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23 FUN Things to do in Kamloops, BC

23 FUN Things to do in Kamloops, BC

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Kamloops is a gorgeous city in British Columbia located in the Thompson Valley, where the North and South Thompson Rivers meet. Kamloops is truly an all-seasons type of destination full of amazing things to do any time of the year – especially if you love the outdoors.  

In Kamloops, you’ll be treated to hot summers, mild winters, and lots of sunshine! Kamloops gets around 2,000 hours of sunshine every year, so about 316 days of the year have some sunshine in them. 

The area around Kamloops is unique, with a mixture of desert, lush valley, grasslands, ponderosa pine forests, sandstone canyons, freshwater lakes, and snow-capped mountains. It’s an outdoor paradise!  

If you love relaxing by a lake or all the fun water activities that come with it, you’re in luck. Kamloops has more than 100 lakes within an hour’s drive. In the winter, there’s a world-class ski resort, or you can snowshoe or cross-country ski on the many trails. There are so many great activities, but I narrowed it down to the best 23 things to do in Kamloops in this blog below.  

About Kamloops, BC 

Kamloops has a population of 90,000 people and is the second-largest city located in the interior region of British Columbia.  

It first formed as a trading settlement in the early 1800s. Then, it started to grow with the gold rush in the 1850s and the arrival of the railroad in 1885. Kamloops officially became a city in 1893.  

Kamloops is easily accessible off the Trans-Canada Highway, and it has its own airport, about a 15-minute drive from downtown. The city is located about halfway in-between Vancouver, BC, and Calgary, AB. It’s a great place to start or end a road trip, like the beautiful drive from Kamloops to Jasper.  


The Best Things to do in Kamloops, BC 

1. Explore Riverside Park 

Riverside Park Kamloops, BC
Riverside Park is the most beautiful green space in the city!

Riverside Park is one of the most popular green spaces in the city. It’s right on the banks of the Thompson River and only a few minutes from downtown Kamloops.  

You can enjoy the beach here, bring a picnic, try your hand at lawn bowling or tennis, check out the water park (it’s currently being rebuilt and set to open in Summer 2022) or listen to live music in the summer held nightly at the Rotary Bandshell.  

Come here at sunset to enjoy the serene views of the water or walk through the park along the paths. If you’re here in the summer, check out the local favorite place for ice cream across the street at Scoopz. There are 48 flavors of ice cream, sherbet, milkshakes, and homemade lemonade. If you go, you can’t miss the ice cream floats- they are my personal favorite!

2. Walk the Rivers Trail 

Views from the Rivers Trail in Kamloops, BC
On a gorgeous day, the views are spectacular!

The Rivers Trail is actually an extensive network of around 40 kilometers (25 miles) of trails you can access from different points throughout Kamloops. The official starting point of the trail is in Riverside Park at the High Water Mark sculpture. From that spot, the trail heads north for 15 kilometers (9.3 miles), west for 16 kilometers (9.9 miles), and east for 3 kilometers (1.9 miles). You don’t have the walk the entire trail and can instead do smaller sections.

The Rivers Trail is beautiful for a walk throughout the year as it’s also cleared of snow in the winter. In the summer, you’ll find people walking, running, and biking on the scenic trails. It’s definitely one of the most popular things to do in Kamloops during the warmer months.

If you’re looking for ideas for some short walks to try, these are a few favorites.  

  • Riverside Park to Pioneer Park – Start along the waterfront, going east and walk through the Japanese Gardens, past the pickleball and tennis courts and enjoy passing by lots of public art displays along the trail. 
  • McArthur Island – Park in the lot by the Sports Centre and cross the street to find the trail. There are two different loops around McArthur Island. The longer loop passes behind a golf course and has nicer views.  
  • Aviation Way – Walk this trail in autumn for gorgeous gold and red leaves on the trees here. You’ll park at the end of Aviation Way near the airport and start the Rivers Trail heading west. During the spring and fall, the river is low enough here to reveal the sandbars that you can also visit.  

