British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley is a popular Canadian holiday destination, famous for its warm dry summers, lakeside beaches, vineyards and mountains.
Nicknamed the “Napa Valley of the North,” millions of juicy grapes ripen among the rolling hills around Okanagan Lake, and summertime temperatures are generally hotter than they are in Napa itself. Okanagan’s wine scene is dominated by sweet whites, and the local ice dessert wine is a must-try; it is made using grapes that have frozen on the vine during Canada’s chilly winter nights.
Orchards bursting with juicy peaches, apricots and cherries are also in abundance in Okanagan Valley, as well as plenty of outdoor activities. Popular among watersport aficionados, golfers, mountain bikers and hikers, the valley hosts more than 300,000 people, with the liveliest and largest city being Kelowna. Other popular cities to stay in around the lake are Vernon and Penticton. The backcountry teems with old mining settlements toward the valley’s U.S. border, while the north is dominated by those famous orchards and vineyards. In winter, Okanagan Valley is a popular skiing destination.
Kelowna is one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada and has its own airport with regular flights coming in from Vancouver International Airport. Otherwise, Okanagan Valley is a scenic five-hour drive east of Vancouver.