Centrally located, Merritt and the Nicola Valley offer a host of vacation options for the whole family.

Planning a summer road trip with the kids? Merritt and the Nicola Valley is the perfect playground for folks living in the Lower Mainland. Only a three-hour drive from downtown Vancouver, an hour and a half from Kelowna and 45 minutes from Kamloops, there'sno doubt that €œall roads lead to Merritt€!

Here's why you and your family should take a trip to Merritt pronto€¦

1. Tons of family-friendly events

Facebook/Michael Daniels Official

Every weekend, the City of Merritt organizes exciting community events that cater to the whole family. From July through August, chill out at Spirit Square for the weekly music showcase Music in the Square€”this summer featuring Michael Daniels, The Doug James Band and more; saunter through the vibrant Summer Nights Market; and shop for fresh fruit and produce at the Nicola Valley Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.

View the city's community calendar for more information on events and festivals.

2. Beautiful, kid-friendly parks


Home to parks that are perfect for family picnics and child-friendly activities, Merritt is the ideal destination for a relaxing B.C. getaway with outdoor fun in mind. Head to Rotary Spray Park, where kids of all ages can cool down from the summer heat by playing in the water park. Fairley Park is suitable for curious toddlers, with fencing and a colourful jungle gym to explore. For energetic young ones who love playing competitive games, make a stop at Central Park for its ball fields and sand volleyball court.

Read up on other day trips in and around Merritt.

3. Country living at its best

Facebook/Douglas Lake Ranch

Merritt offers a plethora of activities that you won't find in a busy, urban environment. Score a glimpse of cattle ranching at the Douglas Lake Ranch, visit its historic general store building, and stay in a lakefront cabin at nearby Salmon Lake Resort. For fly fishing enthusiasts, a country lodge like Corbett Lake Lodge may be a more appealing form of accommodation that's no less family-friendly. Go horseback trail riding at A-P Guest Ranch or Inspire Horsemanship, where you’ll have the chance to see the beauty of the Nicola Valley, explore nature at a leisurely pace and view demonstrations on blacksmithing and leather work. What's more, Merritt is known as the Country Music Capital of Canada. Top attractions include the Merritt Walk of Stars, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Country Legends murals.

Discover more about the city's western charm.

4. Campsite options abound

Government of B.C.

With a wide variety of campsites throughout the Nicola Valley, the kids will love jumping into lakes and roasting marshmallows over a campfire every night. Located along the Coldwater River, the Claybanks RV Park and Moon Shadows RV Park are equipped with fully serviced RV sites and tent sites. Another popular camping spot is the Monck Provincial Park campground, which lies close to the shore of Nicola Lake and boasts easy access to recreational family-oriented fun, from hiking to wind-surfing to boating.

If the family gets hungry, check out places to eat here.

5. Art is celebrated everywhere

Facebook/Nlaka’pamux Creations

For kids who prefer more artistic pursuits, there'sso much for them to do in Merritt! The Courthouse Art Gallery regularly holds a wide variety of programs and activities, while Nlaka’pamux Creations, which showcases local and First Nations art, hosts various hands-on workshops. Or pay a visit to the numerous art studios throughout the valley to get inspiration for your little one's next masterpiece.

Follow Tourism Merritt on Facebook, Instagram,Twitter and YouTube to stay updated on fun events and things to do.