Our family was long overdue for a weekend getaway.
So last weekend we packed the car, locked up the house and a short drive later reached our weekend destination of Sun Peaks Resort. An annual tradition for our young family, we celebrated the Summer Kick-Off Weekend, where our ultimate goal was a weekend of activities for the whole family, along with great food and some relaxation time.
Soon after arriving in the alpine village, we were promptly greeted to a roving performance of Tickles & Yowza, much to the delight of my 5 year old. He got right in there, gleefully dancing and shaking the maraca they had lent him. After some time dancing and laughing, my son insisted that we head up on the Sunburst Chairlift for our very first Sun Peaks hiking adventure of the season.
The first thing I always notice once I reach the top of the chairlift at Mid-Mountain is exactly how expansive this all-season outdoor playground really is. From that viewpoint on the mountain, you can catch a glimpse of the village below, the top of the mountain above and Mt Morrisey directly across the way.
We went for two different family-friendly hikes at Sun Peaks last weekend. The first one was a 1.3 km loop through sub-alpine woods and meadows known as the Vista Trail (#1). It’s a really gentle walk that can be completed by even the youngest and most curious of children.
There’s nothing quite like a hearty meal and beverage after a great hike, so immediately afterward my husband and I very excitedly began our first Mountain of Beer & Chili Cook-Off experience! We had a fabulous time touring six different restaurants in the village, tasting chili made from local chefs and enjoying signature beers while rating each pairing.
Each chili offered something unique, from crispy fried onion garnishes to jalapeno cheddar biscuits.The People’s Choice Winner for 2014 was Bottoms Bar & Grill, with their winning combination of veal, pork and chorizo sausage chili finished with 72% dark chocolate. This chili was served with a roasted corn and an apple & cucumber salsa and paired with an Okanagan Springs Summer Weizen that contained the slightest hint of apricot.
Our second hike of the weekend took place the next day. With no expectations whatsoever. At the time, we thought the kids would be so tired that we would only attempt a ride up on the chairlift followed by a quick return down to the village. However, we managed to make it through the Crystal Bowl Loop (#2) followed by a walk along the gentle switchbacks of the Top of the World Trail (#5). The fact that we were successful at making it to the top came as a surprise to us, so we just thankfully breathed a sigh of relief while we were rewarded with the spectacular views of the Shuswap Highlands below.
Our family rounded out the weekend with a long, leisurely swim in the pool and took in some great performances with the always entertaining and comedic West Coast Lumberjack Show. We were also greeted to a surprise sneak peak of the Children’s Summer Theatre being offered by the Kamloops Arts Council this summer with the Rivertown Players, and the kids danced with the actors during intermission. I myself even managed to sneak out each morning to get a cross-country mountain bike ride on the trails at Mt. Morrisey while the family slept!
The best part of our action-packed and entertaining weekend at Sun Peaks Resort? That we felt energized yet completely rested upon returning home. Unlike that feeling of “I need another vacation after this vacation!” that you sometimes get when travelling with the family.
Jodi is originally from Montréal, Quebec and spent a few years in Northern New Brunswick. She moved to Kamloops in the Spring of 2010 and is currently an at-home parent of a 3 and 5 year old. She loves exploring the area and enjoying what Kamloops has to offer!