3. BC Wildlife Park 

Bc Wildlife Park Grizzly bears
Photo credit: BC Wildlife Park
Bc Wildlife Park moose
Photo credit: BC Wildlife Park

This rescue and rehabilitation center is full of amazing animals, most of who have been rescued or were orphaned in the wild. There are around 200 animals at the BC Wildlife Park, including cougars, bears, wolves, birds, reptiles, and the only Kermode Bear in the world in captivity. The Wildlife Park is located on the Trans-Canada Highway, only 15 minutes east of Kamloops. 

The Grizzly Bear enclosure is really popular here, and there are daily presentations where you can learn about the bears’ stories and ask an animal keeper questions. Don’t leave without a visit to Clover the Spirit Bear, where you can marvel at this rare white bear.  

You can also play at the splash park or playground, or ride on the mini-train through the park. A popular spot for families is the Home Hardware Family Farm, where kids can meet goats, pigs, sheep, chickens, and miniature donkeys.  

The BC Wildlife Park is open daily from 9:30 am until 4 pm, and they stay open until 5 pm in the summer. Admission is $15.95 CAD per adult and $11.95 CAD for kids. You can also purchase a skip-the-line ticket if you want to beat the crowd. The last admission is a half-hour before closing, but you’ll definitely want more time than that to explore.  

4. Kamloops Art Gallery 

Inside the Kamloops Art Gallery
Photo credit: Kamloops Art Gallery

The Kamloops Art Gallery is the largest art gallery in the Interior of BC. It has more than 3,000 pieces of art in its collection, and as such, is a popular attraction in Kamloops! The gallery is in downtown Kamloops on the corner of Victoria Street and 5th Avenue.  

The Kamloops Art Gallery changes with more than a dozen different exhibitions throughout the year. So, it will be a new experience each time you come. The gallery typically features art with a contemporary and historic focus from local, national, and international artists.  

The Kamloops Art Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, open late on Thursday night until 8 pm, and closed Sundays and Mondays. Admission is $5 CAD for adults and free for students and children. Every Thursday is also a free admission day for everyone!  

5. Kenna Cartwright Nature Park 

On the outskirts of Kamloops, you’ll find Kenna Cartwright Nature Park. It’s the largest municipal park in all of British Columbia. The biggest draw here is the over 40 kilometers (25 miles) of hiking trails. There are some stunning lookout points to stop along the trails to enjoy panoramic views of Kamloops, the Thompson Valley, Kamloops Lake, and the North and South Thompson Rivers.  

The trails here vary in difficulty from easy to extremely difficult, so check the trail map to find a trail that works for your plans, whether you want a gentle walk or a challenging bike ride.  

One of the slightly more challenging trails to try out is the Kenna Cartwright Ridge Trail. It has some of the greatest views overlooking the valley. You’ll find wildflowers here in the spring and may even spot a few deer or a coyote at sunset. This trail does get a bit steeper, so expect a good hike from this one!  

The trails are open in the winter but not cleared of snow. The trails can also close during the spring snowmelt or during an extreme fire risk, so look for any posted signs to see the trail status.  

6. Go wine tasting 

Privato Vineyard and Winery
Tasting wine at Privato Vineyard and Winery! Photo credit: Privato Vineyard and Winery

The Thompson Valley around Kamloops is also home to four wineries. Make sure to visit at least one while you’re here! I love spending an afternoon at a winery to sip great wine and savor the view.  

Monte Creek Winery is the largest winery in Kamloops and offers stunning views of the river valley and acres of vineyard that you can enjoy on their outdoor patio. If you arrive in the winter, their tasting room is open year-round. Try one of their 2018 Chardonnays fermented in French oak or a Cabernet Merlot with hints of plum, orange and dark chocolate.  

Privato Winery & Vineyard is located on an 80-acre Christmas tree farm! The winery focuses on small quantities and specializes in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. If you’re interested in a tasting, book in advance or enjoy a glass on the patio where no reservations are required.  

