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Romance in the Thompson Okanagan: Explore one of B.C.'s most inclusive destinations

Experience the essence of the Thompson Okanagan in a destination that invites, embraces and celebrates the 2SLGBTQIA+ community
From inclusive spaces to outdoor adventures, find your perfect getaway in the Thompson Okanagan.

A particular advantage we often take for granted as residents of British Columbia is that you don’t have to break the bank or travel far to find one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experiences. However, for those who identify as part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, there are extra layers to consider when selecting where to travel, both internationally and domestically, that those outside of it may not understand. 

One of the most prominent themes that arises is that of safety, and we’re lucky to live in a country and province that is open and hospitable to visitors of all backgrounds. 

That said, with so many destinations to choose from, it can be challenging to select just one. 

If you find yourself in this planning predicament, don’t stress! Travelling Out in the Thompson Okanagan (TOTO) offers a delightfully diverse collection of safe and welcoming destinations for 2SLGBTQIA+ travellers in the Thompson Okanagan region. 

So, strap in Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore, but with TOTO by your side, there’s nothing you can’t do! 

Travelling out and proud 

Travelling Out in the Thompson Okanagan is a collaborative program between Okanagan tourism groups Visit Penticton, Tourism Kelowna, Tourism Vernon, Destination Osoyoos and Tourism Kamloops. 

Its inception originated from a desire to foster inclusivity, embrace acceptance and celebrate diversity while promoting the Thompson Okanagan area as an exciting and inviting place for all to enjoy. 

In line with this crusade, it offers reassurance and recommendations to 2SLGBTQIA+ travellers through its participation in initiatives such as the Rainbow Registered Guide, which comprises a comprehensive list of 2SLGBTQIA+ supportive businesses in the Thompson Okanagan and across Canada to ensure safe spaces for all travellers. 

The program also provides destination and itinerary inspiration for travellers of all preferences and interests. From where to ski and après to places to drink, activity suggestions for first-time visitors and 2SLGBTQIA inclusive spaces, including craft breweries, cafes, luxury resorts and art galleries – you’ll be spoiled for choice without running out of things to do. 

TOTO provides a wonderfully varied array of secure and inclusive destinations tailored for 2SLGBTQIA+ travellers in the region. Photo via Travelling Out in the Thompson Okanagan

The talk of the Thompson Okanagan 

But the promotion of diversity doesn’t stop at the clientele. We mean it when we say the Thompson Okanagan is a treasure trove of untapped potential. 

For those looking to get out and about – in more ways than one! – the region boasts breathtaking natural beauty, with immediate access to a wide range of outdoor activities to complement the warm, thriving and inviting nurture with a healthy dose of nature. 

Hit the trails and enjoy gorgeous lake views in Vernon. Traverse the over 40 km of trails in Kenna Cartwright Park in Kamloops. Sip and savour the flavours of the Okanagan at the many wineries, breweries and distilleries in Penticton. Enjoy the tranquil yet outstanding natural wonders of lakeside living in Osoyoos.  Embark on a boating journey to take in the breathtaking landscapes of Kelowna

You may not even be able to fit all this fun into just one visit!

Those seeking a summer getaway can plan around Pride Week 2024, happening in Kelowna from June 1 to 9, with the popular Pride March and Festival, taking place Saturday, June 8. The annual festival is the central rallying point for the not-for-profit organization, creating a welcoming and enthusiastic space to celebrate for both the current and next generations to express who they truly are. 

This atmosphere is precisely what TOTO seeks to solidify in the region year-round, creating a hospitable and happening destination for 2SLGBTQIA+ travellers to feel safe and supported to set off on their next Okaganagan adventure. 

To learn more and start planning your visit today, visit