Explore The Okanagan Valley
Okanagan Valley is one of British Columbia's rare gems. The Okanagan Valley includes the cities of Kelowna, Penticton, Summerland, and Osoyoos. During the summer months, visitors are offered countless sandy beaches, hot sun, and a variety of outdoor and water activities. Okanagan Lake not only provides the valley with excellent swimming but is also a spectacular backdrop to the golf courses and 120 Okanagan wineries located in the rolling hills known as Napa of the North. The variety of landscapes make Okanagan also popular outdoor enthusiasts with some of Canada's best skiing, biking, hiking at nearby resorts like Apex, Big White, and SilverStar located just 30 minutes away from the lake up in the surrounding mountains.
Welcome to Okanagan Valley! You’ll find the resorts and towns of Okanagan Valley offer an enticing mix of attractions and activities. Some may see Okanagan as a region. But, if you stay here long enough, you'll start to see all the little communities surrounding Okanagan have their own unique characteristics & local identities residents love and guests cherish. This guide will help you understand where you are as you explore the Okanagan Valley area. Whether you want to visit the charming & historic alpine town of Penticton or wine tour around Kelowna, we'll show you where to go and what each town of Okanagan Valley as to offer.
You're not likely to spend much time indoors in the Okanagan Valley. The Thompson Okanagan region gets more sunshine than almost any other part of BC, creating prime conditions for outdoor activities, events, touring the 120 vineyards around the area. Go rock climbing at the Skaha Bluffs near Penticton. Plan a bike trip along the scenic Kettle Valley Rail Trail, or speed downhill at one of the region's mountain bike parks. There are also more than 50 18-hole golf courses to discover, many of which are award-winning. Winter months are just as fun with hundreds of kilometres/miles of cross-country trails wind through snow-laden forests and past frozen lakes. Don't forget to hit the slopes to enjoy that dry, Okanagan champagne powder at three nearby resorts: Apex Mountain Resort, SilverStar, and Baldy Mountain. With some many activities to choose from, the real question is how will you fit it all in. Here is a list of all the fun activities you can enjoy during the winter and summer around Okanagan Valley.
The Okanagan Valley is packed with history and culture. Originally home to the Okanagan First Nations, who gave the valley its name, translated roughly as "place of water."The history and culture of the region - from its Aboriginal peoples to European fur traders to winemakers and food producers - is strongly tied to the land. The first European to see the valley in 1811 was credited to the Pacific Fur Company in search expanding a string of fur posts in search of North American beaver, the main source of animal pelts. Missionaries built the first settlement at the head of Okanagan Lake in about 1840 and near Kelowna in 1859. Some miners stayed on after a small gold rush at Cherry Creek. The first apple trees were planted by Hiram "Okanagan" Smith near Osoyoos in 1857 and Oblate missionaries near Kelowna in 1862. It was not until the 1930s that a good irrigation system turned the semi-desert of sagebrush into a premier fruit-growing area. Learn more about the rich history and geography that make Okanagan the Napa of the North and a true mecca for outdoor recreation.
One of the best things about Thompson Okanagan region is its accessibility and the variety of transportation options. Whether you're flying, driving, looking for local transit information, or shuttle services to and from the airport, we have you covered. The local bus services connect you conveniently to most places you’ll want to go. Okanagan also offers wine tour and shuttle services during the summer season, and accommodate skis and snowboards during the winter as well. Check out all your transportation options while visiting the Okanagan Valley and surrounding areas.
Planning a ski trip and looking for ski resort facts? Our Okanagan Valley ski resort list all the facts you'll need to have a great day on the mountain. Click on each nearby ski resorts like Apex Mountain, SilverStar and Baldy, to see a list to get all their information including a terrain breakdown, mountain stats, number of lifts, average snowfall, base area and summit elevations, and other records and information of each ski resort that guests can use to learn more before you explore on the hill. Your next ski and snowboard vacation starts right here!
Okanagan's festivals and events are one of the many qualities that make it such a great place to live. From showcasing local talent to encouraging local businesses and tourism, these events bring the community together in so many ways. If you’re one to keep an eye on festivals, don't miss Centre of Gravity, Rock the Lake, Penticton Peach Festival, and much more that happen all year long.Come enjoy world-class events that take place during every season in the Okanagan Valley. Whether you came for the sun or the snow, racing or relaxing, the Okanagan Valley calendar goes as far beyond business hours that your energy level can handle. Browse through Okanagan Thompson region event calendar to find out what’s taking place during your visit.