Dreaming of a tropical vacation? Skip the overseas flight and expensive plane ticket — you can get a taste of the tropics right here in Canada.
In Vernon, B.C., you'll find a stunning lake with bright blue-green water that looks like it belongs in the Caribbean rather than the True North.
Kalamalka Lake is a unique, colour-changing lake in B.C.'s Okanagan Valley with turquoise waters that you could easily mistake for tropical.
According to BC Parks, the lake is one of a handful of unique bodies of water known as marl lakes.
Marl is a calcium-carbonate-rich deposit that changes with temperature. In the summer, when it's warm, calcium carbonate, or limestone, forms crystals in the lake that reflect sunlight and gives the water a distinctive blue and green colour as well as an almost milky look.
The lake is one of Canada's few marl lakes, the largest of which can be found in Manitoba at Little Limestone Lake Provincial Park.
As this isn't a glacial lake, you can expect the waters to be a bit warmer here than at other B.C. swimming spots.
You can take a dip in the warm, clear water, or even try your hand at surfing with the local wakesurf school.
The lake can be found in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, which also has 14 kilometres of hiking trails providing access to beaches and viewpoints.
Kal Beach, which is said to be the most popular beach on the lake, offers "pristine soft sand," picnic tables and lots of shade for a relaxing day by the water.
If you'd rather be a bit more active, for an easy hike with a great payoff you can take the 1-kilometre Crest Trail to Rattlesnake Point, where you'll be able to get incredible views of the lake.
There are also opportunities for paddling, canoeing and kayaking, waterskiing and mountain biking in the park.
It's also a great spot for birdwatchers, with canyon wren, white-throated swift, Western screech owl and flammulated owl all calling the park home.
Just watch your step — you'll find a variety of reptiles here, including pacific rubber boa, western rattlesnakes, western yellow-bellied racers, gopher snakes, garter snakes, western painted turtles, Great Basin spadefoot toads, and northern alligator lizards.
The park is open year-round and a day-use pass isn't required to visit. There's tons to do in the area of Vernon, including the Okanagan Science Centre, Historic O'Keefe Ranch as well as a number of wineries.
When: Open year-round
Address: Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, Vernon, BC
Why You Need To Go: You can visit this stunning blue-green marl lake in B.C. for picture-perfect swimming and hiking this summer.
Accessibility: See accessibility features of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.