Harper’s Trail Estate Winery is on the outskirts of the city on the bank of the South Thompson River. The vineyard is surrounded by sage-covered hills and with a dramatic background of hoodoo formations, limestone, and a natural spring. Make sure to stop at the outdoor covered lounge area or the separate picnic patio with panoramic views.  

Sagewood Winery is family-owned, and this boutique winery has a relaxed charm to it. They have award-winning wines and offer wine tastings so you can figure out what you like. There’s everything from a Gewurztraminer with tropical flavors of kiwi, mango, and fig or a Rose with ripe strawberry aromas. 

Related Read: If you’re a wine lover, be sure to head to Kelowna where there are tons of amazing wineries!

7. Play a round of golf 

Tobiano Golf Course from above
Photo credit: Tobiano Golf Course

If you’re looking to play a round of golf while you’re here, Kamloops has the most golf courses per capita in Canada! The unique landscape here offers some challenging courses combined with views that can’t be beaten.  

Tee off overlooking Kamloops Lake at Tobiano Golf. This course is picturesque as it’s set on the bluffs above the lake, with rugged canyons shaping the course’s design. Watch out for the 7th hole, where you’ll have to make a tee shot right over a vast canyon!  

For a desert feel, try the course at Bighorn Golf and Country Club. It’s easy to get to only five minutes from downtown Kamloops. The natural sage, rolling hills, and stunning views of the Thompson Valley make for an enjoyable game. You might even spot one of the big horned sheep who live around the course!   

The fairways at The Dunes at Kamloops are situated in what used to be the bottom of the North Thompson River. Now, each hole is carved into sand dunes and greens to challenge both beginner and experienced golfers. The unique course here has been recognized with two different holes named in Score Golf’s Top 100 Holes in Canada.  

8. Sun Peaks Resort 

Skiing at Sun Peaks Resort in Kamloops, BC
The best way to enjoy both seasons in Kamloops is at Sun Peaks Resort!

If you’re visiting Kamloops in the winter, a stop at Sun Peaks is a must-do activity! This ski resort is located about 45 minutes from Kamloops. It has three mountains surrounding a quaint European-style village full of shops and restaurants.  

Sun Peaks gets about 20 feet of snow every year! The mountains are covered with the light, dry powder that is well known in this region and plenty of fun to ski or snowboard on! If downhill sports aren’t your style, there are plenty of other winter activities here including dog sledding, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice fishing, skating, and even yoga!  

The little village here is also fun to wander through, with restaurants serving everything from sushi to homemade fudge and stores with locally made jewelry, artwork, and more. 

In the summer, explore the mountain biking trails at the Bike Park with trails carved in the mountainside. Or hike one of 16 different trails, either starting at the village or taking a chairlift up and starting mid-mountain. I recommend hiking here during Alpine Blossom Season (typically mid-July to mid-August), when the wildflower meadows here showcase a kaleidoscope of colors.  

Another great warm-weather activity here is BC’s highest elevation golf course. The greens are almost 4,000 feet above sea level and are surrounded by stunning mountain views. The course itself weaves alongside the village at the bottom of the three mountains. It’s a nice escape on a hot day as typically, Sun Peaks is about 10 degrees cooler than Kamloops.  

9. Kamloops Heritage Railway 

Step back in time aboard a 1912 steam locomotive called the Spirit of Kamloops with the Kamloops Heritage Railway. The KHR 2141 steam locomotive was restored to working condition by a group of volunteers after sitting in a city park for more than three decades. It even has the original bell, whistle, and nameplate! 

You can book a ticket on this train in the summer or around certain holidays like Halloween or Christmas. You’ll be treated to a ride aboard the old steam locomotive while you learn about the train’s history. You need to book ahead of time, and the schedule can vary, so check online before you go.  

If you aren’t able to secure a ticket for a train journey, you can still tour the property. The guided heritage park tour includes a look at many different historic trains here, decommissioned cars, and you’ll get an up-close look at the Spirit of Kamloops locomotive. The tours are $10 CAD per person.  

