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Cradled in the heart of the Okanagan Valley and accessible by major highways, Sicamous is a very popular vacation destination that offers plenty of fun activities, attractions, and places to visit nearby. Shuswap and Mara Lakes offer beaches and boating, the mountains offer hiking and winter sports, and the nearby area is dotted with orchards and wineries.
Sicamous is one of the best places to visit in British Columbia for a tranquil vacation surrounded by nature.
Shuswap Lake, like many of the lakes in the British Columbia interior, is very deep and cold, fed by glaciers and melting snow throughout the year. The town itself is quite small, with only about 3000 residents, but they welcome many thousands more tourists each year during the summer months. Even though it’s small, there’s still so much to do in Sicamous, so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors and support the local community.
Sicamous is located directly on the Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 between Kamloops and Golden and is often considered the halfway point on the drive between Vancouver and Calgary. It’s an important link on one of the few major routes through the mountains, a significant and beautiful location that is easy to find, historically significant, and wonderful to visit!
So, if you find yourself in Sicamous, don’t just rush through. Read about all of the fun things to do in Sicamous and enjoy this small town as much as I always do!
Things to do in Sicamous
1. Go houseboating on Shuswap Lake
Since Sicamous calls itself the houseboat capital of Canada, we cannot miss recommending house boating on this list! If you enjoy being on the water, soaking up some sun, swimming in the cool lake, and getting some quality time with your family, a houseboat may be the perfect vacation.
Booked in a similar way to booking a stay at a resort or hotel, a houseboat is like your own private floating home. They come in many sizes as well, sleeping everyone from small families to large groups.
No previous boating experience or license is needed to rent a houseboat in Sicamous, you simply need to be 19 years old and hold a valid driver’s license, and all of the rental companies will do a thorough instructional and safety orientation for everyone prior to boarding, and then you are good to go! The boats are quite slow, and the lake is easy to navigate.
Houseboating season runs from May through to October each year, and pricing is structured differently depending on when you go. The most expensive rates will be during peak season, from the beginning of July to the end of August. The rate may also fluctuate during the week, with weekends and holidays being more expensive in general than mid-week trips.
Be sure to ask about additional fees, as there are usually marina fees and environmental/sewage pump fees when booking your floating vacation. Due to the limited number of houseboats and their popularity, I also recommend booking ahead to make sure you don’t miss out.
There are several houseboat rental companies to choose from in Sicamous. Sicamous Houseboats is one of the most popular, they have houseboats that range from sleeping 10 guests to others that sleep up to 20 people, and their rates range from $520 to $2300 CAD per night with a damage deposit of $5000 or $7500 CAD depending on the size of the boat you are renting. They do also have a minimum booking of three nights.
Another popular choice is Twin Anchors Houseboats, which has boats that can accommodate 6 guests all the way up to the bigger boats that can accommodate up to 28 guests. They offer bookings of 3, 4, or 5 nights at a time, and the prices range from about $295 CAD/night to about $3100/night. The damage deposit ranges from $5000 to $15000, though they offer an insurance buydown to help reduce this amount if needed.
A wide range of onboard amenities are available, so I recommend considering several factors when choosing your houseboat rental. The number of people in your group and sleeping arrangement comfort are important considerations, and any bookings will provide you with a floor plan of the boat. There is usually limited storage and tighter quarters than a typical hotel room, so you should consider packing light.
The galley, or kitchen, is also important to look at, and your needs will depend on how much food you plan to bring with you, the length of your trip, and how you plan to cook and eat while onboard. For example, some boats may have an outdoor barbeque, but many have only a very small oven. There are also other exciting extras to look for, like waterslides or hot tubs on board!
Related Read: Houseboating is also one of the most popular things to do in Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island.
2. Get outside and go camping
The unique natural beauty of the Sicamous area is very inviting to campers! If you are interested in being close to nature and being right on a beach or up in the mountains, there are many great campgrounds around Sicamous. If your home-away-from-home is an RV, trailer, or tent, a campground can provide amenities and comforts to make sure you are comfortable.
