Winter Adventures in Merritt & Nicola Valley, BC, Canada

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Merritt BC Canada Hotel – Best Western Plus

Merritt BC Canada Hotel

Best Western Plus in Merritt British Columbia Canada

“The Best Western Plus, Merritt BC is the newest and largest hotel throughout the Nicola Valley. “

From the minute I stepped into the foyer to the minute I checked out, my stay at the Best Western Plus, Merritt BC Canada hotel was a 5 star experience. The vibrant and stylish decor made for a welcoming front entrance and lounge area.  Danica, who greeted me at the front desk with a warm smile and conversation, performed a seamless check in. It was off to my room in no time and ready to enjoy my stay!

Best Western Nicola Valley

The foyer welcomes all guests

Meet This Nicola Valley Hotel

The Best Western Plus, Merritt BC is the newest and largest hotel throughout the Nicola Valley. Enjoy your stay in your choice of a one or two bedroom suite, single/double room or pet room. All rooms have high-speed wireless internet, 43 inch LED televisions with On Demand movies and single serve coffee and tea makers. 

General Manager Anoop Sekhon shared with me his thoughts as well, 

“The Sekhon family takes  pride in giving first class service and offering high end accommodations to all our valued customers.” 

In my experience, this definitely holds true!

Last Minute Hotel Goodies

If you forget something, don’t worry. Do what I did. Drop by the Snack Bar located next to the reception desk and pick up what you need. I noticed it was open 24 hours a day and sold a variety of items including juices, soft drinks, yogurt, chips, candy, and assorted personal care items. I loaded up and headed back to my room.

Comfy Quarters 

My room had all the comforts of home –  comfortable bed, fluffy pillows, warm comforter, and plush towels. Even the hand cream was worth writing home about! The best feature is how quiet the room was – something I can honestly say is not a feature in most hotels.

Pet Friendly Hotel Merritt B.C.

Comfy beds!

Complimentary Full Breakfast 

There is nothing like a good breakfast to start your day and the Best Western Plus, Merritt BC serves up a meal fit for a King! The hot entree’s were impressive indeed. There was bacon, sausage, eggs, waffles, toast, muffins, bagels and pastries!  Also there were continental breakfast items such as yogurt, fresh fruit, juices, coffee and tea. And many more items to suit most dietary needs.

Merritt, B.C., Canada Hotels

Dining and lounge area

The breakfast/lounge area is a great gathering room any time of day. Pockets of varied seating are great for visiting, reading or just watching TV. It is by far the largest breakfast/lounge area I have ever seen in a Merritt BC Canada Hotel.

Best Western Plus, Merritt BC Amenities

All guests get to enjoy these features:

  • Large, complimentary parking areas
  • Pets welcome
  • Meeting/banquet facilities
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Fitness centre
  • Terrace
  • Non-smoking property
  • Business centre
  • Laundry
  • Dry cleaning
  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Family rooms
  • Elevators
  • Indoor pool & hot tub
  • Soundproof rooms
  • Fax/photocopying
  • Non-smoking throughout
  • Air conditioning
  • Designated smoking area
  • Special diet menus (on request)
  • Vending machine (drinks)
  • Vending machine (snacks)
  • Shared lounge/TV area
  • Mini-market on site
  • Daily maid service
  • Electric vehicle charging  Tesla stations
  • Accessible parking
Best Western Merritt BC

Time for a swim

Nearby Places To Eat 

With a wide variety of restaurants and lounges located nearby, guests never have to go far for a good meal.

Pet Friendly Hotel In Merritt

Pets are not just accepted at this hotel, they are welcomed! Of all the Merritt BC Canada Hotels the Best Western Plus is a winner at planning well thought out rooms for pet stays! Pet rooms have two entrances – one leading to the lobby and the second to the outdoors. Indeed this is the best hotel I have stayed at with my dog Bailey!!  

Pet Friendly Hotel Merritt B.C.

Bailey guarding his doggy treats!

Hotel Conference Rooms For Large Groups

This Merritt BC Canada hotel accommodation is ideal for business professionals and for hosting large group functions by way of their professional meeting and conference facilities.  The Sagebrush Room can accommodate up to 65 people.  It is ideal for meetings, social functions or events.  

 

Pet Friendly Hotel Merritt B.C.

3969 Crawford Ave.

Merritt, B.C.

Local # 250-378-0700

Book Today: Best Western Website

Best Western Plus, Merritt B.C.

 

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Winter Activities around Merritt, BC

Winter Activities around Merritt, BC

Merritt, not just for summer

There is no better way to spend a winter day than to get out and enjoy what there is to offer with your family.

