Founded in 1907 as a prime agricultural area, Naramata was also known in its early years as a cultural centre. People from across the Okanagan would arrive by boat for concerts, plays, operas and regattas. Paddlewheelers regularly stopped at the local wharf carrying freight and passengers up and down Okanagan Lake. In 1914, Naramata received a new link with the rest of Canada when the Kettle Valley Railway was completed on the hillside above the village. Due to the intense volume of rock work it gained the reputation as one of the most difficult stretches of KVR construction.
Today, remnants of the KVR make for great exploration, such as the train tunnels, rock ovens, and the railway right-of-way which clings to the hillside high above Okanagan Lake and is now part of the Trans-Canada hiking Trail.
Naramata has been charming visitors since its early days. Village founder John Moore Robinson built the California -inspired Hotel Naramata more than 95 years ago. Today, the property has been refurbished and offers dining, accommodation and spa services with historical charm.
Agriculture and tourism form the economic base of the village of Naramata. The agricultural sector once mostly consisting of orchards is rapidly being supplanted by vineyards and wineries that are collectively referred to as the “Naramata Bench”. Tourism is served by many motels, beach side resorts and a variety of bed and breakfast operations that cater to summertime visitors.