For the cheapest option, which is also popular among those who are looking to really connect with their surroundings and the people they are traveling with, some of BC’s provincial parks have campgrounds. There is one near Sicamous, in Yard Creek Park, which is under 15 minutes northeast on the Trans-Canada Highway/BC-1. This campground has 65 sites, available toilet facilities, a sheltered picnic area, and a trailhead for explorers and hikers. This site costs only $25 CAD/night but does not have full-service sites, wifi, or other luxuries.
The Hangin Loose in Sicamous U Pick and RV Camping offers some RV sites starting at $50/night. These sites are no service, but they have beautiful green spaces, and the campground is on the shore of the Eagle River, which can be taken into Mara Lake if you have canoes/kayaks/etc. If you are there during berry season, you can also enjoy the U Pick while you are there!
If you would prefer to be directly in Sicamous, Joe Schmucks Campground on the Trans-Canada Highway/BC-1 in town has a few full-service sites for RVs for $55/night and non-service sites for $40/night. One thing to note about this campground is that they do not have washrooms available, so you would need to be self-contained within your RV.
For more full-service sites, amenities, and activities, the Sicamous RV & Cabin Resort has full washrooms, a swimming pool, sauna, laundry, playground, minigolf, and a ride-along mini-train available. Their rates differ depending on the season and day of the week, but rates for full-service sites seem to start at around $64/night.
Related Read: Camping is also one of the best things to do in the nearby city of Vernon, BC!
3. D Dutchman Dairy
One classic place to visit in Sicamous is the D Dutchman Dairy farm and petting zoo. It’s especially fun for families with young children. It is a family-owned and run business that has grown into a popular day-trip destination or a quick ice cream stop for travelers.
D Dutchman Dairy was founded in 1978 by the Dewitt family as a dairy farm. They still have dairy cows, and their delicious milk, cream, cheese, and old-fashioned, handmade ice cream are made right on the farm! They encourage visitors to explore and interact with the dairy cows, and a variety of other friendly animals, including pigs, goats, chickens, and more.
The D Dutchman Dairy is open 7 days a week from 8 am to 6 pm. There is no charge for admission or time spent with the animals, and all of the dairy products are reasonably priced. With up to 62 flavors of ice cream to choose from, there is always something unique to try! I recommend trying the Egg Nog or Peppermint Patty flavors. They’re creamy and delicious and taste just like Christmas!
You can also purchase their ice cream in larger amounts to take home with you, with tubs up to 4L in size. That’s how much people love it!
You’ll find D Dutchman Dairy located on Highway 1 about 2 minutes outside of Sicamous on the road towards Revelstoke.
4. Wine Tasting
The land around Sicamous is quite fertile, and some of the very best vineyards and orchards in Canada are in the area. Many wineries are open to visitors, and you can go and visit many of them, taste new wines or your favorite wines, and enjoy the see the beautiful vineyards!
Larch Hills Winery is a local favorite! A local family business, it’s BC’s northernmost winery, and they have won many awards for their high-quality BC VQA wines! The location is beautiful, and for those interested, there is a lot to learn about their grapes, vineyard, and wines! The Ortega grapes are their specialty.
Larch Hill winery is open every day, year-round, from 9 am to 5 pm. Larch Hills can be found just outside of Salmon Arm, about 30 minutes south of Sicamous, by either the Trans-Canada Highway/BC-1 or Highway 97A.
Another favorite to check out is Waterside Winery, which is quite close to Larch Hills. Located on a riverbank near Enderby, Waterside Winery specializes in richly flavored, aromatic wines. From May to September, they are open Tuesday to Saturday from 12 pm to 5 pm.
Related Read: If you’re a wine lover, you must check out the many wineries in Kelowna, BC. Wien tasting is one of the best things to do in Kelowna too!
5. Sicamous Creek Falls
While you are in the Sicamous area, the Sicamous Creek Falls are a must-see! This is a very quick little trail with great views of two beautiful waterfalls. The trail is only 400 meters and is rated easy, and it is a quick trip down from the trailhead to the base of the waterfalls, where you can stand in the mist, watch, and listen as the water from the creek pours down the rocks.
