British Columbia Travel Guide
The unofficial BC Travel & Tourism Guide
Sorrento embodies all the attractions of the small lakeside communities that charmingly dot the interior of British Columbia. Whatever the season, visitors will find a way to relax and enjoy, discover and explore.
The town itself (pop. 6500) was originally called Trappers Landing, named as a gathering place for the Shuswap native peoples who returned there from hunting trips. It was renamed Sorrento by early settler James Kinghorn, who was reminded, when looking at Copper Island, which is just offshore, of Sorrento and the island of Capri in Italy. But it is not just the lakeside charm of the town, with its restored turn of the century church, which should tempt travelers to pause, stay in a hotel, or camp.
Sorrento is in the centre of one of the most beloved recreational areas in the whole province: Shuswap Lake. Multi-armed, deep and pristine, known for house boating vacations, fishing, canoeing, windsurfing and all manner of water-born pleasure, the lake is a kind of mecca for summertime fun.
Shuswap Lake Provincial Park, at the mouth of Scotch Creek, offers campsites, beach, boat launch and self-guided trails. Its 12km of paved trails also make it the most bicycle friendly Provincial Park in the province. It also encompasses Copper Island, which sits like a pearl just off-shore. A favourite stopping point for canoeists and boaters, the island is a marine Provincial Park.
Herald Provincial Park, known for bird-watching and walking, as well as beaches and boating, is also nearby, as is Niskonlith Provincial Park, situated in the rolling highlands south of the town; and Roderick-Haig Brown Provincial Park, named for the multi-faceted naturalist, fly-fisherman, writer and magistrate.
In mid July, the Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts in Sorrento displays the work of artists, photographers and artisans from the entire region.
In winter, Larch Hills provides cross-country skiers with an extraordinary 140 km of trails, 40 of which are groomed. Shuswap Lake in winter, with its ice-rimmed shoreline, migratory birds and snow-covered hills reflected in its still clarity, is a site to behold.
Sorrento is just off Highway 1 on the south shore of Salmon Arm (one of the ‘arms’ of Shuswap Lake). It is a short drive to the cities of Kamloops and Salmon Arm.
Sorrento Things to Do