There are so many winter activities around Merritt BC. You don’t have to wait until summer to come on vacation and enjoy what there is to offer here.

I’d like to take you through some of my favorite winter activities around Merritt, BC. As I go through them you will notice that some will over lap with others because it’s so easy to incorporate more than one at a time. Can’t get any better than that.

Snowmobiling

There are a number of excellent places around Merritt to go snowmobiling. I personally love to take off to some of the different lakes like Helmer, Nicola or Mamit. We love to take the kids out and do some snowmobiling on the frozen lakes. Gives them a place to have fun in wide open spaces.

You can also get a hold of the Merritt Snowmobile Club. There are a number of trails that they look after that would be great to check out.

snowmobiling on Helmer Lake

One of the great winter activities around Merritt, BC.

Ice Fishing

Another one of my favorite winter activities around Merritt BC is ice fishing. There are some really great lakes to go to including Mamit, Nicola, Marquart, Hamilton and Helmer. I am looking forward to checking out a lot more of the lakes in the coming years.

ice fishing hole, drilling, winter fun

Drilling down

ice fishing on Merritt, BC lakes

Line in – soon – fish on

Combine Activities

The best part about getting into some of these lakes is that you get to combine winter activities around Merritt by snowmobiling into the lake to ice fish. There have been many times we have packed up gear and the kids and taken off the for the day. We love going out and having a campfire to roast hotdogs while we ice fish and snowmobile around the lake. Its a great way to spend the day with your family.

snowmobiling Merritt BC lakes

Big boys turn at the snowmobiling.

A few more winter activities around Merritt, BC

X-Country Skiing

X-country skiing is a great winter activity and is also great exercise as well. Kane Valley has some great groomed trails for all levels of skiers.

learning to x-country skiing family fun at Kane Valley

Alisha learning to x-country ski. She did great her first time out.

If your more into adventures and breaking your own trail, you could check out Lundbom or Marquart lakes. Blazing a trail from one to the other or over the beautiful open country side would be a great trip. You could also take your skis with you when you snowmobile out to the lakes and go on a ski from the lake. So many different combinations of winter activities around Merritt BC.

x-country skiing Kane Valley Merritt BC

Michelle Bacon enjoying winter activities around Merritt, BC

Tobogganing

Now here is a fun winter activity the whole neighborhood can enjoy and believe me we do. A great place to get together and do this is towards Lundbom lake. There is some amazing hills to toboggan down and family’s usually start a fire and roast hotdogs and make hot chocolate. It’s such great day.

Do you love skating?

Another awesome winter activity around Merritt, BC is pond skating. There are a number of lakes and ponds that are set up to do this. Although I haven’t actually had the opportunity to try it, I have seen people having  what looks like a lot of fun out skating and playing hockey on the lakes. Logan Lake has a couple rinks set up and I have also seen people on anther lake towards Kamloops where a girl was figure skating and doing some pretty amazing twirls and jumps. My camera would have been great to have.

I really love all the winter activities around Merritt, BC.  I hope that you will also make the trip here and enjoy the Nicola Valley in the winter. We have so much to offer no matter what  time of year it is.

Bird or Wildlife Watching

Bird watching is a fun activity around Merritt in the winter. You can take the trails along the river around Merritt. Or check out some of the bird sanctuaries in the area. Along some of your drives you might want to keep your eyes open for other wildlife as well. Heading towards Mamit Lake you may get a glimpse of the wild horses. And at the lakes where you are ice fishing you may be treated to the bald eagles.

wild horses, merritt bc

Wild horses along highway 97C towards Mamit Lake from Merritt.

bald eagle ice fishing Nicola Valley

Bald eagle waiting to see if it will get a gift of some fish from people ice fishing.

Check out Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers for more great blogs, activities and places to eat and stay in and around the Nicola Valley.

Winter Activities around Merritt, BC

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Winter Campfires in the Nicola Valley, B.C.

Campfire Fun in Wintery Merritt

Bonfires and campfires throughout the Nicola Valley

“Not long after the snowball fight started and the laughter and happy shrieks of the girls had us laughing right along.”

There’s something magical about winter campfires in the Nicola Valley, B.C. in the falling snow. Warming up with it’s glowing heat, while enjoying time with friends and family. Roasting marshmallows and having hot chocolate or an adult bevvy. Watching the kids faces light up as they make their marshmallow just right for them. I lucked out this last boxing day, with a light snow falling, great friends, and cold beers.