For more experienced hikers, another trail leads from the same parking lot, called the Canyon Loop Trail. It’s a looping trail around 1.1km that is rated challenging, as it’s quite steep and switchbacks up the mountain. The views from the top of this trail are absolutely stunning.
The trailhead and both trails are easily accessible and very close to the town of Sicamous. Head South out of Sicamous on the Vernon-Sicamous Highway (Hwy 97A), and then turn left on Two Mile Road. Keep an eye out for the signs, and the parking lot, which includes a picnic area and washroom, will be on the right.
6. Enjoy relaxing beach days
A favorite summer activity in Sicamous is, of course, beach days! Relax, unwind, and enjoy yourself on sandy beaches. Swimming is welcome in both of the nearby lakes, picnicking is popular, and sand sculptures are a lot of fun! Otherwise, feel free to bring chairs, blankets, or towels and enjoy the unique and picturesque lakeside beaches.
Sicamous Beach Park is a beautiful public beach in town, with white sand beaches, shallow water, and plenty of amenities. It can be a fairly busy beach, though, especially during the summer! This beach is located at the mouth of the Sicamous Narrows, where Mara Lake joins the larger Shuswap Lake. It is easily found just across the Trans-Canada Highway/BC-1 from downtown Sicamous.
Some quieter parks and beaches can be found by taking Highway 97A/BC-97A south from Sicamous along the coast of Mara Lake. About ten minutes away, turn right at Swansea Point Rd, and you will find a local beach there called Cambridge Road Community Park, which also has a white sand beach and shallow entry water but is typically a lot quieter.
If you continue past that park, you can find another Mara Lake beach at the Mara Provincial Park, another 7 minutes down Highway 97A/BC-97A.
7. Visit Malakwa Suspension Bridge
A historic site and a wonderful place to visit if you are searching for things to do in Sicamous is the Malakwa Suspension Bridge. You can walk from a parking area directly to the bridge, and after you cross it, you can continue a walking loop on the backcountry roads. It’s an easy 1 hour trip and is suitable for the whole family!
The suspension bridge hangs low over the still waters of Eagle River, and it’s a really peaceful and beautiful location to be and provides some really beautiful photo opportunities.
To get to Malakwa Suspension Bridge, take the Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 east out of Sicamous, and turn left onto Malakwa Road. Continue for 1.5km and then turn left on Summerville Husted Road, which ends in the parking area. The bridge is a quick walk down a marked path from that parking area.
8. Buy fresh local fruit
The local fruit farms and orchards near Sicamous are beautiful and yield delicious and really high-quality produce that you can often purchase directly. There are many little fresh fruit and vegetable stands that dot the roadsides in the summer and fall, often right on the properties where the produce has been grown and harvested.
If you enjoy fresh produce like apples, peaches, cherries, blackberries, and corn on the cob, this is where BC’s best is grown!
The Sicamous Farmer’s Market meets every Friday during the summer, from the hours of 4 pm to 7 pm. They welcome a large variety of different vendors, with some bringing amazing fruit and vegetables and others bringing honey, jams, soap, candles, and other handcrafted or homegrown products. The vendors vary each week, but it’s always a great place to go for produce, snacks, or souvenirs! The market is typically held outdoors in the Legion parking lot downtown Sicamous, at 322 Main St.
If you are looking for one-stop shopping for fresh and local fruits and veggies, Fruit World is the perfect spot! They work with a network of high-quality, non-GMO farmers in the Shuswap and Okanagan regions to provide you with only the best of the best. Fruit World is an open-air market in the same location as the famous D Dutchmen Dairy, just off the Trans-Canada Highway/BC-1 north of Sicamous.
A really fun activity to do with the whole family while in Sicamous is to go to a U-Pick farm and spend some time wandering the growing plants and gathering your own berries or fruit right from the orchards! Most of these farms will charge by weight, and it is recommended to plan ahead, as different fruits will have different harvest seasons over the summer.
At Hangin’ Loose in Sicamous, you can come and pick your own produce throughout the summer season! They welcome visitors to pick strawberries from June 15th to July 31st, cherries in July, blueberries from July 15th to August 31st, blackberries from August 15th to September 30th, and finally, grapes are available from September 1st through to October 31st. They can be found less than 5 minutes northeast of Sicamous on the Trans-Canada Highway/BC-1.
