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Please visit our Newsletter section for the latest edition of the Bed and Breakfast Traveller.

In the 34th issue of the Bed and Breakfast Traveller, we take you to Vernon, BC, a four-season destination for vacationers and business travellers alike.

Well known for its beautiful setting amid valleys, mountains, river and lakes, the City of Vernon enjoys mild temperatures, a long growing season and a host of year-round recreation activities. Bordered by Kalamalka, Okanagan and Swan Lakes, Vernon is a four-season destination for vacationers and business travellers alike.

Recognized as an attractive area in which to live, the resulting steady growth creates an excellent environment for investment and innovative businesses. Located halfway between Vancouver and Calgary, the businesses are well positioned to access many markets, with plenty of room for new ventures. Scheduled air service between the Vernon Airport and Vancouver will be starting summer 2003, visit www.northernhawk.com for more information.

Webster's definition of adventure - "an exciting or remarkable experience" says it all. Whether you like it nice and easy or wild and rough, we've got it! There is no end to the adventure that awaits you in the North Okanagan.

Our region is very rich in variety of terrain and ecology, with landscapes that vary from open, semi-arid grasslands to high elevation sub-alpine meadows, to dark, moist temperate rainforests, often only a few kilometres apart! This varied range enables the North Okanagan to support a myriad of plant and animal life. The surrounding area holds enough streams and lakes to warm the heart of any fisherman. Some are accessible from paved roads, while more secluded waters are reached by narrow gravel roads, and some can only be found along hiking trails. Hikers, backpackers and horsemen will love the North Okanagan, where opportunities for exploration are endless!

Allan Brooks Nature Centre
Located just 5 minutes from downtown Vernon, the Allan Brooks Nature Centre with its spectacular views of Vernon and the 3 surrounding lakes, is a great place for bird enthusiasts. Website: www.abnc.ca

Bird Watchers - bring your binoculars and birding manuals and take a look at the incredible diversity of bird life in our area. During the Annual Christmas Bird Count, our area boasts the highest number in the Interior, often higher than locations in the Lower Mainland, and is well known for its diversity of bird life, migratory, seasonal and residential. Many of our best bird watching sites are within very easy access of major roadways.

Okanagan Opal
Come to the opal miner's workshop just north of Vernon to feast your eyes on beautiful precious opals that have been mined and cut in the Okanagan. Purchase a piece of unique jewellery from Okanagan Opal, or join gem seekers from near and far in a search for precious opals at Canada's first Opal Mine.

Sun Valley Motor Speedway
Not only will we start and finish with the CASCAR Western Super Series, we have booked NASCAR North West Tour for June 21 - first time NASCAR has been in Canada since the early 1980's. Visit Sun Valley Motor Speedway for more information.

Adventure Okanagan Cooperative
The Adventure Okanagan Cooperative offers something for everyone - plan an adventure for the soul and discover the Okanagan!

Winds & Rivers Escapes
Winds & Rivers Escapes features Canoe and Winery tours. This unique one-day tour combine open water paddling on Okanagan Lake, historical insights of the region, followed by an "Alfresco" style lunch, winery tour and tasting at award-winning Okanagan wineries.

Take Off Paragliding School
Have you ever dreamt of flying? Real flying? Just you with the sky, with your own wings. www3.bc.sympatico.ca/takeoff

North Okanagan Sailing Association
Learn to sail this summer! The North Okanagan Sailing Association is providing adult and youth programs to give people of all ages an opportunity to feel the wind. www.nosa.bc.ca.

Monashee Adventure Tours
Monashee Adventure Tours, chosen "One of the Best" in the Okanagan. Rediscover the joy of the outdoors. Monashee offers guided tours, from the beginner to advanced, throughout the Okanagan. Biking & hiking in summer, and snowshoeing for backcountry exploring in the winter.

Okanagan Aviation
Offers flight training, rental and more. Visit the Okanagan Aviation website at www.okanagan-aviation.com

Silver Star Soaring Association

Visit the website of the Silver Star Soaring Association operating out of the Vernon Municipal Airport. Come fly with us on silent wings. Okanagan Soaring Assoc: www.junction.net/osa.

