From the stunning lake you found while wandering off the hiking trail path, or an enlightening art gallery you stumbled upon to escape the elements outside, there’s no denying that the best travel memories can come from where you least expect it.
Kamloops is one of those places filled with treasures that are just waiting to be discovered. At first glance, the second largest city in B.C.’s southern interior is a pleasant stopping point along the route to the Canadian Rockies. Dig deeper (and stay awhile), and you’ll uncover more of what this sunny and laid-back four-season destination has in store.
A trip to Kamloops is the easiest way to enjoy thrills amidst the chill of winter. From Vancouver, Kamloops is less than a four-hour drive or a quick 45 minute flight. Plus, most activities within the Kamloops area are within a close drive from one another, allowing you to make the most of your time in and around the region.
Whether you want to go out into nature or stay in to explore the local community (or enjoy a bit of both worlds), there’s plenty to see and do in Kamloops this time of year.
Chasing chills and thrills in the great outdoors
This season, winter wanderers can revel in the variety of snow sports and activities available around Kamloops. At every turn, you can enjoy adventuring on the fresh powder while admiring the snow-covered landscapes of B.C.’s southern interior.
Just 45 minutes north of the city is Sun Peaks Resort, Canada’s second-largest ski area at 4,720 acres of skiable terrain across three mountains. In addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding, Sun Peaks offers a range of other excursions in the snow, such as dog-sledding and guided ice-fishing. The ski-in, ski-out Sun Peaks Village is also worth visiting for apres-ski delights.
Harper Mountain, located just 20 minutes from downtown Kamloops, is full of rustic charm and all-ages fun. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the family-owned and operated ski resort offers everything from tubing at Snow Town Tube Park to night skiing along lit runs in the evenings.
The Overlander Ski Club at Stake Lake, which is a 30-minute distance from the city, offers 60 km of expertly groomed tree-lined trails for cross-country skiing, and over 20 km of snowshoe trails.
As one of B.C.'s premier mountain bike destinations, Kamloops is the spot for winter mountain biking. Riders can head to Kenna Cartwright Nature Park to tackle the powdery snow on the slopes on their fat bike or try out the maintained singletrack routes along the Isobel Lake Recreational Trails.
Seek comfort from the cold with arts and culture
After a chill day on the slopes, opt to gather some warmth indoors with a visit to one of the galleries, museums, and performance venues, such as the Kamloops Symphony, where you can immerse yourself in enriching cultural experiences.
Containing one of the oldest and largest archives in the B.C. Interior, the Kamloops Museum features over 20,000 artifacts in total. To experience the art scene of Kamloops up close, see the permanent collections and travelling exhibitions at the Kamloops Art Gallery.
Sit back and catch a live show at the Western Canada Theatre, home to the largest professional theatre company in B.C.'s Interior. Performances to look forward to on the Winter 2024 schedule include Ken Ludwig's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Rick Miller's one-man show Boom YZ, and BLAK: Iconic Canadian Women in Music, starring musician Krystle Dos Santos from Vancouver.
For those who wish to take their art experience outside, embark on a self-guided tour of the free outdoor Back Alley Art Gallery, consisting of over 30 art murals painted on back alleys and buildings through downtown Kamloops.
Treat your taste buds to cozy eats
Bursting with flavours from the city’s local restaurants, cafes, pubs, breweries, and other establishments, the burgeoning food and drink scene in Kamloops serves up locally made delicacies spanning a variety of food cultures.
Jadoo Eclectic Modern Indian Cuisine and Craft Cocktails, a beloved spot in Kamloops, brings together a rich variety of Indian street cuisine paired with creatively inspired craft cocktails. As you indulge in the delectable offerings, the added delight comes from the captivating 360-degree views of Kamloops. From sunrise to sunset, and across all seasons, our rooftop lounge offers an unparalleled outlook on the city set against the breathtaking backdrop of majestic mountains.
The Indigenous-owned Kekuli Cafe offers warm and cold drinks along with authentic Indigenous cuisine like flatbread, bannock, and even bannockwiches. Or, get cozy with a pint brewed from one of Kamloops’ local craft breweries or with a glass of pinot noir sourced from one of the wineries of this award-winning wine region.
Inspired by food halls around the world, Yew Street Food Hall brings together cuisines from 10 local restaurant concepts in one centralized place. From Asian fusion to Italian pasta, you can sample a handful of different culinary experiences in one shot.
From Jan. 17 to Feb. 11, Dine Around returns to Kamloops. Brought to you by Tourism Kamloops, the event encourages visitors and locals alike to sip and savour dishes, cocktails, and more through their specialty three-course menus available at local restaurants. This year’s participating restaurants include ATLAS Steak + Fish, Bright Eye Brewing, Cordo Resto & Bar, Isagani F2T Cafe Lounge, Match Eatery & Public House, Romeos Kitchen + Spirits, Stills Co. Tapas & Cocktails, and more. With menus this good, you’ll be itching to start mapping out your next trip to Kamloops before the dessert comes.
With the 'Loops Explorer Pass, you can experience Kamloops like a local (and with massive savings) by unlocking discounts at the top local restaurants, shops, accommodations, and attractions. From 20% off outdoor experiences at Sun Peaks with Mountain Man Adventures to discounts on admission at BC Wildlife Park, the pass covers all of the hot spots in town. Snag your digital pass before you arrive, and you’ll be all set for an incredible time in the ‘Loops!
Visit www.tourismkamloops.com/snowplace-like-kamloops to plan your Kamloops getaway today.