Osoyoos BC Vacation

A Destination In A Unique Desert Region

town of osoyoos bc south okanagan valley
Wow! Osoyoos doesn't look like a desert!

For a small town Osoyoos BC really packs a convenient punch when it comes to having everything that the Okanagan British Columbia offers for a vacation, all in one little place.

Tourism here caters to everyone, including families with kids, and all age groups.

People, are drawn here in the summer for the beaches and water on Osoyoos Lake, as well as golf (which you can do year round here), biking and hiking, orchards and vineyards, as well as wining and dining. Campgrounds in Osoyoos are great too. And for many locals, including us, camping here during the May long weekend is what we do to start off the summer camping season.

What's so unique about this region of British Columbia, aside from the warm Osoyoos Lake, wineries, fruit, golf and great resorts, is the fact that it's location in the Southern Interior BC, it's history, and it's climate make it an incredibly diverse and interesting place to visit.

Considered a vacation hot spot destination, the town is pretty quiet over winter, but it comes totally alive for summer vacation. And this community is also a popular place to retire because of the short, mild winters and hot dry summers.

If you're driving, you can begin or end your vacation and travel through the Okanagan in Osoyoos BC.

Oroville Washington is directly across the US-Canada Osoyoos border, which is a point of entry from the US to Canada, within a few miles. So, if you're driving to the Okanagan from the US, you can enter the valley directly here.

As you arrive in Osoyoos, on higway 97, you'll see the Osoyoos Visitor Centre. town of osoyoos bc south okanagan valley

This is where you turn east and head down to the main downtown area, which is where you'll find most restaurants and shopping, and it also leads you down to Osoyoos Lake, and then carries on east to Hwy 3.

About The Osoyoos Desert Region

Osyooos Fact

One-quarter of the Red-listed species (endangered) and more than half of the Blue-listed (vulnerable) vertebrates are found here, as well as more than 100 rare plant species and 300 rare invertebrates. The Osoyoos region has one of the highest concentrations of at-risk species in Canada.

Osoyoos BC lies in Canada's only desert region, a pocket desert within the Great Basin Desert region.

The town is situated less than 1000 feet above sea level, and sprawls over less than 5 square miles, and is considered by some to be at the northern most tip of the Sonora Desert.

In part, this accounts for the very warm, dry climate that the area is known for.

The South Okanagan Valley Osoyoos region is home to many bird, plant and animal species not found anywhere else, and it's also an ecologically sensitive area.

Much work is done in this area to preserve and restore the damaged ecosystems and sensitive wildlife at risk.

If you're so inclined, there are some great opportunties for exploring and learning about these precious habitat for the endangered species here.

The name of the town, like other cities and towns in the Okanagan is named from First Nations language. The translation is 'Narrows of the Lake' or 'Narrowing of the Lake'.

Attractions & Things To Do In The Osoyoos Area

osoyoos desert centre

Osoyoos Desert Centre an interactive interpretive centre that offers insight into the sensitive ecosystem of the Osoyoos desert region.

There's so much nature to explore in the desert ecosystem, wildlife species such the Western Rattlesnake, Nuttall's Cottontail, Great Basin Spadefoot Toad, Tiger Salamander and Wind Scorpion; the South Okanagan protected grasslands and bird habitats.

Anarchist Mountain summit at just over 4000 feet offers amazing views of the town of Osoyoos, the Okanagan Valley and into Washington State.

Spotted Lake only about a 10 minute drive from the town of Osoyoos contains high concentrations of minerals that were once used to alleviate aches and pains.

Osoyoos Desert & Cultural Centre

Rattlesnake Canyon amusement park; fun for the kids with rock climbing, rides and bumper boats.

rattlesnake canyon osoyoos bc

The Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad is Canada's largest with more than 20 computer controlled trains.

Osoyoos Museum In the Osoyoos Community Park, at the end of Main Street and adjacent to the lake, you'll find a collection of the town's history of farming, ranching, irrigation and fruitgrowing.

Wondering what goes on in Osoyoos BC during the summer months? Tourism here is geared for summer vacations. Here are a few things to put on your agenda!

Osoyoos Summer Events

Osoyoos Festivals & Fairs

Osoyoos Market On Main

We don't know about you, but we love outdoor markets in the summer time. Osoyoos Market on Main is on every Saturday morning, beginning in May through the end of August. You can browse the markets for things like fresh baked goods, farm fresh fruits, vegetables as well as arts and crafts.

beautiful waterfront walking path in osoyoos bc

Osoyoos Cherry Fiesta Osoyoos BC holds it's annual Canada Day Cherry Fiesta every year. It's a great holiday weekend filled with fun entertainment, a pancake breakfast, crafts and foods fair, fun activities for kids and a fantastic fireworks display. If you're in Osoyoos BC on the July long weekend, this is a must do!

Osoyoos Street Dances Two very unique street dance events happen in Osoyoos every summer; one in July and one in August. This is a very popular event that gets the downtown streets rocking with dancing, and fun entertainment. It's a family event, and one that children always really enjoy!

BlueGrass Festival The annual Lions Club Bluegrass Festival, in early August, is filled with excellent Bluegrass music and Bluegrass events. This is a free event that attracts many visitors, is great for families, in a relaxed music filled atmosphere.

Spirit Ridge Vineyard & Spa
spirit ridge vineyard osoyoos

Wineries In Osoyoos

Osoyoos BC is also home to more than 20 Okanagan wineries. Vineyards here are considered in the Black Sage/Osoyoos area, which is one of the 5 wine subregions of the Okanagan Valley.

A drive along Black Sage Road, in the desert countryside between Oliver BC and Osoyoos, you'll find some amazing wineries, and you'll also enjoy some fantastic views along the way. Wineries in or near the Osoyoos BC area:

  • Twisted Tree Vineyards & Winery
  • Nk'Mip Cellars
  • Lastella Winery
  • Moon Curser Vineyards

You can visit wineries on your own, or if you're interested, you can take a guided Okanagan wine tour and enjoy the most of the wine and to learn about the history of British Columbia wine making.

Vacation Accommodations In Osoyoos...

Osoyoos BC offers a full range of accommodations from private campgrounds a BC provincial campground, RV camping, hotels & motels including the Best Western, the Coast Osoyoos Beach Hotel, a variety of vacation rentals, and some lovely B&B's. Over the past few years this quiet town has grown tremendously with new Osoyoos resorts, recreational condominiums, hotel expansions, and beautiful desert resort developments such as Spirit Ridge Resort, which offers luxurious 4-star accommodation packages and spa services, and also the Watermark Beach Resort.

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