Looking around Vernon

Vernon Travel Blog

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The view from my deck

Vernon. My hometown. The place I’ve lived by WHOLE life. It’s a beautiful, small city in the Okanagan Valley, which is situated in BC’s interior. The population is about 37,000 people. It’s the North Okanagan’s largest city and is located on three lakes, Okanagan, Kalamalka, and Swan, and surrounded by golf courses and Silver Star Mountain (the local ski hill). About 450 kms West is Vancouver, 600 kms East is Calgary, and 150 kms South is the U.S. border.

Vernon is accessible by car, via Highways 1, 3, 5, 6, and 97, by bus, and by air. Vernon has a small airport where small, private planes are able to take-off and land, however, 25 minutes South, on Highway 97, is Kelowna International Airport.

The view from my deck

Vernon has four distinct season. Summers are quite warm (Usually in the high 20’s or low 30’s C). Every summer brings a heat wave with temperatures reaching he high 30’s C. Summer wear consists of sandals, shorts, t-shirts or tank tops, and sundresses. Don’t forget you bathing suit!

Winters are usually quite mild with temperatures hovering anywhere from 0 to -5. Sometimes it gets warmer than that, and of course, cold snaps bring temperatures colder than that - anywhere to -20 (it doesn’t last long, though). There is always a lot of snow in the hills, and quite often on the ground in the city, but city crews usually do a good job at plowing the roads to keep them clear. You’re best bet for dressing warmly are sweaters, vest, fleece clothing, and warm jackets. A scarf, toque, and gloves are good to have, too.

The view from my deck
Spring can be rainy, but is very mild, with temperatures rising every day. Fall is usually cool in the morning, then warming up in the day, so it can be hard to know how to dress.

Vernon has all the amenities of a big city, however there isn’t a lot variety. It has big box stores and privately owned boutiques and businesses, but if you’re looking for a cool pair of shoes, you’ll be lucky to find it (unless you want runners). However, about 35-40 minutes down Highway 97 is Kelowna, and it is the largest city in the Okanagan (and one of the largest in BC). Shopping-wise, it has much more than Vernon, so sometimes a trip South is in order when looking for new clothes or shoes. Vernon has a community college, and there’s also one in Kelowna, but in Kelowna, there is a university, so students don’t have to go too far from home.

The view from my driveway

Something unique to Vernon are all the murals found around the city. There are 26 in all, and are found painted on downtown buildings, ranging in size from 300 ft. long and 40 ft. high. There are guided tours available, but it’s more fun on a self-guided tour. Maps on where the murals are found can be obtained at the Tourist Information Booth. I’ve tried finding them all and still haven’t, so have fun!

Vernon is a very sports oriented town, with sports for every season and all being quite popular. Spring and summer sees all the local soccer fields and baseball diamonds full of people playing. In the summer, beaches are full of swimmers and volley ball players. Once the snow melts, ball hockey, lacrosse, football, rugby, biking, rollerblading, golf, skateboarding, hiking, canoeing, camping, fishing, water sports, and ultimate Frisbee begin.

The view from my driveway
In the winter, some of these things still occur, but winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, curling, show shoeing, ringette, ice skating, snowmobiling, and ice fishing take over. And of course, seeing as it’s Canada, hockey is ‘THE BIG ONE’. Many people, young and old, play hockey, and Vernon is the home of the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers jr. A hockey team.

Some things found in Vernon are:

Attractions: O’Keefe Ranch, Allan Brooks Nature Centre, Planet Bee Honey Farm, Kin Race Track, Sun Valley Motor Speedway, Atlantis Waterslides, Okanagan Science Centre, Vernon Art Gallery, Vernon Museum, BX Falls, Okanagan Opals, Powerhouse Theatre, Performing Arts Centre, Murals

Ski Hill: Silver Star

Events/Festivals: Funtastic Slow-Pitch Tournament, Vernon Winter Carnival, Sunshine Festival, Creative Chaos, Okanagan Wine Festival, Interior Provincial Exhibition (in Armstrong)

Golf Courses: Hillview Golf Club, Vernon Golf and Country Club, Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club, and Predator Ridge

Beaches- Ellison Park, Paddlewheel Park, Kin Beach, Juniper Bay, Jade Bay, and Kal Beach

Parks: Kalamalka Provincial Park, Ellison Park, Polson Park

Markets & Produce: Davison Orchards, Aberdeen Farm Market, Bella Vista Farm Market, Friesen’s Country Tyme Gardens, Pleasant Valley Fruit and Garden Centre, Swan Lake Fruit Market and Garden Centre, and Vernon Farmers Markets

Wineries: Hunting Hawk Vineyards

Nearby lakes good for fishing: Echo, Keefer, Sugar, Woods, Pinaus, Jimmy, Wood, Nugget, and Square, and Mabel, along with Okanagan, Kalamalka, and Swan

To Note: It’s easy to do day trips from Vernon.