10. Kamloops Balancing Rock & Hoodoos 

This natural wonder is a fun stop right off the Trans-Canada Highway. The Kamloops Balancing Rock and Hoodoos look out over Kamloops Lake and make for a nice short hike to stretch your legs. It’s a popular road trip stop for anybody driving from places to Vancouver or Whistler to Kamloops.

To get here, go west on Highway 1 towards Cache Creek and drive past the Kamloops Lake viewpoint. Keep an eye out for a pull-off on the right about 1.7 kilometers (1 mile) down the road. It’s a pretty sharp turn off the highway! You’ll park in a grassy area and then look for the start of the trail with a small opening in a gate to squeeze through.  

After that, it’s about a 15-minute hike until Balancing Rock comes into view – it’s literally a giant boulder perched very precariously. There are also several groups of Hoodoos here and great views of the lake.  

11. Get out on the water 

Kamloops Lake as seen from the Trans Canada Highway
Kamloops Lake as seen from the Trans Canada Highway between Cache Creek and Kamloops!

Kamloops is a fun location to explore while you’re on the water! See the city from a new viewpoint by renting a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or canoe from Kamloops Watersport Rentals.  

What’s great about them is they offer full-day rentals ranging from around $60-90 CAD, so there’s no rush to end your time on the water. The instructors also help you plan a route along the South Thompson River and teach you paddling basics before heading out.  

There are also TONS of lakes around Kamloops if that’s more your thing. Often the larger lakes like Kamloops Lake will have local places where you can rent a kayak or SUP and go for a paddle.  

12. Visit Paul Lake Provincial Park 

Paul Lake Provincial Park is only a half-hour from Kamloops and is a nice escape from the city. It’s surrounded by forest with a large campground and a popular day-use area with a beach, boat launch, and hiking trails. One of the highlights is the soaring cliff face of Gibraltar Rock. You can paddle right beside this amazing cliff in a kayak or climb right to the top on a hiking trail.  

If you want to camp here, there’s a mixture of campsites you have to reserve ahead of time as well as some that are first-come, first-serve. Arrive early if you want one of those, as the campground tends to fill up quickly in the summer.  

13. Drink delicious craft beer 

Iron road brewing Kamloops
Photo credit: Iron Road Brewing Kamloops

Kamloops isn’t only home to great wineries. There are excellent breweries for those of us who love craft beer.  

For a railroad-inspired brewery, head over to Iron Road Brewing near Thompson Rivers University. The brewery offers a 60-person taproom where you can catch live music and see the brewing process up close while enjoying a Locomotive Lager or Loopline IPA. 

Noble Pig Brewhouse is good for dinner and drinks as, along with their craft beer, they have a “made from scratch” kitchen with excellent meal options or fun sharing dishes. There’s a rotating list of brews here, along with their standards inspired by the Three Little Pigs – Straw House Munich Helles Lager, Stick House Belgian Pepper Ale, and Stone House Mocha Porter.  

Bright Eye Brewing is known for serving beers right from the tank and innovative and tasty craft beer combinations. There’s a hefeweizen inspired by strawberry-banana milkshakes or an IPA with blueberry puree and vanilla. They also make an excellent grilled cheese!  

14. McArthur Island Park 

You may have passed through McArthur Island Park already on a hike along the Rivers Trail (see activity #2!), but this large park is worth another stop. Dan and I actually stayed here in our campervan once while we road tripped across Canada!  

The paved walking path along the river is beautiful for a stroll and spotting wildlife like eagles, marmots, geese, and ducks. Outdoor activities are also popular here, with soccer fields, baseball diamonds, a disc golf course, a skateboard park, a playground, and a free 18-hole mini-golf course (just bring your own putter and ball).  

If you’re here in the summer, pop into the Gregson Butterfly Garden. It is full of flowers that butterflies love, and you’ll often spot quite a few here. There are benches around the flower beds so you can sit and enjoy.  

15. Battle Bluffs Hike 

About 15 minutes from the Kamloops Airport is the Battle Bluffs Hike, with stellar views of the city and Kamloops Lake. The trail is about 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles), mostly uphill, and gets quite steep for a bit at the end. Plan to spend about an hour and a half on this hike and longer if you want to enjoy the view from the top!  

