We’ve been planning an Okanagan and Naramata guide for a few summers now! Both Carolina and myself wanted to come here a few times to capture the best places and wineries, as well as the best things to do in the area. We will be continually updating this guide to include new findings, so keep and eye on it!
Okanagan is such a beautiful place and as you start seeing the lakes (both Okanagan and Osoyoos) you realize that nature has done a phenomenal job at making this place absolutely breath-taking!
The Okanagan region is located approximately 400 km away from Vancouver, in British Columbia very close to Kelowna. You can get here by taking the Trans-Canada Highway 1 and following the signs for Meritt and Kelowna. That will get you there in about 4 hours. Although the road cuts through mountains and valleys, it’s not a difficult drive and the views are really nice. If you find yourself in a sunny day you can also choose to take the scenic route which is a bit longer, 4.5h-5h and goes through the gorgeous Manning Park. I have been on both routes and both are equally good at getting you there. If I were to choose though I would always choose the scenic drive. 🙂
Where to stay in Okanagan
We’ve rented and stayed in various places so far. From Oliver in Osoyoos area, to Fintry (North of Kelowna), Peachland (South-East of Kelowna) and Naramata Bench (close to Penticton). We recommend checking out VRBO first and then Airbnb (use this link to save $50 CAD on your booking!) when renting a place here. We also recommend booking in advance as the best properties tend to sell out fast especially on long weekends. Views are everything when you come to Okanagan and Naramata, so go for a place that has lake views and a BBQ! The extra money will be so worth it!
Things to do
Visit wineries and go wine-tasting!
Probably the best and most relaxing thing to do in Okanagan is to visit wineries and do wine tastings! Okanagan is famous for having so many vineyards so close to each other, making it the perfect place to do wine tours! Although there are actual wine tour companies offering different packages and driving you around, we recommend going by yourself and choosing a few wineries to visit each day. There are 3 major areas which have the most wineries: Naramata Bench, Kelowna area, and some around the Osoyoos lake.
Best Wineries to Visit in Okanagan And Osoyoos
Some of our favorite wineries in Naramata Bench and Okanagan Lake:
Therapy Vineyards – Some of our favorite wines all therapy and psychology themed. We love the Freudian Sip, and they also have accommodation at the winery!
Joie Farm – Amazing wines and best place to enjoy a pizza and picnic in their orchard (more info below at where to eat!)
Red Rooster – A new favorite. All the wines we tasted at the tastings were extremely good and couldn’t leave without getting a few bottles. The winery is very picturesque too, we’ll be back for sure.
Tightrope – Always good, we’ve been drinking this wine ever since we moved to Vancouver and can’t get enough.
Serendipity – Cool winery I just discovered, they will be opening a restaurant soon and we can’t wait to check it out.
La Frenz – Great views and good wines, worth a visit.
Elephant Island – Fruit wines, nothing like you’ve ever tasted! Check out the blackcurrant wine and the fortified wines. I always stack up on them!
Lake Breeze – Another new favorite. We loved the charm and the wine at this boutique winery! They have a restaurant and an amazing view over the lake.
Some of our favorite wineries in and around Kelowna
Mission Hill. This is one winery you have to visit! Although their wine tasting and tours are always so busy, they have amazing views, a great estate to visit, a restaurant and a shop. Great modern art on the grounds too!
Quails Gate. Their wine tour is pretty good and it also includes tasting and a quick lesson on how to taste wine! Tours end at 3pm each day, book in advance!
Summerhill. An eclectic winery, great weeding venue and they also have a restaurant with an awesome view overlooking the winery!
Dirty Laundry. A fun winery to visit! They always have fun events at the winery so make sure you check out their website before you go.
Some of our favorite wineries in Osoyoos
Burrowing Owl. Amazing winery with accommodation. Enjoy great views and wine tasting and they also have a swimming pool and 2 restaurants available.
Black Hills. Boutique fancy winery. Loved the tasting and they also have a restaurant for dinner and tapas.
Blasted Church. We always get their wines in Vancouver and it was great to finally discover the winery! We loved it! They also have a pizza on site through a professional wood fired oven food truck!
Other fun things to do in Okanagan!
Rent a boat. We usually rent a boat for 4 or 6 people from Penticton. It’s not too expensive and it comes with water toys too. www.pentictonboatrentals.com
Rent a SUP or Kayak. Stand up paddle boards are really are so much fun. There are several places to get them and it’s a great group activity. www.sunnsup.com
Go for a bike trek adventure in Myra Canyon. There are a lot of bike trails around the Okanagan hills. We absolutely loved Biking through Myra Canyon. It’s a gorgeous trail that follows mountain railtracks with spectacular views! You can rent bikes right at the bottom of the trail. Pack some snack and plenty of water and sunscreen as the trip gets long if you decide to do the entire route. But not to worry, the ride has low-medium difficulty. I was able to bike the entire thing and I am by far a biker! www.myracanyon.com/park
Naramata Falls. Gorgeous short hike in the park to the falls. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the falls and you can also climb up closer to the falls. Wear good hiking shoes!
Kalamalka Lake: Perfect for hiking and swimming! This lake is spectacular as it turns turquoise during summertime.
The Fintry Estate. Great hike and park between Finrty and Vernon. They also have camping grounds, a beach and a trail up to a sort of waterfall. We’ve spent about 2 hours and it was good to walk off some of the wine tasting! 🙂 www.fintry.ca
Where to eat
Joie Farm. This is the best foodie experience in Naramata in my opinion. I love it here and come back every time I visit Okanagan! They have fire roasted pizzas and gourmet sandwiches, as well as icecream sandwiches. Eating on the grass in their patio is gold! Get one of their wines to make this a really memorable experience! www.joiefarm.com
Grapeleaf Cafe – in Naramata village, great place for lunch or brunch.
Ambrosia – at the Naramata Heritage inn, great for dinner and live music. naramatainn.com/ambrosia-restaurant-lounge
Lake Breeze – classy lunch or brunch in the winery. We recommend putting your name down for a patio table and enjoying a wine tasting in the meantime. lakebreeze.ca
Vanilla Pod – We loved the dinner at Poplar Grove winery. Make a reservation as it’s quite popular. thevanillapod.ca
Misconduct Kitchen. Also in winery, go for delicious tapas, lunch or dinner. misconductwineco.com
Hillside Bistro. Another winery Bistro, they offer brunch and dinner menus. www.hillsideestate.com
Legends Distillery. If you need a break from wine, head to Legends Distillery, they have great cocktails, tasty tapas and you can go for either brunch or dinner. It’s also a great place to watch the sunset. www.legenddistilling.com
More food in Kelowna
Raudz Regional Table. Haven’t been here yet, but heard only the best things about Raudz especially about their farm to table approach and local ingredients. Will definitely go next time! www.raudz.com
Ricardo’s: hidden little restaurant in north Kelowna with great italian food! ricardos.ca
Micro Kelowna is part of the Raudz concept. Great drinks and food and garden patio. Definitely worth a visit! www.microkelowna.com
Salted Brick. One of my favorite places to eat in Kelowna. Tapas style restaurant great for lunch or dinner. www.saltedbrick.com
We hope you enjoy Naramata as much as we do when we go there! Let us know what are some of your favorite places in Okanagan! Leave us a comment so we can check it out and add to the list.
Love, Liza and Carolina.
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