Serendipity in Salmon Arm – Winter Wanders and Wonders

As the age old adage goes, wherever we roam, there’s no place like home. Such is clearly the case for Jesse Ziercke. Born and raised in Salmon Arm, at 18, his first job was as a bellman at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort. After some time working in Kamloops, Kelowna and Calgary, in 2019, he returned home with his young family, and now serves in the resort’s top job as General Manager.

Given his serendipitous career path, it’s no surprise to learn that Jesse is an avid hiker and his favourite winter activity is exploring the Shuswap Trail Alliances amazing network of local trails. “There are so many great ones. Take Little Mountain for example, you can do a quick 30 minute walk or spend a few hours doing the more challenging outer loop.” Whether exploring on his own or with his family in tow, he credits a good base layer, quality outerwear, and Keen footwear which explains his fondness for Wearabouts on Alexander Street. “Winter hiking is about comfort and warmth and they’ve got a great selection of clothing and gear.”

As for the “apres-hike”, Ziercke is a big fan of the Barley Station Brew Pub. “The Talking Dog Wit is the best and the appetizer selection means there’s something for everyone.” He adds that the take and bake options at the Shuswap Pie Company are fantastic.

His advice for future guests? “Explore a little longer.” The visitors who do are often surprised and delighted when they expand their horizons a bit. From amazing vineyards and farm markets, a compact and walkable downtown, unique merchants and great food (including Cafe Tasse, Don Cherrys Sports Grill and The Sandbar on site at the Prestige), if you just drive through on the way to somewhere else, you’re really missing out. There’s sure-fire serendipity in Salmon Arm every season of the year.

By Louise Wallace-Richmond

Find Your #MeTime in the Shuswap: 5 Ways to Start Your Year Off Right

There’s no denying our love for the holidays. Especially in the Shuswap, it’s a magical time of year when even the snowfall seems to make the season feel warmer, if only in our hearts. But for all their joy, the holidays can be equally exhausting.

With the new year comes an ideal time to unwind and recharge; to unplug and restore; to connect with nature, or the arts, and yourself. And, if you ask us, the Shuswap offers a spectacular winter wonderland where you can take some much-needed time to rejuvenate and get a head start on your new-found resolutions, whatever they may be.

 

 

Here, you can catch a break from the crowds and have a bit of nature all to yourself, taking all the time you need to recharge your spirit in peace. When it’s time to cozy up indoors, the cafes, restaurants, and wineries that shine bright in Shuswap’s soft winter light will be waiting for you, right among the comfy lakeside cabins and stretches of Nordic trails.

 

Here are 5 ways to enjoy some #MeTime in the Shuswap:

1. Stroll through the snowy trails of the Larch Hills Nordic Society

Few things revive the soul the way fresh air does. And the Shuswap has all you need to explore the great outdoors and reconnect with nature. At the Larch Hills Nordic Society, you’ll find more than 150 km of cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails.

With its first trails opened in 2005, all are mapped and maintained by volunteers who soften obstacles and post signs to keep you safe while you explore. The 16km of snowshoe trails can be connected to create unique loops that suit your preferred length, from short and easy to long and challenging.

2. Unwind with a glass of wine at an award-winning winery

Find a way to unwind among a snow-covered vineyard at one of seven wineries in the Shuswap region, which is considered one of the northernmost grape-growing areas in North America. Our unique microclimate above the 50th parallel brings sunny days and cool evenings that combine intense flavours with beautiful balance.

In the winter, you can make an appointment at tasting rooms throughout the Shuswap, where you can sample award-winning Gewürztraminers, Merlots, Ortegas, Rieslings, Siegerrebes made from locally sourced grapes. Visiting several of our family-run vineyards will set you out on a tasting tour that’s sure to delight all your senses. But be warned: picturesque views of snowy estates will make you want to stay and savour every moment in serenity.

3. Indulge all your senses at the Quaaout Lodge and Spa

If you’ve resolved to relax more this year, the Quaaout Lodge can help you hibernate while staying surrounded by wilderness. Owned and operated by the Little Shuswap First Nation, you’ll have a chance to experience cultural tours, local art, and events in and around the waterfront resort.