The view from my driveway
Places such as Kelowna, Kamloops, Armstrong, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Oliver, Osoyoos, and Revelstoke are easily within driving distance, so trips to different attractions are available. These include different lakes, beaches, hiking trails, wineries, ski hills, parks, golf courses, drive-ins, etc.

I love Vernon because it’s comfortable. It’s what I know, and it’s where my family and friends are. It’s home.

* As I find more pictures, I'll post them

nyprne says:
Thank you for sharing data of your hometown. This was very imformative.
Posted on: Jun 01, 2010
melissak says:
my favorite grandpa lives in vernon, on kin beach. love it there!
Posted on: Feb 17, 2009
oldschoolbill says:
Thank you very much. I really like hometown stories, & yours was very good. It sometime seems people want to be & live some place different. I like where I live, I do want to see & visit different places, meet different people, but I will always go back HOME
Thanks again
Posted on: Feb 18, 2008
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The view from my deck
The view from my deck
The view from my deck
The view from my deck
The view from my deck
The view from my deck
The view from my driveway
The view from my driveway
The view from my driveway
The view from my driveway
The view from my driveway
The view from my driveway
The view from my driveway
The view from my driveway
The Polson Park fountain.  Someone…
The Polson Park fountain. Someon…
The view from my deck
The view from my deck
Flowers around town
Flowers around town
The view from my driveway
The view from my driveway
Kalamalka Lake
Kalamalka Lake
Kalamalka Lake
Kalamalka Lake
Kalamalka Lake
Kalamalka Lake
Kalamalka Lake
Kalamalka Lake
Kalamalka Lake
Kalamalka Lake
Kalamalka Lake Park
Kalamalka Lake Park
Kalamalka Lake Park
Kalamalka Lake Park
Kalamalka Lake Park
Kalamalka Lake Park
Kalamalka Lake Park
Kalamalka Lake Park
Kalamalka Lake Park
Kalamalka Lake Park
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
Paddlewheel Park
On Okanagan Lake, this is a great beach. There’s a big sandy beach with trees for shade (if you want it) and there’s a big grassy area with a pla… read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
There’s no escaping the murals, no matter where in Vernon you go. There are 26 of them that are painted on different downtown buildings. Some are … read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
This is a good place to visit, but only once. Much of it is like a play land for kids, with giant blocks and lego to play with, however, there are so… read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
One Saturday every June, all the downtown merchants get together and put on the Sunshine Festival. Main Street is closed to traffic, and it becomes a… read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
This is the busiest beach in Vernon (it’s actually in Coldstream). It’s on Kalamalka (Kal) Lake, which means that the water is warmer than Okanag… read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
Located on Kal Lake, there is two beaches at Juniper Bay, and both are nice. One is a sandy beach, one is a rocky beach. The water is beautiful, and… read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
Fun for the whole family. Best know for selling fresh fruits and vegetables, they also have a bakery that has the greatest apple pie. There is also … read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
Silver Star is the local ski hill, and it takes about 20 minutes to drive there. If you don’t have a car, you can stand in one of the pullouts at t… read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
Found on the way up to Silver Star Mountain, BX Falls is hiking trails and waterfalls. The trail to the waterfall is not gruelling, although there is… read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
During the first week of every February, Vernon celebrates winter carnival. It’s made up of all kinds of activities, most of which are family-frie… read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
Creative Chaos occurs on one weekend, usually in June, every year. It’s a big arts and crafts fair where vendors set up tables to sell their wares.… read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
Located on Okanagan Lake, this is my favourite beach. It’s located in a provincial campsite, so you have to pay for parking, but it is a lovely bea… read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
The Canada Day long weekend (July 1) is the best time to be in Vernon, I believe. Funtastic started out as a slow pitch softball tournament about 20 … read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
Polson Park is found right in the city, and is the scene of school track meets, lawn bowling, water park activities, great photo opportunites (such as… read entire review
Vernon Sights & Attractions review
Kinn Beach
Of all the beaches in Vernon, this is my least favourite. It is very close to the road, there is quite a bit of seaweed in the water, there are a lot… read entire review
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Vernon
photo by: peppertm