Osoyoos Weekend Getaway Guide: A Tropical Holiday in the South Okanagan

With summer temperatures averaging in the high 30s, Osoyoos might well be BC’s answer to Mexico

Credit: Curt Woodhall

A true Mexico-like experience in Osoyoos at the Walnut Beach Resort private beach

As Canada’s hot spot, with summer temperatures averaging in the high 30s, Osoyoos might well be BC’s answer to Mexico

Perpetual sunshine, pool-warm lake water, beach bars and five-star lakefront resorts set the scene for your sizzling Osoyoos weekend escape.

What to Do in Osoyoos

A typical tropical holiday is focused around sand and surf, both of which are a no-brainer in Osoyoos. Miles of sandy beaches and Canada’s warmest lake create the perfect platform for sun worshipping and water play.  

If you’re travelling light and don’t bring the boat, visit Geoff and Matt at Above the Board Watersports for your water adventure hookup. Above the Board is a great option for the novice, with all inclusive packages on Mastercraft X-Star boats, and certified coaches on deck. All the premium toys and gear, plus pick-up from any Osoyoos waterfront hotel are included in the package price.

To reach new heights, and spike your adrenalin, book a ride with Sunflight Parasailing, or board their Big Banana, a 17-foot inflatable fruit sure to make you smile and get you soaked!

Osoyoos Wineries and Restaurants

While there are more cacti in Osoyoos than one can count, a tequila tasting is unlikely; however a satisfying substitute is a trip to one (two, three or more) of the many world-class wineries, and Unveil Tours offers customized trips to all the fan favourites and hidden gems.

Heavy hitters such as Burrowing Owl, Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin always draw a crowd, and the region is continuously blessed with new rising stars. Black Hills Estate Winery, known for its cult following and consistently sold-out Nota Bene wine, offers an incredible one-and-a-half-hour in-depth tour and wine sampling, which even includes a barrel tasting.

Other notable rookie up-and-comers to tour are Twisted Tree, La Stella and Cassini Cellars (for a delicious Viognier).  

If beer is more to your taste, stop for lunch at the Ridge Brew House and select from five palette-pleasing in-house brews, or try them all with the $6.25 sampler.  
Another Mexico-style vacation must is the beach bar, and Osoyoos offers two fabulous spots for beachfront bevies and nosh. The Thirsty Turtle Beach Bar is the hot new lakefront haunt for cool drinks and live tunes, and for guests of the Walnut Beach Resort drinks are served to your chaise lounge lakeside on the private Palapa Beach.  

For more upscale poolside dining, requiring shirts and shoes, try Watermark Wine Bar’s locally inspired menu with mouthwatering burgers, steaks and seafood from an al fresco grilling station.

Another sure-to-please is Passa Tempo at Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort and Spa. The dining room at this bistro-style restaurant, with vineyard and lake vistas, prepares “wine country comfort food” using fresh regional ingredients, including an amazing grain-fed beef tenderloin with truffle potatoes.

Favourite eateries among locals are the family-owned Dolci Deli & Catering for organic lattes and homestyle breakfasts, and Campo Marina’s amazing Italian dishes that are huge on flavour and big enough to share.

Where to Stay in Osoyoos

Over the past few years Osoyoos has transitioned from sleepy beach town to luxury resort destination. The newest addition to the shores of Lake Osoyoos is the Watermark Beach Resort, a lakefront oasis comprised of luxurious suites and beachfront townhomes. This spectacular resort with panoramic lake views is only a short walk from town and is great for a romantic trip for two or group getaway.  

High on a hill overlooking Lake Osoyoos is the all-suite Spirit Ridge, featuring restaurants, spa, winery and golf course. If you’re travelling with your honey, book a one-bedroom corner king suite for sunset wine sipping from the balcony bath.  

An out-of-this-world alternative to a full-service resort is the Observatory Bed and Breakfast, run by astronomy enthusiasts Jack and Alice Newton. Lucky star gazers may catch a glimpse of Venus, Saturn or Mars through the high-powered telescope; truly a once in a lifetime experience.

The warm weather in Osoyoos lasts well into October, and with no passport required, there’s no better time to book a trip to this desert paradise.

For more photos of Osoyoos, check out our Weekend Getaways photo gallery.

Mhairri Cuthbert is a travel writer at Arrivals. Visit their blog for additional links, information and photos on this destination.