A Local’s Guide to 4 Hidden Gems in Vernon
After teaching yoga in the Okanagan for 5 years, I get asked where I like to go for a good vibe and great views! I try to get outside every day and do things that light my fire. Have you ever felt like you can't get out of your head and into the present moment? Mindfulness is real a buzz word right now, and getting outside can help keep stress-induced anxiety, burnout, and depression at bay.
When I travel to a new place I am always drawn to places and activities that locals like, so I compiled a list of hidden gems that offer an authentic side of Vernon.
If you are in the area and looking for places to get your wellness on, here are my top 4 hidden gems to visit!
1. Ellison Provincial Park day visit
Yes you can camp here and it is a lovely spot to pitch your tent or RV, but Ellison Provincial Park is also a fantastic place for a quick adventure! Not only does this forested pocket of paradise have a number of hiking trails, picnic areas and beaches, it also offers incredible views of Okanagan Lake over a rocky shoreline. The area is truly one of the most beautiful parks in the Okanagan, and only about a 20-minute drive from downtown Vernon. Come out for a morning hike, skip rocks, or take a swim. Trust me, you will leave feeling refreshed and grounded.
2. Okanagan Rail Trail for a bike or run
One of my fave things to do is to *get outside* to calm my mind and promote well-being. The Okanagan Rail Trail is an easy hike or bike, and is along some of the most GORGEOUS shoreline in the Okanagan! Lots of work has been done to level out the over 50 km of historic railway and a quick walk, jog, or bike ride will curb any craving for jaw-dropping turquoise lake views! Even if you only have 20 minutes to spare, visit the Vernon side of the Rail Trail for a little fresh air, to get your energy flowing, and to take in the scenic view of Kalamalka (also known as Kal) Lake from another angle.
3. Yoga Platforms at Predator Ridge
The hand-crafted outdoor yoga platforms set in coniferous forests and lavender fields at Predator Ridge are quickly becoming the area’s best-known secret. There are 2 platforms with a third under construction that offer unparalleled views of the Okanagan and create a connection with the forested landscape. Heart eyes…. I love these platforms so much that I started leading outdoor yoga events and retreats up here through Grace & Flow! Yoga + Mimosas + gorgeous views + lavender fields anyone?!? Classes run Sundays at 10am and Wednesday evenings at 6pm with a refreshing glass of local Okanagan wine or bubbly.
4. Eat and drink in Downtown Vernon
Downtown Vernon has tons of coffee houses and local restaurants that I go to all the time and it was hard to pick just one! But here goes. If you are hopping in for a quick coffee or healthy snack, Triumph Coffee is my go-to. Their lattes are silky smooth and (my fave) the Americano is made with BXA the Hathaway espresso beans. Grab a healthy Avo Toast or Veggie Hippy Bowl with roasted squash, quinoa and black garlic hummus. You will love the hand-crafted community table and their dedication to supporting the community through #TriumphTuesday where they donate proceeds to a local charity. Feel good and good fuel = winning.
Article and Images by Jessica Nobrega
Jessica Nobrega is the founder and Strategic Director of Grace & Flow, a wellness brand curating high-quality events tailored to the modern woman. A 500HR registered yoga instructor and Past Chair of the Board of the Okanagan Science Centre, Jessica is an energetic and positive individual, passionate about community, informed health and wellness.