Things to do at Silver Star Mountain Resort near Vernon, BC
Looking for a low-key, pick-your-own-adventure friendly BC vacation?
A gorgeous set of trails perched high above BC’s stunning Okanagan region isn’t a hard sell when the powder is crisp and the air is crisp. While skiers and boarders can live their best life in the dead of winter, there’s another kind of après-ski to look for in Silver Star Mountain Resortand it’s après-ski season, when there’s so much to see and do there.
Located about a 25-minute drive from Vernon, Silver Star has been a ski destination in British Columbia since the 1930s. 10 to 11 degrees Celsius cooler mid-mountain than Vernon.
Silver Star is decidedly more laid back than many of its sister BC ski resorts with an absolutely independent vibe (i.e. there are no big chain restaurants or cafes in their town). Silver Star’s core concept is to provide an accessible, affordable, family-friendly resort getaway; while that may mean a no-frills experience, it doesn’t mean they skimp on the remarkable details that make a visit there incredibly special.
house for The second largest bike park in CanadaSilver Star is a paradise for fun on two wheels, as well as anyone who enjoys hiking, wildflower-speckled mountains, and digging into delicious food and drink.
Here’s how to make the most of a stay at Silver Star Mountain Resort in the summer.
Play: hiking, biking and special events
Pack your hiking boots and mountain bike, and don’t forget the sunscreen. If you’re a fan of biking, Silver Star offers over 139 miles of trails to shred – or just pedal. The bike park has been designed to provide options for cyclists of all skill levels; you might need a lesson from a resort pro before hitting the trails, or you might be there to prepare for a competition like Crankworx – which, by the way, does a event tour stop at Silver Star.
Hikers will delight in taking the chairlift or gondola to the top of the mountain for sweeping views of the Monashee Mountain Range and the Okanagan Valley. Wildflower watchers will be in heaven with the gorgeous blooms spreading like beautiful blankets along the trails.
Much like making biking accessible to all skill levels, Silver Star offers trails of varying degrees of difficulty, including two with a fun scavenger hunt-type activity built-in that has you looking for gnomes. Down near the village is the Gnome Roam, while up is the “Upper” Gnome Roam. Arm yourself with a map and look for clues to find the gnomes hidden along the trails. The Upper Gnome Roam is about 1.5km long and has rolling, narrow terrain, while the lower is a relatively flat loop around beautiful Silver Star Pond (in winter it’s for skating).
Speaking of games, keep an eye out for games set up in the village that you can play, like giant chess or checkers, or ball toss. And who said that going up in a gondola was not playing? You can absolutely enjoy peaceful trips up and down the mountainside and take in the views.
Finally, Silver Star wraps up the summer with engaging eventswhether it’s paid food and drink like long table dinners and an Oktoberfest or casual free options like movie night.
On-course adventures: world-class golf, epic family fun, BC wine country
With a short drive down the mountain from your Silver Star “base”, you have tons of indoor and outdoor activities at your fingertips. In Vernon, there’s plenty to do, from shopping in the charming downtown district to exploring the city’s great cafes. If you’re with the whole family, you’ll want to put a few Vernon stops on your must-visit list, starting with Splashdown Vernon for a cool day on super fun water slides, ranging from the wide and soft slide for little kids to the more adventurous Zoom Flumes that get you started right at the top of the water park.
If you prefer to play indoors, go to Okanagan Science Center to build on a giant Lite Brite, make music, and spin around like an astronaut training on the Gyro Chair – just hold on to your hat and your lunch. It can’t be beat for convenience (and they have air conditioning to give you a break from the Vernon heat). Wander Davison Orchards where you will want coins to get food for sheep and goats or rubber duck races with water pump before buying ice cream or apple cider slushie and shopping in the small Picturesque “town”.
Golfers rejoice, as there are over half a dozen courses within a 30 to 45 minute drive of the resort, including the award-winning Predator Crest in Vernon. For those who prefer to sip on their vacation days, you’re about an hour from several fantastic Lake Country wineries, including gray monk and Arrowleaf. Venture a little further south for a marathon tasting tour of Kelowna’s incredible wineries, like Mission Hill or Cedar Creek among many others.
Relaxation: spa day, shopping
Prefer to stay put and relax? No problem. Silver Star looks beautiful Elevate the spa on-site, offering sensory-focused (and scent-focused) treatments like massages, facials, and manicures using Aveda products. They also have RMT appointments available if you need them. Head to the Evolve shop to buy practical items like sunscreen and gear, cool products, clothes and treats; the shop also has a fun selection of treats and a bulk candy section. Pack your bathing suit if your accommodation also has a hot tub – it’s a great way to unwind after a day of exploring…or relaxing.
Eat: Amazing coffee and pastries, sourdough pizza and world-influenced cuisines (plus cocktails!)
Although not all restaurants are open in the summer, you’ll find an impressive array of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and happy hour.
Start your day at Bugaboos, the invaluable on-site cafe and bakery with its home-roasted coffee and mind-blowing array of baked goods. There’s a croissant for just about every flavor craving (from vanilla to passion fruit to cheese and bacon), cookies, smoothies, sausage rolls, and an unreal cinnamon bun you’ll be craving for. want to arrive early.
you can hit red deer antler for a casual breakfast, or come for lunch or dinner for burgers, appies, bowls and more. They have a fun and enjoyable cocktail menu and a cheerful patio to soak up the rays. For a faster option, you need to get a whole slice or pie of Gratta Pizza; this new location makes its sourdough pizza dough and marinara sauce in-house and offers vegan and omnivorous options, made hot and fresh on the premises.
Silver Star is home to the legendary Dutch Bulldog Coffeeis the only sibling, and it’s where you can enjoy great pub-style food as well as unique bites, like bitter balls or a Dutch poutine or a Malaysian dish. Another place for globally inspired dishes is Social black pine, which has a sleek, modern ski lodge vibe and a menu of dishes that bridge the comfort of alpine fare with a Japanese influence (get the truffle fries and ramen, of course). They have an excellent cocktail menu curated by a pro Vancouver bar, a top-notch wine list, and a carefully curated “wall of whiskey” to kick your afternoon up a notch.
Stay: so many ways to check in
Another choose-your-own adventure is lodging at Silver Star, where you’ll find short-term rentals for condos or entire homes, or more traditional hotels. In the village itself there are a few options including Vance Creek Hotel and Conference Center, which offers simple suites with kitchens and plenty of beds. The hotel is no-frills, but it’s hard to beat the location, especially the rooms with balconies overlooking the village promenade, to keep you immersed in the action. Rumor has it that we’ll soon be hearing about some exciting developments at Silver Star in regards to stay options, so be sure to stay tuned.
Thanks to Silver Star Destination and Vernon Tourism for support with accommodation, meals and certain activities; all opinions and inclusions are those of the author and were not guided or influenced in any way, and no company or representative received any insight into this article prior to publication.