If you’re planning a road trip from Vancouver or Calgary with your Karma Campervan, make the Okanagan your destination for sunshine, wineries and serious beach time. With a little under 4 hours’ drive time from Vancouver and 6.5 from Calgary, you’ll find yourself relaxing in BC’s year-round outdoor playground.
Get ready for sunshine and lake time
There’s no shortage of beaches in the Okanagan Valley, your hardest task will be choosing which one. The main draw is Okanagan Lake, stretching 135 km down the valley, from Vernon all the way to Penticton, with plenty of beaches along the way.
Located right near downtown, Hot Sands Beach at the Kelowna City Park is where all the action is, or if you’re looking for a more relaxed vibe, check out Kalamoir Regional Park. A little further south, a zip line, rope swing, wharf, and diving board make Swim Bay in Peachland a fun beach to stay and play at. In the heart of Penticton, and at the south end of the lake, Okanagan Lake Beach is steps away from the restaurants and shops of Lakeshore drive.
Not to be overlooked, there are other smaller lakes in the area worth a visit too, like Kalamalka, Skaha, or Vaseux Lake.
Choose your perfect campsite
In an area that hosts so many year-round campers, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to campgrounds. From luxury RV resorts with private beaches to wilderness retreats, there’s an option to suit your style. If you prefer a provincial park setting, check out Okanagan Lake Provincial Park for lakeside living, Ellison Provincial Park for panoramic vistas of the lake, or the popular Bear Creek Provincial Park. Wherever you decide to stay, we do recommend making a reservation.
Sip your way through local wineries
BC’s star wine region, make plans to sample what the area has to offer. Go self-guided or book a tour service, and hop from small, local wineries to big names in the industry. Quails’ Gate is a must-see for their beautiful vineyards, and we love the quirky delight that is the hatch, but really, there are so many to sample, it’s hard to choose favourites.
Help yourself to the freshest fruit
If you haven’t sampled an Okanagan peach fresh from the source, you are missing out. During the growing season, orchards are packed with ripe peaches, cherries, apricots, plums and more. Stop in at a u-pick orchard and load up on fresh fruit for your trip. Many of the orchards provide the full-on farm experience, with wagon rides, petting zoos and all kinds of fun, like Davison Orchard in Vernon.
Take a hike
Don’t spend all your time at water level, get up high and take in the views! Just south of Penticton, on the east side of Skaha Lake, Skaha Bluffs Park is the place to go for hiking, rock climbing and gorgeous views over the valley. Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park is also worth the visit, where you can hike to the summit and feel on top of the world.
Experience the night life
Kelowna is a fast-growing city, with downtown restaurants, lounges and bars full of locals and visitors out enjoying the night. Dress up and dine at the Old Vines Restaurant at Quails’ Gate winery, relax with a pint at the independent craft brewery BNA, or try your luck at the lively Playtime Casino.
Ready to start planning your Okanagan campervan getaway? We can’t wait to see where you go. As always, be sure to share your snaps with us on social media using #GoodCamping and tagging @KarmaCampervans.