While many know Osoyoos for boasting the warmest fresh-water lake in Canada and associate a collection of watersports with the area, we’ve got news for you: This place is not just a lake town.
While tourists and locals alike flock to the many beaches and lakeside parks around Osoyoos and enjoy partaking in water activities, there is a lot more this Town has to offer away from the lake.
We’ve compiled a list of 12 unique activities to experience in the Osoyoos area for those moments when you prefer to stay on land.
Slip n’ slide @ Covert Farms
While you might still be getting wet with this off-water activity, who doesn’t love sliding down a giant hill on a slip n’ slide?
Covert Farms Family Estate, which offers a copious amount of experiences on-site, offers visitors a chance to race down a hill on a giant slip n’ slide.
Combine this activity with a farm tour, a wine tasting, and a jump on their giant inflatable pillow and you’ve got yourself a pretty unique afternoon.
The slide is open to the public from Wednesday – Sunday throughout the summer.
Race high-performance karts @ Area 27
One of the more unknown amenities in the area near Osoyoos is Area 27 Motorsports Park — an elite membership-based club for racing enthusiasts.
This year, Area 27 has opened its doors to the public for high-performance kart racing, geared towards anyone who feels the need for speed.
The venue offers a full-service kart racing experience for all ages, providing racers with vehicles that are designed to offer the sensation of racing machinery while remaining safe and serviceable.
More information about bookings and schedules can be found online here.
Early Bird Tours @ Osoyoos Desert Centre
For any early risers, you can now awake with the birds (and other animals) on a guided wildlife tour at the Osoyoos Desert Centre.
On Thursdays throughout August, visitors can head to the Osoyoos Desert Centre and join a “walk and talk” from 7:15 to 8:45 a.m. about animals living in the surrounding desert habitat.
Learn about what’s for breakfast and other dining habits of some favourite desert wildlife. Find out what’s on the menu for bobcats, snakes and other predators and what “early birds” actually do get the worm.
Bump Boats @ Rattlesnake Canyons
An activity that is most likely more on people’s radar, being situated at the well-known Rattlesnake Canyon but unique nonetheless.
We are bending the rules on this one because it isn’t quite on land, however, it is not everyday that you get to sit in a Bumper Boat and run into friends, family and strangers for some good all-around fun.
A fun activity for people of all ages!
Hit the driving range @ Osoyoos Golf Club
Playing a round of golf, especially during a hot Osoyoos day, isn’t always for everyone, however, spending some time at the range is never a bad idea.
Whether you are an expert or a beginner, the driving range at the Osoyoos Golf Club is an easy, fun way to spend part of a day away from the water.
The driving range allows golfers to work on their game or curious guests to try something new without breaking the bank!
See the stars on Mount Kobau
For anyone that didn’t know, those clear, hot Osoyoos days can lead to even clearer, starry nights.
Osoyoos is a great place to stargaze as there is minimal light pollution in the area. One of the best ways to see the stars, however, is by making the trek to Mount Kobau.
The top of Mt. Kobau is about a 40-minute drive total up an unpaved, bumpy road, followed by a relatively easy walk in order to get to the peak. While the journey may feel like a burden to some, the views are absolutely worthwhile from the top.
Towards the end of August, star parties will be held on the top of Mt. Kobau as well if you want to join other stargazers. More information on the star parties can be found here.
Appeal to your sweet tooth @ Sugar Quail Bakeshop
Sugar Quail Bakeshop uses quality and local ingredients to create delicious sweets, baked goods, and custom cakes to make life a little sweeter!
Using ingredients including real butter and whipping cream while supporting local farmers when their products are in season, Sugar Quail will fill any sweet-tooth craving you might have. The bakeshop likes experimenting to produce new and unique sweets and treats, bound to make you forget about the lake altogether for a brief moment.
Climb to new views @ Baldy Mountain
Take a break from the lake and head to Mount Baldy this summer to enjoy various outdoor activities.
Baldy Resort has opened its doors this summer, offering visitors a chance to explore five different hiking trails or ride on the Sage Meadows cross-country mountain bike trail.
Lift passes are available for $15 for the day and, at the top of the chair, guests will have access to a viewpoint with 360-degree views.
The chairlift is download-friendly so visitors can ride both ways if they choose.
The mountain will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays throughout the summer.
Shop local at the Farmers’ Market
The Osoyoos Farmers’ Market and Osoyoos Night Market are two great ways to shop for goods from local artisans, wineries, bakers and more.
The market runs from May through September, at Town Hall Square, on Main Street Osoyoos, Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and the Night Market runs every Tuesday throughout August at Gyro Beach between 5 – 8 p.m.
The Market is the perfect place to find a souvenir for yourself or a gift for a loved one that has that unique Osoyoos connection!
Jive to live music in the vineyards
What’s better than enjoying a glass of wine on a warm summer evening? Enjoying one while listening to live music of course.
Every winery in the Osoyoos area offers a unique experience at its vineyard, and in the summer of 2022, many have added live music events to add to the ambiance.
If you enjoy listening to jazz with your rosé or discovering a new local Okanagan musical talent while tasting some white wine, then you are in luck.
Phantom Creek, Hester Creek, Black Hills, Culmina and the District Wine Village are just a few of the places you can find music in the vineyards this summer. Performance schedules will vary.
Find new trails on a mountain bike
Get off the beaten path and take in some of the incredible views around Osoyoos via trail.
Either bring your own or rent mountain bikes from one of the stores in town and spend a day away from the lake exploring one of the 32 different trails that can be found just a short ride from the heart of Osoyoos.
More information about tearing up the desert dirt on two wheels can be found online here.
See a natural phenomenon @ Spotted Lake
One of the most unusual and unique destinations that you will find in the area is Spotted Lake.
Spotted Lake, just west of Osoyoos, is a sacred place of healing for the Syilx people, the First Nations of the Okanagan. Its 365 separate pools contain one of the world’s highest concentrations of Epsom salts, calcium, sodium sulphates, and other minerals.
During the hot summer months, much of the water in the lake evaporates, leaving concentrations of these minerals that form the spots visible in the lake. Throughout the summer, the spots shift in size and colour as the minerals within each change with further evaporation. Colours ranging from blue to green to yellow appear, depending on the mineral makeup of each individual spot.
Out of respect for the sensitive environment and for the Okanagan Nation, visitors are not permitted beyond the viewpoint, but the view and photo opportunities from the highway are excellent. Be aware of traffic if you plan to stop along the highway.