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Similkameen for the Cultural Explorer

Nothing makes a Cultural Explorer happier on vacation than getting away from it all. You love to completely immerse yourself in the culture, history and lifestyle of your holiday spot. You’re not one to sit on the sidelines. You want to experience it all… from historic sites to modern culture. For you travel is all about leaving your everyday world behind and living like a local. You happily forego comforts in order to discover new cultural experiences. Quirky and off-the-beaten-path adventures are just your kind of thing, after all they help you understand just how locals live.

Top Experiences for the Cultural Explorer

  1. Step into the Allison Cabin at the Princeton Museum and Archives and decide if you could homestead with seven other people in a one room cabin no larger than today’s modern bathroom
  2. Salute the green pepper, test your mettle at the hot pepper eating contest and meet the folks that grow our food every September at the Similkameen Sizzle
  3. Get off the beaten path and out of cell* range hiking the wildflower meadows of Manning Park. It takes a while to get used to the stillness of the park, but soon enough your senses will be trained on the call of songbirds and the views that stretch out before you *note that cellular service only extends within 500m of the highway in Manning park.
  4. Learn to play fiddle, dance a jig, jam with fellow musicians and at the end of the day, shake your thing in the middle of the street at the Princeton Traditional Music Festival
  5. Have a bronc busting, saddle-roping, ride’em cowboy good time at the Chopaka, Elk and Princeton Rodeos and discover just what it takes to wrangle an angry bull into submission.
  6. Step into any one of our tasting rooms, rub shoulders with other wine-lovers, savour your first sips of a newly discovered vintage, exploring one of the best little wine regions you may never have heard of
  7. The history, culture and language of the Similkameen First Nation is tightly linked to our gold mining past. Learn about it all in the historic hamlet of Hedley where you’ll uncover the secrets of the Similkameen Nation at Snaza’ist Discovery Centre
  8. Listen to the waterwheel slap the water with each of its paddles, sipping tea and inhaling the aroma of apples that just seems to linger in the air at the historic Grist Mill and Gardens the last of its kind in all of BC
Connect with heritage
Connect with heritage

Similkameen – Cultural Explorer Style

Wherever you go in the Similkameen Valley you’ll be meeting all sorts of interesting characters with unique traditions and interesting ways of life. You’ll meet cowboys who still ride the range and pioneers of organic farming and former big city executives who gave it all up to make wine. You’ll find hippies and yuppies and hipsters living side by side in the Similkameen. Our wide open space leave plenty of room for everyone.

Immerse yourself in the Similkameen and experience the distinct culture and lifestyle of our communities. Explore our history at museums and discovery centres at both ends of the Valley. Escape to the mountains. It’s here where endless peace and quiet will have you falling head over hiking boots in love with Mother Nature. Salute a green pepper on a sizzling September day or dance an Irish jig in the middle of the road. The locals do it, so you can too!

Princeton museum
Princeton museum

Cultural Explorer

For the Cultural Explorer We Suggest…

Imagine your life as a homesteader

Follow in the footsteps of the Allison family, the first to settle in Princeton. Discover just how a family of eight lived in a house the size of a modern-day bathroom at the Princeton Museum and Archives. North America’s largest private mineral collection gets a glowing reception with glow-in-the-dark specimens sure to capture your imagination here. You don’t need to keep your hands in your pockets at this museum. Our exhibits are meant to be touched, and played-with bringing history to life in the palm of your hands.

Gold panning in Princeton
Gold panning in Princeton

When the Similkameen Sizzles

It means only one thing — it’s time to salute a green pepper! We grow more than 200 varieties of peppers in the Valley, and we like to honour that fact by throwing a bit of a shindig. Quintessentially Canadian, the Similkameen Sizzle is the place to be each September. It’s unlike any other event in the valley. Take part in the hot pepper eating contest and then sample every kind of pepper recipe you can possibly imagine. It’s also a great way to meet the kind folks who dedicate their lives to growing the food that we eat.

Gather wildflowers 

Kick back and relax in the wildflower meadows of Manning Park. The rugged Pacific Crest Trail runs from Mexico all the way to its end at Manning Park, making it an iconic quest on many hikers bucket list. You can take the shortcut and drive to the park. It’s just three hours from Vancouver! Here you’ll find plenty of wildflower filled trails to occupy your time and fill up your camera’s flash drive.

Re-enacting the old days
Re-enacting the old days

Dancing in the streets

That’s what happens at the end of the day at the Princeton Traditional Music Festival each August. This annual celebration of all forms of traditional music is a great way to unwind. You can also enjoy concerts throughout the day. Take a fiddling workshop then jam with other musicians, because it’s good toe-tapping fun. Save some energy for the end of the day — the downtown street dance is not to be missed!