After surprising your tastebuds with a fresh, locally-inspired meal at Jack Sam’s lakefront restaurant, complete with breathtaking views of Shuswap Lake and snow-capped mountains, replenish your skin and your spirit at the Le7ke Spa. Set among First Nations-inspired design and décor, the luxurious beauty treatments, relaxation rituals, and infrared sauna will help you put your best foot forward when you head back outside.

You know what they say: new year, new you.

4. Stop for the pie and stay for the music at the Shuswap Pie Company

In order to recharge, you’ll need to refuel. And if #MeTime is about treating yourself, the Shuswap Pie Company is a foolproof place to start. They serve up small-batch, savoury and sweet pies, plus coffee and sandwiches, made from scratch using all-natural ingredients.

You can experiment with unique flavours like steak and stout or curried veggie, or stick with the classic chicken pot pie. And with a different lunch special every month, the menu is packed with the perfect comfort foods for warming up after your outdoor adventures.

And if you stay long enough to sample everything, you can dance it all off to live music.

5. Commune with your inner artist at a Salmon Arms Arts Centre exhibit

Keep your walking meditations going inside by getting in touch with your creative side. If you need a break from the cold, take some quiet time indoors to study the visual exhibits at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery, which houses works from local and touring artists in a heritage brick building in downtown Salmon Arm.

The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and its donation-based admission price means you can keep spreading the holiday cheer. At the main exhibit, In Dialogue with the Collection, you’ll discover a new perspective on historic works  from the Arts Council’s Community Art Collection, which will be paired with fifteen local artists.

Plus, intimate artist talks give you a unique opportunity to explore the arts up close.

However you choose to recharge this winter, one thing is certain: there is something in the Shuswap for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a place to play in the snow or somewhere to warm up afterward, you can always visit our activities and events calendar to find something that speaks to your longing for #MeTime.

Six Shuswap Cabins For A Romantic Winter Getaway

BC’s capital of cozy

The new year is already moving full steam ahead. Eager to slow it down and spend time with the people you love? Luckily, there’s no time like the present to hit the pause button and take your loved ones on a wintry weekend escape in the Shuswap.

Whether you enjoy exploring world-class trails together, reading books beside a fire, or savouring wintertime treats, winter in the Shuswap has everything you need to reconnect with the people who matter most. Here, you can take a moment to recenter yourself for the year ahead, make memories with your partner along the magical snowshoe trails, or reignite your romance in a cozy cabin as the snow falls.

Because every romantic winter getaway needs an amazing home base, we’ve picked just a sample of some of the coziest and coolest home bases in the Shuswap this winter.

Six Shuswap Cabins For A Romantic Winter Getaway

1. Owlhead Creek B&B

Open year round, Owlhead Creek is surrounded by 30 acres of forest, mountains, and all the wonder the Shuswap has to offer. Along with a shared kitchen, three spacious rooms come with private entrances and a hearty, homemade breakfast that will prepare you for any adventure.

And you won’t have to venture far to find one: near to several popular sledding areas, Owlhead also boasts their own toboggan hill, skating pond, and snowshoe trails where you can marvel at winter’s magic.

Six Shuswap Cabins For A Romantic Winter Getaway
Six Shuswap Cabins For A Romantic Winter Getaway

2. Tin Poppy Retreat

Nestled between Salmon Arm and Enderby, the Tin Poppy Retreat is home to deluxe, remote cabins you have to see to believe. Powered by solar, four unique houses sit on 160-acres of pristine Shuswap nature.

With one perched above the river, two secluded in a sanctuary of forest, and another retro-contemporary trailer, each of these quirky cabins offers an unbeatable way to experience both the awe of the outdoors and the charm of the winter season .

3. Last Spike Lodging

Located in Malakwa, Last Spike Lodging houses three spacious cabins ideal for a weekend getaway in any season. Each one includes two bedrooms, a bathroom, living room, kitchen, and drying room to safely store your snow-packed gear.

Set among the Shuswap’s majestic mountains, sledding country, and picturesque lake, Last Spike offers a heated shop for wrenching or drying sleds onsite, so you can confidently explore trails full of wildlife, waterfalls, and wondrous views before unwinding in a rustic winter cabin.

