Kamloops On a BudgetIn British Columbia, Canada, Kamloops is perhaps most famous for the large number of tournaments it hosts, everything from the Strauss Canada Cup of Curling, to the World Fly Fishing Championships. It also hosts Skate Canada, Tim Horton's Olympic Qualifying Bike Race, and the World Junior Hockey Championships among others. The city is in the south central part of the province and it sits near the confluence of the two branches of the Thompson River near Kamloops Lake. The city has a population of about 85,000 and it's the largest community in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
Kamloops has a semi-arid climate. Average temperatures in January are around 27 degrees Fahrenheit and mean temperatures climb to 40 degrees Fahrenheit in February. Summers are relatively warm and sunny.
SightsPopular sights around town include MacArthur Island Park, the Riverside Park, the high end shopping center, Aberdeen Mall, Thompson Rivers University, and the BC Wildlife Park. The university has tours of the campus every day during the summer months. On Wednesday nights you can tour the largest botanical collection in the interior B.C. with a program organized by "Friends of the Gardens".
Aberdeen Mall is relatively large and has two stories. It's an upscale mall with mostly clothing stores.
NeighborhoodsKamloops city center is found in the Thompson Valley near the confluence of the north and south branches of the Thompson River. The suburbs sprawl out along both branches of the river for more than a dozen kilometers. Suburbs also climb into the hillsides in the southern parts of town as well as the lower north east sides.
Kamloops Indian Band divides the city at the northeast of the downtown. The area is not considered part of the city, so you must leave the city limits and then re-enter it to reach more outlying communities like Rayleigh and Heffley Creek. There are also many smaller communities in the surrounding areas.
There are a handful of hotels around town and a good number of chain hotels such as Knights Inn. There are also many conference style hotels that are designed to handle groups and organizations that are traveling together. These hotels have sprung up in response to the large number of events and tournaments that the town hosts. Two of the more popular options are the Northbridge Hotel and Suites as well as the Thompson Rivers University Residence and Conference Centre.
ActivitiesThere are plenty of things you can do around town such as swimming at the Riverside Park (when weather allows), golfing, rock climbing, fishing, taking a brewery tour, horseback riding, or even visiting a ranch like the Siwash Lake Ranch, which is a high end tourist ranch with any number of fun activities.
If you're looking to do a day trip outside of Kamloops, there are some very appealing options. The city of Vancouver is nearby, as is the Sun Peaks Ski Resort, which is only fifty kilometers away. If you want to visit some dude ranches, your best option is to head to the Cariboo-Chilcotin region.
Food and DiningYou'll find a decent number of restaurants around town. They offer the typical fare, with pizza, pasta, and burgers being popular options. You'll also find the occasional sushi or Chinese restaurant as well as some locally owned home cooked specialty restaurants. Food prices are comparable to what you will find elsewhere in the area. Cheaper food options are available near the university.
There are a couple of bars and pubs around town. Some of the more popular ones include the Duchess on Tranquille nightclub and Cactus Jacks in the downtown area.
TransportationKamloops Airport is served by Air Canada Jazz, Central Mountain Air, and WestJet. Flights arrive from Calgary, Vancouver, Prince George and Edmonton. Kamloops can also be accessed by Canada's two main highways. The TransCanada highway connects the Fraser Valley with Vancouver in the west and travels east through British Columbia. Both the YellowHead #5 highway and the Coquihalla #5 provide access to the city as well.
Once you arrive in town there are taxis and rental cars available. There is also limited public transit. Most visitors have access to a vehicle because most arrive by private car.