9. Day Trip to Salmon Arm
Not far from Sicamous is the town of Salmon Arm, a fun place to go for a day trip! Salmon Arm is also located on the Shuswap Lake, roughly a 25-minute drive from Sicamous. It’s a perfect day trip idea for those visiting Kamloops, or just a scenic stop for a few hours before spending a few days exploring Kelowna nearby.
A beautiful British Columbia town, Salmon Arm has everything we love about the Shuswap area and more. A visit to this beach is just one of many fun things to do in Salmon Arm, including the gorgeous Margaret Falls and Canoe Beach, the fun and bustling downtown area, DeMille’s Farm Market, and more!
To get to Salmon Arm, simply take the Trans-Canada Highway/BC-1 southwest, which is a gorgeous stretch of highway that follows the coastline of the lake, and you will arrive directly in the small town of Salmon Arm.
10. Visit The Enchanted Forest
A very unique attraction that offers multiple fun things to do near Sicamous is known as The Enchanted Forest. Started as a labor of love by an artist in the 1950s, Doris Needham, who created hundreds of fairytale-style figurines and characters, and her husband, Ernest Needham, who worked on clearing some pathways and building several structures on the property. It has grown over the last 60+ years and is a must-see tourist attraction in the area!
The primary draw is the easy pathway leading through the forest that feels like stepping through the pages of an elaborately decorated fairytale book. Over 350 fairytale figures and characters can be found, and there are several themed structures, including BC’s grandest treehouse, a castle complete with a watchful dragon, and more!
Once you’ve wandered through the Enchanted part of the forest, they also have a lovely 1.5-hour Wildland Interpretive Nature Walk to admire the old-growth trees and cross the boardwalk over the Eagle River.
The Enchanted Forest is open roughly from May to October, from 9 am to 5 pm in the spring and fall, and from 9 am to 7 pm in July and August. Admission costs $14 CAD plus tax for adults (16 years+), $12+tax for seniors (65 years+), and $9+tax for children (ages 3-15 years old). They do have a group rate of 20% off for groups of 18 or more guests.
The Enchanted Forest is located right off the Trans-Canada Highway/BC-1 halfway to Revelstoke, just take the highway northeast out of Sicamous, and the Enchanted Forest is roughly 25 minutes away.
11. Day Trip to Revelstoke
Revelstoke is another great day trip you can do from Sicamous, as it’s under an hour away! It’s a small, quaint mountain town with a vibrant downtown core. Mount Revelstoke National Park boasts many gorgeous trails and parks, refreshing hot springs, and a world-famous gondola.
The best part is that you can visit Revelstoke in both winter and summer. Revelstoke is famous for the number of awesome things to do in the winter, and is well known as one of the best places to ski in Canada. It even holds the record for receiving the most snow of any ski resort in Canada!
Revelstoke is also close to many hot springs, so you can take a dip in a natural jacuzzi and warm up after a day of winter sports in Revelstoke. My favorite is Canyon Hot Springs; these are the closest hot springs to Revelstoke at only about a 20-minute drive away. They are located within a resort and campground where you can stay a night or two. It costs $12.50 CAD to enter the hot springs with discounted rates available for children and seniors, but if you spend the night at the resort then you can enter the hot springs for free!
I’ve visited Revelstoke many times in winter and I love it, you really can’t get bored in this town. With that said, nothing beats summer in Revi! Take a trip up the gondola and ride the mountain coaster down, or go hiking and enjoy the gorgeous weather! Mt. Revelstoke National Park is perfect for hiking in summer and overlooking the beautiful Heather Lake from the summit. Regardless, there’s no shortage of things to do in Revelstoke. It’s a must-visit town, even just for one day!
Although a day trip to Revelstoke is fun, if you have more time then I recommend spending a night or two there. There are lots of great hotels to choose from in Revelstoke that cater to all budgets.
12. Rent a speedboat
For those looking for something fun to do on the water in Sicamous, a day on the lake in a speedboat could be perfect! You can rent a speedboat for half the day or for a full day and experience the Shuswap Lake at your pace, from swimming, tubing, wakeboarding, or water-skiing to exploring the length of the lake and shoreline with the wind in your hair.
