Discover all that Kelowna and the rest of the Okanagan Valley has to offer in the colder months!
The Okanagan is infamous for its stunning, sun-filled summers where residents and tourists alike flock to the wineries and lakes for warm weather fun. As fall rolls into the Valley, the days become shorter and a light, icing sugar-like dusting of snow appears atop the mountains. The paddleboards go into storage and shorts are traded for pants and fuzzy hats.
So what happens in the winter months? Does the population hunker down and wait for the sunny days of summer to return? It turns out that the Okanagan Valley is the perfect winter playground and there is almost more to do in the middle of January than in the dog days of summer.
Whether you are looking for a adrenaline fueled adventure or a relaxing afternoon immersed in the beauty of British Columbia backcountry, the Okanagan in the winter will not disappoint! The Sean Skuter Real Estate Team has put together a list of our top 5 favourite ways to spend our time in the Okanagan Valley during snow season.
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
The Okanagan Valley has a plethora of downhill opportunities for every skill level. Three of the most notable options are Silverstar, Apex and Big White. Silverstar and Apex have 139 and 79 runs respectively while Big White has 118 runs at your disposal. Big White has been ranked as the best ski resort in Canada and it’s terrain park was ranked as the second best in North America.
All of these resorts offer ample opportunities to get your board or skis into some fresh powder but they also are hubs for other activities such as dining, shopping, overnight stays and festivals. Regardless of which resort you choose, you will have a blast carving down the peaks that surround the Okanagan.
Looking for a once in a lifetime backcountry ski? Give heli skiing a try!
Hockey and Skating
If you are a fan of hockey, you might want to check out Kelowna’s WHL team, the Rockets. Watch the NHL stars of tomorrow for a fraction of the cost and enjoy the classic hockey rink experience with a hotdog and popcorn!
If you would rather play hockey instead of watch it, there are many pond hockey opportunities throughout the Okanagan including tournaments at Big White. If you are near Kelowna, check out Shannon Lake for skating, hockey and ice fishing opportunities!
Ice Wine Tasting
The Okanagan is one of the most unique and plentiful wine regions in North America. Due to our colder temperatures, Canada is one of only three countries in the world that can produce icewine on a regular basis. There are many wine tour companies that offer tours all year long or you can venture off on your own and choose your own ice wine adventure.
The Okanagan is also home to the best icewine in the world! That’s right- out of 700 bottles, Summerhill Pyramid’s chardonnay icewine took home first place in the international competition in France. Get ready to taste some winter magic in a bottle!
Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
If steep, black diamond runs scare you away from the downhill scene, the Okanagan is full of stunning cross country trails. You can traverse the mountains and backcountry at your own pace working up a sweat, or taking the time to soak in the uninteruptted tranquility.
Don’t have your own equipment? Not to worry, there are many locations that offer rentals to go along with their designated trails. We recommend the Telemark Nordic Club for cross country skiing or snowshoeing rentals!
If you are headed to the northern portion of the Okanagan in February you will want to check out the Vernon Winter Carnival! From February 2nd to the 11th you can enjoy live music, food, wine and events for every age group- this is the Okanagan’s version of Carnaval!
To the south you will find the Sun Peaks Wine Festival which features blind tastings, moonlit snowshoeing and mouth watering options from the top chefs in the Okanagan. The festival runs from January 12th until January 21st and this year is the 20th anniversary of the event, so it is one you don’t want to miss! If you are not in the mood for a glass you can head to the very south of the Valley and explore the decorated forest of trees at the Osoyoos Festival of Trees. This particular festival runs until January 3rd and all of the proceeds from the event go to the BC Children’s hospital!
Whether you are diving into a snow inspired activity or tasting some of the world class wine and food that is produced in the Okanagan, the winter months are a perfect time to explore the region.
Considering moving to the Okanagan but not sure where to start? The Sean Skuter Real Estate Group of Kelowna can help you buy or sell in the Okanagan.