Okanagan Vacations - An Introduction

Growing up, Okanagan vacations for us meant summer camping, visiting our relatives and friends, and going home with a trunk full of locally grown fruit.

These days Okanagan BC travel and tourism not only appeals to those who enjoy the laid back beaches and the fresh fruit from the orchards.

It also attracts those seeking world class wineries, golf vacations, amazing summer outdoor sports and recreation, winter skiing and snowboarding and fun family adventures year round.

Our introduction to Okanagan vacations shows you all that Okanagan British Columbia tourism has to offer. It's a destination that caters to all for winter vacation and summer vacation.

The first step is getting here....

beaches okanagan bc

Getting to the Okanagan is easy. Visit our Okanagan vacation planning page for tips and resources to plan your visit to the Okanagan. Our major airport is Kelowna airport. One of the nicest things about getting here is finding cheap air travel in Canada. It's easy to find cheap flights to Kelowna most of which come from another major Canadian airport, such as Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton.

Another alternative, if your destination is the South Okanagan, is to fly to Penticton. The Penticton airport serves as a point of entry for international flights, so you can go through customs there as well.

For those who prefer to drive, summer of course is the best time for road travel through the interior British Columbia mountains.

Many highway upgrades, especially in the past few years, have made driving through the main route, BC Highway 97, much easier.

From the west coast Canada, the Okanagan is accessible from a number of BC highways including the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1), BC highways 3 (Hope-Princeton) through E.C. Manning Provincial Park, BC highway 5 - the Coquihalla Highway, and intersecting highway 97C.

And from eastern Canada, there are essentially two routes to drive to the BC Okanagan Valley..

Driving from the western United States, British Columbia Highway 97 intersects with U.S. Route 97, which begins in northern California.

Once you're in BC, Highway 97 runs straight north and south from the US-Canada border at Osoyoos BC all the way to the Yukon-British Columbia border at Watson Lake, Yukon. In fact, Highway 97 is the longest continuously-numbered route in British Columbia, running 2081 km (1293 mi) from the Canada/U.S. border.

For winter travel, as long as you're well prepared, driving here during the winter isn't that difficult either.

Having said that...our recommendation for winter travel and winter Okanagan vacations? It is easier to fly.... :) There are good options for transportation from Kelowna airport. You can also rent a car once you're here, or take a shuttle to where ever you're going - which is likely one of the Okanagan British Columbia ski resorts.

okanagan vacation accommodations

Next, you'll need to find a place to stay....

Vacation accommodations in the Okanagan range from upscale and luxury resorts, to the most affordable hotels and motels, affordable family stays, to romantic getaways and amazing Bed & Breakfasts, to a wonderful selection of campgrounds, RV parks, and interior BC provincial parks.

Camping here in the interior BC is still a major attraction for many visitors during the summer, when being near the lakes and best beaches to relax and play is what you are looking for, as are cabins in the Okanagan surrounded by beautiful forest, along quiet lakes, perfect for families.

The busiest times of the year during public Canadian holidays, so booking in advance is strongly recommended.

Most popular, and the most affordable family vacations are in our comfy, cozy hotels and motels all throughout the region, which provide the most budget friendly, and still offer comfortable, well cared for accommodations.

Typical reasonably priced accommodations that you will find for Okanagan vacations are affordable family vacation resorts similar to the popular Tiki Shores Condominium Resort In Penticton.


Tiki Shores Condominium Beach Resort
okanagan vacation resort motels

Tiki Shores sits directly across the street from Okanagan Beach in the city of Penticton BC along what's called 'Sunset Strip'. The street is lined with motels like Tiki Shores, and very popular amongst families. This motel, in particular is pet-friendly.

Every suite comes with kitchen facilities, free high-speed wireless Internet, an in-room coffee maker and full cable service including movie channels. Guests also have access to an on-site laundromat, and an outdoor heated pool.

Our recommendation...Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about hotels in the Okanagan British Columbia




What about hotel resorts? Okanagan vacations offer everything from mid range to luxury resorts with vacation packages for those with specific interest, and a desire for a bit more of an inclusive vacation, and upscale accommodations.

