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It can be hard to find low-cost activities to do if you have some time to kill. As I mentioned on my About Page, I live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada. If you have a day to fill with activities, here are some of my favorites for the summertime!
It seems obvious, yes, the Okanagan has numerous beaches dotting the shoreline of Okanagan Lake and the numerous other lakes that make up the region. I personally like Sun Oka Beach, but the beach is a favorite pastime here in the valley so you’ll find numerous options to suit you.
Wineries (And/Or Breweries, Distilleries, and Cideries)
If you love trying new wines, there’s nothing better than visiting a few local wineries (I recommend no more than four in a day though). Most will charge for tasting, but usually not more than $5. If your pocketbook can survive, they will usually waive the tasting fee if you buy a bottle or two.
And I highly recommend for lunch hitting the patio at Dirty Laundry Vineyard, they offer a slightly upscale picnic lunch and they have a beautiful patio that overlooks the hills in Summerland.
If you like shopping, attending the local farmer’s market is a great activity. My favorite market is the market in Penticton, which happens every Saturday from April to October. The market is HUGE and filled with scads of local fruit growers and artisans.
Channel Float (Penticton, B.C.)
If you’re in Penticton or don’t mind the journey to the city, this is one of my favorite FREE activities. If you don’t currently have a pool floater, you’ll need to buy that. You can get any old flotation device or go a little jazzy and get one like this!
The channel is a relatively slow-moving bit of water that flows between Okanangan Lake and Skaha Lake. You will need a vehicle on both ends or you can take advantage of the shuttle service that ferries channel floaters from the end point back up to the starting point.
In the summer, there are festivals abound, many of them are free to attend. Some of my faves include:
- Penticton Ribfest
- Penticton Peachfest
- Summerland Actionfest
- Light Up The Vines (I have only attended the Summerland one, but other winery groups have their own version of this around Christmas time)
- Kelowna’s Rock the Lake
Each town along the valley has a tourism page or town page somewhere online to check out events happening. Just google “Upcoming events in [name of town]” and you’ll probably snag a few hits.
The Okanagan is extraordinarily scenic and boasts numerous hiking trails throughout the length of the valley. I like checking out https://www.hikingaddiction.ca/ for some tips on trails. I particularly like this website because they rank the trails based on difficulty, length and approximate time to complete. Super important when you’re planning a day out, nobody wants to get caught on a journey that’s too complex for their physical ability!