Food Travel

Osoyoos & Oliver – Am I in BC or Italy?

The Okanagan is a region of B.C. that centers around the Okanagan Lake in the north, with the primary city being Kelowna, all the way south to the U.S. border. South Okanagan has Osoyoos Lake, and the towns of Oliver and Osoyoos; this area is the topic of this blog.

Recently, I attended a track day at Area 27 which is in Oliver so we had a chance to visit the region. I was blown away with what I saw. I have heard of these regions before but never thought about visiting. This is one positive aspect of the whole pandemic situation, people are able to explore their own backyards more.

The region is known for its lakes and wine. It is also the only desert in Canada. In July, temperatures reach highs in the 30s. From April to October, the highs range from 16 degrees Celsius with an average of 24. The coldest months are Dec, Jan and Feb with lows of -5. Being a dessert, precipitation is low, and averages only 4.5 days a month!

I had always imagined heavy snow in the region. This is not the case.

Driving into the town of Osoyoos, I could feel the nice dry heat and a resort like atmosphere. It felt like time slowed and everyone was in a relaxed mode having fun on the lake. We stayed at the Spirit Ridge Resort which is a Hyatt Hotel.

The views from the restaurant balcony that night were incredible.

The next day, we drove from the hotel to the Area 27 racetrack which is in Oliver, about a 30 minute drive. The drive was one of the best things I have experienced in B.C. Miles and miles of vineyards, mountains and lakes will make you feel like you are in another world, truly on vacation (pictures at the end of this blog post) . I could not believe I was still in BC. The area is so different than any other region of BC I have been.

We had a great day on the track. Here is some footage. Where else in the world is there a racetrack with vineyards in the background?

In the evening, we attended an event at Phantom Creek winery. Again, blown away by the setting. It felt like I could be in the middle of a vineyard in Tuscany.

The next morning we grabbed breakfast on the side of the road. The area is also known for growing a lot of fresh produce and there are fruit stands everywhere. The particular one we stopped at was selling homemade samosas. Eating them on the side of the road reminded me of doing the same in Hawaii.

We decided to have lunch at Burrowing Owl, another winery, before heading to the North Okanagan which I will write about later. Before lunch, we stopped by the lake.

…and I took some drone shots….

I am definitely going to plan a longer trip and come back to this area of BC. There is so much to do if you are into wine, water and sun! I definitely recommend you put this on your list of places to visit in Canada! You can spend all day just going to all the wineries.

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