Sunday, September 10, 2017

Travel Diary: Perfect Weekend in the Okanagan

Summer is almost over but there's still time to fit in a weekend in the Okanagan! I used to drive out to Kelowna with my parents during the summer for camping but I discovered lots of other unique things to do! Read on for my top picks of things to do to make the best of your trip!

1) Wine with a View

There are plenty of wineries in the Okanagan area but my favorite one has the most beautiful view over Okanagan Lake- Evolve Cellars! I love wine tasting, but from one indoor tasting room to another just doesn't do Okanagan justice! I was wowed by the patio at Evolve where you can enjoy a glass of wine and a plate of charcuterie! My favorite ones are the Riesling, Carmenere and Merlot!

The wines are very approachable and made to be ready to drink! The price range is $15-$30 with most of the varietals under $20. The tasting room is open 11am-5pm daily through October.

2) Bike the Canyons

Myra Canyons is rated the #1 activity to do in Kelowna but I surpurisingly don't know that many people that have gone. It's definitely worth the detour out of the city to bike the beautiful trestles and mountain passes. Bike rental is easily available at $39 per half day. We found 3 hours to be quite easy to bike the full 12km and back as well as stopping to take photos. The first few trestles you bike across will make your butt cheeks clench! But don't worry, even kids and families do this so it's actually quite safe!

3) Pet Kangaroos

Who would have thought Kelowna would be the spot to have fun with Kangaroos! The Kangaroo Creek Farm really blew up this year and was on the top of my to do list in Okanagan! The farm opens everyday from 9-2pm and 6-8pm. Admission is $10 for each adult which is very little for what you get! We got there around 5:45pm to be first in line to hold the joeys! The lines can get up to 1.5 hours long for a chance with these little guys. The experience was unrushed though as the staff gave us a quick briefing and even some leaves to feed the joeys.

Then we went to a separate area where adult wallabies / kanagaroos are. The staff there will hand food out to you so you can feed them free of charge! The animals are clearly very used to humans and most will let you pet them! It was such a unique experience and even the boys really enjoyed themselves!

4) Farmer Stands/U-Pick

The Okanagan is full or orchards and ripe yummy fruit. Depending on how much time you have and what season you go to, you may have the chance to u-pick peaches, apples, strawberries and more! We went to Paynter's in West Kelowna and thought they had amazing prices. There's also many fruit stands along high way 97, you just have to watch out for the signs. Those are good but not as much selection and I think not as fresh as Paynters!

5) Other Wine & Food Recommendations

There are so many wineries in Kelowna and the surround area so I wanted to recap a few more! We went on a tour with Grape Friends around the Naramata wineries. I thought Ruby BluesRed Rooster, and Moraine were pretty average in terms of branding and wines. D'Angelo was very small but had a bocce ball area. Lock & Worth also had a small wine selection but Poplar Grove Cheese is there and we loved the cheese! Howling Bluff was one of our favorites as there were cute dogs there while we were wine tasting! If you are interested in organic wines, check out Narrative at Okanagan Crush Pad!

Also on the drive from Naramata to Kelowna, we stopped by Fitzpatrick Vineyards and it was a gorgeous place to eat lunch. The wines there are quite good and specialize in sparkling wines which we bought a bottle of.

I was really surprised by how many fun things there are to do in the Okanagan and not just wine tasting either! It's still on my list to go down the Penticton Channel and of course visit a ton more wineries. Maybe next summer! 

Have you been to the Okanagan and what are your favorite things to do? 

I was invited for a tasting at Evolve Cellars and Okanagan Crush Pad

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