“Why are you moving from Kelowna to Kamloops?”
The disdain in their voices is easily discernible. Behind the question, I can hear the statement they’re making: Kelowna is beautiful. Kelowna is better. Why would you want to leave?
I’m not going to lie to you, Kelowna is beautiful. As the picture above (and my 2 years studying at Okanagan College) proves, I loved living there.
The mistake is in thinking that because Kelowna is so stunning, other places can’t be.
People often discount Kamloops as brown, dusty and dry. Okay, it may be all of those things, but it is also blessed with rolling hills to hike, an up-and-coming arts, music and craft beer scene, and a quaint downtown next to a (sometimes) clear, rushing river.
Every place has something amazing to offer – if you’re willing to open up your eyes and mind to it.
I moved to Kamloops for school, and I’m glad I did. British Columbia is stunning, and despite what you may have heard, Kamloops is no exception.
After living downtown on Battle Street for 4 months, in Upper Sahali for another 4 months, and studying Journalism for the total 8 months, I’ve come to find a fond spot for this city in my heart. In researching for a large article I wrote about Kamloops for BC magazine, I discovered that this city is complex, diverse and thriving.
Here are 5 of my (personal) favourite places in Kamloops I wouldn’t miss on a trip to Nature’s Playground:
Enjoy a hand-crafted latte and pick up hand-crafted soap, locally made jewellery or a piece of art hanging on the walls. Customers can snag a secluded spot in the back to study and play games or sit near the front, where hidden letter are tucked between the cracks in the red brick wall, waiting to be read. I’ve attended a few open mic nights here, but I haven’t worked up the courage to play a song myself (yet).
Not only are the employees at the downtown museum extremely knowledgeable, the exhibits are also interesting, interactive and fun! My friend Carli and I probably spent far too much time downstairs in the kids section… With admission by donation, you have no excuse not to check it out.
Fresh donuts baked daily in-house. Need I say more? Come for the coffee, stay for the green tea donuts, chai donuts and pumpkin spice cream-filled donuts. YUM.
Unlike the crowded beaches around Okanagan Lake, I don’t have to share my spot next to the Thompson River. (Though sometimes I choose to – this is one of my favourite study-spots and a prime place to hula hoopa with my girlfriends.) Every evening throughout the summer, the Rotary Bandshell is filled with Music in the Park.
I’ve never hiked so much in my life as I have in Kamloops. (With so many hills, you can’t help but hike a little.) One of my favourite spots is Cinnamon Ridge, for the orange hoodoos and rewarding view across the rolling plains.
I have one more semester to complete at TRU in Kamloops before I move on. It’ll be hard to say goodbye to such a warm and welcoming community, but the reality is, every place has its own unique beauty. Luckily for me, my job is to go find it.
I LOVE KAMLOOPS. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it (around the age of 12).
I dunno why – as you say, it’s dry and dusty and kinda weird. But there’s something about the place. If I ever did move back to Canada, that’d be in the top 3 places to choose from.
Yay! I’m so happy to hear this 🙂
I used to think Kamloops was just brown – but on hikes, if you open your eyes, you’ll find bright yellow flowers, lime green moss and burgundy shrubs. It’s all about your perspective.
Ps. What are the other 2?
All 3 would be in BC – wherever the warmest places are. 😉
With that said, I’ve seen less of Canada than I have of many other countries. I generally think west is best, but I haven’t even been to the east — maybe I’ll fall in love with some little fishing town, who knows. 😉
This is where I’m from! Those are some of my favourite spots as well. To my own list I would add Petersen Creek, Red Collar, Red Beard, Noble Pig, and any of the lakes nearby.
I was lucky enough to live right on the edge of Peterson Creek at my second apartment, and the view from my window was unbeatable – it always encouraged me to get outside.
I also agree with your other suggestions. I should’ve made the list longer!
Our family moved to kamloops 5 years ago. We love it here. It is beautiful, everyday the scenery changes. Whether it is the way the shadows and sunlight play on the hills, the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises or how the moon reflects off a glass like river as i cross Lafarge bridge to get home at Rivershore. Everyday offers something different and beautiful.
The people here also make kamloops worth staying. When we first moved here, we knew no one. All our family was back in Saskatchewan. We were pleasantly surprised at how easily we developed meaningful friendships. We never felt left out or lonely.
I was told once by a lady that read auras, that Kamloops is a special place for energy. The mountains and hills out here are very old and hold an energy that is warm and inviting. They feel as though they are protective and when you are out hiking on them, you feel as if you could reach out and touch this special energy.
I believe her.
I think the community of Kamloops is my single favourite thing about the city. I feel incredibly welcome, whether it’s to a poetry reading at the library or just shopping around the Farmer’s Market. I’m glad you’ve felt the same local vibe. Where did you move from?
Love this! Today, we have our home base in Kelowna and love it here! But we lived in Kamloops for a year or so, and really developed a fondness for the city. Sun Peaks is absolutely gorgeous, and I always loved the friendly vibe in The Loops. 🙂