By Anne Philley
On the crisp sunny morning of April 23rd I picked up my rental car in Coquitlam and headed to the Okanagan. The purpose of my journey was to attend the Interior RV Consumer Show, being held that weekend in Penticton, to distribute camping packages with tourism directories listing places to camp. Along the way I had the opportunity to tour a few campgrounds and stay overnight in a cabin.
The route I chose to travel was Highway 1 then along the Coquihalla Hwy, (Hwy 5) and joined the 97C Connector at Merritt towards Kelowna. At the junction I turned south and travelled along Hwy 97 through the communities of Peachland, Summerland, Penticton, Oliver and overnighted at Osoyoos.
From Penticton I drove to Oliver and my first stop was a tour of Bel Air Cedar Resort. This property offers a relaxed atmosphere located in an orchard setting, a family-oriented resort which includes motel rooms, cabins and RV sites which offer 30/50 amp service, it also has a hot tub and pool for guests to enjoy.
Another added attraction to this property is Hammer’s House of Hog. It is situated by the main entrance and offers an authentic barbeque tradition of the American south, bringing mouth watering tastes of real BBQ to the Okanagan, but respecting time honoured practices. All of their cuts of meat are slow cooked with hickory. The locals rave about this shack and advise the pulled port sandwich is a must to try.
My next destination was Osoyoos for my overnight stay at Nk’Mip Resort. Nk’Mip Resort is a wonderful spot where you can relax and have many choices of what to do including the Restaurant at Spirit Ridge, Solstice Spa, Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, Nk’Mip Cellars, Vineyard & Winery, Sonora Dunes Golf Course, Riding stables, Helicopter Pad and Bistro on the Lake. It’s a short 2 km walk or drive to the main street in Osoyoos. Go check it out!
Nk’Mip RV Park, recently built a 4-bedroom cabin which sleeps 10 people and I was there to try it out! The kitchen is equipped with stove, microwave, fridge, pots/ pans and kitchen utensils and is air-conditioned. It’s a great place for families and situated right on the lake providing you private access. It has a great enclosed deck with BBQ, (propane not provided) and patio furniture. The cabin features double/single beds with pull out couch, (bed linens and towels not provided). The bathroom includes a shower stall, sink and toilet. The living room also offers cable TV.
If you want to try something completely different from a cabin, RV or tent , try a Yurts. There are 4 Yurts available, each sleeps up to 6 people and includes beds, mini-fridge, table, chairs, air-conditioning, BBQ, (propane not provided), power and water onsite.
Nk’Mip RV Park also offers 400 sites which include 120 lakefront sites. 30/50 amp service, convenience store, marina with equipment rentals, boat launch, clean, safe beaches, children’s play area, sani-dump station and night security. It’s also a great place to stay if you are a “winter snowbird”.
After a goodnight sleep, I left Nk’Mip to head back to Penticton. Before leaving Osoyoos I decided to try the local neighbourhood café, JoJo’s, which is situated on the main street. What a great find. They make everything from scratch and if you are craving a muffin, cookie or eggs benny this is the place to go. They also have a selection of coffee, teas and various choices of latte’s, cappuccino’s, mocha’s and iced drinks.
My next stop on my campground tour was Gallagher Lake Resort & Campground in Oliver. This property was gearing up to open mid-May. They have 4 cabins and 152 campground sites. There are many amenities offered including RV hookups, lake, store, WiFi, laundry, hot showers, playground, tennis, pickleball, volleyball court and horseshoe pits.
After leaving Gallagher Lake, I stopped for a quick snack in Okanagan Falls at Tickleberry’s. I had never visited before, so it was a special treat. This is a family-run business and known for it’s ice cream parlour, offering over 50 flavours, homemade fudge, chocolates, kettle korn, jam, covered dried fruit and a wide range of gifts and local crafts to purchase. It was nice to walk around the store at leisure without all the bustling crowds that the summer season brings.
My last campground walk about was Barefoot Beach Resort in Penticton. This is a new resort opposite Skaha Lake offering Yurts and tenting sites, season opens on May 15th. There are several choices of Yurts, depending on your requirements, each comes with a deck, two chairs and BBQ and lovely landscaped grounds. It has various amenities to meet everyone’s needs. You can enjoy the Barefoot Beach House Restaurant and Beverage House, relax on the roof top patio and enjoy fresh, Spanish-inspired cuisine, with a frosty margarita in one hand and some fantastic food in the other, located beside the main office. They also offer a juice bar, second scoop ice cream and a rental hut and beachwear for all your needs. Go check it out it’s a great new edition for Penticton.
From Barefoot Beach Resort I went to set-up my Camping and RVing BC Coalition exhibit for the Interior RV Show, which was held at the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre. It was a whirlwind trip, but a great experience. Next time I am working in the Okanagan I plan to visit for longer and take a few side trips local wineries.
Published: May 30, 2014
Anne Philley has worked for the BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association for sixteen years and is their Membership Services Co-ordinator. Anne loves to travel and has visited many parts of British Columbia. She has extensive knowledge within the camping and lodging sector. Anne is the face of Super Camping, distributing 40,000 camping packages at BC, Alberta & Washington State RV Consumer Shows.
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