Let’s Take a Road Trip
What do you do with five days off when the summer in Calgary has been dismal? Take a road trip to find the heat and the sun in the Canadian desert—Osoyoos. For those of you who don’t know, Osoyoos is the southern most town in British Columbia, about 45 minutes to the south-west of Penticton, and is rumored to be the hottest spot in Canada. What with its dry arid heat, unreal scenery, world-class wineries and right-from-the-garden-fresh food it’s a perfect spot for a road trip, and a little R&R. It’s a bit of a long haul—a nine hour drive from Calgary, but worth every hour. While driving we watched the temperature gauge go from 14 degrees to 33 degrees celsius in about five hours. We were in heaven—not a cloud in that big blue sky. Awesome weekend ahead…good sun, heat, good food and wine…but most of all good friends.
The main attraction is Osoyoos Lake, which straddles both Canada and the U.S—12 miles long, with 29.7 miles of shoreline. The temperature of the water averages 24 degrees celsius (75F) but it reached 28 (83F) that weekend. And the outside temperature was somewhere around 35 (95 F). A water skiing and wake boarding paradise there are boats of all kinds. And for those not into skiing there are kayaks and canoes, the occasional fishing boat (yes, they actually catch fish in the lake) and along the shore even stand up paddle boards. We were in the water every day, either in the boat or sitting on the beach, or in our floating lounge chairs, sipping on a cold one. One could easily get used to the life.
Every morning before it got too hot we went for our walk around the lakeshore, hitting more than my 10,000 steps every day. One morning we ended up downtown and decided on breakfast at Jo-Jo’s Cafe, seemingly the hot spot of downtown. Everything is homemade from local products from the goodies and treats to the delicious breakfasts and lunches. Another highlight of downtown is the local Home Hardware store that dates back to 1942. You want something, anything…chances are you will find it here.
Of course, what’s a trip to wine country without a visit to the local wineries. We were driving so only visited two, Burrowing Owl and Le Vieux Pin both with excellent wines. But there are many many more wineries all the way from Penticton and in the Naramata Valley. I since discovered there is a shuttle company that will do the driving for you while you visit all the wineries you can handle and have lunch along the way. That’s a better way to visit.
Now if water sports and wineries still aren’t your thing there are plenty of scenic and beautifully designed golf courses for both novice and expert golfers. They are intertwined around the sage covered mountain sides with breath-taking views of the desert hills. And if you are still not excited about giving Osoyoos a try there is plenty of hiking and biking trails, birdwatching and even ecological tours.
As far as accommodation goes there are two luxury resorts, the Watermark Beach Resort and Spirit Ridge And if total luxury isn’t in your budget there are so many hotels including all the chain hotels and motels and even campgrounds for your visit.
Whatever you like to do whether it is hang out on the sandy beach or take a jump into the beckoning Osoyoos Lake, golf, visit wineries, dine in the world class restaurants, hike or bike, I highly recommend a trip to Osoyoos for a short road trip as we did or a much longer visit (which we wish we did). You won’t be disappointed. Check out this website for all there is to see and do — Osoyoos, BC
And I just have to add a personal note. Thanks to Jim and Janice, It was such a wonderful weekend to spend with friends who we just don’t see enough of.