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Skip the Long Lines & Expensive Tickets: Here's Where British Columbians Go to Ski

Escape the lines, crowds and expensive lift tickets and head to SilverStar, one of British Columbia’s favorite ski resorts.
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Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia is known around the world as a top ski and snowboard destination. But its international fame isn’t always the best news for skiers and snowboarders seeking solitude on the slopes, with prime resorts often being overly crowded as well as expensive.

With so many pristine peaks in the area, there are bound to be places the locals go to venture off the beaten alpine trail.

SilverStar is one of those destinations. Nestled in the scenic Okanagan Valley, SilverStar boasts an average snowfall of over 23 feet each winter, and for generations has been a favorite mountain of the residents of the nearby town of Vernon.

No matter where you decide to call home base, the resort’s numerous ski-on ski-off accommodations make it easy to walk out your door and into a snowy celebration of food, culture and adventure. Silver Creek Lodge offers an unsurpassed view of the mountains from an airy, condo style suite, while the rooms at Snowbird Lodge let you indulge in luxury apartment living. If you’d rather be right where the outdoor action is, check in to the Firelight Lodge, which is a hub for activities like tubing, skating, bowling, Nordic and more.

SilverStar’s magical ski village is quirky, colorful and everything but ordinary.

Once you’ve unpacked, fuel up with a decadent pastry in hand at the local Bugaboos Bakery Café, or get your morning caffeine jolt at Out of Bounds Bistro. With a little java in your system, you’re ready to hit the slopes. SilverStar Mountain is home to 132 runs, with enough terrain for both beginners and advanced skiers alike. Nordic, heli and night skiing are all options here, and terrain parks play host to the adventurous.

As the sun sets and the night gets colder, SilverStar’s après scene heats up, with events, music and performances happening all across the resort. Wander the village’s snowy streets until you reach the Red Antler, SilverStar’s newest restaurant and pub. This charming venue serves up all kinds of delicious Canadiana-themed dishes alongside local wines and craft beer. For a more relaxed and casual vibe, head to The Den and take in some live music by the warmth of a crackling fire.

Like many après activities in SilverStar, Pinheads Bowling is a ski-in, ski-out venue.

If you plan your visit in early December, you’ll be able to kick start your holiday season at the SilverStar Light Up, a winter wonderland event complete with horse drawn sleigh rides and a visit from Santa for the kids. Meanwhile, New Year’s Eve brings night skiing by the light of fireworks to the mountain.

While there are enough diverse restaurants and events in the village to keep you occupied all trip, locals will advise you to take the road less traveled before you leave. Perhaps the most travel tale–worthy dinner available is the Wild Horseman’s Cabin Dinner Tour, which takes you through the surrounding forest by sleigh, exploring the backcountry of SilverStar’s wilderness trails. A rustic cedar cabin (and a warm drink with your name on it) awaits on arrival, marking a perfectly Canadian end to a trip up north.

Getting There

Kelowna International Airport is your best bet for air travel to SilverStar. From there, the mountain is just an hour-drive north. By car, SilverStar is approximately 7 hours northeast of Seattle.

Insider Tip:

Mountain sport fanatics can get involved in every activity SilverStar has to offer with the all-inclusive My1Pass. It will have you covered for all seven winter sports, such as skiing, cross country, tubing, skating and more.

Stay

Firelight Lodge

Lord Aberdeen Hotel

Chilcoot Lodge

Pinnacles Suite Hotel

The Bulldog Hotel

Eat & Drink

Coffee+

Final Run Bar & Bistro

HB Pizza

Long John’s Pub

Paradise Camp

Lookout Cafe

Silver Grill

1609 Restaurant & Lounge

The Bulldog Grande Café

Do

Wild Horseman’s Cabin Dinner Tours

Nordic Festival

Light Up Festival

Vernon Winter Carnival Snow Sculpting Competition

New Year’s Eve Night Skiing and Fireworks

 

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