Six Shuswap Cabins For A Romantic Winter Getaway
Six Shuswap Cabins For A Romantic Winter Getaway

4. White Lake Cabins

In Sorrento, White Lake Cabins has four small homes designed to strengthen your offline connections. Sandwiched between forest and lake, their private beach and large dock are perfect for sipping your morning coffee or warming up in the afternoon sun.

Plus, their small, frozen lake puts ice skating at your doorstep. And the serene nature surroundings are ideal for anyone who loves setting off on a snowshoeing, x-country skiing, or sledding adventure, far away from everyday stress.

5. Prestige Harbourfront Resort

Situated in Salmon Arm, the Prestige Harbourfront Resort has space for everyone you want to bring along. 121 rooms, an indoor pool and hot tub, fitness centre, and spa rest along the banks of an estuary with sweeping views of the lake and the Bastion Mountains.

Only a short walk to downtown and the Salmon Arm Wharf, the upscale resort also offers two dining options and complimentary sports equipment, so you can easily spend a full day snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or skiing before returning to complete relaxation.

Six Shuswap Cabins For A Romantic Winter Getaway
Six Shuswap Cabins For A Romantic Winter Getaway

6. Noble House B&B

The Noble House is a Cape-Cod style B&B situated on two-and-a-half acres in the Spallumcheen Valley. Built on a quiet road at the foot of Rose Swanson Mountain, the property is surrounded by agricultural land near the Interior Provincial fairgrounds.

Four private rooms, and the option for a full suite, provide a base from which you can discover nearby nature, museums, and community theatre. And beyond exploring the outdoors, here you can cherish the tranquility of the Shuswap along with your favourite people.

No matter where you stay in the Shuswap or when you choose to visit, one thing is certain: there is something here for everyone. Make sure to visit our activities and events calendar to find something that lets you reconnect with all that matters most.

Pride comes alive in Salmon Arm

Wednesday October 14 marks the beginning of @SalmonArmPridePoject inaugural Pride Arts & Awareness Festival.

In the planning for over a year, and vastly reconfigured to adhere to COVID health protocols, the organizing committee has been overwhelmed by the love, support and contribution of the LGBTQ2S+ community, their allies, and the community at large.

The festival is a combination of virtual and in person events beginning with an art exhibition at the @SalmonArmArtsCentre featuring the work of LGBTQ2S+ community members. The exhibition is on from from Wednesday until Saturday and gallery hours are 11 am to 4 pm. Admission is by donation.

There’s a fabulous Pride Pop Up Shop at 121 Shuswap Street (formerly the Blue Canoe) sponsored by Wild Craft Mercantile from 11 am to 5 pm daily (open until 7 pm on Friday) featuring the work of LGBTQS+ makers and allies. Be sure to stop in early so as not to miss your chance to own custom designed one of a kind pride swag.

Online, new content will be available daily including a special edition of Family Saturdays at Home with Drag Queen Freida Whales and a worship service on Sunday at 11 am with Reverend Jenny Carter of First United Salmon Arm and guests.

Judging by the outpouring of support from community organizations and local businesses, the festival is already a success. We’re delighted to share the offering of our partners at the @SalmarTheatre (daily films at the Salmar Classic), the Salmon Arm @RootsandBluesFestival (personal performance for the audience). Book your rainbow colour session at @IhvoryHair, get your pride tattoo from our friends at @PinzTattoo or check out the Pride SHU design from at @lakeandlifeapparel.

Be sure to take in the amazing window displays while enjoying a @Visit_Downtown_Salmon_Arm and stop in to browse, shop and dine. If you’re joining us from  out of town, the Salmon Arm Prestige Inn and Harbourfront Resort is in walking distance of all the events and features beautiful views of the Salmon Arm Bay and Shuswap Lake, which as it happens, is also known for incredible rainbow displays when Mother Nature permits.

Happy Pride from ShuswapTourism and congratulations to the organizing committee, participants, artists, sponsors and supporting business and organizations. We’re very proud of you indeed.