This is a great trail to spot birds, and it’s fun to snowshoe on in the winter. There’s even a train that runs through a tunnel underneath this hill – so keep an eye out for that! This is a popular hiking trail, so if you want a quieter time of day, try this hike first thing in the morning.  

16. Cliffside Climbing Gym 

Cliffside Climbing Gym, Kamloops, BC
Bailey bouldering!

Try rock climbing indoors at Cliffside Climbing Gym in Kamloops. They have both climbing walls and bouldering areas to attempt. This is a great rainy (or snowy) day activity in Kamloops! 

You can drop in anytime the gym is open to try your hand at climbing. If you want to rock climb, you’ll need to come with another person who can hold the ropes (belay) for you. The staff here will teach you all you need to know to climb and belay when you arrive. A day pass is $18 CAD, and harnesses and climbing shoes can be rented for $3 CAD. 

For a challenge closer to the ground, try the bouldering walls! There are two bouldering areas closer to the ground, so no ropes are required – only mats underneath. This is a real upper body workout! A boulder pass is $17 CAD. 

If you’re going to be in the Kamloops area for a while and want to do more climbing, there are also lessons available. A two-hour lesson including a one-week membership and harness rentals for $65 CAD. 

17. Kamloops Bike Ranch 

Kamloops is known around the world for mountain biking. The hills around the city and riders from Kamloops have even been featured in movies. Try your hand at this action-packed sport at the Kamloops Bike Ranch.  

This free mountain bike park is located in Kamloops between the Valleyview and Juniper Ridge neighborhoods. You’ll find big elevation changes, jump lines, and downhill trails for mountain bikers of all skill levels. It’s the largest municipal bike park in North America!  

18. Visit Wells Gray Provincial Park 

Helmcken Falls on a sunny day in Wells Gray Provincial Park
This area is famous for stunning waterfalls!

If you’re up for a day trip, about two hours from Kamloops is the stunning Wells Gray Provincial Park. It’s nicknamed the Waterfall Park, with literally dozens of incredible waterfalls tucked into the forest. It’s truly one of the best places to visit in BC!  

To get here, you’ll drive north from Kamloops along Highway 5 until you get to Clearwater. From here, the main park access is along a paved road known as the Wells Gray Corridor or the Clearwater Valley Road.  

Three of the most spectacular waterfalls are right off of that access road. If you’re only here for a few hours, these are the ones to see!  

  • Helmcken Falls – the 4th largest waterfall in Canada with water that cascades down 462 feet. There’s a viewing platform here that goes overtop of the canyon for stunning up-close views.  
  • Dawson Falls – a wide waterfall stretching almost 300 feet across – like a mini Niagara Falls.  
  • Spahats Creek Falls – a dramatic waterfall with a 250-foot drop straight down with water tumbling down from a break in the rocks.  

Besides waterfalls, there are plenty of other activities to do in the park including horseback riding, golf, skiing, snowmobiling, paragliding, canoeing, and whitewater rafting (see activity #19!). 

19. Rafting down the Clearwater River in Wells Gray Park

group of people whitewater rafting down the river in Clearwater, BC
This rafting adventure is epic!

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try rafting down the Clearwater River in Wells Gray Park? This beautiful national park is about a 1.5-hour drive from Kamloops, and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts for its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. The Clearwater River in Wells Gray Park is a great choice for beginner rafters, as it has plenty of calm and relaxing stretches where you can take in the beautiful surroundings.

On this 3-hour Riverside rafting tour, you’ll have the chance to see a scenic, untouched part of B.C. as you paddle and float down the Clearwater River! This excursion includes a little bit of everything- a crash course on the basics of rafting, a brief history of Wells Gray Park, a chance to test your skills out on the rapids, a short waterfall hike, an optional cliff jump, and lots of opportunities to swim!

