Essentials to fully enjoy a stay in the Okanagan Valley
By Marie-Pier Leduc - Nomade Magazine
If you have never heard of the Okanagan Valley, then I invite you now to do a little research on Google Images. One look at this desert paradise in southern British Columbia will make you want to set foot there! This was my case and I absolutely do not regret this decision. I therefore propose here some essentials to include during your stay.
The long sandy beaches
This valley quickly gives us the impression of having landed in southern Europe, or even in California. One thing is certain, it is very difficult to believe that we are still in Canada… and yet! The sun shines here every day and the dry, hot summer air makes you want to jump in the water. That's why I start by inviting you to discover some of the most beautiful beaches in the Okanagan Valley.
The shoreline of Okanagan Lake, which stretches for miles, is lined with small and large golden sand beaches. I particularly enjoyed Penticton Beach. It is bordered by a promenade where there are several restaurants and kiosks. The atmosphere is festive and you really feel like you are on vacation! Closer to Kelowna, there is also Sun-Oka Beach. Although smaller, it is also superb!
If you can't stay in place on the beach in the sun for long, many water activities are accessible almost everywhere on the lake; motor boat, sailboat, water skiing, kayaking, parasailing, tube lazy river and much more!
A tour of the vineyards
What would a tour of the Okanagan be without a wine tour? Indeed, given the semi-arid climate and the sun which shines most of the time, fruits and vines grow there in profusion. A real must in the region, there are dozens of establishments just waiting to offer you a tasting of their best wines. It is possible to sign up for a guided tour providing transport or to discover the vineyards at your own pace. Only, a reservation will be necessary for the places most in demand. Generally, you have to pay the price, which varies between $5 and $25 depending on the reputation of the vineyard, in order to taste 4 or 5 different wines. This price is often deducted from the purchase of a bottle of wine following the tasting.
As for my recommendations, I had a big crush on Frind Estate Winery which is located on the edge of the lake and therefore enjoys an absolutely magnificent view. I suggest you also plan a meal at the restaurant in addition to the tasting, everything was delicious! Summerhill Pyramid Winery and Mission Hill Family Estate are worth a visit if only to appreciate their prime elevated location and unique architecture. For a friendly atmosphere and a more affordable but very refreshing wine list, I highly recommend the hatch as well.
Finally, in order to take full advantage of the abundance of fruit in the Okanagan Valley, I suggest you stop at a few roadside kiosks. The region is particularly known for its juicy peaches and delicious cherries! It's the perfect snack for your day at the beach.
This rounds out my must-sees in the beautiful Okanagan Valley region. I hope you will have a memorable stay there and fall, like me, under the spell of this little Canadian paradise!