Okanagan Lake – A Tour!

Sometimes it is good to take a break from genealogy research and just take time to enjoy the area you are visiting and learn about its history.  As we drove along I contemplated the question of what brought people to this area?  In the case of the Clements, William Clement had tuberculosis and the air in the Okanogan Okanagan is dry.

You can almost drive around Okanagan Lake but not quite.  There is a stretch on the southwestern side above Naramata that is rough.  You would need time and a 4 wheeler as I understand it.  The Okanagan valley was carved by glaciers and old extinct volcanoes.  A visit to the Okanagan Heritage Museum in Kelowna can give you an overview of the area.  They have an archive in the basement but you have to fill in paperwork and make an appointment.  I don’t know what is in this archive so you will have to do some digging.

Okanagan Heritage Museum in Kelowna

Our tour of the lake started in Lake Country on winding roads by the lake.  They have the Lake Country museum.  We did not have time to investigate this but check out the website.

You can go north from Kelowna through Vernon where you will find many murals on the walls of the buildings. You then arrive at Armstrong a lovely town at the head of the lake that has the wonderful Village Cheese Company Store.  It will take you some time to decide which cheese to purchase there are so many options.  You can have a sandwich or an ice cream as well or do a little shopping.

Vernon and Armstrong country

The east side highway along the lake is several lanes and easy to drive going north.  My cousin Bob decided to take us along the west side of the lake which is a two lane highway up on the side of the hills along the lake.  It is very steep in this area and a long way down to the lake.  It is a winding road and it takes a little time to drive it.  It is very pretty with great views of the lake, the homes on the lake for both sides and the surrounding areas.  Well worth it but please be careful for it is known for fatalities.  This road will take you over the bridge back to Kelowna.

To get a really good view of the city of Kelowna you have a couple of choices, either Dilworth Hill or Knox Hill.  First Dilworth Hill:

Kelowna looking west

Kelowna looking southwest

Knox Hill in Kelowna.  It was a little cold, the wind was strong:

Okanogan Lake looking north

You can also drive through West Kelowna and head south on the western side of the lake and visit Peachland, Summerland and then Penticton at the end of the lake.  The highway at the southern end of the lake is right on the lake with hamlets that you can explore.  There are these very interesting bluffs along this drive. The highway curves around to Naramata but that is about as far as you can go, as I mentioned above.

All of Okanagan Lake is wine country.  You could spend a great deal of time investigating the various wineries along the lake from the northern to the southern tip and it might just take a lifetime.  There are signs every where pointing to this winery and it can take a little wiggle waggling to get to the winery.  Many of these wineries are right on the lake and have some beautiful views.  They are just starting the Wine Festival which goes on for several weeks.

From the La Frenz Winery

It is very beautiful in this area of British Columbia.  Here is a link to the tourism website and well worth exploring:  http://www.okanagan.com/

Note:  Much to my surprise and embarrassment I have been mispelling Okanogan.  It should be Okanagan.  Hopefully I have fixed my mistakes.  I do try!


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