Affordable Fun in Osoyoos, B.C., Canada

Getting to Osoyoos, a small town in the Okanagan Valley, B.C., may take some doing, but once you’re there you have small-town charm mixed with high-end activities — all easily done on a budget. Escape with the family to Canada’s only desert, filled with family-friendly activities, natural beauty and country fun.

The town is so small, in fact, you can easily walk everywhere you need to be, no need for public transportation or car rentals. Whether visiting for a day from a nearby city or staying over, guests can hike, bike, kayak, shop, dine and sip wine in Canada’s rural-meets-luxury Okanagan Valley region.

Begin with breakfast at your hotel or head to Jojo’s Café for a breakfast sandwich, $5.35–5.69 and locally sourced coffee for $1.95–2.29, or the handheld Five Bite Breakfast including cheddar, bacon, eggs and spinach for $3.69. Grab a few homemade baked goods to snack on later and head out on the town.

Osoyoos Lake © Angelique Platas

Osoyoos Lake © Angelique Platas

Travel over Osoyoos Lake, visiting local shops and taking in the region’s wild beauty. The main street running through town is lined with oddities and gift shops. The kids will love local beach stores and quirky shops including the Elvis Fine Jewelry Store. Window shop for free or stop in for something to take home.

The lake offers swimming, boating and water sports in the summer with rental shops along the beach. Discuss options with your hotel and see if they are affiliated with any local watersport rentals. They may have a few complimentary options for you or suggestions, or check out Spirit Beach Watersports for $20–25 an hour with a canoe, kayak, wakeboard, double tube or paddleboard. Non-motorized watersports are the most kid-friendly and affordable by the hour.

Head out on a hike sans guide for free and enjoy the natural beauty of the Okanagan Valley before heading back for dinner. You’ve worked up quite an appetite traversing all over town by foot and on water, so treat yourselves to fresh, locally sourced cuisine.

Nk'Mip Cellars © Angelique Platas

Nk’Mip Cellars Patio Dining © Angelique Platas

Check out the lakeside dining at Watermark Restaurant. Located in the Watermark Beach Resort, the menu offers affordable options from mushroom and chickpea salad, mussels, pan-seared Okanagan Arctic char and beef brisket, $15–29.

You’ll have plenty of cash left over to check out a local winery. See if your trip coincides with a sunset wine down on Nk’Mip Cellars outdoor patio schedule. Even if you have young children in tow, Nk’Mip Cellars is a kid-friendly winery with fun dining options, like loaded gnocchi poutine.