This rafting tour is suitable for all skill levels, from first-time beginners to experienced rafters looking for a challenge, and is even family-friendly. Tickets for this rafting tour start at $134 CAD and include a professional guide and all equipment needed for the river. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Kamloops and an activity you should book in advance to avoid missing out.

20. Erin Valley Stables horseback riding 

Erin Valley Riding Stable
Photo credit: Erin Valley Riding Stable

For a horseback riding adventure, try a trail ride through the beautiful landscape just outside Kamloops. Erin Valley Riding Stables is about 15 minutes from downtown Kamloops. Just head east on Highway 1, turn onto Barnhartvale Road, and you’ll find the stables across from the Eaglepoint Golf Course.  

Trail rides here start as soon as the trails are dry in the spring. You’ll then get to ride through the scenic grasslands and sagebrush hills around the property. All the trail rides are led by an experienced guide, and there’s a wide variety of trails and horses for beginners through to advanced riders.

Trail rides need to be booked in advance by calling 250-573-5442, and the cost is $75 CAD an hour per horse needed. Make sure you bring boots or running shoes to wear while on the ride!  

If you’re in Kamloops for a longer stay, Erin Valley also offers a six-week lesson program. The lessons offer step-by-step instructions to help teach you how to ride and communicate with your horse.  

21. Explore Downtown Kamloops 

Spend a day or at least an afternoon strolling through Downtown Kamloops! You’ll find unique stores, trendy boutiques, and great restaurants.  

Check out Crooked Crown or Ms. Whimsy’s Gift Emporium for one-of-a-kind gifts and hand-made items. For your closet, add MainStreet Clothing to the list to check out with its focus on the latest trends for men and women. If you’re looking for a piece of local art to take home, visit Kamloops Artisan Bazaar or The Art we are Café to find pieces made by local and Indigenous artists.  

If you’re hungry, downtown Kamloops has you covered. There are places for casual family get-togethers, fun pubs to hang out in, or fancier restaurants for a special night out. For fine dining, check out Brownstone Restaurant, located in a beautiful century-old building. If you’re craving Japanese food, Jacob’s Noodle & Cutlet is known for its homemade sauces and yummy noodle soups. For a relaxed place that’s also great for families, Frick and Frack Taphouse is a good choice – their garlic fries and milkshakes come highly recommended!  

22. Kamloops Farmers’ Market 

Fruit and veg from the Kamloops Farmers Market. Kamloops, BC
Photo credit: Kamloops Farmers Market

The Kamloops Farmers’ Market is a favorite spot of many locals, and it’s a fun place to pop into while you’re here. You’ll be able to buy fresh produce, meat, baked items, and more to give you a taste of Kamloops.  

The current Farmers Market in the city dates back more than 40 years when it started with only a few vendors. Now there are dozens of vendors selling everything from local crafts, soap honey, kombucha, and even perogies. During the summer season, the market is a festive place for families and often has live music and entertainment.  

The main Kamloops Farmers’ Market runs Saturdays and Wednesdays from the end of April until the end of October. Saturday markets go from 8:30 am until 12:30 pm on the 200 block of St. Paul Street. Wednesday markets run from 8 am until 1:30 pm on the 400 block of Victoria Street out the front of the library. In the winter, the market operates on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm at 471 Okanagan Way in the Purity Feed Greenhouse.  

23. Water Bike Rentals 

Sea Legs Water Bikes
Photo credit: Sea Legs Water Bikes

While Kamloops may be known for mountain biking, there’s another kind of bike you can take right onto the water! Renting a water bike at Riverside Park is a fun way to get out on the water and enjoy the scenery. Just head to the Concession at Riverside Park for the rentals from June until October.  

The water bike looks like a cross between a catamaran and a bike with large pontoons that it balances on. It’s stable and easy to use – even easier than riding a normal bike! Plus, you don’t have to worry about traffic. This is good for all ages and skill levels. It’s one of the more unique activities in Kamloops and one I’m sure you’ll love!

Where to stay in Kamloops, BC

the indoor pool at The Thompson Hotel in Kamloops, BC
The indoor pool at The Thompson Hotel is great all year round!

