If you ask someone from BC where they are from in other provinces of Canada, usually you get two answers. One answer is the people who live in the Lower Mainland, Greater Vancouver, they will say they are from Vancouver. And the other answer will be Kelowna for the people who live in Okanagan and the upper mainland. At least that’s what my friend from Calgary summarized to me… I think it’s pretty accurate!😂
Despite me living in BC for such a long time, I have never been to the mainland. This trip was an eye opener for me because we not only went to Kamloops, we went further north to blue river, Jasper, down to Banff, east to Calgary and than back west, to Kelowna. Before that, my road trips have been only to the Vancouver Islands and the states, which makes this trip so special and unique!
Our last two days were spent in the Okanagan Valley. We arrived at around 3 pm on the first day and just relaxed in our hotel room after driving for 5 hours from Banff. At night my mom and I went out to City Park and watched the sunset on the beach. (I swear below the picture there is sand on my feet LOL) Even at night, the temperature was still in the twenties (Celsius), really hot eh?
As we were driving to Kelowna and leaving the next day we discovered just how long the Okanagan lake was. It stretches 135 km and 4 to 5 km wide. I thought it was the sea at first, but we’re in mainland where does the ocean come from?!😂
Visiting a winery: Quail’s Gate
The Okanagan Valley is famous for its fruit orchards and wineries. Naturally, we had to visit one! We first found a U-pick cherry farm near our hotel but discovered it was closed after arriving. We were out of luck since we checked the website it was opened but it wasn’t in reality and we tried calling but no one would answer… However, we did find a really good local fruit stand which I’ll tell you later.
I requested a Kelowna brochure online and it was mailed to me before our trip started. I found the Winery we went to on the brochure and also booked to tour online in advance. The tour took about an hour or so and we were introduced to the mystery of winemaking and guided to their “factory”. The tour also consisted of tasting several wines and yes, we did end up buying some, it was delicious! One thing before booking the wine tour, I wanted to make sure we did not go somewhere where it was tourist populated. And, this place we went to wasn’t. In fact, a lot of locals also came to buy wine! The winery had an amazing view of the Okanagan Lake as well!
Going to a local fruit stand:
So while I was at the winery I asked the cashier if she knew any U-pick farms in the area. She told me not to go to any nearby because they are often overpriced and due to the cold spring they had this year; many cheery farms are experiencing a late start. She recommended a local fruit stand in West Kelowna. A customer interrupted our conversation and told me the instructions how to get there. “I’ll take you there after this if you want, I am also going there!” she added. What a nice lady right?
The fruite stand is called Paynters, just 10 minutes from Quail’s Gates Winery in west Kelowna. The fruit there was unexpensive and very sweet, the lady at the winery also bumped into us and told us to try thier icecream. IT WAS SO CREAMY AND CHEAP!!! If you ever come to Kelowna, come by this fruit stand and get an icecream, you won’t regret it!
Summerland Train ride: Kettle Valley Steam Railway
After going to the fruit stand my family memebrs went on a ride back to history in Summerland. The station from the fruit stand was an half an hour drive, we actually didn’t plan on going there but we called to ask and they just happened to have one at 1:30 pm. We skiped luch and arrived just on time for the ride. I was too tired so I decided to not go. My brother really enjoyed it, and it was a nice one and a half hour nap for me!
Summerland… the name is truly accurate for the place! It was 3 in the afternoon when they came back from the train ride and this is what the car told us about the tempreture: 40 degress celcius!!!!
Kelowna, Okanagan, Summerland is truly a beautiful palce, everywhere you go you can catch a glips of the deep blue water, surrounded by mountians and blue blue sky. Honesty, every second of this trip can be a painting in my house…
If you want to travel this summer and don’t have a place in mind, you should defenitly consider Canada. Plus, this year for Canada’s 150, the government is giving away free park passes to any provincial, national park in the country. No matter where you are from, just go online and fill in your adress and your pass will arive shortly!
Also check out:
Emily Kailin B.