For more information, please visit the Pride Project page at salmonarmartscentre.ca or follow the festival on instagram @SalmonArmPrideProject.

5 Family-Friendly Activities To Enjoy In The Shuswap This Winter

5 Family-Friendly Activities To Enjoy In The Shuswap This Winter

 

Winter in the Shuswap offers winter adventure at a calmer pace than you might find at a busy ski hill and there’s no shortage of adventures here. You can take your youngest on his or her first sled ride, your grandparents for a walk on their favourite Nordic trail or try fat biking all together for the first time. In this relaxed environment, there are plenty of ways for families of all ages and sizes to make memories in the fresh snowfall. So even as time flies, you can look back fondly on your time together.

5 ways to make memories with your family in the Shuswap this winter:

1. Sled Sicamous

On the more adventurous side, and if your kids are a little older, sledding is one of the best ways to take in long stretches of the Shuswap’s winter wonderland—and it’s fun for the whole family. Nestled in Eagle Valley, Sicamous is home to some of the best-known alpine trails and breathtaking lake views.

Here, four carefully groomed areas cover a broad range of terrain to accommodate beginners and experts alike. And when you’re ready for a break, all four have a cozy cabin where you can warm up after a day out on the trails.

  • 5 Family-Friendly Activities To Enjoy In The Shuswap This Winter
  • 5 Family-Friendly Activities To Enjoy In The Shuswap This Winter
5 Family-Friendly Activities To Enjoy In The Shuswap This Winter

2. Larch Hills Nordic Society

Whether you prefer to move on wheels or on foot, the Larch Hills Nordic Society has something for everyone. With more than 170km of multi-purpose trails, you can walk, snowshoe, ski, or bike through the heart of the Shuswap wilderness.

If you don’t have the equipment, don’t worry. Skookum Cycle and Ski has everything you need, including fat bikes—bikes with wider, oversized tires designed to handle snowy trails with ease. Every activity is an opportunity to fill the fresh mountain air with love and laughter. Surely the hardest part of your family vacation will be deciding where to go first.

3. Winter Festivals

Savour every extra moment of the long family weekend with an exciting Winter Festival. The North Shuswap Family Weekend Winter Festival offers exciting activities for the whole family, starting on Saturday with an all-ages curling tournament, snow sculpting, and a family skate. And don’t forget the Sunday Funday events like bed races, storytelling, archery, and a family dance party.

Meanwhile, the Sicamous Winter Carnival boasts its own list of family-friendly attractions. Here you’ll find everything from a Polar Bear Dip at Beach Park to Hot Air Balloon Rides, Snow Golf, and a Family Winter Triathlon at Finlayson Park. This weekend was made for taking your family out, either to try something new or just to spend time together. Join us in the Shuswap to see how the snow brings out the fun in everyone.

5 Family-Friendly Activities To Enjoy In The Shuswap This Winter
5 Family-Friendly Activities To Enjoy In The Shuswap This Winter

4. Coffeehouses

When the day winds down and you want to take your family time inside, look no further than the Shuswap Coffeehouse Open Mic Circuit. All across the region, our family-friendly community centres take turns hosting feel-good, community-focused events that bring people together. Treat yourself to any one of the spectacular shows, starting between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m., all the way from Enderby Drill Hall and Celista Community Hall to Eagle Bay Community Hall and Revelstoke. Check the calendar of events to see when one is happening near you!

A treat for all your senses, most venues sell affordable coffee and snacks alongside a lineup of local musicians and artists in a unique setting where you can get to know the people who call the Shuswap home. Come out to enjoy an evening of entertainment and socialize with a vibrant, artistic community at one of many historic Shuswap sites. Every coffeehouse is an experience for your whole family to remember!

If you ask us, no outdoor experience is complete without a warm soak. After a fun-filled adventure, treat your family to a relaxed spa experience at the Crazy Creek Resort. Next to the Crazy Creek waterfalls in Revelstoke, their hot, mineral-rich pools are filled from a well at the base of Eagle Pass Mountain.

Whether you stay just an hour or several days, you and your family can splash around in glacial blue water while revelling in the majesty of the surrounding mountains and the peace that comes with nature in the Shuswap. By the time you leave, your whole family will be rejuvenated and ready to tackle whatever comes next.