Vernon Outdoors Club
The Vernon Outdoors Club schedules hikes, walks and bike trips throughout the year.

Silver Star Mountain Resort - a four season adventure playground
Welcome to summertime at Silver Star Mountain Resort www.skisilverstar.com, where the snow has melted away and the mountain has blossomed into an unparalleled array of greenery and wildflowers. Ride the chairlift and hike through the pine-scented forests to a scenic picnic spot, or rent a mountain bike and explore the magnificent trails colored with alpine flowers. Take part in an abundance of activities and excursions the whole family will enjoy - 60 km. of mountain biking trails, scenic chairlift rides, nature tours, horseback riding, hiking, rollerblading, shopping and disc golf course. Hotels and restaurants are open daily. For chairlift tickets, trail passes and mountain bike rentals, visit Ski Dazzle Rental in the village centre.

Silver Star Mountain Resort has a long history of being a place to play under the summer sun. Plan to attend the Okanagan Summer Wine Festival and the Microbrewery Festival.

Golf at one of Vernon's fabulous foursome:
Predator Ridge - hosted the millennium Export "A" Skins Game, 27 championship holes Website: www.predatorridge.com
Spallumcheen Golf & Country Club - an 18 hole, 6,423 yard par 71 championship course. The course encompasses 62 bunkers, 10 water holes and the serene Deep Creek and also offers a 2,675 yard, par 35 executive course. www.spallumcheengolf.com
Vernon Golf & Country Club- Built in 1903 on Vernon Creek, this Club is the area's longest established home for the sport. Graceful Lambert poplars and weeping willows line 6,400 yards of gently rolling fairways that span this 18 hole, par 72 challenge Website: www.vernongolf.com.
Hillview Golf Course is a relaxed, 18 hole, 3.400 yard, par 56 course. No tee times required.

O'Keefe Ranch - Okanagan's #1 Heritage Site!
Nestled in the scenic and pastoral rolling hills just north of Vernon, this historic site is one of the Okanagan's hidden treasures. Founded in 1867, O'Keefe Ranch was once one of the largest cattle ranches in British Columbia, spanning over 20,000 acres of prime Okanagan land. From their humble beginnings the O'Keefe family built up a small settlement consisting of a general store with the first post office in the Okanagan, a blacksmith shop and St. Anne's Church built in 1889. There's something here for the whole family - relax in the peaceful park like setting, picnic under the shade of the maple trees, explore our collection of vintage farm machinery, enjoy the huge model railway display and our collection of rare breed farm animals is a delight for all ages. Other features include the restaurant, gift shop, and many special events throughout the season. Visit at www.okeeferanch.bc.ca

Visit Davison Orchards for the full country experience. Kids can get up close and personal with country critters while Mom and Dad take in the market, tour the flower gardens, learn some history in the orchard museum and browse through Auntie May's Gift Shop. Before you leave, just follow your nose to the bakery and pick up a homemade pie. Better yet, enjoy a delicious homemade lunch on the deck and take in the magnificent view of the valley. Check their website at www.davisonorchards.ca for the many special events held throughout the year.

Art & Culture

Inspired by the relaxing influence of an idyllic and spectacular North Okanagan landscape, artists in all disciplines find abundant expression through a thriving cultural community, finding a voice through music, drama, poetry and visual art. See the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, take in a play at Powerhouse, see a dance performance or attend a gala art opening - almost every week we offer a new cultural feature. Website: www.vernontourism.com/attractions/arts.htm

Vernon Public Art Gallery
The Vernon Public Art Gallery sponsors exhibitions featuring local, national and international artists. The Gallery offers an extensive art education program through our local schools, hosts the "Brown Bag Film Series" on Wednesdays at noon, and also houses an excellent gift shop, filled with quality, handcrafted, unique art items. Website: www.galleries.bc.ca/vernon

Greater Vernon Museum and Archives
Located on 32nd Ave next to the Library and City Hall, the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is the best place for learning more about the history of our area. Visit the Museum and Archives website at www.vernonmuseum.ca to find out more and to search their database of 2500 historical photographs!