Campfire in Winter

Fire in the snow

I had an urge for a fire and invited a good friend and his daughters out to enjoy with me. I got the fire started and had it roaring and hot for when they got here. It kept us toasty warm as we gabbed about Christmas and the girls told me about their presents. They were enjoying so much that they even left their phones alone. Inspired by the winter campfires fun in the Nicola Valley, I got out the roasting sticks and marshmallows and they were soon competing to have the best marshmallow. Not long after the snowball fight started and the laughter and happy shrieks of the girls had us laughing right along.

 

Family and friends

 

One of the best things about living in a small community is how quickly you get to know people, neighbours soon become friends. We were soon joined by other residents wanting to join in on the fun and warmth. Winter campfires in the Nicola Valley helped smiles and laughter come easily, when surrounded by good people and nature’s beauty. http://www.moonshadows.ca

 

Mental illness to mental wellness

 

I myself live with anxiety, but regularly find myself turning to a relaxing evening with a fire. The elements have always had a calming effect on my mind and I love getting lost in the dancing flames. The trees, earth, sound of the river, combined with the fire, bring my mind to a place of ease and contentment. Mix all that in with amazing people, and I am one real happy camper ( pun intended ). campmyway.com

Firetime fun

Happy fires

I feel very fortunate to live and be able to share in these beautiful surroundings and moments here in the Nicola Valley hosting my winter campfires.

 

Life truly is good around a winter campfire

 

Neighbours and friends have helped to make our communal fire pit safe and welcoming for all. Everyone knows that if you see my fire lit, to feel more than free to come down and join in. For my friends in town I send out a few texts and let the fun begin. We have stumps out and a couple picnic tables to accommodate all that want to join me. For me there’s nothing better than good company to truly enjoy an evening. When it gets damp, I get the stumps around the edge so they dry out and get warm for tushies. I try to make sure everyone that joins my fires are as comfortable as possible. I want everyone to feel at home with me, and enjoy as much as I do.

“Always warm and inviting. “ Stewart Nutbrown

 

Gathering wood

Firewood to be

I’m not normally a big fan of winter, but with campfires available I’m enjoying this one to the utmost.

With the help of other campers, we’ve got ourselves a great load of firewood that I’ve begun to split. Hard work, but so worth it. Gathering and splitting wood keeps me warm, and in great shape. Going out to different spots in the Nicola Valley with the guys was a ton of fun. The catcalls and teamwork were at their best. Hanging with the guys brings out the rude, yet fun comments and jibes. Thankfully I’ve always hung out and enjoyed male friends, so I’m able to join right in with the banter.

 

Gathering campfire wood with Lance Brown in the Nicola Valley

Depending on the type of wood I’m using, ie; split or branches, is how I build my fire. With twigs and branches I tend to do a teepee style, split wood I go with log cabin. How do you start your fires?

I like to start my fires before the sun sets, so that I have good light. The awe inspiring sunsets definitely have me out there early too, so I can enjoy the view full of purples, pinks, reds, and oranges with a hot fire at my back. My 16 year old son loves pointing them out to me for us both to enjoy. With views that inspire the soul, I can’t imagine anywhere more beautiful than the Nicola Valley. White snow covered hills in winter or layers of gold in summer.

Muse for fires

Sunset sky

 

 

 

My friends daughters got to enjoy making some Christmas memories on a perfect snowy night. I know I’ll never forget it right here in the Nicola Valley with winter campfires.

 

 

 

Wildfire campfires in the Nicola Valley and Merritt, BC

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Kane Valley Skiing in Merritt, BC Canada

Wilderness Trails in Merritt, BC Canada

XC Skiing in the Nicola Valley BC Canada

“Kane Valley is a winter paradise of pine and aspen, so any trail you choose will transition through these magical woodlands.”

Skiing in the Kane Valley is something no one should miss! Even the coldest days here are appealing to the outdoor adventurer. When the snow flies, ideal skiing conditions can be found almost anywhere in Canada. The forests and terrain surrounding Merritt are no exception. The Nicola Nordic Ski Club is based in Merritt, BC. and maintains the Kane Valley Ski Trails. The Kane Valley lies twenty minutes south of Merritt. It’s an hour west of Peachland and an hour north of Princeton. A Nordic experience at Kane Valley is an ideal day trip. You can enjoy the area for days, because 50km of fantastic classic skiing on wilderness groomed trails provide ample diversity

Things to do in Merritt BC Canada

Radiant in the sunshine

Winter Paradise

Kane Valley is a winter paradise of pine and aspen, so any trail you choose will transition through these magical woodlands. The creeks, lakes, and snow meadows you pass add to the beauty. Also, mule deer, moose, elk and brown bears are not unheard of in the area, but the most stunning wildlife diversity here are the birds. There are Peregrine Falcons, Golden Eagles, and Great Horned Owls to name just a few. The Nicola Naturalist Society, along with the Kamloops Naturalists, is responsible for monitoring the Douglas Lake Plateau IBA (Important Bird Area). There’s nothing quite like a Kane Valley wilderness ski trail to take you away from the grind of the big city.