No matter what your family enjoys, one thing is certain: spending a winter weekend in the Shuswap will leave you with memories for a lifetime. Whether you’re looking for a place to play in the snow or somewhere to warm up afterwards, you can always visit our activities and events calendar to find something that speaks to your sense of adventure.

Singularly Salmon Arm

Salmon Arm is on the bay of one of the four arms of Shuswap Lake.The largest of the 8 areas in the Shuswap, it’s the service and shopping hub and it’s got plenty else to offer.

 

Start your Saturday at Cafe Tasse in the Prestige Inn Harbourfront Resort. In this french cafe, the answer is always “mais oui”! Burn off the sugary goodness enjoying the Salmon Arm Bird Sanctuary and Foreshore Trail.

 

Head over to the Downtown Salmon Arm Farmer’s Market at the Ross Street Plaza. Be sure to check out the beautiful mosaic. Can you find all 20 of the glorious tile creatures?

 

Next, it’s time to visit Alexander Plaza – a pedestrian only zone on Saturdays – and grab a selfie with the world’s largest treble clef in the background. On Hudson Ave, visit the Salmon Arm Arts Centre, a heritage building full of modern ideas. Throughout the downtown core, you’ll delight in the diverse mix of boutiques and cafes.

 

It’s time to cool off at Canoe Beach, a 10 minute drive east of town. Walk, swim, relax in the grass and snack at Top Jimmy’s Canoe Beach Cafe’s home of the Zombie Burger.

 

On your way back to town, visit the Blue Hills Lavender Farm just off the TCH with picture perfect fields and a gorgeous gift shop. At Marionette Winery just a 5 minutes away, enjoy beautiful scenery from the tasting room and outdoor patio.

 

Dinner downtown? The big flavours-in these few square blocks includes Andiamo Ristorante and the Barley Station Brew Pub among many others.

 

Finally, a walk down North America’s longest inland curved wooden wharf at Marine Peace Park is the quintessential way to end a Salmon Arm day.

Ace your day in Chase

At the north-western edge of the Shuswap region is Chase right off the Trans Canada Highway between Kamloops and Salmon Arm. The village is the first golf cart friendly community in Canada so enjoy the leisurely pace on local streets.

 

And speaking of leisurely, start your day at Inside Out Coffee House for breakfast. Popular with locals, it’s a great jumping off point for the day ahead. If you’re there on a Friday morning (10 am to 2 pm), head to the Chase Farm and Craft Market in the Safety Mart Foods parking lot where you can decide how best to spend your afternoon whilst browsing local produce and crafts.

 

@lifeasmrsmum

You can hike the nearby Chase Creek Falls or book a tee-time at to the community owned Sunshore Golf Course for a family friendly 9 hole round or visit the Chase and District Museum and Archives. If you want to head further afield, consider the Monte Creek Ranch Winery 15 minutes west or head to the Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge about 15 km from town on Skimikin Road.

 

Be sure to get back to town to grab and ice cream at Eye Candy and browse their fun fashions and the other funky shops on Shuswap Avenue. Then head to Memorial Park for a swim at the beach, a walk down the iconic red pier, a cool visit to the water park or a workout at the new skate park. It’s an all age place to kick back for a bit.

 

By now you’ll be good and hungry so pop into the Railside Restaurant for a family style dinner with scenic views, great food and friendly service.

 

Chase is a four season place and you’ll soon be back for another visit. Question is, can you put snow tires on golf carts?. You’ll just have to ask the locals.

North Shuswap Serenity

Sundays in the Shuswap are typically laid back. No more so than in the North Shu, so named because it’s on the north shore of Shuswap Lake accessed off the Trans Canada Highway at the Squilax Anglemont Road turn off.

Celista Estate Winery

Start it off with the famous Quaaout Lodge Sunday brunch then head directly to Tsútswecw Provincial Park to walk the trails at the mouth of the Adams River, home of one of the world’s largest sockeye salmon runs. This sacred space holds a place of honour for the Secwepemc people and territory.

