- 200 wineries
- 200-plus lakes
- 40 golf courses
Follow BC's scenic self-guided wine trails along lakefront vineyards, past lush fruit orchards and into Canada's only pocket desert. Watch Shakespeare performed in a hilltop amphitheatre at sunset. Golf among hoodoos and canyon fissures. Go horseback-riding through silent sagebrush-covered hills. Tour North America's only underground wine cellars carved into a volcanic rock hillside at an architecturally stunning winery with a 12-storey bell tower. Learn the ancient secrets of pyramid power at an organic winery, where 40 types of heirloom tomatoes are grown. Tour a First Nations desert cultural centre. While boating on Okanagan Lake, keep your eyes peeled for the legendary monster, Ogopogo.
- Cycle the Okanagan through idyllic "Napa of the North" vineyards.
- Heli-ski in the magnificent Monashee and Cariboo Mountains, 2.5 hours north of Kamloops or in champagne powder at Big White, Silver Star or Apex Mountain.
- Hike over 18 historic wooden trestles in the Myra Canyon on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
- Pick apples off the tree while playing 18 holes of golf in a fruit orchard.
- Swim, sail and picnic at 30 local beaches during almost-tropical Okanagan summers.
Arts & Culture
- Tour Nk'Mip Cellars, Canada's first Aboriginal-owned-and-operated winery, and the stop at the Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos.
- Hear summer concerts and plays at Mission Hill's outdoor grass amphitheatre in view of the iconic 12-storey bell tower.
- Tour the Geert Mass Sculpture Gardens and Gallery.
- Hop aboard the S.S. Sicamous in Penticton, a historic steel-hulled sternwheeler, now a living lakefront museum.
Food & Drink
- Sample dishes made with local ingredients like organic salmon coated in dried grape dust on a four-day wine and restaurant tour.
- Taste organic gold-medal winning wines aged and finished in a replica of the Great Pyramids of Egypt.
- Dine gourmet-style in a domed observation car aboard the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Kamloops.
- Delight in the "nectar of the gods," icewine, made from grapes harvested by moonlight and pressed while frozen.
- Cozy up to the oenophiles in a tasting salon at Mission Hill's Wine Education Centre.
Nature & Wildlife
- Take a guided tour to Adams River to Salute the Sockeye as they complete their life cycle amid brilliant fall foliage.
- See wildflowers explode around Kalamalka Lake in spring.
- Photograph fruit orchards and vineyards nudging up to a rare pocket desert overlooking Osoyoos Lake.
- Tour an orchard in a tractor-driven hay wagon while your guide points out Okanagan apple varieties.
- Fill a basket with sweet-scented lavendar at a u-pick farm.
- Three of the cities with the hottest summers in Canada are in the Okanagan: Kamloops (#1) , Penticton (#2) and Kelowna (#4).
- Okanagan summers are long, hot and dry and stretch from May through September.
- Temperatures in July and August are nearly tropical, reaching 27°C and higher.
- Winters are short and mild, lasting only three months from December through February, with low temperatures of 0°C or slightly below.
- Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Normals Website
Area: 20,829 sq-km (8,042 sq-mi)
Vineyards: 320 sq-km (200 sq-mi)
Total Population: 461,858
Largest City: Kamloops
Lake Okanagan: 113-km (70 mi) lon
Sunshine: An average 2,000 hours per year at the Okanagan's south end.
- Ski at the Okanagan's six mountain resorts from December until April.
- Golf at the Okanagan's numerous scenic golf courses from April until October.
- Smell the heavenly scent of 60 varieties of lavender in bloom at a lavendar and herb farm from April to September.
- Tour local farmgate wineries during the Okanagan's Valley's wine festivals, held in January, May, July and October.
- Sip Okanagan ice wines with fellow wine lovers at the annual Winter Wine Festival at Sun Peaks Resort.