Osoyoos: BC’s Answer to Mexico

As Canada’s hot spot, with summer temperatures averaging in the high 30’s, Osoyoos might well be the great North’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.

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

If you’re traveling light and don’t bring the boat, visit Geoff and Matt at Above the Board Watersports for your water adventure hookup.  Above 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, with pick-up from any Osoyoos waterfront hotel is included in the package price.

To reach new heights, and spike your adrenaline, 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!

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.

BLack Hills Estate WineryHeavy 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 Casinni 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.

IMG_0213Another Mexico 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 home-style breakfasts, and Campo Marina’s amazing Italian dishes that are huge on flavour and big enough to share.

Over the past few years Oysoyoos 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.
DSC03069If you are 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 passport not required, there’s no better time than now to book a trip to this desert paradise.