A temporary boating license is offered with the rental packages after a short orientation to teach you all how to operate the vehicle and safety regulations.
Several pleasurecraft rental companies located right in the Sicamous Marina can get you into a speedboat! Keep in mind that most of these prices do not include fuel costs or water sports equipment.
Sicamous Houseboats has two models of speedboats to rent, starting at $500 CAD per day.
At Red’s Rentals, they have many types of speedboats, the option for half days starting at just $425 or $600 CAD per full day.
Seadog Boat Sales and Service is a great offer for longer rentals, with options for day or half-day rentals, but with the best prices per day being rentals of 7 to 14 days.
13. Kayaking and SUP
A more peaceful (but just as fun!) way to experience the Shuswap Lake is to go out on the water on your own. There are many types of personal watercraft you can rent (or bring your own if you have them) to explore the lake. Our favorites are kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding (SUP).
Down at the Sicamous Marina, there are many places to rent kayaks or paddleboards! Red’s Rentals offers single and double kayaks and SUP rentals at $25 CAD per hour, $70 per day, or $350 per week. Seadog Boat Sales also offers kayaks and SUPs at $20 per hour, $60 per day, $160 for 3 days, $200 for 4 days, or $300 per week.
I recommend checking out a map of the waterways in the immediate area, as there are multiple directions to go! You can head up Eagle River or into either the Shuswap Lake or Mara Lake, both of which have oblong shapes and are very large. It’s easiest and safest to stick near the shoreline as you explore, both to assist navigation back to Sicamous and to stay out of the way of speedboats and larger craft. Keep an eye on the water for swimmers too!
14. Kelly’s Go-Karts
For a really fun experience for the whole family, Kelly’s Go Karts is perfect! They have several tracks for racing and three different sizes of karts, kiddie karts, adult karts, and doubles karts. They have some fun racing paraphernalia and a few racecars there as well.
It’s quite affordable, with each costing $15-25 CAD for every 10 minutes. They do require that kids are a minimum of 5 years old and 4 feet tall in order to reach the gas and brake pedals in the karts. Kelly’s Go Karts is also super conveniently located on the Trans-Canada Highway/BC-1, just outside of Sicamous to the north.
15. Snowmobiling in the winter
One of the most fun winter activities in Sicamous, BC is snowmobiling! Similar to a jet ski on the water, a snowmobile allows you to trek through the mountains on top of the snow. There are several very popular trails and routes to check out, and two people can usually comfortably fit on one snowmobile, so it can be a great couple’s experience and a wonderful way to be in the mountains.
Sled Sicamous, a non-profit snowmobiling club, is a great resource to go to for grooming reports on the four different trail areas, maps, and advice on the difficulty of each mountain’s trails.
For snowmobile rentals, you can check out Ride the Mous. From them, you can rent snowmobiles for as low as $375 CAD per day!
16. After Dark Distillery
For any adults looking for a more spirited activity in Sicamous, be sure to check out the After Dark Distillery! An old-school distillery, they make authentic moonshine (in 9 flavors) and premium vodka, gin, and whiskey. Using local ingredients and mountain spring water and distilling small batches by hand with traditional methods, they create top-quality, unique spirits you can’t find anywhere else.
Here, you’ll find moonshine flavors like Peach, Cherry, Espresso, and even Rootbeer! My favorite is the Apple Pie Highland Shine, and the Maple flavored moonshine is a close second. Both flavors are tasty with just enough kick, but still go down smooth and are enjoyable to drink.
This is a great place to go to support a local business, taste the unique drinks, or for souvenirs and gifts as well! After Dark Distillery is located on the corner of Main St and Shuswap Ave directly in Sicamous.
For some casual time outdoors with some friendly competition and some light exercise, head out to one of the beautiful golf courses in the area! There are two golf courses in Sicamous and many more in the surrounding areas.
Eagle River Golf Club is located just outside of Sicamous and easily found by following the Trans-Canada Highway/BC-1 north for about 2km. It is a classic 9-hole golf course, which was voted the best in the Shuswap! They charge $32 CAD plus tax per adult for all 9 holes.
