A Family-Friendly Travel Gem in British Columbia

Vernon, B.C. is worth a visit for skiers, hikers and families—and mark your calendars for its 2020 Winter Carnival

By Kendall Upton

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January 28, 2020

This article originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the January 2020 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Vernon, British Columbia, rests nestled between the northern shores of Okanagan and Kalamalka lakes. It’s not a sleepy small town, but an active one, particularly in the winter. Vernon is the closest town to SilverStar Mountain Resort, known for its 132 runs on powdery snow and nearby, a daily-groomed cross-country skiing network, the largest in Canada. Those who aren’t skiers or snowboarders can take a hike along the Okanagan Rail Trail, a nearly 50-kilometer walking path converted from a discontinued rail corridor connecting Vernon and Kelowna. Also worth noting: 2020 marks the 60th year of Vernon’s popular Winter Carnival, a citywide celebration with more than 100 different events, from craft beer and cider tastings to a parade, and even hot-air balloon rides (February 7–16). This Canadian destination is a family-friendly winter gem, barely unearthed.

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