What a beautiful part of our country the Okanagan Valley is. We’ve been in the area for close to a week and seen the diversity of the area in terms of activities, terrain and people.
Kelowna sits in a valley on the west side of the Monashees, one of the mountain ranges that make up the Rocky Mountains. It is situated at approximately the mid point of Okanagan Lake and if you follow the lake south you go through West Kelowna ( formerly called Westbank) , Peachland, Summerland, and eventually arrive at Penticton at the south end of the lake. A drive north of Kelowna takes you along the lake through Lake County, Oyama, Coldstream and Vernon at the other end of this huge lake.
Each community boasts amazing views of the lake, great restaurants and outdoor activities that go hand in hand with lake living. Beautiful walking paths, gardens and beaches are showcased along the waterfronts and even though it is still April, many people are out on the beaches…some even venturing into the water. We spent an afternoon on the beach at Skaha Lake which is located just south of Okanagan Lake in Penticton. The beach was hot…very hot! But the water had not been warmed enough by the sun yet for me to go in. However, we did see kids swimming in it! I’m a bit of a chicken!
The hills on both sides of the valley are lined with vineyards…approximately 200 wineries in the area…and orchards which supply most of the fruit we buy in our grocery stores across Canada. Kelowna is headquarters for BC Tree Fruits.
Interspersed among the vineyards and orchards are well groomed golf courses to suit any level of ability. We enjoyed the view from the balcony of the Sunset Ranch Club House one day for lunch and today played a nine hole course not far from our condo.
We were told that in the summer Kelowna and the area grows in population by more than 20,000 as tourists converge on the area to camp, golf, enjoy the lakes, tour the wineries and sample the great restaurants. We’re just at the beginning of the tourist onslaught at the end of April and the weather has been amazing!
For the outdoor enthusiasts, Big White ski hill is not far away for mountain biking, hiking, etc. but we did not fit that into our week this time.
There is so much to do in this region that we would definitely recommend a vacation anywhere in this area!