The small city of Kamloops, known as Canada's Tournament Capital, always has an athletic event. Set only four hours' north of Vancouver, many tourists come to Kamloops purely for its sporting events. The city is home to a wide variety of teams, including the Kamloops Blazers Hockey Club (part of the Western Hockey League), the Kamloops Storm and the Kamloops Broncos, a Junior Football Association team who play at the Tournament Capital Centre. Kamloops visitors can catch car races at MotoPlex Speedway or Thompson Rivers University, well-attended Wolf Pack soccer matches, and volleyball, basketball and baseball games. Disc golf, one of the fastest growing sports in the world, is wildly popular in this area, and keeps participants of all ages and skill levels moving through some of Western Canada's most beautiful terrain.
Just under four hours northeast of Vancouver, Kamloops was initially settled by the First Nations' fur-trapping Shuswap tribe, whose skill with pelts inspired the European-owned North West Company to move into the area in 1811. To learn more about these two worlds colliding, Kamloops visitors can visit the downtown Kamloops Museum and Archives.
Kamloops visitors will find that there are 26 different open spaces and parks in town. The enormous Kenna Cartwright Park, on the west side of the city, features an 40-kilometre network of hiking and cycling trails perfect for a wide variety of skill levels, from seasoned outdoor adventurers to casual hikers. On the south side of the city, the 94-hectare Peterson Creek Park is the home of Bridal Veil Falls, a scenic site for Kamloops tourists to stop and have a picnic.
Kamloops also provides a number of opportunities for visitors to stay inside and experience the arts-and-culture scene. The Kamloops Symphony, in the heart of downtown, produces live concerts on a monthly basis, from September through May. The Kamloops Art Gallery, also downtown, organises and/or hosts approximately 25 exhibitions each year that highlight a variety of artistic styles. A few minutes west of the art gallery, near the river, the Western Canada Theatre is also worth a visit; the company puts on productions at two venues—the Sagebrush Theatre and the Pavilion Theatre—and also offers acting classes to area youth.
Shoppers will want to head to the Aberdeen Mall, 15 minutes southwest of downtown and just off the Trans-Canada Highway. Here, two floors and over 100 shops and independent businesses —including Canadian luggage retailer Bentley, small book chain Chapters-Indigo, women's fashion line Cleo and Chatters hair salon—keep customers busy. The food court offers a variety of choices to hungry patrons, however those who would rather dine local will want to head back downtown to the Spiked Pig, a restaurant that serves wood-fired pizza, burgers and other pub fare. For a more upscale experience, Crush on Victoria offers a more swanky ambience, as well as gluten-free pastas and a hefty selection of British Columbia wines.