Bike rides, hiking, lake jumps, winery tours, and sun-drenched patios are quintessential summer activities in the North Okanagan. And, Silver Star Village—with its colourful Klondike-inspired design aesthetic—is a peaceful mid-mountain home base to explore all that this region has to offer.
Spend mountain mornings slaying hero dirt in the SilverStar Bike Park or taking in views of the Monashee range from the resort’s lift-accessed hiking trail network, where colourful wildflowers and wildlife sightings are common. Then, drive down the mountain to continue exploring the Okanagan Valley.
Here are some fantastic day trips to make—all within a one-hour drive of Silver Star.
Explore the Town of Vernon
Vernonites consider Silver Star their home mountain. Drive 20 minutes down the road to visit Vernon’s record shops, independently owned businesses, mountain biking trails, parks, and fascinating attractions.
Audiophiles can comb through the city’s quirky record shops or check out the jazz scene. Culture buffs might grab a java at locals’ favourite Bean Scene Coffee House, then set off on a self-guided tour of the city’s historic murals. The Vernon Farmers’ Market (Monday and Thursday between April and October) and Polson Artisan Night Market (Friday evenings) is the perfect place to shop for fresh Okanagan produce, hand-crafted goodies, and locally made art.
Vernon’s culinary scene is growing too, with an eclectic fleet of food trucks (think: lobster, Australian meat pies, donuts, and Egyptian cuisine), specialty shops, and plenty of sunny patios to sip locally produced beverages. Visit the Marten Brewing Company (voted one of BC’s Top 10 tasting rooms) for a Killer King Blonde Ale, a collaboration beer that supports the North Okanagan Cycling Society. Davidson Orchard’s Farmhouse cafe, overlooking the area’s lush agricultural lands, serves healthy country meals in a charming setting.
Cool Off in the Lakes
There’s nothing like a cool dip after a day spent in the SilverStar Bike Park or cruising the alpine trails. The Okanagan is practically synonymous with lake life, whether it be an exuberant dip or a longer paddle. Each lake in the region has its own personality, and there are plenty to choose from.
Kalamalka Lake in Vernon is known by the moniker, “The Lake of a Thousand Colours,” for its watercolour palette of shimmering blues and greens. The area is also home to a thriving paddling community, which makes it the perfect place to paddleboard and take a lesson from Kalavida Surf Shop.
Meanwhile, the 135-kilometre (83-mile) Okanagan Lake is a behemoth that stretches north to south from Armstrong to Penticton. There are plenty of beaches and docks dotted all along the lakeshore for easy access. Keep your eyes peeled for Ogopogo, the mythical creature that reportedly lives in its depths. Just one hour from Silver Star, Lake Country — which, as its name implies, is located at the convergence of several lakes — is the perfect place to lake-hop (and wine taste in between).
Bike the Okanagan Rail Trail
Biking the Okanagan Rail Trail is a must-do activity if you’re in the area. The trail stretches 50-kilometres (30-miles) from the North end of Kalamalka Lake to the center of Okanagan Lake in Downtown Kelowna. Nearly half of the trail travels alongside creeks, lakes, and natural settings, with interpretive signs along the way. Given the gentle grade and mellow trail surface, it is possible to easily walk or bike long stretches of the trail. Rent e-bikes from Kalavida Surf Shop, located at Kilometre 0 of the trail, to travel farther and faster.
Tee Off With Spectacular Views
The North Okanagan is home to numerous golf courses, with six located right in the Vernon area. Tee off at one of two spectacular courses on Predator Ridge Resort, which are accented by granite outcroppings and lush grasslands. Or, play a round at The Rise Golf Course, designed by the world-renowned player and architect team of Fred Couples and Gene Bates. The Couples signature course, the only of its kind in Western Canada, is built 300 metres (1,000 feet) over Okanagan Lake and offers inspiring views of the area.
Sample Okanagan Wine, Cider, and Spirits
The Okanagan Valley Wine Region, which produces 86% of British Columbia’s wine, has a global reputation for its award-winning vintages. The distinct climate attracts an abundance of vineyards and orchards — with many situated within a one-hour drive in any given direction of Silver Star.
But, you don’t have to go far to enjoy a good sip. Cambium Cider Co is just 20 minutes down the road from Silver Star. Book a private tasting online at this family-run orchard and check out their new patio and restaurant space.
During your visit to Vernon, check out the Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery, home to North America’s tallest copper pot still. They offer educational tours, sampling, and tasty bites in the Barrel Room Patio and Lounge.
If you want to venture beyond Vernon, drive one-hour north to the iconic Shuswap lake district and enjoy a flight of small-batch creations at Shuswap Cider, which offers up a rotating list of seasonal flavour combinations like pear, lavender honey, blackberry, and sangria. Northyards Cider, just a few minutes down the road, has a cozy indoor tasting room and expansive outdoor picnic area to taste ciders and take in the bucolic views.
Alternatively, head south to Lake Country, where an assortment of vineyards dot the countryside between Wood and Okanagan lakes. Sip a Pinot Noir or Riesling at 50th Parallel Estate Winery, overlooking the granite shorelines of Coral Beach. The winery’s restaurant, Block ONE, boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and a large patio for sampling farm-to-table cuisine and pairings. Neighbouring Arrowleaf Cellars, Gray Monk Winery, and Ex Nihilo Vineyards are also excellent winery stops in Lake Country.
If you opt to continue south to the Kelowna area, pop into Upside Cider, then on to Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery where decadent West Coast fare and wine pairings await at the Modest Butcher restaurant.
There are plenty of activities to enjoy in and around Silver Star. No matter how you choose to explore the valley, make Silver Star your launchpad for all things Okanagan.
Photo Credits: Jordan McGrath, Greg Huszar, Andrew Strain, Lianne Viau