Fine food and wine converge each summer in the BC Interior, along with sparkling lakes, sandy beaches, houseboats and watersports. Enjoy the fresh fruit, gourmet delis, farmers markets, and magnificent vineyards that line the 135km Lake Okanagan, located about 4 hours drive from Vancouver. BC Wines have been winning international awards, while the explosive growth in the region has brought with it world-class dining. eauty, lifestyle and opportunities that abound in the Okanagan Valley.
Length of Trip : 3 – 7 days
Cost : Varies depending on choice of accommodation and dining.
Best time to go : June – September
Wheelchair friendly : Yes
Family friendly : You might not want to ply your kids with great wine, but there’s certainly options for kids.
Where to eat : RauDZ Regional Table is owned and operated by the award winning team of Chef Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao. Located in downtown Kelowna and central to the whole Okanagan Valley, an area described by Chef Butters as the “ultimate chefs playground,” the menu focuses on fresh, regional cuisine with fun presentation. Other options: The Grapevine Restaurant, Gray Monk Winery, and the Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill Winery – Guests at the Terrace enjoy culinary creations al fresco with breath-taking views of the winery’s courtyard and vineyards and the spectacular Okanagan Lake. You can find more dining options here.
Official Sites: Great Canadian Trails offer a curated multi-day bike ride along the Kettle Valley Heritage Trail, taking in the highlights of the Okanagan.
Getting There : 4-5 Hour drive from Vancouver Direct daily flights from Vancouver to Kelowna
Note from Robin: Cycling through Tuscany or Bordeaux belongs on a many a bucket list, but Canada has a far more accessible equivalent: the lush, sunny and warm BC interior that’s connected via a series of converted rail trails. The Kettle Valley Rail Trail peddles you to sparkling lakes, striking canyons, and the scenic vineyards and bursting orchards that make the Okanagan Valley such a popular lifestyle destination. Park the bike and pick some fresh peaches or cherries, pull into a tasting room to sample the local wines, or pick up artisan cheeses, breads, jams and other products for a saddle-bag picnic. The trail is relatively flat, making its way across 18 wooden trestle bridges and through the two tunnels that traverse the striking Myra Canyon – a definite trip highlight. Ranging from 54 kilometres to a relaxing 16 kilometres on the final day, local accommodation also includes opportunities to kayak, hike, spa and dine on the region’s farm-to-table delights. Rest assured, when you’ve peddled for it, you’ve earned it, so go ahead and order another bottle! The Kettle Valley Rail Trail is ideal for introductory to moderate level cyclists, or anyone desiring a taste of the good life.