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Where the Thompson and North Thompson Rivers come together is the location of Kamloops, in south-central British Columbia. With a metro population of 98,000, visitors are sure to find plenty of attractions, restaurants, stores and events to keep them interested. Downtown Kamloops is the locale for many of the city’s things-to-do, and staying in one of the downtown Kamloops hotels keeps everything convenient and close by. Thompson Rivers University is located in Kamloops as well, and with a student population of more than 13,000, you can count on a lot of activity in this area as well.
The city is served by Kamloops Airport (YKA), with the Trans-Canada and Yellowhead Highways giving access, too. Local bus service is provided by the Kamloops Transit System. A popular way to see the city is following the Kamloops Rivers Trail, where you can walk along the rivers through neighborhoods and urban parks to see historic sites and enjoy the scenery. Another wonderful way to learn some local history and explore the area is aboard Kamloops Heritage Railway. Depart from a station restored from 1927, pass heritage sites and return to the golden days of rail travel.
The attractions visitors enjoy are varied, so you can be sure there’s something to entice every interest. Kamloops Art Gallery is found in downtown, offering two dozen exhibitions each year, with a particular emphasis on contemporary art. Live theatrical performances are offered by the Western Canada Theatre company at the Sagebrush Theatre and the Pavilion Theatre. Audiences also thrill to the series of concerts offered by the Kamloops Symphony, many of which are performed at the Sagebrush Theatre as well.
The Interior Savings Centre, which is only a couple blocks from downtown, boasts big-time concerts and events, plus it serves as home rink for the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League. Head to Tournament Capital Centre, a state-of-the-art facility which boasts an Aquatic Centre, a Fieldhouse and Hillside Stadium. Sporting events you can view include swimming meets, gymnastics, soccer, football, lacrosse and field hockey, plus Thompson Rivers University basketball and volleyball games. When you are looking for an event to entertain the whole family, this centre is tough to beat!
The Kamloops region of British Columbia offers outstanding natural beauty, and visitors enjoy outdoor exploration year-round. A really popular ski resort, Sun Peaks Resort, lets you ski, hike, mountain bike, ice skate, golf, canoe and more. Enjoy its Winter Okanagan Wine Festival each January, and a wonderful Farmers’ Market July through September. Visit Lac le Jeune Provincial Park, only 40 minutes south of Kamloops, to find sandy beaches, miles of cross-country-skiing trails, and fabulous wildlife. Hike trails, throw a line into the lake, paddle a canoe, take photographs of colorful bird species, or attend a summertime interpretive program, all at this marvelous park.
You don’t have to leave the city limits to enjoy the outdoors, however. Riverside Park, on the Thompson River, is the perfect destination to spend a day with family and friends. There’s a nice beach, a playground for kids, and many community events are held here, such as a great Canada Day celebration.
BC Wildlife Park introduces its visitors to grizzly bears and camels, mountain goats and rattlesnakes. Attend a Bird of Prey flight demonstration at its amphitheatre during the summer, or the annual Wildlights festival held during the winter holidays.
If you’d like to see original western art and maybe do a little shopping for western wear and gifts, the Horse Barn and its Gallery are the perfect place. The Horse Barn also hosts events for the annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival, held each March.
No matter what time of year, Kamloops is a lot of fun to visit. The city’s weather is relatively mild, offering four seasons to enjoy its natural beauty and outdoor fun. There are golf courses and spas to make your vacation both active and relaxing. And did you know that many people consider the Centre of the Universe to be located in Kamloops??? Check out Kamloops today – you’ll be glad you did!