Osoyoos is widely known as one of the best places to spend summer vacation in British Columbia and now is the perfect time to start planning out some of the best things to enjoy during your stay.
With the busy days of July and August ahead of us, the Town is just starting to ramp up into high gear for the season and you don’t want to miss everything it has to offer.
With summer fast approaching, we’ve pulled together the ultimate Osoyoos bucket list to help you make the most of your season!
✔️DISCOVER A NEW-TO-YOU PARK
Osoyoos is riddled with fantastic parks in the area, many of which offer shade, seating areas and beautiful views of the lake.
While some parks are conveniently located and easily discoverable, some are more like “hidden gems” and tucked away from the main tourist areas.
Take some time this summer to discover a new park that you’ve never visited and enjoy the change of scenery. Lions Park and sẁiẁs (Haynes Point) Provincial Park are both worth exploring.
✔️SINK A HOLE-IN-ONE AT RATTLESNAKE CANYON
Rattlesnake Canyon is a fantastic entertainment hub located right in the heart of Osoyoos. The venue offers go-karting, bumper boats, an arcade, rock climbing and much more, but our favourite is the incredible mini-golf course.
Doesn’t matter your age, this course is a blast and worth playing on a warm summer’s evening. And we challenge you to sink a hole-in-one.
✔️HAVE A PICNIC AT A WINERY
Anyone hoping to head out for a lunch alfresco should go ahead and pack up a basket, grab a blanket, bring some sunscreen, then head to one of the many worthy spots around Osoyoos for the perfect picnic lunch this summer.
You can enjoy picnics in many stunning locations around town, but our favourite is packing one and taking it to one of the wineries nearby. Enjoy a bottle of vino and sit in the vineyard with your picnic lunch and take in the beauty of the South Okanagan.
One of our favourite spots to bring your own picnic lunch is Bartier Bros Winery, or purchase your own private picnic pack at Covert Farms Family Estate Winery.
Pro Tip: You can also get charcuterie boxes to go from Queen of the South Charcuterie in Osoyoos.
✔️TRY A NEW WATERSPORT
One of the biggest draws of Osoyoos in the summertime is its lake – considered the warmest lake in Canada.
So you would be remiss to visit Osoyoos and not try an activity out on the water!
Kayaking, Paddleboarding and Canoeing are all great options that don’t require a powerboat. If you are looking for something more extreme, wake surfing, wakeboarding, waterskiing and tubing are all thrilling activities done while being towed behind a boat.
You might also consider jet skiing or fishing as something new to try!
There are a handful of companies in town that rent boats, equipment or the gear you need to have a blast in the water and you can find them here.
✔️RIDE THE DESERT TRAILS ON HORSEBACK
One of the more unique ways to experience the desert is by riding horses!
Both Sun Hills Riding Centre and Indian Grove Riding Stables will take out small groups of riders on guided tours through the South Okanagan desert.
Experience nature firsthand on safe, fun-filled tours through a beautiful paradise with spectacular views and breathtaking trails. Certainly one of the more unique ways to get out on the local trails!
✔️CYCLE THE INTERNATIONAL HIKE AND BIKE TRAIL
The International Hike and Bike Trail is an 18.4 km (11.4 mi) trail beginning at the north end of Osoyoos Lake, 8 km (5 mi) north of town, and is accessed at the wooden bridge on Road 22. This gorgeous trail follows along the Okanagan River Channel passing through vineyards and farms.
This trail is a great way to travel between some of the amazing wineries along the route, while getting out for a ride on your two-wheeler.
The trail is nice and wide, and relatively flat, making it great for all ages.
✔️SIP YOUR WAY THROUGH THE BEER LIST AT NORTH BASIN BREWING CO.
Those looking for something to drink that doesn’t come from a grape should slate in a trip to North Basin Brewing Co. this summer.
The first and only brewery in Osoyoos offers a selection of seasonal beers that are worth sampling via a flight or simply buying by the pint.
And why not make an effort to try them all?
✔️SUMMIT MOUNT KOBAU AT SUNRISE
The Mount Kobau Trail offers panoramic views of the Similkameen and Okanagan valleys. This 5 km trail begins at the top of Mount Kobau, accessible from Highway 3 west of Osoyoos. It follows a loop around the summit, passing through sub-alpine forests and open grassland. At the top, enjoy an unobstructed view of the valley, Osoyoos and the lake that will take your breath away.
Better yet, we recommend hitting the road and getting to the summit for sunrise as you will not be disappointed.
✔️SHOP LOCAL AT THE OSOYOOS FARMERS’ MARKET
Warmer weather means the return of the ever-popular Osoyoos Farmers’ Market.
Every Saturday throughout the summer, visitors can shop local and browse stands set up by artisans, photographers, and craftspeople.
You’ll also find locally grown produce, baked goods, and prepared foods such as jams and spices.
✔️LOOK WILDLIFE IN THE EYES IN THE DESERT
Stay with us here — while we don’t want you to come face to face with wildlife exactly, we do encourage you to explore our desert and there are safe ways to do this that allow you to observe species in their natural habitat!
Learn about the desert when you visit the spectacular Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre. This state-of-the-art interpretive centre is an architectural marvel sensitively constructed into a hillside.
Discover the fascinating stories of this desert and share in the rich living culture of the Okanagan people. There is also an opportunity to see a western rattlesnake up close as part of an exhibit at the centre.
You can also immerse yourself in the landscape when you visit the Osoyoos Desert Centre, a 67-acre interpretive facility. Enjoy a guided or self-guided tour along the centre’s brand new 1.5 km boardwalk, explore hands-on displays in the interpretive building, and stroll through the native plant demonstration garden. There is also a good chance you spot one of the many wildlife species that inhabit the South Okanagan and, so to speak, “look it in the eyes.”