A highly recommended place to visit in Summerland, British Columbia for the whole family of all ages and experience the unique ride that feels like a step back in time.
Disclaimer: This post was not requested, nor compensated for its publication. I paid all the expenses. All review are 100% my own.
We always make a list of what are we going to do and see when we are on a road trip to make sure everyone in the family are happy and enjoy their trip. Especially when we are on a road trip with little kids, we always make sure to include any attractions that fit for their age to enjoy. When we were in Okanagan Valley, I heard about this truly unique place that needs to be on people bucket list while visiting there. We visit Kettle Valley Steam Railway in Summerland.
You need to check the schedule first on their website before the visit. The ride is not on the hourly schedule, but it is on the specific times instead every day in spring, summer, and fall. There is also Great Train Robbery and BBQ’s, a special event on site for a great purpose. Too bad, we did not go for this special occasion, I can only imagine it must be so much fun to experience this event.
We drive to get there in about 25 minutes from where we stayed in Penticton. Once you arrive in Summerland, look for the sign of Kettle Valley Steam Railway and follow the trail with the KVR sign.We arrive 30 minutes early, so we can enjoy the place for ourselves first before it gets crowdy.
We purchased the ticket for the ride at 1.30 pm. We have enough time for lunch before going onboard and wait for our trip in a unique seating area. We have time to explore and of course taking pictures of the train while waiting for the crew to take us onboard. We choose to sit in the closed cabin this time. We were in the open cabin before when my youngest was still a toddler. It is not the first time for us to ride this train, but we always have the best experience all the time.
Once we are onboard, the crew will give us the brief story about the train that is back into the gold and coal mine history. One of the crew will distribute the observation list paper for kids so that they will have an activity during the ride. We found everything listed on the paper. Kids were so excited when they see the objects around the trail. It is like a scavenger hunt for them.
The train is going to follow the railway through the valley. The view was fantastic for sure. A little bit of smoke due to forest fire, but it did not affect the attraction. We passed through these orchards, vineyards, residentials, cliff, and the train stop before the bridge.
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Once we stop by the bridge, the train crew explain us the history related to the bridge. We stay there for around 10 minutes, and we are allowed to get off the train for sightseeing, enjoy the freshly picked fruits there and of course picture time. Then we were heading back to the train station. One of the many exciting things is you will see lots of peoples waved their hands to us when the train passed them.
Ride the train in the closed cabin is fun for sure, but I would recommend you to try to get the seat in the open cabin. The breeze and the view will be so much better. What I saw there, lots of people got their seat in the open cabin, so if you would like to get one, you need to book the ticket earlier. You could book it online through their website.
From what I understand about the Great Train Robbery and BBQ’s, it is supposed to be so much fun to experience it. There will be some actors ride horses that act like a real robbery and get on the train. The money they collected will go toward charity. The event will be last for a few hours and continue with the barbeque for everyone who involves in the event.
Once you finish the train ride, you can continue to visit some vineyards in the area and do wine tasting. If you don’t have any plan to visit the winery, then it always a good idea to go back to the beach, eat some ice cream and enjoy the sunset.
For more details of Kettle Valley Steam Railway about admission, hours, events, visit the website here.