A Vagabond Life

Photo Credit: Brittany Mudry

Photo Credit: Brittany Mudry

Can you feel the love tonight? It is where we are - it’s enough for this wide-eyed wanderer that we got this far. And can you feel the love tonight, how it’s laid to rest? It’s enough to make kings and vagabonds - believe the very best...
— Elton John, The Lion King

The songs of the valley are forever etched in my mind, alongside images of roadside fruit stands, Ogopogo and a big black horse under a cherry tree. Like well-spun vinyl, the tales of the Okanagan take me back to simpler times when vagabonding was every day PLAY and people unplugged to the soulful notes of street-side buskers. That’s my Okanagan – a Magical Mystery Tour tantalizing our senses with impromptu barrel tastings, a peach on the beach, or float down the laziest of lazy rivers!

A world-class travel destination, the valley has managed to remain accessible and sustainable, which is no small feat in an industry dominated by all-inclusive resorts with oversize buffets and limitless booze. That’s not to say that there’s not a place for large scale, all-inclusive resorts; it’s just not here, where farm-to-table EATS are served in freshly prepared portions, and SIPS are meant to be savoured.

Most of our featured wineries are small batch producers hosting tasting rooms where a sampling of their wares can be had for a modest cost, or donation to local charity. Most often the fee is waived with purchase, and it’s seldom you’ll leave empty-handed. The vibe of the valley is artisan and collaborative with restaurants promoting local farmers, craft beers, and wines that have been carefully paired with menu offerings. Touring the Okanagan is an all-season sensory experience that whets our appetite for good food, good drink and good fun!

Our hiking, biking, water and winter sport are amongst the best in the world, and our scenery is unrivalled. Boasting Canada’s only pocket desert, the valley’s home to a chain of six majestic lakes with the Okanagan stretching 135 kilometers between Vernon and Penticton. Many of the valley’s northern and central wineries are located along her shores, while our southern wineries call the desert lands between Penticton and Osoyoos home.  But don’t be misled by our mild climate and hot summers; the valley’s an all-season destination that celebrates autumn harvests, winter powder and spring blossoms. The only thing that rivals an orchard in bud is an orchard laden with fresh fruit ready to be picked, or a fresh drop of champagne powder before the first run of the day – so be sure to seize the opportunity to experience the Okanagan vagabond style, which means every day is uniquely your own as are the memories you make. Carpe Diem!

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Kylie Woods