From top to bottom, you’ll see a diversity of sights unlike anything else in Canada!
Day 1 — Arrive from the Kootenay Rockies region in Boundary Country via Highway # 3
You will enter our region at Christina Lake known as one of the best family holiday destinations in Canada. One of Christina Lake’s natural treasures, which visitors shouldn’t miss, is Cascade Falls, located on the Kettle River, approximately 3 km south of Christina Lake and a short walk from the highway. It is in the spring and early summer that the falls are most impressive. Their power explains the constantly renewed “driftwood forest” located some 30 feet above the falls at low water, and the potholes or “kettles” formed over countless years of the falls pounding the rocks of the river.
Only 20 minutes west, you’ll soon feel the sunshine coming from the valley of Grand Forks , where opportunities are limitless. Located at the confluence of the Kettle and Granby Rivers, Grand Forks is where history is told and adventures unfold. Relive the rich and colourful history by visiting the Boundary Museum, the Flour Mill, or the Pioneer Garden. Step back in time while taking the “History Comes Alive” Walking, Talking Tour through the historic downtown core. Be sure to taste the legendary Doukhobor cuisine Grand Forks has come to be well known for. Sample the fresh local products of this agriculture haven.
An hour west you will arrive in Greenwood — Canada’s smallest city, Once the hub of gold and copper mining, its Victorian era heritage buildings and industrial ruins still form part of local culture. The mining and Japanese heritage of the area can be seen at exhibits in the Greenwood Museum and Visitor Information Centre. Greenwood boasts some of the most well preserved heritage buildings in BC. Of special note, City Hall is one of the ‘all wood’ heritage structures that can transport you back to the days when the formal and stately Courthouse was in use as the B.C. Supreme Court and the jail in the basement housed those who had gone astray. In 1998 the Courthouse was used as a setting for the movie ‘Snow Falling on Cedars’ starring Ethan Hawke and Max von Sidow.
When you arrive in the Okanagan Valley, your first stop is in Osoyoos at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre. This state-of-the-art venue celebrates thousands of years of Okanagan First Nations habitation on desert lands. The Nk’Mip Desert lands are one of Canada’s three most endangered ecosystems and are home to many endangered plant and animal species. The Centre provides on-site cultural tours, interpretive programs, and interactive displays reflecting the unique and contemporary experience of a desert centre based on the rich heritage of the Okanagan people. For the wine enthusiast, make sure to visit Nk’Mip Cellars next door — it is Canada’s first aboriginal winery.
Overnight in Osoyoos.
Day 2 — Osoyoos to Kelowna via Highway 97
Before departing Osoyoos visit the Desert Centre. The Desert Centre is an interpretive education and research facility offering insight into this sensitive ecosystem. Tour the elevated boardwalk or take in one of their many interpretive programs. Maybe you’ll see one of the many rattlesnakes, black widow spiders or scorpions from a safe distance!
Travelling north to Penticton and Kelowna, take time to tour one of the many wineries along the Golden Mile. Participate in a winery tour at Inniskillin Winery. You may also want to stop for lunch at Burrowing Owl Winery and get a taste of the Okanagan in the fabulous Sonora Restaurant overlooking their 125 acre vineyard. Or, consider a lunch stop at Tinhorn Creek Winery and get a taste of the Okanagan in the fabulous Miradoro Restaurant with an outstanding view of the southern Okanagan Valley!
Continue along Hwy 97 north to West Kelowna and plan a visit to Grizzli Winery and the Westside Wine trail wineries. Crossover the floating bridge and proceed to the heartland of orchards in the central Okanagan. Amidst this overlooking the city, the Okanagan Lavender Farm is one of Kelowna’s most unique and popular attractions. Visitors take self-guided tours to pick lavender, shop the country store for handcrafted essential oils, culinary and home products. Learn how to user lavender to enhance their lives and their recipes. Sample lavender tea, lavender shortbread and much more!
Not far away, you may want to discover Arlo’s Honey Farm. Here you see and hear about the dance of the honey bee and how this orchestrates the pollination of our flowers, fruits, berries and vegetables. Com for a short tour or to taste award winning honey and tour their gift shop and market for pollen, bees wax, fresh fruit, berries and vegetables in season. Arlo’s honey products are sold at the Kelowna Farmers and Crafters Market.
Across the valley, you can witness an entirely different produce crop being grown. Welcome to Falcon Ridge Farms home to more than 400,000 Echinacea plants that produce a variety of products including tea, honey, jams, jellies, throat sprays, herbal mouthwash and beeswax candles. Group tours are available year round.
Not far away across the orchard bench lands, your last stop of the day is Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Here you’ll take in the magnificent view of the valley from the deck of the Okanagan’s busiest winery and stay for a late afternoon dinner.
Overnight in Kelowna.
Travel Trade Partners:
Day 3 — Kelowna to Salmon Arm via Highways 97 & 97B
Continue to north along Hwy 97 to Vernon. Visit the Allan Brooks Nature Centre. The breathtaking view surrounding this ridge top location is a perfect introduction to the diverse nature of the North Okanagan. Wander through the nature scape gardens or take a stroll on the grasslands trail. This is the perfect place to see yellow-bellied Marmots and birds of prey!
Just outside of Vernon awaits Historic O’Keefe Ranch. This is an ideal stop for lunch in the Cattlemen’s Restaurant. Take a step back in time and experience ranch life as the pioneers of the North Okanagan once did. Take the time to walk through the O’Keefe Mansion and St. Anne’s Church and have a look in the General Store and Blacksmith Shop.
Travel to Salmon Arm and overnight. Make sure you take an evening stroll along the boardwalk that fronts an important wildfowl estuary. In close proximity to the boardwalk is the world’s longest inland pier on world famous Shuswap Lake! Many of the opulent houseboats that ply the lake are moored here.
Overnight Salmon Arm or Sicamous.
Day 4 — Salmon Arm to the Rockies via Trans Canada Highway #1
If wineries are of interest, Salmon Arm boasts 2 northerly climate wineries (ideal for white wines). Be sure to visit Recline Ridge Winery and Larch Hills Winery both in the rolling hills just outside of Salmon Arm.
While in Salmon Arm, take a moment to visit R.J. Haney Heritage Park and Museum. Salmon Arm history is alive in the buildings and gardens such as the Haney House and the relocated Broadview Schoolhouse. Stroll through the heritage gardens or the 2 kms of nature trails.
A last stop in the Okanagan is a fitting end to a journey through the most popular valley in Canada. Hanna and Hanna Farms. are pioneers of the fruit industry in the North Okanagan and are purveyors of some of the freshest fruit and locally made products around. They have terrific ice cream for the return journey and ideal gifts to take home as a souvenirs.
Your trip eastward to the Rockies will take you along the Trans Canada Highway to Craigellachie- the sight of the last spike driven to complete the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. It was an ordinary sliver of iron, one of countless millions hammered in over 4 years of construction, yet the single spike instantly became an historic symbol in the building of a nation. A visit to “the last spike” on the Trans Canada Highway offers road side displays and memorabilia of a nation that was unified by the trans-continental railway.
As a suggested stop as you leave our region, we recommend a visit to Crazy Creek Waterfalls. Nothing could be further from the truth as Crazy Creek is more like a raging river as it emerges with beautiful colours from 100 kilometres of mountain wilderness to a waterfall setting not far from the highway. Here you can experience the sensation of an 80 metre suspension bridge dangling above the rapids-filled gorge below.