When snowflakes start falling from the sky, the land of Vernon in B.C.’s North Okanagan comes alive.
During the coldest months of the year, Vernon becomes a hub for winter activities. Whether you are looking to explore the great outdoors or engage in local cultural experiences, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied as you visit this place known for its vast landscapes, small city charm, and world class resorts.
Snowshoeing at SilverStar Mountain Resort. Photo provided by Tourism Vernon
Heading up the hill to enjoy some adventures in the snow is a must-do when exploring Vernon in the winter.
For those more inclined to alpine sports, SilverStar offers some of B.C.’s most epic downhill skiing and snowboarding experiences, with a variety of terrain for all levels. Beyond skiing, SilverStar Mountain Resort offers tubing at Tube Town, ice skating on Brewer’s Pond, and fat biking for the more adventurous types.
Find tranquility amongst Vernon’s snow-covered forests through snowshoeing, On a pair of snowshoes, you can navigate the 14 km of snowshoe trails at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre, weave through 16 km of trails at SilverStar Mountain Resort, or explore Predator Ridge’s 1,300 acre backyard. Visit Ribbons of Green for more Vernon snowshoe trails, which range from flat and family-friendly, to more challenging.
In February, Vernon will play host to two of the season’s most anticipated events. First, there’s the Vernon Winter Carnival (the largest of its kind in Western Canada) from February 4 to 13, with over 100 action-packed experiences, such as the Snow Sculpture Symposium, Snow Pitch Tournament, and Snowmobile Scavenger Hunt.
Vernon Public Art Gallery. Photo provided by Tourism Vernon
For a break from the outdoors, venture through Vernon’s vibrant arts and culture scene, which is characterized by local heritage, Canadian artifacts, and live entertainment.
This winter, the Vernon Public Art Gallery is opening four new exhibits, allowing visitors to browse from over 700 Canadian and international art and artifacts. Other local attractions worth checking out include the Greater Vernon Museum & Archives for insight into Vernon’s local history, the Canadian Wildlife Museum for over 350 wildlife specimens on display, and the Okanagan Science Centre for interactive exhibits for the whole family to enjoy.
For an afternoon or evening at the theatre, The Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre Society has a number of live music, dance, and theatre performances in its winter events schedule. Or, consider signing up for a winter art class at the Vernon Community Arts Centre to create your own art.
Serenity Relaxation Room at KurSpa. Photo: Sparkling Hill Resort.
After hitting the slopes and immersing yourself in artistic experiences all day long, you’ll probably find yourself wanting a break from it all.
An oasis set in a stunning location overlooking the Okanagan Valley, Sparkling Hill Resort is a luxury spa retreat that brings the European health and wellness experience to B.C.
With over 100 services dedicated to renewing your mind, body, and spirit, KurSpa is Sparkling Hill’s centre for first-class holistic spa treatments. Some of the amenities included for guests include a heated outdoor infinity pool, an indoor serenity pool, Kneipp hydrotherapy, a Keiser-equipped fitness studio, a tea room, and a relaxation room.
Sparkling Hill Resort offers farm-to-table dining experiences, with ingredients sourced from the Okanagan’s top farmers and providers. Unwind at Barrique & Java, which is a café by day and a wine lounge by night. For dinner, choose from fine dining at PeakFine or authentic Austrian cuisine at Gerni's Farmhouse, both offering sweeping landscapes of the valley from its dining rooms. If you don't feel like leaving your luxurious hotel room, you can also enjoy in-room private dining from the resort's restaurants.
Sparkling Hill offers various special offers and packages to make the most of your stay at their whole body wellness resort. For more info, visit sparklinghill.com/offers.
To learn more about winter experiences in Vernon, visit tourismvernon.com.