One of several favorite family vacation resorts in the Okanagan is Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel and Villas in Kelowna, which has been ranked among the world's best hotels on the 2010 Expedia Insiders' Select list.™


Manteo Resort Kelowna BC
okanagan vacations manteo resort kelowna

Higher priced accommodations like these offer amenities such as luxurious deluxe guest rooms, private balconies or patios, premium suites or family-size two and three bedroom villas with their own living room, dinning room, fireplace, full kitchen, and private guestrooms.

Comparable to Manteo Resort other luxury hotels and resorts include:


An alternative to hotel resorts and a newer style of accommodations is resorts vacation cottages such as LaCasa Lakeside Cottage Resort on the west side of Okanagan Lake near Kelowna.

luxury cottage resort okanagan

This is a new vacation rental and cottage development ideal for those looking for Okanagan vacations resorts with inclusive type amenities.

There is an outdoor swimming pool, mini golf, private beach, volleyball court, aqua park, and tennis courts. Nature lovers have access to an extensive network of trails for hiking, mountain biking or ATV riding, just steps away from your back door! Water sport enthusiasts will have easy access to Lake Okanagan at La Casa's own Marina.




Golf Resorts With golf vacations being another big reason people choose Okanagan vacations, you've got to expect top notch accommodations!

Some resort hotels cater to the golf enthusiasts, with golf on site such as Predator Ridge Resort and Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa; offering affordable golf vacation packages. All in all the choices are wide, and accommodate every vacation budget.


Predator Ridge Resort Vernon BC
predator ridge golf resort okanagan vacations

There are also more and more condos and vacation home rentals, where you can enjoy the comforts and conveniences of home. Just bring the family!


Things To Do On Okanagan Vacations....

During the summer there is more than enough to do to make wonderful holiday memories.

things to do on okanagan vacations

Besides the beaches you can spend some time during summer exploring the hiking trails and parks, browse the local farmers markets, tour fruit orchards and U-picks, and take in one of the many festivals and fairs. These are all fun activities that also cost very little and can be enjoyed by all....


And during the winter, play at one of our ski resorts where you'll find more than skiing and snowboarding! Try your hand - or should we say foot :) - at snow shoeing and cross country skiing, or head out to one of the snowmobile trails.

Explore all the cities and towns where you'll find something unique in each one.

Visit Kelowna and take in a Western Canada Hockey league game and cheer on the Kelowna Rockets! Yes, we take our hockey seriously! And it's the next best thing to NHL!

Outdoor activities provide the fun and relaxation we all need, and while you're here you can find many exciting adventures or a relaxing outdoor activity.

Some of the best times we've enjoyed on our own Okanagan vacations include packing a picnic lunch, heading out with friends to a local park, exploring the trails and enjoying nature, then ending the day with a weiner roast, marshmallows, and watching the stars light up the clear summer skies.

We've dedicated an entire section of our site to free or low cost summer activities for kids, and we are always adding to our continuously growing section with our own kid's favorite attractions and things to do.


Food & Dining In The Okanagan....

The Okanagan produces an amazing abundance of food, including a variety of fruit - what the area is historically known for. okanagan food fruit dining

Local farmers, chefs, farmers markets vendors, food artisans, and other food-related businesses bring the highest quality, seasonal, locally grown Okanagan food products, including organics, to our tables, local restaurants and places to eat.

These locally produced foods make our region an unique and healthy place to live and visit.

Restaurants in the Okanagan cater to the diversity of our population and culture, and our love for exploring a variety of cuisine.

The Okanagan also has more than 150 wineries that host wine-tastings, tours and other wine events. Spend some time on a wine tour or visit during one of the wine festivals.

Okanagan Vacations....There's so much more to enjoy!

There is so much to see and do in this, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada, the Okanagan Valley.

If you think of something you want to know about the Okanagan or vacationing here, send us an email and we'll get back to you within 48 hours. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this site, and come back to visit often.

Plan your Okanagan vacations with our online vacation planning tips and resources. We'll help you find the best prices for airlines, rental cars, and hotels.

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By: Erika Friedrich Copyright© 2008-2014 OkanaganVacationGuide.com All Rights Reserved