Just Around the Corner!

things to do in Merritt BC Canada

After a heavy snowfall

Merritt is only 270 km from downtown Vancouver, 127 km from Kelowna, and only 87 km from Kamloops. So it’s a natural choice for a true wilderness experience. Why not plan a trip that includes more than one cross country ski experience? You can, because Merritt fits right in with a stop at Stake Lake, just outside of Kamloops, the China Ridge trails in Princeton, or Highland Valley in Logan Lake.

Apres Ski

Cross-country skiing works up an appetite, so I always appreciate a thermos of hot chocolate, coffee or tea waiting for me in the car, but there are lots options to dine in Merritt. There are many coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants to satisfy your cravings. Visit Merritt’s restaurants and pubs, but don’t forget to check out the local bicycle and cross-country ski shop, Breathe Bikes, because while you’re eating lunch they can wax your skis!

Merritt, BC Canada is Mild!

Worried about the cold? Don’t be, because the bone-chilling temperatures of a Canadian winter are an guilty (un?)-pleasure in Merritt, since they don’t exist! Merritt, BC is one of the mildest regions of Canada, as temperatures hover between zero and fifteen degrees below celcius, for the majority of the winter months. You can count on dressing light. It always pays to bring along an extra layer, but when skiing in Kane Valley, you will typically find that you’ve worn one too many! I wear three layers on my torso, beginning with a long-sleeved thermal. The middle layer varies according to what “extreme” temperature we are enjoying. If it’s at the colder end, the second layer is a long-sleeved fleece. If it’s at the warmer end, the middle layer is a breathe-able short-sleeved t-shirt. The outer layer is a breathe-able shell. 

Things to do in Merritt BC Canada

Where’s Bugs?

Beauty and Joy

Nordic skiing provides a connection to mother nature. As a youth, I skied Little Red River Park trails in Prince Albert, and many other Saskatchewan trails, but now I am lucky enough to enjoy the quiet beauty of the wilderness experience of Kane Valley. In every place I’ve skied, I can recall moments of stillness that ground the soul, accompanied by the welcome chill of a light winter wind. I remember the rhythmic sound of a friend or family member’s skis gliding over the falling snow, as I gazed through the sheltering boughs of hundreds of years of forest growth. If that were not enough, it is a near perfect form of exercise and a great family activity!

 

Things to do in Merritt, BC Canada

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Things To Do In Merritt, B.C.

Things To Do In Merritt, B.C. 

Spring, summer, fall or winter you will find many things to do in Merritt, B.C.

Seek out new stores

New and different “Things to do in Merritt, B.C.” just has to include new and different places to go. There are some new businesses in town and it took me less than 10 minutes to find two of them.

Both “The Bee’s Knees” and “Petals and Plants” are new shops on Quilchena Avenue in the downtown core and several more will be up and running by the time you read this blog. Seek them out and enjoy something different!

The Bee’s Knees

Owner Amanda loves her job! She started out with the idea of selling clothes from home but that idea sure mushroomed! So she  began “The Bee’s Knees” in March 2018 but outgrew that tiny space almost immediately!  Next, Amanda moved to her present location in the 1900 block of Quilchena Avenue in July, taking all her great ideas (and clothes) with her! 

This lady knows how to dress her clients! Amanda will offer you ideas and combinations you probably would never have thought of yourself. She is one creative business  owner and if you are an old doll like me, her advice will help you update your wardrobe, or at least bring it into the 21st century!And, bless her, the woman carries plus sizes too! Don’t be embarrassed. Ask Amanda! Shop here at The Bee’s Knees where you won’t be all alone!

Check out “The Bee’s Knees” for great event clothes, vintage looks and up-to-the-minute designs too!

Amanda will even do your nails to match your outfit! At the Bee’s Knees you will certainly leave happy, even if you just go to look! Check out Bees Knees Boutique on facebook.

Petals & Plants

The next new place I came across when I was hunting for “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” was Petals & Plants. I heard more than one person say “Finally, a flower shop in Merritt!”

Yes, it is a flower shop- and more! Vicki, the owner, started her shop because, as she puts it, “I’m not great at retiring. I missed the people.” She won’t miss them here! The place has been full of customers and visitors every time I’ve stopped by! In addition to flowers, of course, Vicky carries lots of constantly changing items that make great gifts, so the place is likely to be full of people as well as petals & plants no matter when you go. So check it out!

