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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