When most people think of weather in Canada the first thing that comes to mind is being cold. We’re well known for our low temperatures abundant amounts of snow, but that’s of course not the case all year round and not everywhere in the country. In fact, Canada actually has its own desert where the temperature this summer surpassed 40°C (104°F) and that’s in the South Okanagan, centered around the city of Osoyoos, BC.
That’s where my fiancé and I went in June, just after visiting Penticton. It’s just an hour drive south of there and we stopped half way there at the brand new District Wine Village just outside of Oliver, still in its soft launch when we arrived. With 16 artisan producers, an on-site vineyard, a restaurant with chef’s garden, and a multi-purpose amphitheater in the middle of it all this is definitely going to be a unique spot to check out when it’s fully up and running.
Once we got to Osoyoos we checked in to Spirit Ridge Resort where we had a huge suite with full kitchen, spacious living room, and large balcony that even had a soaker tub on it! The property is massive as well – and packed with amenities like 5 restaurants, 2 outdoor pools and hot tubs (adult-only and family-friendly), a private beach with shuttle, a cardio studio… even a desert cultural centre (Nk’Mip) that we spent time at to learn about the aboriginal history of the area.
We ate at 3 of the restaurants on site: The Bear, The Fish, The Root & The Berry for a fancy dinner on the large balcony with a stunning view of the area; Nk’Mip Cellars for a lovely lunch on their patio with more of the impressive views; and the Courtyard Market for a fresh pizza to take back to our room and eat on our balcony.
Outside of the resort we had breakfast at Jojo’s Cafe one morning (which was actually recommended to me by a few people following along on our journey through my Instagram stories) and the next day combined pastries from The Lake Village Bakery with caffeinated drinks from Junction 3 to enjoy at a bench along the lake. We also grabbed some pizza and took it over to North Basin Brewing Co to enjoy in their air conditioning with a flight of beer.
Besides enjoying all the amenities that our resort offered we also spend some time walking up and down Main street to explore the shops (and the beach area at the end of the street), driving up to Anarchist Mountain Lookout for a great photo of the entire area, and a self-guided walk through the Osoyoos Desert Centre (which is best to do in the morning on really hot days).
There was nothing particularly gay about this destination, but as a gay couple we certainly felt comfortable being ourselves there. We did see some Pride stickers on businesses, but mainly we just felt like we received warm welcomes wherever we went, regardless of who we were. We certainly do enjoy going to Pride events or gay cruises, but sometimes it’s nice to also just go somewhere to relax and enjoy each other’s company in a generally welcoming environment, and that’s what we felt like we got in Osoyoos.
Disclaimer: The experiences, restaurants, and accommodations in this trip were provided by Destination Osoyoos