Spotlight on the Okanagan

The Thompson Okanagan region is located in the south of British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province. The Okanagan is characterized by a dry, sunny climate, beautiful landscapes and numerous lakes. This region is most popular for vineyards, skiing, golf, deserts, mountains and valleys. The fruit orchards in the Okanagan produce some of the most delicious fruit in North America. Popular cities and towns in the Okanagan are Kelowna, Pentiction, Summerland, Peachland and Osoyoos.

The Okanagans superb, natural beauty is one of the reasons visitors keep coming back every year. Rich mineral deposits in the land mean that the region is perfect for cultivating produce. The varying geography of the Okanagan provides habitats for the abundant wildlife populations. There are over 100 species of birds in the Okanagan, making it a birdwatchers paradise.

Both residents and visitors of the Okanagan take advantage of the regions diverse geography. Multiple lakes have provided the perfect setting for water sports enthusiasts. In the summer you will find many people kayaking, jet skiing, wakeboarding and boating the Okanagan’s expansive lakes. Rolling hills and mountains offer lovely trails for hiking and biking. For an exciting family adventure, the Okanagan’s many provincial parks have wonderful campgrounds. In the winter, the regions many ski resorts provide one of the premier destinations in BC for skiing, snowboarding and snow shoeing.

The unparalleled beauty of the Okanagan has led to the formation of several protected areas and many national and provincial parks. Mount Robson, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is a provincial park which is home to the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. The park is a wonderful destination for viewing wildlife and you can often find elk, deer, coyote and mule. Also spot resident mountain goats living on rocky cliffs. Mount Robson is popular destination for camping, hiking and canoeing.

Lac du Bois Grasslands, a protected area near Kamloops is one of the best destinations to view wildlife. Throughout the protected area there are several prime wildlife viewing areas. See muskrat, beaver, river otter and a multitude of birds including osprey, swans and eagles.

Some other popular Parks include Helmcken Falls, Mount Revelstoke National Park and Wells Gray Provincial Park. Helmcken Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Canada and is twice the height of Niagra Falls. Mount Revelstoke offers huge diversity from jagged landforms to rolling hills covered in wild flowers, to lush rainforests and even tundra. Wells Gray Provincial Park is another favourite. It has a large population of moose, bear and salmon and is a popular spot for canoeing, hiking, river rafting and horseback riding.

Not so fond of the outdoors? There are still plenty of reasons to visit this unparalleled region of BC. In recent years, many fruit orchards have been transformed into wineries. There are over 100 wineries making the Okanagan BC’s main wine region. Many wineries offer both self guided and guided wine tours. Some popular wineries include: Mission Hills Estates, Summerhill Pyramid Winery and Nk’mip Cellars. The Okanagan is home to over 50 golf courses. Most of these golf courses offer an extended season which runs from March through November. After a long day of hiking or touring a winery, why not treat yourself to a relaxing visit to one of the Okanagan’s beautiful spas?

The Thompson Okanagan is wonderful destination for anyone. Whether you’re a nature lover, a water sports enthusiast or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, the Okanagan will exceed your expectations.