The MaraHils Golf Resort has absolutely stunning views, but a more difficult game due to the terrain, as you are playing around the natural formations of the mountainside. It winds through the forest, across ravines, and with some tees overlooking Mara Lake below. During the regular season, they charge $99 CAD plus tax for tees before 1 pm and $79+tax after 1 pm. They do also offer the option to play 9 holes (half of the course) for $55+tax. It’s also very close to town, just take the Trans-Canada Highway/BC-1 west out of Sicamous and then turn left down Old Spallumcheen Road, which will take you directly to MaraHills!
18. Cross country skiing
A popular winter sport in the area is cross-country skiing, and between the communities of Sicamous and Salmon Arm, through several trail systems is a linking trail that is incredible to travel on skis in the winter months. Known as the Larch Hills Traverse, this connecting trail is a 40km trek that offers incredible vistas of the Shuswap and Mara Lakes and an intimate experience of the mountains, winding through varying forests, traversing switchbacks up the steeper sections, and many backcountry narrow paths. This epic trail is an incredible way to truly experience the natural wonder and wildness of the mountains.
This path is more difficult and does require experience and preparation, as the trail takes 11-14 hours to complete. Many travelers opt for an overnight when possible, and it is a wilderness trail that should be attempted without prior experience, including backcountry navigation and appropriate equipment and supplies.
Where to Stay in Sicamous
Pines Motel – $
The Pines Motel is about 0.5 kilometers from the city center in Sicamous, British Columbia and only a 5-minute walk from the beach. Each guest room at this Sicamous motel comes with cable TV and coffee-making facilities, as well as a microwave and refrigerator for added convenience. The rooms also include free Wi-Fi, and the deluxe ones have a kitchenette.
Guests of the Sicamous Pines Motel have access to a barbeque and picnic area, free on-site parking, and guests can use the fax and photocopy machines as needed. It’s centrally located and close to Mara Lake (2 kilometers away) and the Sicamous Recreation Centre (1.6 kilometers away).
Rooms here start at about $140 CAD per night, but can fluctuate depending on the time of year you want to visit. You can check availability and rates for your desired dates on Booking.com.
Paradise Motel – $$
The Paradise Motel offers a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi in all guest rooms. This Sicamous motel is located 10 minutes’ walk from Shuswap Lake, and 15 km away from downtown Kamlooppec Town Center where you can find restaurants as well as amenities such shopping centers or gas stations if needed!
Each room is equipped with cable TV along with kitchenettes available upon request. Dogs are also allowed here, so they can enjoy your next outdoor adventure in Sicamous with you.
A standard queen room in this motel starts at $165 CAD per night. You can check availability for this motel online on Booking.com.
Best Western Sicamous Inn – $$
For those willing to spend a little extra money for some added comfort, the Best Western Sicamous Inn is a great choice. This Sicamous hotel is a 12-minute walk from the beach and is less than 1 km from the local D’Dutchmen Dairy. It features an indoor pool, daily continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and an on-site business center free of use for guests. This hotel is within 1 hours’ drive of Shuswap Lake and Enchanted Forest, and Hyde Mountain Golf Course is less than a 10 minutes’ drive away.
After a day of work or exploration, guests can relax in the indoor or outdoor hot tubs. A flat-screen TV and a work desk are featured in each room at Best Western Sicamous Inn, and the traditionally styled rooms also offer a microwave and small fridge for convenience. The complimentary daily breakfast features items like eggs, bacon, waffles and fresh fruit.
A deluxe queen room with two queen beds will cost around $244 CAD per night. You can check availability and rates for your preferred dates on Booking.com.
Thanks for reading!
These 18 activities don’t even scratch the surface of all the cool things to do in Sicamous, but they’re a great start! This town is a bit of a hidden gem in my opinion, but I think it’s worth exploring if you’re ever in the area. What are your favorite things to do in Sicamous? Let us know in the comments below!
For more insight on things to do in British Columbia or Canada travel tips and guides, be sure to check out our other posts for more inspiration:
12 BEST Stops on the Drive from Whistler to Revelstoke
20 BEST Things to Do in Golden in Winter