I’d never been to the Shuswap region of B.C. (which is east of Vancouver and north of the Okanagan) until this February and had always associated the area with houseboating.
I cannot recommend it enough as a winter destination!
From the stunning snowy scenery and myriad opportunities to snowshoe and cross-country ski, to the food (and wine!), it was exactly the little getaway our family needed.
Our sleep-deprived, stressed-out, new-parent nervous systems had the chance to get rested and revived.
We got recharged and reconnected, and are still running on that wonderful energy from our reboot!
There are so many reasons to visit the Shuswap during winter – here are my top 5 to recharge your battery >>>
1. Wide open spaces (road trip)
We love a good road trip! ! There’s something about sitting in close quarters, without the everyday distractions of life, experiencing something new and exciting together.
We flew the speedy 45-minutes from Vancouver to Kelowna, and rented a car to drive the 2-hours north through Salmon Arm to our accommodations at Quaaout Lodge, on the shores of Little Shuswap Lake.
If you’ve been to the Okanagan (Shuswap’s southern neighbour) in the summertime, you’re familiar with the spectacular mountainous backdrop against the expansive stretches of water. Now picture a similarly beautiful scene sprinkled with pure white snow! Gorgeous.
There are so many wide open places in this region. It felt like we could inhale more deeply and take up more space. Shuswap Lake is an enormous H (with a little dot under the left arm which is Little Shuswap Lake) pressed into sprawling mountains and hills. After getting settled at Quaaout Lodge, we continued our drive northeast to explore the bottom left of the H from Scotch Creek to Celista to Anglemont and back along the lakeshore.
2. Nourishment (food and drink)
My philosophy on mind-body-spirit nutrition includes dining and wining, and the Shuswap delivered!
We swooned over Shuswap Pie Co.’s perfectly flaky pastry in Salmon Arm, delighted at one of our favourite Vancouver chef’s taking the helm at our resort, and thoroughly enjoyed tasting an array of award-winning wines at Celista Estate Winery – one of the northernmost wineries in Canada, with all of their wine-making grapes grown onsite!
3. Outdoor exercise (double benefits)
The cascade of feel-good brain chemistry produced when you exercise paired with the cascade of feel-good brain chemistry produced when you’re immersed in nature is a double-whammy of goodness! Nature walks, snowshoeing trails and cross-country ski areas abound in the Shuswap, so bring your winter gear to take full advantage of these healing, energizing opportunities!
4. Indigenous culture (wisdom and spirituality)
Quaaout Lodge has an incredible team of cultural interpreters who offer programs ranging from drum-making workshops and snowshoeing tours to the very special Kekuli experience where, gathered around a crackling fire, you can listen to hereditary stories, set to the beat of a drum, and participate in cooking traditional bannock bread (yum-o!) over the open flames.
5. Disconnect to connect (stars and snow over cell phones)
We found so much peace and quiet during our long weekend in the Shuswap.
We turned off our cell phones and unplugged our room phone.
We stood on our patio under the great big night sky, nary an artificial light in sight, stargazing and admiring the moon.
We wove our way through Quaaout’s thoughtfully-designed network of snowshoe trails in the brilliant sunshine of day.
We bathed together in our enormous jacuzzi tub at bedtime.
We shared so many incredible, nourishing meals.
We enjoyed hours of time unplugged together.
We connected with ourselves, each other and nature like we hadn’t done in a long time.