Vernon, BC is a small city of only 40,000 people in the Okanagan region of Canada – but for it’s small size, it packs a punch! There are many things to do during winter in Vernon, and we are about to give you some of our favourite winter activities in this article.
Vernon is roughly 45 minutes from Kelowna, BC – so needless to say, the winters in Kelowna are not that different from the winters in Vernon! One of our favourite parts about living in the Okanagan is that you really experience the diversity of all four seasons. So what is there to do in Vernon, BC in the winter? Let’s dive into it here!
Visit Kalamalka Lake (& bring your skates just in case)
Technically it’s in Coldstream, but Kalamalka Beach is one of the most popular spots in the Vernon area for a reason. It’s absolutely beautiful! If when you think of the beach, you think more on the cusp of sunnies and flip flops – think again. Kalamalka Lake actually froze over this year, and we were able to skate and play hockey right near Kal Lake’s famous dock.
Note: When attempting to ice skate on any natural body of water, be sure to check the ice’s thickness and consult the local authorities in the area.
If the lake isn’t frozen over enough to skate on this winter in Vernon, don’t worry! Grab a hot chocolate from up the road and take a meander onto the dock. The views are absolutely stunning all year ‘round.
Snowshoe through a winter wonderland at Sovereign Lake Nordic Club
One of the best things to do during winter in Vernon is to take up snowshoeing! If you don’t have your own, you can always rent a pair up at Sovereign Lake. Walk through snow-covered trees and (surprisingly) break a sweat up in this winter wonderland located right in Vernon.
Tickets sell for as little as $8.00 CAD and you’ll be sure to get that gorgeous Instagram shot. If you’re lucky enough, maybe you’ll even run into some wildlife.
Visit the animals & learn about some history at O’Keefe Ranch
The Historic O’Keefe Ranch is a great place to visit, even in the winter in Vernon. Something that many people don’t realize is that the grounds are always open, even outside of tour times!
The ranch was founded in 1867 and was a completely self-contained community. Now, you can wander around the historic buildings and visit the farm animals that live there.
If you opt for a self-guided off-season tour, don’t forget to drop a donation in the provided donation boxes at the ranch.
Head up to Silver Star Mountain Resort
If you ski or snowboard, you will absolutely love Silver Star Mountain Resort right here in Vernon, BC. Silver Star is Vernon’s winter playground, with your obvious activities like skiing & snowboarding and other less expected ones like tubing, ice skating, and even horse-drawn sleigh rides through the snow.
One thing is for certain – if you’re looking for winter activities in Vernon, you will be sure to find an abundance of winter activities at Silver Star.
Don’t ski, snowboard, or like slipping down hills? No problem! While your daredevil family members go to play, you can take up my favourite winter activity – drinking a frosty beer in the village! All jokes aside, the Silver Star mountain village is absolutely charming, and you’ll be sure to have a great time.
Grab a cup of joe at a local coffee house downtown Vernon
Once you’re done playing in the mountains, head downtown and see the quaint and gorgeous downtown Vernon has to offer. For a city on the smaller side, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by all of the lovely, local shops. Our favourite coffee house is Triumph Coffee – 10/10 recommend!
If you’re about to enjoy your first ever winter in Vernon, make sure to layer up and stay warm. Like we said, we love the diverse seasons in the Okanagan – but we talk more about that in this article here.
Are you going to be around for summer in Vernon? We have a blog post on that too! You can check that out here.
So, what do you think? Are you excited for another winter in Vernon? Let us know in the comments what you love to do!