Drive Okanagan Highway | Best Western Hotels & Resorts

  

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Traveling the Okanagan Highway

Discover the unmatched culture and outdoor adventure of Interior British Columbia as we follow the Okanagan Highway for 250 scenic kilometres. We’ll cover Osoyoos to Sicamous, stopping at Okanagan Valley cities like Pentiction, Kelowna, and Vernon.

Osoyoos

Set in the southern interior of British Columbia, Osoyoos is found on the border with Washington.

Must See
Osoyoos Lake is Canada’s warmest freshwater lake – coining Osoyoos’ town motto of, “Canada's warmest welcome.” The lake features summer temperatures averaging at 24° Celsius – or 75° Fahrenheit. Osoyoos Lake area yields plenty of scenic and public parks, including Lions Centennial Park and Kinsmen Park – plus provincial spots like Haynes Point Provincial Park and Osoyoos Lake State Park. Beachgoers can hit Gyro Beach and Legion Beach, and many of the aforementioned parks.

Local Guide
I fyou happen to be visiting from May through September, the Osoyoos Market on Main is in full swing over at Town Hall Square. Featuring over 40 vendors, and a member of the BC Association of Farmers' Markets, the Osoyoos Market offers local produce, beers, and wines, plus handmade crafts. Osoyoos Market on Main runs Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in July and August.

Outdoor
Osoyoos is also great for golf. Check out the 18-hole Osoyoos Golf Club, or the nine-hole Sonora Dune – both right in Osoyoos. You can also swing by nearby Oliver for the 18-hole Fairview Mountain Golf Club, and the 18-hole Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course.

Penticton

From Osoyoos, hop on the Okanagan Highway and head north to Penticton – located 63 kilometres north between Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake.

Must See
Penticton is packed with festivities. Check the schedule for Challenge Penticton, the Okanagan Children's Festival for vacationing families, and Okanagan Wine Festival for those on romantic getaways. Other events in Penticton include the Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival, Fest-of-Ale BC, the Elvis Festival, and the Penticton Peach Festival – or Peachfest.

Local Guide
Penticton puts its visitors in the middle of BC Wine Country. The surrounding Okanagan Valley area yields over 80 wineries in the area. Wineries right in Pentiction include Bench 1775 Winery, D'Angelo Estate Winery, Laughing Stock Vineyards, Red Rooster Winery, and dozens more.

Outdoor
The Penticton area is also teeming with recreation. Outdoor inclined visitors can hike or bike the 160-kilometre Kettle Valley Rail Trail. Summer visitors can fish and swim at Skaha and Okanagan lake, or climb Skaha Bluffs. Winter visitors; look forward to some skiing at Apex Mountain Resort.

Kelowna

Stick to the Okanagan Highway (or BC-97) for 63 kilometres – skirting the scenic western shore of the Okanagan Lake and moving through West Kelowna – until you reach Kelowna. British Columbia’s third largest metro area, Kelowna features everything from culture and festivals to outdoor adventure and more in the Okanagan Valley.

Must See
If you like to visit art museums on road trips, Kelowna is your place. Be sure to create a checklist, and add the SOPA Gallery of Fine Arts, Kelowna Art Gallery, and the Alternator Gallery for Contemporary Art at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

Local Guide
Kelowna also boasts a number of festivals throughout the year. Major festivals include Kelowna Hydrofest and the Center of Gravity Festival, plus seasonal markets like Rutland Flea Market Sundays, and the Kelowna Farmers Market from April to October. Some unique-to-Kelowna events include the Kelowna Hopscotch Festival. And sports fans, don’t miss WHL’s Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place, the Kelowna Falcons at Elks Stadium, and CJFL’s Okanagan Sun and PCSL’s Okanagan Challenge at the Apple Bowl.

Outdoor
Kelowna’s outdoor options are plentiful. Recreation abounds on Okanagan Lake, while city parks include Waterfront Park, Stillingfleet Park, City Park, and Mission Creek Greenway. Kelowna is also a gateway to some incredible provincial parks. Areas like Darke Lake Provincial Park, Eneas Lakes Provincial Park, Bear Creek Provincial Park, and Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park are all in the surrounding Okanagan Valley.

Vernon

We’ll of course be taking the Okanagan Highway just another 50 kilometres to Vernon, this time skirting the western shore of Kalamalka Lake.

Must See
We hope you brought your party shoes, because there are more local festivals in Vernon. The Vernon Winter Carnival is the largest winter carnival in western Canada – while other events includes Komasket Music Festival, Creative Chaos, and the Sunshine Festival.

Local Guide
Vernon is also a hot spot for British Columbia agritourism. Grab a sunhat and head for Bright Angel Farms, PLANET BEE Honey Farm & Honeymoon Meadery, Olive Us Olive Oil & Vinegar Tasting Room, and Davison Orchards Country Village. And if there’s no time to explore the farmlands of Vernon, check out the local produce and artisan products at the Vernon Farmers’ Market.

Outdoor
Visiting in the winter? Hit the Silver Star Mountain Resort just 22 kilometres northeast of Vernon. Visit the Silver Star ski area for over 3,000 skiable acres. Choose from 115 ski trails, or tool around in the Rockstar Terrain Park.

Sicamous

From Vernon, remain on the Okanagan Highway for 75 kilometres. Our final stop is Sicamous, set on the northern shore of Mara Lake, just northeast of Salmon Arm and Shuswap Lake.

Must See
Sicamous is known as the Gateway to Shuswap, so it’s important you spend some time lakeside in this incredibly scenic area. Enjoy picnics, sunbathing, and nature viewing with a visit to Sicamous Beach Park, Riverfront Nature Park, Swansea Point, and more.

Local Guide
If you’re looking for a thrill, a great view, or an ideal photo opportunity, enjoy a hike to one of Sicamous' suspension bridges. Check out the Malakwa Suspension Bridge built in 1918, or the Crazy Creek Suspension Bridge – set 240 feet over Crazy Creek.

Outdoor
Sledding is the name of the winter sports game in Sicamous. Grab your scarf and head for the Blue Lake Sledding Area, Eagle Pass Sledding Area, Owlhead Sledding Area, and Queest Sledding Area.