Fun Family Camping Trip to the Okanagan, British Columbia
It doesn’t feel like summer until we visit Penticton, the interior of BC where it’s always warmer and where fruit orchards and wineries make for a picturesque summer photo. With our trailer in tow, the average five-hour commute allows us to enjoy the beautiful lush scenery and mountain peak tops until we arrive at Southbeach Gardens RV & Campground, where we have become regulars. Often times the kids will have their tablets and headphones ready for the road-trip, along with pillows and blankets next to them just in case they feel like taking a nap. We would pack fresh fruits, lots of water and some salty snacks to avoid having to make unnecessary stops if someone gets hungry.
Upon arriving and checking-in, unpacking and settling at our camping spot becomes the next item on our to do list. We keep coming back to this campsite because it’s conveniently located across the Skaha Lake, offering over 250 RV and tent spacious camping spots and lots of greenery to keep cool during the hot summer days. The kids playground, arcade and the mini golf is where the kids like to spend most of their time. For us, being able to grab the beach towels and walk across the street for a swim in the lake saves us time and makes it that much more enjoyable. Renting equipment for various water sports such as paddle boards, jet-skis and kayaks is also available at the beach.
This year we could not have asked for better weather, with temperatures tempering between high twenties and mid thirties, it was beach weather everyday. And since we booked two weeks in August, I made a list of all the places I wanted to visit and make the most of our time spent here.
One of the first places we visited was the Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm. Situated on the hills of South Kelowna overlooking the Okanagan Lake, it is the perfect spot for an afternoon stroll or catching the last sun rays before the sun sets. And if you are a lavender enthusiast like I am, then you will cherish the free sample of edible ‘pure lavender and lemon balm’ that you receive upon your entrance into the garden. Beside the beautiful blooming lavender buds, we really enjoyed walking through the hedge maze and writing wishes on the wishing tree; where you write your wish on a long plastic strip and tie it to the round iron structure amid all the purple plants.
On one of the ‘cooler’ days, we felt like leaving the beach scene and checking out the H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre where the Surf Simulator is all the hype. A fifteen-minute drive from Kelowna Downtown, the centre features three waterslides, a wave-pool, lazy river, a spray park and play area for the little ones, as well as two hot-tubs and an Olympic size pool. Of course, most of our time was spent at the Surf Simulator, where the kids got to practice their surfing moves, either standing up or on their knees for the less advanced.
With our friends from Kelowna, we visited the Kalamalka Lake. A glacial lake four kilometers south of Vernon, particularly known for its turquoise blue water due to crystals forming in the hot summer days that result in distinctive blue and green color. The sandy Kal Beach roughly stretches 300m in length and 50m in width, includes a pier, and is a popular destination for swimming, picnicking and beach volleyball. A concession stand is open during the summer months, and parking is conveniently located across the beach.
The entire Okanagan valley consists of many activities to do and places to visit, such as elegant wineries that display their ripe grapes in structured rows overlooking lakes; where wine tours are available at most wineries during the weekdays. Other events such as various festivals and farmer’s markets are active on the weekends, where one can find sweet cream peaches among other local fruits. U-pick is also available at most fruit orchards if you have the time and want the freshest pick.
Published: October 21st, 2016
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