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Thompson Okanagan an integral part of new ‘Rainforest to Rockies’ iconic road trip

by Staff

It’s been dubbed ‘the trip of the year.’

The most epic way to traverse across Beautiful British Columbia.

The sea-to-sky, ocean-to-mountain journey you’ve been waiting for.

The road trip that encapsulates the essence of our great province.

It’s the ‘Rainforest to Rockies’ road tip designed by Destination BC, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and other partners.

Destination BC and the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association are touting the quintessential cross-province road trip as a new way to inspire British Columbians as well domestic and international visitors to enjoy more time here and contribute to the economy by spending their money.

The classic ‘Rainforest to Rockies’ road trip has summer in mind, covers seven days and 778 kilometres following the Trans-Canada (Highway 1) from Vancouver’s rainforest in Stanley Park to Hope and Hell’s Gate then Kamloops, the Shuswap, Sicamous to Revelstoke and onto Glacier National Park, Golden and ending in Yoho National Park.

</who>Kelowna is highlighted on the 'Rainforest to Rockies' road trip for having a booming craft beer scene, wineries, lakeside location, hiking, biking, golfing and skiing.

However, there are many ways to road trip from the ‘Rainforest to the Rockies’ by incorporating journeys along other routes — Highway 3 (the Crowsnest from Hope along the Canada-US border), Highway 5 (the Coquihalla from Hope to Merritt and Kamloops), Highway 97C (the Coquihalla Connector between West Kelowna to Merritt), Highway 97 through the Okanagan and Highway 99 (Sea-to-Sky Vancouver to Whistler).

The route featuring the most Okanagan stops is ‘Rainforest to Rockies’ Valleys & Vineyards.

</who>The Similkameen -- the fruit stand capital of Canada -- is also on the route.

It’s a self-guided journey that can be driven in four to six days, covering 921 kilometres from Vancouver to Hope to Osoyoos to Oliver to Penticton to Kelowna to Lake Country to Sicamous and onto Field in the Rockies.

The itinerary recommends you stop in the Similkameen — the Fruit Stand Capital of Canada — to shop and sip wine.

In Osoyoos, you can swim in the eponymous lake that the Canada-US border bisects, visit the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre and Nk’Mip Winery and stay at Spirit Ridge Resort.

</who>Osoyoos, including the Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Center and winery and Spirit Ridge Resort, is on the road trip itinerary.

Check out wineries in Oliver — Canada’s Wine Capital — tube the channel in Penticton and overnight in Kelowna.

While in Kelowna, there’s a booming craft beer scene as well as a wine industry, golf, skiing and access to hiking and biking on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail (which can also be accessed from Naramata).

</who>Cycling and/or hiking on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail from Naramata or Kelowna is on the list.

While passing through the Shuswap have more lake time and maybe even rent a houseboat in Sicamous because it’s the Houseboat Capital of Canada, after all.

Of course, you can always start and finish your road trip anywhere you want, do it in reverse, use your own car or rent one, fly back, do a full-circle route or stay longer wherever you want.

You can check out all the combinations and permutations of the ‘Rainforest to Rockies’ road trips here:

</who>Most routes start in the rainforest of Vancouver's famous Stanley Park.

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association in conjunction with the Tourism Innovation Lab is capitalizing on the Rainforest to Rockies buzz by launching a new grant and mentorship program.

Entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profit organizations can apply for one of 12 grants of $3,000 each.

The grant money has to be used to develop and offer some sort of unique tourism experience that lures road trippers to stop, explore, stay longer and hopefully spend money in more communities.

Apply here:

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