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Okanagan Wine Country

Photo ©Alan Albert

About 400 kilo­me­ters (250 miles) east of Van­cou­ver is the Oka­na­gan Val­ley, the region local boos­ters call « Napa North. » In cen­tral Bri­tish Colum­bia, the Oka­na­gan is mil­der, drier, and sun­nier than the coast, which has given rise to a bur­geo­ning wine indus­try.

While the Oka­na­gan has nei­ther the num­ber of wine­ries nor the exten­sive tou­rist infra­struc­ture of its south-of-the-bor­der idol–yet–there’s good wine made here, plen­ty to do, and scads of oppor­tu­ni­ties in tou­rism, real estate, and other indus­tries. With a chain of lakes and the moun­tains near­by, the Oka­na­gan’s natu­ral set­ting earns kudos, too.

The Oka­na­gan has his­to­ri­cal­ly been an agri­cul­tu­ral area. Known for « beaches and peaches, » it’s long been a sum­mer vaca­tion spot for fami­lies who come to swim in the lakes and hike in the hil­ls, and a win­ter geta­way for « snow­birds » from other parts of Canada.

Now one of the fas­test-gro­wing regions in Bri­tish Colum­bia, the Oka­na­gan is popu­lar year-round with reti­rees, second-home owners, and youn­ger fami­lies see­king to escape from urban life.

Oka­na­gan relo­ca­tion resources :

– Excerp­ted (in part) from the book, Living Abroad in Cana­da. To read more, buy the book.

Osoyoos Lake pho­to ©Alan Albert