A short drive from Vancouver, Merritt represents beautiful B.C. at its best this summer.
Situated in the heart of the Nicola Valley, the town of Merritt is located three hours from Vancouver, and offers a wide variety of fun summer activities for music lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Keep reading to find out what makes summertime in Merritt so memorable...
1. Indulge in a Fisherman’s Paradise
Merritt is where locals often say there is "A lake a day as long as you stay". Whether you’re a novice or a hobbyist, Merritt is the perfect place to pursue your passion for fishing. Popular destinations include Courtney Lake, for blackwater rainbow trout that grow up to 15 pounds, and Lac Le Jeune for family-friendly outings.
For more information on the top 10 Merritt fishing holes, click here.
2. Dance All Night at Music Festivals
Expect wicked beats and party-worthy tunes by Canadian and international acts at upcoming electronic music and art festival Bass Coast (July 12th to 15th). Meanwhile country music fest Rockin’ River (August 1st to 4th) showcases a host of world class entertainers amidst a gorgeous campground. Merritt also throws a free, annual Music in the Park concert series throughout the summer, featuring everything from country to rock to blues.
Watch video of Merritt festivals here or view more exciting events in the city's community calendar.
3. Go Horseback Riding
Saddling up is easy to do in Merritt, with various locales such as A-P Ranch and Inspire Horsemanship offering lessons, trail ride experiences through protected First Nations land and more. Or bring your own horse and ride the great trails at Sugarloaf Mountain–just pick up a trail guide, available at the Merritt Visitor Centre in downtown Merritt, before you head out.
Explore other day trips in and around Merritt here.
4. Explore the Great Outdoors
If horseback riding isn’t your thing, there are many other ways to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine in Merritt. From scenic hiking trails to stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking, the Nicola Valley is certain to have something in store just for you.
Mountain biking is one of the hottest sports in Merritt at the moment, with big events such as The Merritt Crown Mountain Bike Race on June 22nd and the BC Epic 1000 off-road bike-packing race on June 29th both on the horizon. There are also loads of new trails around, and active riders will be happy to share first-hand trail knowledge with you.
Find out more about biking and hiking in Merritt here.
5. Celebrate Influential Country Music Artists
Known as the “Country Music Capital of Canada”, Merritt is full of western charm. Visit the country legend murals, a community youth project, or the Walk of Star Handprints, which features handprints and signatures of country music’s top performers. Don’t forget to stop by the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in downtown Merritt to find out more about the musical geniuses behind the genre in our country.
Read more about the history of Merritt's moniker here.
6. Enjoy Fresh Produce Everywhere You Go
Apart from a farmers' market every Saturday, the Merritt Summer Nights Market also takes place throughout the season. There, indulge in yummy street food and scour garage sales to your heart’s content. Dig into healthy, hearty fare at One Eleven Grill at the historic Quilchena Hotel and Resort in the Douglas Lake Ranch, and stop by Nicola Valley Honey to take home a container... or two.
Check out more places to eat and other accommodations in Merritt.
7. Have the Lake to Yourself
Spend a slow summer afternoon at Nicola Lake or Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park, where you can go for a refreshing dip, rent a boat or simply lie on the beach and soak up the sun rays. Then cool off with locally made English-style cider from Left Field Cider or an IPA from Empty Keg Brew House, a new brewery in town