|Welcome to the latest series of Super, Neighbours blog posts where we highlight incredible travel destinations in British Columbia!
Kamloops does Halloween right, let me tell you. There is a plethora of events, both family friendly and on the spookier side, great places to stay and eat, and so many other wonderful activities to enjoy year round.
I headed out this past weekend to cover some of the fun events, which you can see documented below!
I’ve got a mega-whirlwind post for you from my trip to Kamloops last weekend. HUGE thanks to Tourism Kamloops for asking me out and showing me an amazing time… Check out all the photos below:
The great people over at Destination British Columbia flew me out from YVR to YKA and back again…another weekend where I hop on a small plane, getting to walk out from gate. I made sure to take some travel essentials along with me…
The Plaza Hotel
The Plaza Hotel spoiled me rotten. A super comfy room with a great view, breakfast in the morning and they even put a local Mission Hill wine in my room for me. The hotel was jumping all weekend (Great Big Sea was in town too, so there were lots of guests staying) including in the really cozy Fireside Steakhouse & Bar, which looked nice and toasty every evening.
The Art We Are
Lunch on the first afternoon was a hearty and warm meal that fuelled Monica from Tourism Kamloops and I for the walk ahead of us. Their selection of gluten free and vegan friendly items was vast, especially the soup menu – which I sampled, along with a curry chicken wrap.
The Noble Pig
I loved this brewhouse! Busy and warm, with beer and food, it’s definitely a spot to hit up. I tried a flight of the beers including the Lager, the Pilsner, the Pale Ale and the Peppered Ale! We also sampled the deep fried pickles, and I had the margherita pizza for an entree. We ended up coming back the next day when Crystal Kwon arrived to join us, and you didn’t hear my complaining…there was more beer to try (the IPA and Brown Ale this time) and a delicious chicken sandwich and potato/leek soup to eat.
Our final meal out was at Terra Restaurant downtown. I opted to go with my patented two-appetizer meal so I could have both the cheese board and risotto balls, while the girls had halibut and pork belly in the cozy booth of the restaurant. This is a wonderful, slightly more upscale, restaurant in town, romantic, but also suited to larger parties (there was a birthday happening while we were there).
There is a lot of beautiful sights in Kamloops, many of which you can see by walking along the Riverside Park Trail by the waterfront – and several historical walking tours, both guided and self-guided. I’ll start with a few shots of those below and then get into the bigger activities that we crammed into a fun-filled weekend.
Kamloops Farmers Market
Running from April 20th to October 26th (we caught it on it’s last day!) the farmer’s market is a spot for locally grown food and artisans. There were lots of fall crops when we walked through on the Saturday morning, making it feel festive and seasonal – you can read more about the market and it’s history on their website here.
The old courthouse is filled with galleries of both contemporary and local art, as well as history! The upper floor (pictured below) is pretty amazing (and eerie) and holds community events including live music.
Back Alley Mural Walking Tour
This self-guided tour takes you along a few back alleyways of the downtown core with approx a dozen murals along the way of all different styles.
Kamloops Art Gallery
The art gallery has rotating exhibits and events – of local, national, and international artists – check the website for details of what is going on right now!
Sunmore Ginseng Spa
The spa was a HUGE treat for me, and I learned a lot. There is a lot of history about the properties of ginseng (you can check some info out HERE) – and after a ginseng steam, massage, and facial I was relaxed and renewed. The spa has several different suites based around Earth, Water, Wood, Fire, and Gold themes with different designs from European to Japanese. It is definitely an experience at the spa, one that I fully recommend if you’re in Kamloops!
Boo At The Zoo (at the BC Wildlife Park)
Our first trip to the BC Wildlife Park was for “Boo At The Zoo” – a family friendly night of lights, frights, train rides, and aliens! Sadly this even only ran for two weekends, but come December they will be holding their 16th annual “Wildlights Festival”. Check out their website for details, and keep going in this post to see the zoo during the day!
Tranquille Farm – Tunnel Tours
One of the scariest things we ended up doing was a tour of the tunnels at Tranquille Farm under the old institution. There is some amazing history here’s a bit to read:
“Tranquille farm is a 147 year old historic farm site located close to the city of Kamloops. Originally settled 1865, the site became renowned for its agriculture production. Subsequent to the purchase of the site in the 1930’s by the provincial government, the farm food operations were diversified to include a piggery, smoke house, cannery, dairy and vegetable cellars. At its height, Tranquille Farm was producing the majority of food and dairy products for the 1,000 staff and patients working and living at the neighbouring Tranquille Institution. The government closed the Tranquille Farm and Tranquille Institution in 1985. Twenty years later, investors purchased the Tranquille Farm and Tranquille Institution property. The Tranquille Farm is being reborn as a leading edge urban farm. Magnificent historic barns have been restored to now house a weekend farmer’s and artisan market, and the property is showcasing local musicians, culinary artists and local artisans on a regular basis.”
Erin Valley Riding Stables
Just 15mins out of Kamloops is the Erin Valley Riding Stable where we spent part of the afternoon on Saturday. I got to ride 3 horses and play some activities against some very quick kids. (I also managed to do this.) It was SO much fun, esp hanging out with the miniature horses (who were in costume no less), and the stables do events, trail riding and more throughout the year – check their website for more info.
BC Wildlife Park
Back at the BC Wildlife Park in the daytime, we were able to spend some time looking at the animals!
Along with their fantastic line up of seasonal events such as Boo at the Zoo and winter Wildlights, the BC Wildlife Park is highly recognized for its conservation and education efforts. Home to over 65 species indigenous to BC, the BC Wildlife Park prides itself on its Burrowing Owl breeding programs as well as a number rehabilitation endeavours.
It really is a great place to visit and is amazing to see some of the creatures from our own backyard up close and personal.
Harper’s Trail Winery
This was a tasty stop on our tour…getting to sample some Harper’s Trail wine at their tasting room. A little about them:
“…the first wines made from vineyards in Kamloops, BC, which are made in Summerland, at Okanagan Crush Pad. Named for the cattle drive trail of pioneer rancher Thaddeus Harper, and tucked into the city outskirts on the bank of the South Thompson River, Ed and Vicki Collett’s vineyard sits among rolling hills of sage and grass, home to bighorn sheep, bears, and myriad birds. The backdrop of limestone, hoodoos, and a natural spring in the vineyard contribute to the biodiversity of this rare place.”
My favourite was the 2012 Pinot Gris.
Finally here are a few shots of the grounds at Tranquille Farms during the day. We were given a quick tour and overview of the plans for the future of the site, which is pretty incredible, unique and forward thinking. You can see the Village Community, Urban Farming, and Waterfront plans on the Tranquille On The Lake website. It is a gorgeous site with a lot of potential and I’m excited to see what comes of it!
Thanks so much to Tourism Kamloops for having me out and showing me so much in just one weekend! I hope you enjoyed the post (there are a few more shots over on my instagram feed) and I’ll see you again on the next Super Neighbours adventure. Happy Halloween!