Located in the Okanagan Valley just 40 minutes north of Kelowna lies Vernon, BC. This tight-knit community has an abundance of activities to enjoy, while also boasting pristine lakes and mountain views from every angle. It’s because of its charm and welcoming atmosphere that we here at Hilltop Toyota are proud to serve Vernon.
Vernon is considered the oldest community in the Okanagan and was first inhabited by the Syeelhwh Nation. The area was originally called Nintle-Moos-Chin, which means “jumping over the creek”. It was named so because the banks of BX Creek were close together in this area, making it easy to leap across.
In 1811, the Okanagan Valley area was settled by David Stuart of Pacific Fur Company. It was at this time that the area became popular with settlers, and the first permanent white settler in the Vernon area — Luc Girouard — made the area his home in 1861.
In 1864, when Forbes and Charles Vernon settled in the area, the town became known as Vernon. From there, it continued to increase in population as cattle ranching and growing wheat became the main industry. Then, Lord Aberdeen introduced fruit farming to the area in the late 1890s, eventually making it known for its fruit crops.
In 1903, the first city hall in Vernon was built, quickly helping the town become the largest town in the valley – and the first to have a bank. Since then, Vernon has continued to flourish, eventually becoming a go-to area for visitors to the region. Now, you can see Vernon’s rich history in 27 murals across the city’s downtown buildings, allowing you to get swept back in time.
Things to Do
Check Out Local Museums
Throughout Vernon, you will find an active arts and cultural community. The town is home to a range of art galleries and museums, including the Vernon Public Art Gallery, Greater Vernon Museum & Archive, Okanagan Science Centre, and the Planet Bee Honey Farm, among others.
Hike the Great Outdoors
Natural beauty surrounds Vernon, which means there are ample hiking opportunities out there for you. Whether you’re a beginner or someone looking for a more advanced hiking trail, there are ample options to choose from. We recommend hiking in the spring in particular to see the surrounding mountains filled with blooming flowers.