When it comes to where to stay while in Kamloops, there are tons of accommodation options depending on your budget and what type of experience you’re looking for. Here are some of our favorites:

Rodeway Inn & Suites – Budget Hotel

This hotel features pet-friendly rooms, complimentary continental breakfast, and an on-site laundrette for guests to use. It’s located right off Highway 1 and is a short drive away from the Aberdeen mall, Aberdeen Hills Golf Links, and many of Kamloops’s other popular attractions.

You can check availability on Booking.com

The Thompson Hotel – Mid-Range Hotel

The Thompson Hotel is a beautiful hotel in the heart of Downtown Kamloops and offers many amenities like an indoor pool and hot tub, two on-site restaurants, and complimentary bike rentals. It’s located within walking distance to the beach, dozens of restaurants, nightlife, and Riverside Park, so it’s a great starting point for everything you’ll want to see and do in Kamloops.

You can check availability on Booking.com

Prestige Kamloops Hotel – Luxury Hotel

The Prestige Hotel in Kamloops is the perfect choice for those looking for a luxurious and relaxing stay. This hotel has an on-site pool, fitness center, hot tub, and even a waterslide, as well as a brand new restaurant and office space. It’s centrally located near all the best Kamloops has to offer, so you’ll be within walking distance to shopping, restaurants, and parks.

You can check the availability for the hotel on Booking.com

Renting a Car in British Columbia

Winter road in British Columbia, Canada
Get out and explore in a rental car. The views from the road are just as amazing as the destination!

If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Car rental in Canada is relatively cheap especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $70 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Rental Cars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Rental Cars.com all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada and using crown land and campsites you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Canada Travel Essentials

Bailey stands on a mountain in essential gear for the Canadian Rockies
A windproof jacket and Buff will save you in the mountains!

Before you decide to head off and explore the gorgeous mountains, lakes, towns, and cities around Canada it’s important to have the right equipment. Of course, it’s likely you’ll have most of the basics already but there are some common items people forget that I never travel without.

Crampons: In winter crampons are super handy, but what people don’t realize is that they come in handy in summer too. In fact, up until mid-July, you can still expect icy conditions in the mountains. The pair I use is only $29 and they have lasted me 3 seasons so far!

Waterproof shell: Most people will have this item but I thought I’d include it anyway since it’s so handy in Canada. The Columbia waterproof jacket is a lightweight windproof jacket that will seriously save you in many situations. The best part though? It comes in pink!

Bear bells: These are a must and for the price, you shouldn’t hike without them. The bear bells I use are only $12 and they come with a silencer (a must) so you can easily travel with them.

Scent-proof bag (for bears): Most people think you only need to keep the smell of food away from you when you’re overnight camping. However, bears can smell the food in your bag while you’re hiking and the best way to avoid an encounter is to use a scent-proof bear bag. Basically, you put your food in the bag and the bear cannot smell it while you’re hiking. This is one item most people never have (I never hike without it) but it could save you and the bear.

Buff: I love my buff! Seriously, I go nowhere without it both in winter and summer. There are a few brands around but I always buy the original Buff (you know, the one from Survivor!) They’re a little more expensive but the material is good quality and both breathable and quick drying.

Dry bag: I have expensive camera equipment so I always travel with a dry bag large enough to fit some of my equipment. It can be a camera, book, binoculars, or even my keys. Regardless, a dry bag gives me peace of mind! The MARCHWAY bag is really good quality, and when not in use, takes up only a small amount of room.

Binoculars: I love my binoculars! Seriously they have come in hand so many times especially when I’m looking for wildlife. The best part is, I use a set that only costs $27 and they serve my basic needs without any issues!

Thanks for reading!

Kamloops is a great destination whether you’re passing through on a road trip or spending your entire vacation here. There are tons of activities for every season to soak up the sunshine and explore this unique part of the country. I hope you have lots of ideas to help plan your time in beautiful British Columbia!  

If you enjoyed reading this blog about Things to Do in Kamloops, you’ll want to check out these posts next:

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