Winter in Osoyoos

Winter in Osoyoos BC
Read the Snowbird's Guide to
Wintering in Osoyoos

An annual winter migration has been set in motion! There’s an easterly flock of visitors heading to Osoyoos, B.C. Affectionately known as snowbirds, hundreds of Canadians from all points east of Osoyoos return every year, spending October to April at the charming lakeside town of Osoyoos in the southern Interior of BC.

It’s no wonder why Osoyoos has become the place to winter in Canada. When Canadians are looking for an escape from cold, snowy winters and a cost-friendly alternative to going south, they will not find a more pleasant winter climate in Canada. Located on the northernmost tip of the Sonoran Desert (the same desert that stretches to Arizona and beyond), Osoyoos has a mild, dry winter climate, with pleasing temperatures from October through April and a low average annual snowfall of only 5.4 cm (2.1 inches).

Month

Dec

Jan

Feb

Record high °C (°F)

14.0
(57.2)

17.5
(63.5)

17.0
(5.3)

Average high °C (°F)

1.5
(34.7)

1.0
(33.8)

5.3
(41.5)

Average low °C (°F)

-3.9
(25.0)

-5.2
(22.6)

-3.1
(26.4)

Its ideal location on the United States border allows for quick and easy cross border travel for shopping, dining and activities. Positioned at the junction of Highways 97 and 3, the location also allows for easy travel to Vancouver, the Okanagan Valley, the Kootenays and the United States.

Although many snowbirds drive to Osoyoos, the two nearby airports in Penticton and Kelowna offer an alternative for those who would prefer to fly. Getting to Osoyoos from either airports is made easy with a regular shuttle service from Penticton and Kelowna – the same service you can hop on for a day of shopping in the city.

Having one of the lowest crime rates in Canada has made Osoyoos a desirable destination for relaxing snowbirds. Another big plus to wintering in Osoyoos (and staying in Canada) is eliminating the need for expensive medical insurance and prescription drugs. A variety of health services are offered at the local health centre, doctors clinics, two nearby hospitals, two pharmacies and a health and socialization program at the Cactus Centre. Other health service providers in Osoyoos include dentists, optometrists, physiotherapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists and chiropractors.

Doreen Megaffin and her husband Al have come from Boissevain, Manitoba for four winters to enjoy Osoyoos. “There is so much to see and so much to do in Osoyoos,” Doreen says. “It is truly a unique destination in Canada and, as proud Canadians, we look forward to many more visits in the years to come.”

Osoyoos is jam-packed full of activities, events and places that keep snowbirds coming back, year after year.

Boasting one of the longest golf seasons in Canada, Osoyoos is a golf-lover’s paradise. Sonora Dunes Golf Course is only closed for a handful of days each year. Cross country skiers and snowshoers can head to the many trails located within a 45 minutes drive. Snowbirds can also move indoors for fitness with pickleball, bowling, carpet bowling, squash and curling. A variety of arts groups and classes offer pottery, quilting, wood carving, photography and more. A visit to the Osoyoos Seniors Centre, the Legion or the Sonora Community Centre is a great outlet for both social and physical activities. Snowbirds are welcome to join the locals for fitness classes, yoga, tai chi, dancing, bingo, lawn bowling, card games and potlucks. For those looking for low impact aerobic activity, several hotels offer public access to their indoor swimming pools. A variety of aqua fitness classes are offered including gentle water aerobics, Aquafit and Aqua Zumba.

Unique and stylish boutiques line the streets of downtown Osoyoos offering one of kind clothing, shoes, accessories, innovative gifts, florists, jewelers, baked goods, grocery stores, pharmacies, hair stylists, spas, sweets and treats, health food shops, second-hand treasures, dollar stores and more. Stop and shop at our public art gallery and private studios and make sure to visit our local Home Hardware which was voted best Home Hardware store in Canada for a very good reason – it is a shopping experience not to be missed.

Dining options include deli cafés, bistros, fine dining establishments, brew pubs and wine bars offering a variety of cuisines including Chinese, Mexican, Portuguese, Greek, Italian, French, Indian and the increasingly popular local Native American Cuisine.

A short distance away from downtown leads to many pastoral hiking and biking trails. Combine breathtaking vistas on the Lakeshore Drive pathway with a rich historical narrative on the Osoyoos Canal Walkway – all possible with easy riding from here to local wineries on the International Hike and Bike Trail. The more adventurous are thrilled to discover more challenging hikes and biking trails in the jaw-dropping beauty of the surrounding desert hills.

Unique and fascinating local desert culture and history can be explored at the museum and art gallery as well as the NK’MIP Desert Cultural Centre.

Winter events include Winter in Wine Country, Osoyoos Concert Series, Nk’Mip Festival of Trees and the Christmas Lite-Up. Cheer on the Osoyoos Coyotes, the local Junior ‘B’ hockey team at their home games from the fall through the spring. The nearby South Okanagan Events Centre hosts many world-class entertainment acts year-round that appeal to all ages and tastes. Several local transportation shuttles also offer entertainment excursions to concerts and casinos in the USA.

Visits from the grandkids are no problem for snowbirds. The arena, community centre, library, BMX track, Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad, nearby ski hills and a skateboard park provide lots of activity options.

Fido is no problem either, with many pet friendly accommodations, a large off-leash dog park, agility training, groomers, kennels and a veterinary hospital.

Snowbirds like the Megaffins are quickly becoming a welcome addition to the friendly Osoyoos community – making it their home away from home. “We appreciate the warm welcome we always get when we come to Osoyoos,” says Doreen. “We find that the people are very friendly, and we really appreciate the ‘at home’ feeling we get when we stay. Osoyoos is a small community, like the community where we come from, and that small town hospitality is what makes us feel comfortable and happy here.”

Osoyoos Snowbird Map

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Destination Osoyoos
8701 Main St.
Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada
V0H 1V0

T: 250.495.5070
F: 250.495.8081
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Osoyoos, British Columbia - Canada's Warmest Welcome Resort Municipality Initiative