Travelling around southern BC there’s a strong chance you’re going to go through the city of Kamloops at some point in your journey. After all, it’s a meeting point for both rivers and highways, with the South and North Thompson Rivers converging here, and Highways 1, 97 and 5 all congregating, only to split out again.
For many travellers Kamloops is seen as just a stopping off point; somewhere you can rest your head for the night before setting off again in the morning. Admittedly there are many hotels in Kamloops so you’ll have plenty of places to rest your head, and countless choices when it comes to eating out too. However, as someone who has lived here in Kamloops for several years now I believe this city deserves more than just a passing glance, and I recommend you book at least a couple of nights stay in that hotel!
BC Wildlife Park is one of the city’s top attractions and is a great place for a family day trip. Situated on the eastern side of the city, about 15 minutes drive from downtown, the wildlife park covers an area of 106 acres and has around 65 species in habitation, with the major focus being on animals that are native to British Columbia. This means if you’ve ever wanted to see a moose, a raccoon, a wolf, a cougar, or even a couple of playful grizzly bears, Kamloops’ BC Wildlife Park is the place to come!
The natural enclosures give the feeling of open space, unlike the zoos of old, and there are some great added extras for visitors with children to enjoy: the splash park during the summer, miniature train rides, and a fun playground. Kids also love meeting the farm animals and having a chance to pet donkeys, rabbits and goats, amongst others! The park also has birds of prey such as the majestic bald eagle, and there are often birds of prey displays and other animal encounters during the summer months.
After a fun day at the wildlife park, Kamloops’ other top attraction is the Kamloops Heritage Railway on which you’ll be taken back to days gone by and relive the glory days of steam train travel with the historic locomotives. There are a couple of different train tours with Kamloops Heritage Railway: The Spirit of Kamloops operates select days in July and August with both morning and evening departures. In the run-up to Halloween there’s the spooky Ghost Train, while the magic of Christmas can be enjoyed on the Spirit of Christmas tours. You can also visit the Railway Heritage Park to take a look at the pride and joy of the KHR, steam locomotive 2141, and be treated to a backshop tour.
Photo and article copyright Claire Bolgil. Claire is a freelance travel writer based in Beautiful BC. Find out more about her at www.clairebolgil.com