As the leaves change from lush greens to a wondrous tapestry of red, orange, and gold, Osoyoos, BC comes alive with the vibrant splendours of autumn. Our charming region in the Okanagan Valley has grown and flourished over the years to become much more than just a summer destination. In fact, autumn is the perfect time to explore Osoyoos and its surroundings, as the crisp air and stunning landscapes set the stage for a memorable fall getaway.
Here are some must-try activities to make the most of your autumn visit to Osoyoos.
Wine Tasting Amidst Fall Foliage
Osoyoos is renowned for its vineyards and wineries, and the fall season adds a touch of magic to wine tasting. The vineyards are adorned with the rich, warm colours of autumn, creating a picturesque setting for sampling local wines. Many of the wineries in the area have award-winning wines, and you’ll especially want to try those rich reds that thrive in the Okanagan climate. Many wineries offer special harvest events and wine tours during this season as well.
If you are looking for some of the best reasons why you should go wine tasting during fall, click here.
Scenic Drives Through Vineyard-Adorned Countryside
Take a leisurely drive through the winding roads of the Okanagan Valley, flanked by vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see. The view of vineyards against the backdrop of golden hills is a visual treat. Some popular routes include the Golden Mile Bench, Black Sage Road, and the Anarchist Mountain Lookout. Be sure to make several stops for photos and perhaps even plan a picnic.
If you are driving to the area from out of town, read up on these tips for planning your perfect fall road trip!
Fall Hikes and Nature Walks
Osoyoos is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, and autumn is an ideal time to explore it. The weather is comfortably cool, making it perfect for hiking and nature walks.
Throw on your hiking shoes and savour the mild weather by getting out along the 4km Golden Mile trail that will take you on a journey from the Tinhorn Creek vineyard to a view. As you pass the gates taking you off the property, you will be able to walk up a moderate incline to a point where you can look over the valley below.
In the fall, the vantage point from the top of this hike will give hikers a stunning bird’s-eye view of the seasonal tapestry of reds, oranges and yellows below.
You could also head to nearby parks like sẃiẃs Park (Haynes Point), the Pioneer Walkway or even up Mount Kobau for access to more extensive hikes.
Harvest Festivals and Farmers’ Markets
Fall is harvest season, and Osoyoos celebrates it in style. Look out for local harvest festivals and farmers’ markets where you can sample fresh produce, artisanal goods, and delicious treats. It’s an excellent opportunity to taste the flavours of the region and perhaps bring some home with you.
Returning again this year will be the second annual All Hallows Eve Festival — a celebration of the South Okanagan’s diverse bounty of local artists in a progressive, family-friendly Halloween harvest-style event. This accessible, by-donation community festival, creates magical opportunities for cultural exchange through exciting, participatory performances by local artists. In 2023, the event will expand to become a two-day festival featuring food, music, Tarot card readings, spooky performances and so much more!
Paddleboarding, Kayaking or Canoeing on Osoyoos Lake
While summer may be the peak season for water activities, autumn still offers a chance to enjoy the serene Osoyoos Lake. The cooler temperatures make paddleboarding and kayaking more comfortable, and you can revel in the peace and tranquillity of the lake without the summer crowds or the heightened boat traffic!
Canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard rentals are available throughout September and into October to make going out for a paddle accessible if you don’t have your own equipment.
In addition to renting boats on your own, you can take a lesson with an experienced guide, participate in a group tour or join a SUP yoga session.
Stargazing Under Clear, Dark Skies
Osoyoos is known for having exceptionally clear skies at this time of year, and autumn evenings offer some of the best stargazing opportunities all year. Head to the nearby peak of Mount Kobau — approximately a 30-minute drive from downtown Osoyoos — to get one of the best views of the galaxy in the area or find a dark spot away from city lights to gaze up at the dazzling night sky.
Cozy Up with Local Cuisine
As the temperatures drop, Osoyoos’ restaurants and cafes offer warm and cozy atmospheres. Enjoy farm-to-table dining experiences and savour the seasonal flavours of the harvest. Pair your meals with local wines for a complete Okanagan culinary adventure.
Explore The Unique Semi-Arid Ecosystem
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 the 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.
Autumn in Osoyoos is a time of transformation, where the landscapes and activities take on a unique and charming character. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, Osoyoos in the fall promises a delightful escape filled with unforgettable moments and natural beauty.
Embrace the splendours of autumn in Osoyoos, and you’ll be hooked to making plans each and every year during this season.