5 Unwiney Things to Do in Osoyoos

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Let’s face it – I love wine. Touring through the hot desert climate, there’s nothing better than a sweet Gewurztraminer or Pinot Noir.

After a handful of tastings though, your palate might get tired or your DD just a little envious. Mixing in other activities – such as the ones listed below – keeps you from experiencing too much wine fatigue.

1. Savour a Great Meal

Osoyoos is full of distinct restaurants, many of which take their inspiration from the surrounding landscape.

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One surprising find this trip was the restaurant inside the Walnut Beach Resort, on the quieter side of the lake. Promenade Wine Bar is a hidden oasis with a very simple food philosophy – comfort food done right. Sourced with an emphasis on Osoyoos’ amazing bounty, the ribs done two ways were a satisfying knockout.

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Sitting poolside, thanks to the restaurant’s outdoor kitchen, the views are stunning and the service prompt and cheerful.

2. Visit Spotted Lake

On your way into town off the Crowsnest Highway (or Highway 3), look for Spotted Lake on your right. Blink and you’ll miss it, but this tiny lake is definitely worth a brief pit stop.

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Spotted Lake gets its name from its richly concentrated minerals deposits, which get revealed as most of the water evaporates throughout the summer. Large spots of different colours appear, according to the mineral present. You can’t access the lake proper, but the spots can be easily seen from the fence off the highway.

3. Get on the Water

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Osoyoos is blessed with very swimmable waters, ideal to a wide variety of water sports. With calm tides and minimal boat traffic, it’s the perfect setting to try something new. Thanks to 3 Phase Adventures, I was able to finally try my hand at stand up paddle boarding. My instructor took me through the in’s and out’s of the sport and, as I slowly gained confidence on the board, onto some more advanced techniques.

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Paddle boarding is a relaxing, easy-to-learn summer sport. There’s nothing better than looking out on Osoyoos Lake with nothing but your paddle in hand. Be advised that it is a workout – especially for the core and legs. Leave all of your tech and valuables back at the hotel, because you will get wet, despite your best efforts.

4. Relaxing Resort-Style

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Many people escape to small towns in order to get away from the stress and speed of everyday life. Situated in the very center of town, right by Gyro Beach, is the Watermark Beach Resort. Family friendly and self-catering, Watermark was a fantastic introduction to the slower pace of life in Osoyoos. The resort is also partially owner-controlled, which lends to warm exchanges and vibe in the corridors and common areas.

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While it’s fun eating out, I absolutely loved the Watermark’s thoughtful kitchen and fully stocked cutlery. Being able to prepare simple meals, or even heating up leftovers, was a great alternative to the traditional ‘hotel’ experience. The common areas were likewise well-equipped with a large gym, spa, media room, and outdoor pool.

For families or a group of friends, Watermark was a great place to sit back, relax, and enjoy the good life.

Disclosure: This travel review was sponsored by 3 Phase Adventures, Watermark Beach Resort, and Promenade Wine Bar @ Walnut Beach Resort.

For more information about Osoyoos, check out both Destination Osoyoos and Thompson Okanagan Tourism for more travel information. Special thanks to Destination BC for their support.

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Cecilia Lu Arts & Culture Editor at Vancity Buzz. Cecilia a sucker for great indie theatre and anything really geeky. Lethal drink of choice: single malt whisky. cecilia[at]vancitybuzz[dot]com
@CeciliaLu

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