Next, head to Canada’s northern most vineyard. Celista Estate Winery is a 160 acre property and features award winning wines, a tasting room, winery tours and epic views . Pop into the Scotch Creek Farm and Craft Market (Sundays 9:30 am to 1:30 pm) across from Shuswap Lake Provincial Park on the way to Celista to meet local farmers and crafters.

Continue on to Anglemont enjoying the lakeshore drive all the way, you’ll see the Anglemont Estates Golf Course, the marina, the Anglemont Inn and Lakeview Community Park which is a popular swimming spot.

Heading back toward the TCH, consider stopping at the Scotch Creek Hub (open daily, 12 pm to 8 pm) for shared appetizers or Sharezies, as they call them. They also offer no hook up camping. It’s conveniently across the road from Shuswap Lake Provincial Park where you can enjoy the playground or the beach (and a campsite if you’re a BC resident lucky enough to have reserved one well ahead of time for the 2020 season).

Head back toward the highway junction and catch the sunset on the Little Shuswap Lake. The western facing exposure makes for spectacular sunsets. And if a day in the North Shu doesn’t relax you, well, it’s time to plan a return visit just as the sockeye salmon do year after year.

 

Scintillating South Shuswap

Start your Saturday with a hearty breakfast at the Home Restaurant in Sorrento. Over the road from 8 am until noon, you’ll find the Sorrento Village Farmers Market in the Shoppers Plaza parking lot. Meet the friendly bunch of local farmers, artisans, brewers and vintners.

From there, head east on the TCH to the Dreamcycle Motorcycle Museum to visit a world-class collection of bikes and the like. If cars and antiques are more your thing, pop into the White Post Auto Museum and Antiques Mall. Just further east still is the Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road turn off. Stop by the Tappen Coop for a legendary giant ice cream cone and make your way to Herald’s Park to hike Margaret Falls.

On your way back towards the TCH, visit Sunnybrae Vineyards and Winery for a tasting (open Wednesdays to Sundays 11 to 5) and consider bringing home some Redneck Red for your next get together.

Head west again towards Blind Bay. Take the Balmoral turn off and be sure to stop in at the Blind Bay Village Grocer, a well-appointed locally owned grocery store known for its great selection and customer service. Then enjoy a wee drive as far as Eagle Bay to really capture the casual beautiful spirit of the area (approximately 20 km each way).

On your return, be sure to keep time for a stop at Finz Resort . Its legendary lakeside patio, and casual family friendly menu is a perfect way to end a Shuswap day. Enjoy the sparkle of the lake and the beautiful view of the bay.

You won’t soon forget the warm welcome from the South Shu.

Friendly Falkland

Along the second longest stretch of highway in Canada (Hwy 97) that winds through the south west of the Shuswap, is Falkland, home of Canada’s oldest rodeo and biggest Canadian flag. It has the feel of a western town and the friendliness of a roadside village. The drive in and out of Falkland is spectacular with winding roads and rolling hills.

It’s no wonder then that the Falkland Pub is a must stop for the many groups of bikers who enjoy touring along the newly paved part of the road. It’s also a great stop to pick up fishing supplies at the Falkland General Store as there are no less than 10 lakes within 10 minutes of town.

Among them is Pillar Lake a provincial park so named for the 28 metre rock formation. The trail is steep and the hike takes approximately 15 minutes. It’s a beautiful place for a walk and an impressive site to see.

The Falkland Museum & Heritage Park is a two acre area featuring historical displays, buildings and artifacts. Admission is by donation.

Your mouth will start to water as you get closer to the newly opened Carlisle’s Smoke & Grill Cafe where you can enjoy slow smoked rotisserie style BBQ, pizza and other hearty meals. Can’t stay for dinner, you can order take out or cross the highway to Okanagan Market Place, and pick up some of Sabrina’s Home Cooking famous perogies, cabbage roles, sausage and borscht. Be sure to check out the selection of local goods and specialty foods.

Falkland is a great place to spend the day or spend the weekend. Check out the Highland Motel, the Bolean Lake or Pillar Lake resorts. You’ll feel like a local in no time.

 

COVID health protocol and precautions in place. Please be patient, kind and enjoy the western hospitality of Falkland and area.