Vernon is located 33 miles/53 km north of Kelowna in the North Okanagan. Highway 97 cuts through town as 32nd Street, crossing 30th Avenue which is downtown Vernon’s main street. Population: 41,671.
Visitor Information: Tourism Vernon Visitor Information at 39th Avenue; phone 250-542-1415, toll-free 1-800-665-0795.
Situated between Kalamalka, Okanagan and Wood lakes, Vernon is a popular tourist destination with year-round activities and attractions suited to a wide range of ages and interests. Local hiking and biking trails for all abilities are found in the 5 area provincial parks: Ellison, Kalamalka Lake, Kekuli Bay, Silver Star and Fintry.
Vernon is the Okanagan’s oldest city, settled in 1867 by Luc Girouard. As head of the Okanagan Lake paddle-wheeler service, Vernon grew in importance with the construction of a branch line of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Later, irrigation made commercial agriculture possible and the area exploded.
- Visit Polson Park, a green oasis lined with weeping willows and with a unique floral clock. See the historic turn-of-the-century courthouse surrounded by a flowery courtyard and waterfalls.
- Planet Bee Honey Farm at 5011 Bella Vista Rd. (2.5 km/1.5 miles west off Highway 97 on 30th Avenue) has year-round mead tastings and a honey tasting bar and educational bee presentations in July and August. Both Okanagan Spirits (BCs first craft distillery) at 5204–24 St. and BX Press Cidery at 4747 E. Vernon Rd. offer tours and tastings.
- Stop at Davison Orchards Country Village, family-owned and operated since 1933, for fresh produce, orchard tours, shopping at their gift shop or enjoying special seasonal events. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 1 to Oct. 31. You can reach Davison Orchards from Highway 97 by turning west on 30th Avenue to Bella Vista Road, then right on Davison Road.
- Farmers Markets are held mid-April until Canadian Thanksgiving (second Monday in October) on Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Fridays only noon–4 p.m., from after Canadian Thanksgiving to mid-April.