Enjoy a mini spa day

For a list of “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” why not include a mini spa day! Start by going to the Aquatic Centre for a workout, followed by a swim, sauna and whirlpool. Then, take a hot shower, scrub with an exfoliant, pat down with a soft towel and use plenty of body cream. There. Now you are all soft and energized! Feels good, doesn’t it?

Afterwards? Keep your prearranged appointment at one of Merritt’s several hair salons for a wash, trim and blow dry. Then have a complete mani-pedi since many salons do both. And while you are there, try some new makeup too!

Now, you feel as fantastic as you look, so treat yourself to a nice lunch! Also, why not enjoy the rest of the day shopping?

 Return home happy, relaxed and revitalized, a new you!

Things to do in merritt, B.C.

Seniors aquafit

Take a Walk

Among the best and easiest “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” is to take a walk! Enjoy some of our gorgeous scenery and beautiful parks! Check out the possibilities in my blogs Walking Around Merritt” and “Parks in Merritt”and have some fun in any season. Incidentally, if you have kids with you, winter is a great time to walk in the park! Make snow angels, snow forts, snow people or snow pets! In addition to this, you can pack a snow picnic and add thermoses of hot soup and hot cocoa! Yum! You will have just as much fun as the kids!

Things to do in Merritt, B.C. -Parks

Ready for a picnic after a walk in one of Merritt’s parks

Check Out the Library

These days the library goes way beyond a simple place to read and borrow books. There are many “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” right in our library!  Yes, we all know about borrowing cd’s, dvd’s, and audio books. In addition to these standbys, there are also many children’s reading programs, crafting classes, story times, adult literacy programs and art classes. Besides all this, there are computer classes (and computers to use), knitting, crocheting, gardening, painting, food preserving and various discussion groups that meet at the library. Surprised?

Add to this list some very interesting lectures and guest authors who do readings. Or, if you want a quiet, peaceful day, pick out a book, sit on the comfy sofa by the fireplace and just read!

With all this available, I’m sure you will find many “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” that will entertain you at any time of the year!

Have a Pub Lunch

Well, we all like to eat, don’t we? So of course I include food in my “things to do in Merritt, B.C.”  blog. Not the regular restaurants this time, though. The pubs!

A few years ago a friend dragged me, kicking and screaming I’ll admit, to a local pub for lunch. What a revelation! I actually had fun and a good lunch- at a reasonable price! Also, the lunch crowd was lively and fun. I could hardly believe it! I enjoyed myself!

Most pubs in Merritt have daily lunch and dinner specials. Try one! You will be surprised at how good pub food can be! And no, you don’t have to order alcohol with your meal if you would rather have coffee! However, a burger and a beer can go down nicely when you are in the mood.

Bonus- no one will give you a “look” if you laugh a little loudly with your friends!  

 Look at the seniors programs

If you are a senior, or know one, check out the goings-on at the Seniors Centre. This group certainly adds a lot to the “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” list. Try some of the following programs:

  • Vinyasa Yoga @ the Civic Centre
  • Seniors Free Swim @ the Aquatic Centre
  • Stretch & Stability @ the Aquatic Centre
  • Noon Hour Aqua Fit @ the Aquatic Centre
  • Stand Tall, Don’t Fall @ the Seniors Centre
  • Cribbage
  • Bingo 
    Things to do in Merritt, B.C.

    swinging seniors

                                                                           
  • Duplicate Bridge
  • Carpet Bowling .                                                           
  • Court Whist
  • Physically Challenged Floor Curling                                 
  • Floor Curling
  • Floor & Table Shuffleboard
  • Drop-in Lunch
  • Drop-in Activities, Fridays
  • Rummoli & Games
  • Drop-in Activities, Saturdays
  • General Meeting
  • Potluck

Wow! And some people think seniors aren’t active!  Compared to what? Test out some things from this list and see if you can keep up!

Go bowling

How long has it been since you got a group of friends together and went bowling? Have most of us bowled regularly (we’re talking 5 pins here) since we were kids? Or maybe not bowled regularly since we were kids! If you’re looking for “things to do in Merritt, B.C.”, bowling is a fun one with the bonus of being genuine exercise! Check out Merritt Bowling Centre.  Enjoy noise, laughter, exercise and yes, food! Bring back some of the good times of yesteryear. Repeat often.

What Else Can You Come Up With?

 While there must be dozens more ideas that I haven’t even touched on, these are a few to get you started. What new ideas can you and your friends come up with?

Your senior blogger signing off for now.

Diane