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A tunnel of trees in the Nature Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
A tunnel of trees in the Nature Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Things to Do in Salmon Arm, British Columbia

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If you’re looking for things to do in Salmon Arm, British Columbia I’ve got you covered. For years I barely gave Salmon Arm a passing glance as I whizzed through. But trust me. After closer inspection there’s much to recommend a stop. And if you’re driving between Vancouver and Calgary it’s the perfect half way spot to get out and get a bite to eat, stretch your legs and go for a walk.

Described are 7 things to do in Salmon Arm, British Columbia – all personally tested. If you have a little extra time I recommend heading to Little Shuswap Lake for a meal at Quaaout Lodge and Spa, 30 minutes away. It’s very picturesque and a beautiful spot for dinner – or the night.

Down on the water in Salmon Arm
Down on the water in Salmon Arm

PIE – need I say more?

The Shuswap Pie Company, on Alexander Street, a one minute detour from the Trans-Canada Highway, offers a fabulous selection of baked on the premises pie, reminiscent of the Savary Island Pie Company in Vancouver. Plus they brew a great cup of coffee. Doors open at 7:30 AM Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM on Saturdays.

The Shuswap Pie Company
The Shuswap Pie Company

Farm animals and farm fresh produce

If you have screaming kids in the back of the car and you’re about to go crazy or even if you don’t have kids, pull off at DeMille’s Farm Market, the first place you hit as you enter Salmon Arm going east on the highway.

You can’t miss their water tower. Kids will love the petting farm and you will love the ambiance of the store and all the fresh produce. Pick up supplies for a picnic lunch or just browse the store. Prices are way better than Calgary and very fair, especially considering the quality.

A stop a DeMilles Farm Market
A stop a DeMilles Farm Market
There are animals to see at DeMille's as well
There are animals to see at DeMille’s as well but don’t put your fingers near them

Go for a bike ride out of Salmon Arm

Biking out of Salmon Arm in the Shuswap area of south central British Columbia is a great way to spend time outdoors. But you’re spoiled for choice of bike trails. The area is home to over 675 kilometres of bike trails.

Rent a bike from Skookum Cycle and Ski in Salmon Arm. Pick up a map and get suggestions from the folks running the bike shop on what trail would be a good fit for you.

One of the things to do in Salmon Arm - go biking
Great trails to explore on a bike around Salmon Arm

Check out the Salmon Arm café scene

Salmon Arm has come a long way since I first started stopping on drives through the town. Need a caffeine hit and delectable treats to go with it?

Check out some of the following – Pink Cherry on Hudson Ave., Ecotreats on the Trans-Canada Highway, Dolce Bistro and Cappuccino Bar on Alexander Street NE, and the Anvil Coffee Collective on Ross Street NE.

Where to get candy in Salmon Arm

For the candy lovers out there, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven if you walk into the Candy Vault on Hudson. If I were a kid my eyes would be bugging out of my head – and I’d be racked by indecision.

Look for old style candies from the 50’s and 60’s to candy I’ve never heard of. Continue your sugar fix with caramel popcorn and ice cream cones.

The Candy Vault on Hudson
The Candy Vault on Hudson

Drink a local beer

The Barley Station Brew Pub which you can’t miss on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway offers a variety of beers made on the premises. As they say on their website – reduce your environmental footprint – the beer only has to travel 50 feet. The sampler of beer is a great way to share and the food is good too.

Enjoy a flight of beers at the Barley Station
Enjoy a flight of beers at the Barley Station

Eat freshly made cheese

If you like cheese, and you don’t mind a small side trip driving the back roads near Salmon Arm then head for Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm now called Grass Route Dairies. There is signage on the Trans-Canada Highway at the western end of Salmon Arm pointing you in the right direction.

They offer a DVD about how they make their cheese – fascinating actually – and then you can sample before you buy. Gouda is obviously for sale but they make a lot of other dairy products too including a great yogurt, feta and Quark cheese. You’re welcome to walk the farm too – pat the goats and say hello to the cows.

Rounds of Gouda cheese
Rounds of Gouda cheese

Get a dose of nature in Salmon Arm

Head for the Nature Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and walk along the shores of Shuswap Lake. The bird life through here is wonderful and there are some great views too. The path is flat and an hour is all you really need.

A tunnel of trees in the Nature Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
A tunnel of trees in the Nature Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
A great blue heron in the nature sanctuary in Salmon Arm
A great blue heron in the nature sanctuary in Salmon Arm

Salmon Arm Accommodation

Salmon Arm is a great place to stop overnight if you’re driving the Trans-Canada Highway. You’ll mostly find a mix of chain hotels and B&B’s.

The Prestige Harbourfront Resort would be a great choice and comes highly rated.

The Destination Spa Bed & Breakfast is rated superb – and it’s just 4 kilometres from downtown.

And if you’re a fan of Tiny Home’s check out White Lake Tiny Home in nearby Sorrento.

Further reading on things to do in British Columbia

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7 BEST things to do in Salmon Arm, BC

 

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