Wedged between the Okanagan, Swan and Kalamalka lakes, Vernon is a picturesque town originally settled by the Okanagan First Nations people. It’s home to excellent museums that explore the town’s heritage and artistic creativity, as well as a leafy central park and family-friendly science museum.
Things to do in Vernon
Admire the creativity of local artists at the Vernon Public Art Gallery, which features a range of rotating exhibitions throughout the year. Get hands-on during their Family Saturdays art projects and experience one of the Art After Dark soiree parties or coincide your visit with the annual Riot on the Roof party featuring installations and live music.
Explore the colourful history of North Okanagan at the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, which lies a short walk from the Vernon Public Art Gallery. Founded on the collection of a pioneering local taxidermist, it now includes dioramas and artefacts illustrating daily life, as well as an impressive collection of indigenous handicrafts.
Mingle with locals in Polson Park, a green oasis in the heart of Vernon famed for its Floral Clock. Wander through the tranquil Japanese Garden and the Chinese Pagoda or enjoy the fragrance of the Rose Garden, then picnic beside one of the two ponds that attract an abundance of ducks.
Travelling with kids? Inspire their scientific minds at the Okanagan Science Centre, which boasts hands-on exhibits set within a historic brick schoolhouse. Train to be an astronaut in one of their gyro chairs and experience the wonders of the night sky during one of the planetarium shows.
Getting around Vernon
Vernon is around one hour’s drive from Kelowna and 35 minutes from Kelowna International Airport. Buses travel throughout Vernon, but the downtown area is easily explored on foot.