Typical craft beer loving retirees, we embrace pairing a broad range of activities and fine cuisine with our beverages, and Predator Ridge delivered. While less developed than other BC Ale Trail regional hot spots like Kamloops, Kelowna and Penticton, we found craft beer adventures abound in Vernon.
Predator Ridge Resort
Our excellent mood from soaking in the scenery en route to Predator Ridge is elevated by the warm welcome. It’s no surprise people come to stay-and-play golf then peruse its residential possibilities.
Amid the casual elegance, the staff made us feel at home as if we were recognized resort members. Even furry companions are welcome through pet-friendly options. Along with that hospitality and understated luxury, there’s lots to do. No wonder it’s unofficial home for those active folks of Hockey Canada!
Predator Ridge boasts two of the Okanagan’s finest 18-hole championship golf tracks. Plus, it hosts a world-class practice facility, award-winning golf academy and fully stocked golf shop offering high-quality rentals. It’s a bonus the courses are dramatically different given two distinct designers of The Predator Course and The Ridge. Carved into the landscape, my preference is The Ridge which is a scenic mountain style rather than a links course. Play both for the ultimate challenge and appreciation of the resort’s diversity.
The “19th hole” near and dear to golfers has new meaning at Predator Ridge. Golf carts sport a cooler for beverages purchased at the clubhouse before setting out. Failing pre-purchase, strategically situated on each course are Turning Point and Outlook Cabin to cater to golfers ready for a beverage, snack or light meal.
Range Lounge & Grill
At game’s end, several onsite choices beckon and the gorgeous Range Lounge & Grill ticks a few boxes. First and foremost, the food in the “upscale casual restaurant featuring new age fusion cuisine” is delicious. We basked in the splendour of the luscious golf-scape as we dined. It’s pure gold to view the course you’re soon to attack or just played. Open 7:30 am to 10 pm, perch on the patio, chill in the lounge with a television tuned to sports, or linger in the dining room for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Ingredients are locally and responsibly sourced, Ocean Wise and part of the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) Program. Never an afterthought, savour desserts by acclaimed pastry chefs. I highly recommend the Dulce de Leche Crème Brulee with coconut macaroons. Handmade confections by Chef Tina Tang were a highlight of our visit.
Local craft beer, cider, and cocktails featuring Okanagan Spirits and popular brands, and BC wines by the glass and bottle were available. On tap, find craft beers such as Highway 97 Brewing Amber Ale, Granville Island Brewing Raspberry Ale, and Vice & Virtue Brewing IPA.
Insider Tip: Truly a four-season resort, Predator presents cooking classes with its talented culinary team when the kitchen is less busy from November to March.
Pallino’s Italian Bistro
Equally ‘deliciso’ this casual setting and bright patio leans Italian. Think traditional pizzas, soups, flatbread, salads, pasta and sandwiches. Beverages are Italian inspired while featuring rotating craft beer and seasonal cider. Eat in or takeout. If you choose like we did to dine in the room, Commonage Market sells wine, beer and other spirits. (A one-stop shop in Predator Ridge Lodge, it offers quick, healthy eats and general groceries, local produce and delicacies, sundry items, Okanagan wines, beers and liquors.)
Serving the Okanagan’s Tennis and Pickleball Community
Recently unveiled, the Predator Ridge Tennis & Pickleball Club is a boon to the resort and broader Okanagan community. Play year-round on the perfect courts protected in the bubble. Dedicated personnel include two of the Okanagan tennis community’s most respected names. A stand-alone racquet clubhouse is under construction, league play is in full swing and lessons are offered.
In just under an hour with Joachim Nierfield, we had a thirst-inducing workout and walked away with practical and individually relevant recommendations on how to improve our games.
Outdoor courts remain available at Predator, and this addition truly makes racquet sports an all-season/all-weather pursuit.
Bike Trails Before Ale
In close proximity to eight world-class wineries and the Okanagan Rail Trail, Predator serves as basecamp with specialized rental bikes, bike storage and more. We participated in the inaugural Rail Trail Art Festival followed by the Vernon Bike Fest festivities at Ratio Coffee & Pastry, where we got to know some of Vernon’s biking community over craft beer, pizza and live music.
The next morning, we were introduced to Predator’s new shuttle service, operating between Coldstream and Lake Country. This 27-kilometre stretch of the Okanagan Rail Trail runs directly alongside Kalamalka Lake with a gentle grade and trail surface. It’s part of the 48-kilometre trail that once completed will end in Kelowna. At a slow pace peppered with pauses to photograph the lakeside scenery and admire the work of artists participating in the festival, it took us roughly 2.5 hours.
We loved being able to experiment with e-bikes and the luxury of the shuttle pickup for return to Predator. What a brilliant idea even if you live in Vernon or Lake Country to park at Predator, hire the shuttle and then enjoy a meal onsite before heading home.
Fine Folks and Fitness Facilities
Predator’s full-service fitness centre has fine facilities for a workout, swim, hot tub and library. As we explored all the resort’s amenities, the many walking paths were inviting and folks friendly.
Explore Vernon’s Ale, Cider, Spirits, and Restaurants
A 20-minute drive away, Vernon exudes youthful vitality. For craft beer don’t miss the Naked Pig Kitchen and Marten Brewing Co. Naked Pig specializes in “low and slow, artisan, smoked cooking” while Marten Brewing devotes its energy to craft beers and a new line of non-alcoholic Kombucha and Nitro Coffee line Underground Beverages.
It’s a quick drive up the hill to The BX Press Cidery & Orchard for refreshing, natural ciders that are a true expression of the roughly 30 varieties of apples grown there.
Visiting Vernon isn’t complete without stopping at Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery – Western Canada’s original craft distillery. Consider booking ahead for a private, seated Whiskey Tasting.
Water, Water Everywhere – Why Not Cruise?
We loved cruising Okanagan Lake on a 22-foot pontoon boat with Okanagan Life Private Boat Charters and picnic onboard. Consider the charter’s options to skip crowded beaches. Be captained to a private bay to anchor where you can take a dip, chill, enjoy your repast or even tube along the way.
Plan your trip!
Visit Tourism Vernon’s Visitor Centre or website for ideas on how best to explore Vernon. Bike trails, golf, tennis, whatever activities you choose to earn your ale, Predator Ridge is the perfect muster point. Explore the Kamloops, Shuswap & Vernon Ale Trail to plan your ale-ventures in the region!