Arrival Airport: Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Overnight Stops: Vancouver – Squamish – Kamloops – Vernon – Penticton – Vancouver
Why Visit the BC Interior?
From Vancouver, head up the Sunshine coast the resort town of Whistler to the high, dry Thompson River valley to the beautiful Shuswap Lake (passing hundreds of houseboats), you move from urban to far-from-urban. And heading south into the Okanagan, you pass the heart of British Columbia’s famous wine district, with almost a hundred wineries along the way. Once in the sunny south by Penticton and Osoyoos you head west through the dry Similkameen and the lush lower Mainland back to Vancouver.
Arrive in Vancouver (1), Canada’s largest western port with its beautiful waterfront and stunning Stanley Park. Explore the cobbled streets of unique Gastown, Canada’s largest Chinatown district, and the Public Market on Granville Island.
From here, travel north along the first Gold Rush route via Pemberton and Lilloet to the desert plateaus of the Upper Fraser River and the Thomson River. When you arrive in Kamloops (3), you can take in a steam train ride, try disc golfing at the Kamloops Disc Golf Club or visit the B.C. Wildlife Park which features over 65 species of wildlife spread out over 50 hectares.
After leaving Kamloops, head east along the Thompson River high plateau, with the huge circular irrigation machines, to Salmon Arm on beautiful Shuswap Lake. Then head south to Vernon at the northern end of the Okanagan wine and fruit-growing district. While in Vernon (4), make a visit to Historic O’Keefe Ranch before stopping in Kelowna , well known for its hot summers and temperate winters. Although Kelowna is the largest city in the Okanagan Valley, internationally-acclaimed wineries and several championship golf courses are only 10 minutes away.
Along the drive, enjoy scenic vistas of the 135 km long Okanagan Lake, while stopping at the many fruit stands and farmers markets, or swimming at many beaches. Penticton (5) is nestled between two lakes and is a recreational playground offering a variety of water sports from sailing to leisurely rafting on the canal between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake. Continue south to Oliver and Osoyoos, which have dozens of wineries on both sides of the road.
From here, you can head west along the southern Crowsnest Highway through the Similkameen Valley and Manning Provincial Park before getting to Hope, which has a massive rock slide at the side of the highway (about 10 kim east of the Coquihalla/Trans-Canada/Crowsnest junction).
\West of Hope, drive along the Lower Fraser River passing lush and well-irrigated farmlands as you approach the expanding Greater Vancouver (6) area to take in a final day of sightseeing and shopping.
West is best, dude. Hanging out in Vancouver for a few more hours, then we’re going up the highway to Whistler, hit the village for Saturday night. Party time! – Ben