Depart Calgary and travel southwest to meet the Thompson Okanagan Region at the picturesque Christina Lake. Travel along Highway #3 through Boundary Country to Grand Forks rich in Russian heritage and famous for its Borscht.
Overnight Grand Forks.
Continue west on Highway #3 through Greenwood, Rock Creek and Midway where this area still tells the tales of gold-seekers, challenges of the railway wars and Doukhobors. Visit the many cultural centers, heritage sites and galleries. Take the time to spend some hours exploring on foot or by bicycle. Then, continue on to your next destination at the beautiful City of Osoyoos, set on Osoyoos Lake and known to be the warmest fresh water lake in Canada.
Start this day with a visit at the NK’MIP Desert Cultural Centre where the history of the First Nations people in this area is brilliantly displayed and explained. You are at the start of the region’s wine country and the area best known for its big bold reds. Spend some hours sampling the wines of the Golden Mile between Osoyoos and Oliver and be sure to stop in at Covert Farms at the foot of McIntyre Bluff, you might even be lucky enough to be there for the Festival of the Tomato. Many of the area wineries not only have fabulous tasting rooms but wonderful restaurants.
Heading out of Osoyoos on Highway #3, there is a great photo opportunity not to be missed at the sacred Spotted Lake; then travel to Keremeos and stop in to one of their many fruit stands. Today explore the Similkameen Valley and there are options; travel to Hedley and explore the Hedley Heritage Museum or meander through the rich valley stopping at the many farms and wineries that have all been growing organically since long before it was a trend. Then head back toward Penticton on Highway #3A.
Start the morning kayaking on Okanagan Lake complete with breakfast out in the middle of the lake. Then pull up the boats and be transported to a few of the wineries located on the Naramata Bench. Travel north to Summerland which also has a wine trail, Bottle Neck Drive that is well worth spending time on. As you leave Summerland and travel north, be sure to turn onto the lakeside mainstreet in Peachland where there are wonderful little shops and restaurants all with views of the lake.
Overnight West Kelowna.
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Start your morning with a walk through the Gellately Nut Farm and then head up the hills of West Kelowna, which is where you will find Grizzli Winery and the Westside Wine Trail and the many wineries to be found there. Many of the wineries on this trail offer wonderful lunches with a spectacular lake view as their backdrop. Continue north across the bridge into Kelowna and explore the shops along the Mission. Stop in at Summerhill Pyramid Winery for a wine tasting and meal. Enjoy a leisurely dinner at one of the areas — many restaurants feature locally inspired cuisine.
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Kelowna is the best of an urban/rural mix where you can enjoy great shopping, visit numerous wineries and vineyards or bike the famous Myra Canyon Trestles. Take the time to stop by the Okanagan Lavender farm, Arlo’s Honey farm and Carmelis’s Goat Cheese all within a short drive of each other. If you are up for a little high-level adventure, visit Kelowna Mountain, the views will astound you. As the day winds down, travel north to Predator Ridge and Sparkling Hill for a Kur Spa Experience that will put your feet and your soul soundly back on the ground.
Spend a leisurely morning in the spa before checking out and making the short drive to Vernon, the City of Murals. Explore downtown before heading out to Davison Orchards and the neighbouring Planet Bee. Leaving Vernon, be sure to stop in at the Log Barn and Village Cheese Shop both located in the Armstrong area. At Highway 97B, turn off to head northwest to Salmon Arm and the Shuswap.
Overnight in Salmon Arm.
This area extends from Salmon Arm to Chase on Highway #1 which hugs the Shuswap Lake system and is a popular area for house boating. Depending on your interests, you can do any number of things on this final day…. Visit the historic R.J. Haney Heritage Park, take a segway tour, visit some of the region’s most northerly wineries, have lunch at the First Nations Quaaout Lodge.
Then you have a choice: continue onto Kamloops and Highway #5 to Vancouver… or perhaps checkout those houseboats and turn this 9 day adventure into 13 days….
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Quaaout Lodge and Talking Rock Golf Resort