Tucked away on the eastern side of Okanagan Lake in the South Okanagan Valley is quaint and welcoming Naramata, BC. We love this small community for its warm and inviting vibe and the many incredible businesses– from restaurants to coffee shops to stores, wineries and more! It’s a safe little village for families (our kids would love to ride their bikes around here) and is small enough to walk to all amenities. Just over an hour from Kelowna made this the perfect place for a family weekend getaway! Check out our itinerary below, and all the must-sees and stops for your family.
Our stay was graciously hosted by Discover Naramata and the businesses shared below; all views shared in this post are my own. Thank you for having us!
Where to Stay
We stayed at The Village Motel, truly a hidden gem. The most common review of this cute little place is everyone’s hesitation to share it … for fear it will become overrun and unavailable! The motel offers a variety of layouts, including standard queens, one-bedrooms, and family suites. Our family suite accommodation was a good size for our family of five and came equipped with all the basic amenities we needed. The property is very well cared for (and incredibly clean!). It also has what is quite possibly the cutest courtyard I’ve ever seen. Our kids enjoyed exploring, reading books, and kicking a soccer ball around here. We’re told in the summer it’s a place for bbq’ing, gathering and chatting with fellow visitors–we can see why from the inviting atmosphere and many locals enjoying coffee at the adjoining shop (more on that later). We would stay here again and can’t wait to go back one day!
Where to Eat
Poplar Grove Restaurant
From the views to the food to the service, The Restaurant at Poplar Grove is incredible! Located on Munson Mountain, the restaurant overlooks Okanagan Lake, offering a stunning backdrop for dining. The menu is thoughtfully curated around the ingredients and seasons of the Okanagan and is perfectly paired with Poplar Grove’s award-winning wines. If you’re looking for our recommendations, the Wild BC Halibut and Grass-fed Striploin were one of the best meals we’ve had! We also greatly appreciate that this fine-dining restaurant offers a kids’ menu, and a delicious one at that! Our kids loved the warm honey buns, the made-from-scratch pasta, the house-made chicken strips, and the lavender lemonade. Truly an all-around amazing dining experience and the perfect place to celebrate special moments with your family.
Just Baked Naramata Street Coffee
Attached to The Village Motel is the best little coffee shop around, Just Baked Naramata Street Coffee! This grab-and-go style coffee shop with outdoor seating serves up great coffee and delicious baking–muffins, squares, bars, quiche, and seasonal baking. We visited multiple times for baked goods; our kids raved about the muffins, made from Gramma’s recipe! The owner, Ashley, is lovely (daughter of the equally lovely Debbie, who owns the motel)– don’t miss supporting this wonderful, excellent small business!
The Restaurant at Naramata Inn
A must visit when it comes to dining in Naramata is the Restaurant at the Naramata Inn. Located in the historic Naramata Inn (originally built in 1908) and led by top Canadian chef, Naramatian raised Jacob Deacon-Evans, the Restaurant is known for not only its outstanding culinary experience, but also its commitment to local growers and artisans, priding itself on providing a true “Naramatian” experience. We tried a variety of items: charcuterie, asparagus soup, arctic char, gnocchi and everything here is exceptional. The Chef also had fresh and house-made items available for our littlest diners (excellent gnocchi and chicken!). The menu is beautifully paired with award-winning wines produced in British Columbia and beyond.
Real Things Pizza
We love to order-in for at least one meal on vacation and in Naramata, Real Things Pizza is the place. This family-owned and operated business serves up handmade and unique combinations. They offer a great kids meal option: personalized pizza sizes with a little treat on the side! I would order the Chorizo Mckee every week if I could. They will deliver to the beach, too, so if the weather is nice consider enjoying your dinner lakeside!
The Bench Market
On our way out of Naramata, we enjoyed a delicious brunch at the Bench Market. This local spot is passionate about creating made-from-scratch food using local and BC-sourced ingredients. Thye offer all-day breakfast, weekend brunch, baked goods, gourmet lunch and an excellent coffee bar. It’s a challenge to choose your order from their vast menu of mouth-watering choices, but we recommend the waffles, breakfast burrito, or avocado toast (the best I’ve ever had!) Their staff is friendly and attentive, and from the moment you walk in you can sense their commitment to delivering an exceptional meal and experience.
What to Do
Naramata General Store
A visit to Naramata wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Naramata General Store. Located right in the hub of the village, this little shop offers a bit of everything. Here you can find ice cream, fresh groceries, the best selection of local wines, kitchen essentials, a deli, and more. There is also a massive candy section where my kids spent a lot of time contemplating their treat choice! This is a great convenient place to grab some snacks for your stay, fill a picnic basket, and enjoy an ice cream outside!
Despite a bit of rain during our visit, we headed out to explore the Kettle Valley Railway trail, which is accessible by car or bike from Naramata. It’s approximately 15 km from Naramata to the parking lot, and then a hike, bike, or short drive to Little Tunnel. This is an easy place to access and explore with kids and they loved walking through the tunnel! Little Tunnel’s location provides amazing views of Naramata and nearby cities Penticton and Summerland. If you’re there when it’s sunny, bring a picnic to enjoy!
Mini Family-Friendly Wine Tour
No visit to Naramata would be complete without some wine tastings and tours!
This family-operated estate offers a welcoming experience for families, including a picnic area open to the public, a kids’ play structure, and an on-site food truck! Our kids quickly made friends with the owner’s children! Their winery focus is to produce quality wines: 100% estate grown and hand-harvested.
Nichol Vineyard is one of the first three pioneering wineries on the Naramata Bench. This winery operates on a small scale basis, growing all wines within 900 metres of the winery and focusing resources on grape quality. They have a beautiful patio to enjoy a glass of wine, space for kids to run and explore, a friendly winery Dog named Dan, and a basket of toys for kids to play with.
This winery offers wine and fruit wine tastings in their shaded courtyard, and they have a fun juice tasting experience for kids including their own tasting tray! There is also a colouring and lego area and kids can join a farm tour to meet the resident sheep. Elephant Island wines and ciders are made with low intervention, living fermentation techniques from fruit grown on the farm or sourced from local farmers.
For the adventurous family, we also recommend checing out Hoodoo Adventures. They offer quality outdoor adventures and tours, including a variety of rentals (bikes, ebikes, snowshoes, kayaks, canoes and more). We checked out their indoor climbing wall located inside a 5,000 square feet space featuring 15-foot high bouldering walls. Ropes and special skills are not required (first timers here!) and it was a ton of fun!
All in all, Naramata is the perfect destination for a family vacation! Check out more highlights from our stay on Instagram, and let me know if you have any questions! xo