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British Columbia's Thompson Okanagan region is made up of several different areas which are equally important to the economy and geography of the land. This region of the province is the most populated area in British Columbia's interior. The Trans Canada Hiway #1 passes through the Thompson Okanagan near Revelstoke in the Kootenays, Sicamous in The Shuswap, and Kamloops in the Thompson Valley. BC and the Thompson Okanagan host many world-class golf courses and resorts.
The Thompson Nicola is a large development region with the population centre of Kamloops BC. This area spans to include Merritt along the way towards the Lower Mainland of BC and Adams Lake area toward the north. The Merritt and Kamloops BC portions resemble the dry climates of the Okanagan although they are in the Thompson and Nicola Valleys. Each year Merritt BC is visited by many thousands of country music fans who travel from far and wide to attend the Merritt Mountain Music Festival which features bright young stars and country music household names from Canada and the U.S. North of Kamloops one finds the Sun Peaks Ski Resort, and some of British Columbia, Canada's greatest freshwater fishing.
The Shuswap is a favourite vacation hub for British Columbians and Canadians, making up a sizeable portion of the BC Interior's prime campsite numbers. Close to the Trans Canada Highway, access to the Shuswap and it's largest city, Salmon Arm, is easy from Calgary AB and Revelstoke BC in the east, and is also easily traveled from Vernon in the south and Kamloops in the west. Salmon Arm, Sicamous and Mara are the Shuswap's houseboating towns from which Canadian and world tourists escape onto the tranquil open waters of Shuswap Lake and Mara Lake.
The North Okanagan transitions together many of the best qualities of the surrounding regions. The 'North OK', as it is nicknamed, is a true part and partner in the full Okanagan Valley with it's dry, sandy, wild parts full of small cacti and desert flora. Vernon BC is the largest city in the North OK. The Greater Vernon area also includes Coldstream BC and Okanagan Landing and Adventure Bay. Bordered to the North, is the Shuswap Region which shares a similar climate to the North Okanagan's Enderby BC. Along with Silver Star Mountain, the North Okanagan lakes are a major tourist draw. Kalamalka Lake in Coldstream BC and Okanagan Lake in Vernon BC, which travels all the way through the Okanagan Valley down to Penticton, are the site for many a summer vacation and day trip to enjoy boating and beaches. For residents, the North Okanagan is a paradise that offers contemporary living, competitive careers, and higher learning opportunities. Real estate and North Okanagan homes for sale are competitively priced within the Okanagan Valley. Many Vernon houses and Coldstream houses enjoy spectacular lakeviews, while resort and recreational properties are commonly waterfront. Examples of waterfront townhouses in Vernon are Paddlewheel Villas, Brooks Lane Villas, and the Strand in the Okanagan Landing neighbourhood.
The Central Okanagan surrounds the BC Interior's largest city of Kelowna BC. Kelowna is becoming a true metropolitan centre in British Columbia, evidenced by large scale resort hotels, the acclaimed Kelowna Art Gallery, and world class music concerts and entertainment acts regularly appearing in Prospera Place. Kelowna enjoys a sophisticated upbeat atmosphere of happy citizens, luxury living without big city traffic, and a scenic countryside scattered with orchards and vineyards producing much of the Province's wine and fruit. Wine tours and tasting are a regular part of Central Okanagan life which is a celebration of this brilliant community.
The South Okanagan is BC and Canada's dryest region. The major city centre in the South Okanagan is Penticton BC, located at the south end of Okanagan Lake and also featuring Skaha Lake. This historic region features the Penticton Art Gallery, the Skaha Bluffs made of sandstone, and many smaller communities including Summerland BC, Osoyoos, Naramata, Okanagan Falls and Oliver BC.
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