At Turtle Bay Pub, scenic views of Wood Lake enhance the experience of sipping cold brews and indulging in a diverse selection of pub fare. That cuisine ranges from hearty classics, such as racks of ribs or steak & Guinness pies, to lighter dishes, such as flatbreads topped with prosciutto, pear, and goat cheese. Live music sets the mood on Friday nights, and on others, it's set by the cheers and groans of patrons as they watch sports games. Sunday brunch, replete with omelettes and buttermilk pancakes, is also available.
The team behind Avenue Classic Bar sets out to create an upscale tavern with a warm, neighborly feel. A row of chandeliers shines soft light on intimate conversations below, as patrons nestle into soft folds of U-shaped leather booths. Bottles of top-shelf liquors rise from behind the bar, waiting to be plucked from obscurity and to melt some unsuspecting ice cubes. Stone walls and hardwood floors lend a rich quality to the upscale saloon.
At Gracie Barra Kamloops, students learn the art of the underdog: brazilian jiu-jitsu. This martial-arts discipline capitalizes on the concept of leverage to negate any advantage of size or strength. Its grappling techniques therefore enable a person to subdue a much-larger opponent using a repertoire of joint locks and chokeholds.
The instructors—two of whom are certified black belts—demonstrate their ground-fighting techniques during classes for all ages. These sessions hone self-defence moves while promoting overall fitness, much like kicking the panel of your StairMaster between each step.
Twenty-three years into his storied career, Darren Lee continues to channel the charisma of the King of rock 'n' roll, winning the title of World's Best Elvis in Memphis on the 20th anniversary of the legend's death. Lee gained notoriety performing on the Vegas Strip for 11 years, and during his stint as young Elvis, mastered the moves that once scandalized a nation, from swiveling hips to wearing a white jumpsuit after Labour Day. With dark, voluminous locks and the signature growl that marks such hits as Hound Dog and Hurt, Darren Lee celebrates the King's unforgettable music and charismatic stage presence fronting a multi-media presentation that culls the best back-up instrumentals and vocals. With only 326 seats, the intimate auditorium fosters an energetic connection between the performer and viewer in a way that only the arduous questioning of an Ouija board otherwise can.
Michaelbrook Ranch Golf Course unspools in the Okanagan Valley, inviting players to tee off against a backdrop of mountains and wine vineyards. Measuring 3,799 yards from the back tees, the par-63 executive course is relatively diminutive in stature but outfitted with hazards such as water on four holes, troublesome rough, and the threat of interference from lost sommeliers. The distinctive 18th hole boasts two greens—one an island and one safely inland—each of which may be in play on any given day. After sinking your last putt, head over to the Brook Bar and Grill for a post-round meal and celebratory drinks.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-63 course * Total length of 3,799 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 58 from the back tees * Course slope of 84 from the back tees * Two sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
Ex Nihilo Vineyards bottles distinctive whites and reds on a 10-acre slope overlooking Lake Okanagan. Wine tasters assume their positions for a flight of four wines within Ex Nihilo's Mediterranean-fashioned tasting room, designed by vineyard cofounder Jeff Harder. Both connoisseurs and newcomers to the grape game can tease taste buds with the ripe complexity of Night, Ex Nihilo's ultrapremium bordeaux, or can get to know the merlot, which, unlike a bust of Mussolini carved from ham, is fruity and approachable. Seasoned sippers may regard Night's oaky aroma as a striking counterpoint to the tropical scents of the pinot gris and may relish the balance of the riesling, which was rated Best Local White Wine - Central by Okanagan Life readers.