Eskila Gallery
Located at idyllic Castle on the Mountain B&B; on Silver Star Road, Eskila Gallery presents works by the owner, Eskil Larsen, as well as originals and reproductions of contemporary B.C. artists, home decor and B.C. mementos.

Powerhouse Theatre
Powerhouse Theatre, Vernon's award winning theatre company, marks its 36th year in 1999. Powerhouse produces three plays in its season from September to May, and the theatre hosts touring shows in the summer. www.powerhousetheatre.bc.ca

Sen'Klip Native Theatre Company
Sen'Klip Theatre brings the past to life in a format that attracts both tourists, educators, and the local Native population. Open July/August for drop-in traffic, contracted group tours and performance available May to October.

Super Shopping

Strolling the shady streets of downtown Vernon is almost as much fun as exploring its more than 150 shops. A sense of history pervades the revitalized city core with its wrought iron lamps, inviting benches and heritage murals. When your feet give out, relax at a sidewalk café and watch the world go by. Visit www.downtownvernon.org for more information. There's more great shopping at the Village Green Mall which offers 65 stores and services. Check out the ever-expanding 58th Avenue shopping area. Other centres include Fruit Union Plaza, Landing Plaza, Polson Park Mall and Vernon Square Mall. There's something for everyone!

History on the Walls - take the mural walk and enjoy over 25 historic murals that depict the people and events that shaped the community and do it with a palette of colours and form that celebrate beauty as much as history. Website: www.downtownvernon.org

Superb Hospitality

Dining: When it comes to culinary diversity, few regions rival this area. Creative chefs take advantage of abundant local specialities including orchard fresh fruit, direct from the farm vegetables, local cheese, honey, fish and meats. Wine lists feature the perfect Okanagan vintage to compliment your meal. And it's all served up in the most spectacular settings. Try a lakeside patio, a mountain lodge, a ranch, an inn or a downtown bistro. You'll run out of vacation long before you run out of choices.

You'll find the selection of accommodations equally enticing. Among the plentiful resorts, hotels, inns, lodges and B & B's, you're bound to find the perfect setting.
Chic or casual - you'll love our hospitality!

Upcoming Events

Farmers Market - Monday and Thursday mornings at the Multiplex parking lot.

Creative Chaos Craft Fair June 6 - 8 at Vernon Recreation Centre, is the largest craft sale in Western Canada, with over 200 artisans and crafters. Call (250) 545-6963 for more information

Sunshine Festival - Saturday June 21 in the heart of the City. This is the largest one-day festival in the North Okanagan featuring superb entertainment, demonstrations of exciting sport adventure activities and local performing groups. Relax in one of the numerous street cafes that offer tantalizing food and refreshing beverages, then take in the biggest and hottest sidewalk sale under the sun! Contact www.downtownvernon.org for more information.
19th Annual Funtastic Summer Festival
June 27 - July 1 the biggest summer sports festival in Canada featuring all your favourite sporting events - slo-pitch, golf, soccer, beach volleyball and lawn bowling. For more information, visit www.funtastic.org
Okanagan Summer Wine Festival August 7 - 9 on Silver Star Mountain, at the height of the alpine wildflower season. Traditional seminars, winemakers' dinners and outdoor activities make this a must-do event. For more information, contact Okanagan Summer Wine Festival

Thank you for visiting Vernon - the best kept secret in the Okanagan. We hope you'll return in person to experience the perfect vacation.

For more detailed information on Vernon contact:

701 Hwy 97S Vernon BC V1T 3W4
Phone: (250) 542-1415 Fax: (250) 545-3114
E-mail: info@vernontourism.com Website: www.vernontourism.com

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce Watson House, 701 Hwy. 97 S Vernon BC V1B 3W4 E-Mail: info@vernonchamber.com
Compiled and submitted for Vernon Tourism by Joyce Stewart, Harbour Lights B&B

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