Nestled in the heart of the sunny Okanagan Valley, the small community of Naramata is located on the east shore of Lake Okanagan.The townsite of Naramata was founded by John Moore Robinson, who started the fruit industry in this part of the Okanagan Valley and also founded the townships of nearby Peachland and Summerland. Robinson named the town Naramata, meaning the Smile of the Manitou, after Naramattah, the wife of the great Sioux Indian Chief Big Moose.
In the early days, Naramata could only be reached by paddlewheeler, until a horse and carriage road was driven through in 1910, connecting the community to the village of Penticton to the south. In 1915, Naramata became a stop on the new Kettle Valley Railway, bringing prosperity to the previously remote community.
With no road access from the north, Naramata is only visited by those who want to be there. The town offers peace and serenity in all seasons, with spectacular gold Okanagan sunsets and the splendour of the moonlight glistening on Okanagan Lake.
Location: Naramata is located on Naramata Road on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake, 10 miles (16 km) north of Penticton.
During the summer, the Naramata Museum offers a collection of local historical artifacts and photographs.
Resting on the shores of Okanagan Lake, the Naramata Heritage Hotel was originally built in 1908 by John Moore Robinson. Over the years this building has functioned as a hotel, a private girls’ school, and as the home of the Robinson Family. Designated as a heritage site, the hotel has been restored as an elegant and luxurious 12-bedroom Heritage Inn.
Conference Facilities: Retreat to the beautiful Okanagan for your next conference at the Naramata Centre, which offers complete conference services and facilities in peaceful and relaxing surroundings.
The Kettle Valley Railway, part of the Trans Canada Trail, is perhaps one of the most incredible trails in the area, winding down to Naramata, around Penticton and on to Princeton, Coalmont and Tulameen. The trail provides great hiking and biking, just 20 minutes from Naramata. Travel the old rail bed on a guided bicycle tour, or explore at your own pace. Kettle River Recreation Area.
Winter Activities: Winter provides kilometres of trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Downhill and snowboard skiing is available an hour away at the ski resorts at Apex Mountain Resort, Big White Ski Resort and Silver Star Mountain Resort. More information on Skiing & Winter Activities in the South Okanagan.
The beautiful sandy beaches of Okanagan lake and Kalamalka Lake provide great freshwater swimming and boating in summer – great family vacations in quiet lakefront cabins or quaint lakeside cottages. Manitou Beach is a popular local beach.
Canoeing & Kayaking are popular activities on Okanagan Lake.
Hiking: The hiking trails above Naramata are popular with naturalists and photographers for the good bird watching, seasonal wildflowers and unspoiled habitat.
Horseback Riding: Local stables allow you to explore the countryside around Naramata on horseback. Horseback Riding in the Okanagan Valley.
Nearby McCulloch Lake and other excellent trout lakes provide excellent fishing.
Arts & Crafts: Discover Naramata’s artists and artisans, who flourish in the peaceful and beautiful natural surroundings and the wilderness to the north.
Winemaking is the hot ticket in the Okanagan, with Okanagan Wine Festivals held during the spring and fall. Eight Okanagan Valley wineries in the area offer wine tours, wine tastings and the opportunity to take home some of British Columbia’s best award-winning wines. Take a self-guided wine tour, and experience the magic first hand.
Wineries in the Okanagan Valley
Orchard Tour: The Okanagan Valley is laden with orchards, making it especially appealing in spring when the fruit trees are in full bloom, with blankets of fragrant blossoms to delight the senses. The best time to pick up some of the valley’s bounty is mid-August through early September; however, as early as the end of June, the fruit starts ripening: cherries, peaches, pears, apricots, plums, apples, and grapes. Take an Orchard Tour and see for yourself.
Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park: Just north of Naramata, along Okanagan Lake, are 10,000 hectares of remote wilderness in Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. There is no road access into the park; it’s boat, bicycle, or hike-in only. Secondary roads from Kelowna offer access to parking lots on the park’s northeastern boundary. Souls looking for more undisturbed places will not want to miss the wilderness walk-in campsites in the park, which is well suited to backwoods camping. Hiking trails provide an excellent opportunity to ramble around and see unique plants and animal life in this semidesert wilderness region. The lake and mountain views are good from the top of Okanagan Mountain, but wear sturdy footwear (this park is in rattlesnake country) and carry water between camping areas if you’re hiking in summer. In addition to the backcountry campsites, facilities also include horse-loading ramps in the north and south parking lots, as well as marine campsites and mooring buoys on Okanagan Lake. Hike to the top of Okanagan Mountain on the Divide Lake North Trail (moderate; 16 km return) from the Rimrock Rd parking lot for beautiful views of the lake to the west and the Monashees to the east, and check out the four archaeological sites in the park.
Golf: Golfers must head south to Penticton, and choose one of 9 courses for a game of golf, including Twin Lakes Golf Resort, Penticton Golf & Country Club, Pine Hills Golf & Country Club, Sage Mesa Golf Club, Pleasant Valley Par 3 Golf Course, Riverside Par 3 Golf, Skaha Meadows Golf Course, and St Andrews by the Lake Golf Course in Kaleden. Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Nearby Penticton to the south offers many attractions, including the S.S. Sicamous and the S.S. Naramata, the historic sternwheelers launched in 1914 to ply the waters of Okanagan Lake.
Circle Tours: See the best of the area on Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies Circle Tour. Travel the sunny interior of British Columbia, north through the Okanagan to Sicamous, following Highway 1 into the mountains of the BC Rockies. From Golden, head south through the Columbia Valley to Creston, and west through the Southern Okanagan, starting and ending your sun-drenched voyage in Osoyoos, the place where two lakes come together. Circle Tours in British Columbia.