalls throughout the area, large lakes and an extensive network of rivers. Canada’s only true desert can be found in the southern part of the region. Just north of the Okanagan, the Shuswap Lake region offers one of best lakeside vacation destinations in Western Canada for the whole family.
The climate is quite varied too with very cold winters in its northern locales and milder winters towards its southern tip. In summer you can experience some of Canada’s hottest weather in South Okanagan.
The largest city here in the Okanagan Valley is Kelowna by the beautiful Okanagan Lake. With the mountain range nearby, rich scenery and stunning landscapes, Kelowna and its surrounding communities offer visitors a great range of activities and things to do and see… perhaps even a sighting of the legendary Ogopogo, the mysterious and mythic lake monster! Take in an adventure hike through alpine forests, stroll along one of the many magnificent parks and beaches, enjoy a wine tasting event, a music festival, or a round of golf at one of the many lush golf courses. Kelowna is easily accessible with a one hour flight from Vancouver Airport or enjoy the scenic four hour drive from Vancouver.
Kamloops is the second largest city in the Thompson River Valley, and home to the Thompson Rivers University. This energetic city is a recreational hub with year-round sport fishing, golfing, mountain biking and a number of water sports on the lakes and rivers during summer. The Kamloops cultural and arts scene attracts live theatre events, cowboy and cattle drive festivals, and there is a major centre for concerts in the area that accommodate the local symphony too. Kamloops is about a two hour drive from Kelowna and about four hours from Vancouver.
The Okanagan Valley
Synonymous with orchards and an abundance of fruit, the Okanagan is also renowned for its wines and vineyards - dubbed the "Napa of the North" by the New York Times in 2006. Recognized as BC’s wine country with over 70 wineries, and home to North America’s first Aboriginal owned and operated winery, this region produces 95% of BC’s wine. Many wineries are open for tours, and several have restaurants with magnificent views overlooking their vineyards and serving up spectacular meals and sampling of their award-winning wines.
- North Okanagan (includes Armstrong & Spallumcheen, Cherryville, Enderby, Lumby, Mabel Lake, Vernon)
- Central Okanagan (includes Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland, West Kelowna)
- South Okanagan (includes Kaleden, Naramata, Okanagan Falls, Oliver, Osoyoos, Penticton, Summerland)
Other Towns & Communities to Explore:
- Boundary Country (includes Christina Lake, Grand Forks, Greenwood, Kettle Valley, Midway, Rock Creek)
- Cache Creek
- Logan Lake
- North Thompson Valley (includes Barriere, Birch Island, Blue River, Clearwater & Gray Country, Little Fort, Sun Peaks Resort, Valemount, Vavenby)
- Shuwsap Lake Region: (includes Chase, Sicamous, Salmon Arm, North Shuswap and South Shuwsap)
- Similkameen Country (includes Keremos, Princeton, Tulameen)
Click here to return to the British Columbia regional overview page.
Photo credits: Nk'Mip Cultural Centre Sculpture,Osoyoos,Okanagan Region courtesy Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Don Weixl; Couple Canoeing With Dog Near Mount Robson,Thompson Region courtesy Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Alan Fortune; Orchard Overlooking Okanagan Lake Looking East Towards Peachland, Summerland Okanagan Region, and Mother And Daughters Ice Skating, Silver Star, Okanagan courtesy Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Don Weixl.
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