Best places to go in the Canadian Okanagan
June 15, 2008 3:24 PM   Subscribe

We'll be passing through the Canadian Okanagan on a road trip from Seattle to Banff. We'd like to spend a day or two in the Okanagan on the way. Any tips on the best places to go/eat/drink/see while we're there? We like good eating, wine, and photographing pretty places.
posted by matildaben to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If I were you, I'd try to spend my extra time closer to Banff, like in and around Yoho National Park.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:36 PM on June 15, 2008

Not sure if Sorrento might be out of the way for you, but if not definitely look into dropping by Crannog Brewery. They grow their own hops (organic) as well as having a 10 acre fine. Plus the ales are yummy.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 3:43 PM on June 15, 2008

fine=farm. Need more ale I guess
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 3:44 PM on June 15, 2008

What route are you taking? I'm assuming you're going to take I-5 to the border, somehow get on to the TransCanada (Highway 1), drive up the Fraser Valley, switch over to Highway 3 and then travel switch to Highway 33 to get to Kelowna. Once in Kelowna you'll probably drive up to Vernon, and then from Vernon you'll take 97A to Highway 1 (TransCanada) to get to Banff.

Seems pretty convoluted, so once again, what is your route?

Anyway, if you are planning to go to the Okanagan, you'll want to visit some Kelowna wineries. I travel to Kelowna a lot for work, so that's all I know. There is a very nice Marriott near the airport with complimentary waffles for breakfast and a free shoe-shining service, so I doubt you'll want that.

Once again, what's your planned route? Because Highway 3 is one hell of a road. It is an awesome drive. It is romantic. So, instead of trying to get to Highway 1, take Highway 3 (bypassing Kelowna) and stay in Osoyoos. I stayed in a camping area there on my honeymoon in the summer, and it was magical. Eat borscht in Grand Forks.

Try to stay in Nelson - it's waaaaaay better than the Okanagan. It's one of the nicest communities in British Columbia. Incredible scenery. Then take Highway 6 up to Revelstoke.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:07 PM on June 15, 2008

If you go close to Oliver check out the Burrowing Owl Vineyard--they have a fabulous 5-star restaurant and the wine is world class.
posted by fitnessbuff at 5:11 PM on June 15, 2008

I was just in Kelowna this weekend and had a great time. I would recommend hitting the wineries. You can do four decent to excellent wineries in about two hours on the west side of the city (over the bridge). Check out Quail's Gate (medium/good value), Mission Hill (big/fancy), Mount Boucherie (medium/quaint/good value). There is another one right beside Boucherie called Little Straw that is family run and interesting to compare to the others. I would recommend eating a meal at Quail's gate or Mission Hill. You will be stunned by the view, the very drinkable wine, and excellent food. Hope you enjoy.
posted by dobie at 5:24 PM on June 15, 2008

Accounting for Taste B&B specializes in wine tourism in Kelowna.
posted by carabiner at 5:24 PM on June 15, 2008

Pretty much all of our 80 wineries are family run. Most white wines here are superb, but you have to be more selective with the reds. The Stewarts do an excellent job with food and wine at Quails' Gate. Most ingredients in the Old Vines restaurant are local, and/or organic, and the view is spectacular. Mission Hill tends to be overpriced and pompous, but worth a look for the architecture and the view. Here's a map of some of the wineries (you can pick up a more detailed one when you arrive). Head south from Kelowna, and detour to explore Peachland, Greata Ranch, and Summerland on your way to Penticton. They're widening the road just north of Summerland and it's closed for an hour at 10 am and 1 pm, so avoid those times. Naramata is well worth a drive, and there are lots of wines to taste along the way. Vancouver magazine has reasonably accurate reviews of the local restaurants.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:46 PM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding KokuRyu's recommendation of Nelson. Fantastic, friendly little town in a gorgeous setting. Kaslo, up the lake a ways, is also incredible.
posted by bricoleur at 8:31 PM on June 15, 2008

Response by poster: This is my route: Google Maps link. Basically I-5 to Sedro Wooley, SR-20 to Winthrop, Highway 97 north into Canada, 97A to Trans-Canada 1, then to Banff, then to Highway 3 back West, crossing the border back into Washington near Metaline Falls, then to Chewelah by Flowery Trail Road (I have friends there). Looks like Nelson is not too far out of the way for the eastern part of the trip, I will try to drop by.
posted by matildaben at 9:44 PM on June 15, 2008

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