Osoyoos, British Columbia is fast become a wine lover’s destination. Still relatively unknown in the grand scheme of things, the Osoyoos wine industry has grown rapidly in the past 3 years. There are easily 50 vineyards within 25 miles of downtown. Despite the relatively young age of the vines, they are producing some fine wines, especially their desert and ice wines.
A small town in the Canadian desert (that’s right, they have a desert) Osoyoos is a summer tourist destination for those in the know. The environment is perfect for growing wine grapes and the sunny days extend well into fall. It combines wonderful landscapes, unique wines, and all the activities you would expect from a town on the shore of a large lake. In the fall, the foliage is wonderful, and in my opinion, October is the time to go. Yes, the summers are warm and that makes the lake more appealing, and yes, more of the wineries are open in the summer, but by October the tourists are gone, the prices drop, and a slower more enjoyable atmosphere takes over. The Silver Sage Winery (among others) is open year round. The Burrowing Owl winery has rooms to rent in their Guest House, located in the vineyard.
The Watermark Beach Resort sits right downtown and on the lake. They offer large 1 and 2 bedroom suites, and in October I got a 1-bedroom suite on Expedia for $129US/night ($20 less than on the Watermark site). Suites offer a fully provisioned kitchen (plates, silverware, pots, pans, etc), washer/dryer, hardwood floors, and beautiful lake views. For you TV watchers, the only downside to the rooms are the small TVs (32in in my suite) in large rooms. The suite I had was easily 900 square feet.
The closest commercial airport is in Kelowna, about 2 hours drive. You will need a car in Osoyoos. The border crossing at Osoyoos is small and can be busy during peak season, but by October they see little traffic, even on the weekends. I would have been through in 5 minutes had my large collection of photo equipment not caught their eye. Two hours later I had convinced them I was not traveling to Canada for work and they let me through.