Okanagan Wine Country
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:
- WelcomeBC: Everything you need to know about immigrating to British Columbia
- British Columbia Newcomers’ Guide
- Okanagan Relocation and Real Estate Guide, published by Okanagan Life magazine
- City of Kelowna website
- City of Vernon website
- City of Penticton website
- Town of Osoyoos website
- Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board: Real estate information and listings for Kelowna and the Central Okanagan
- South Okanagan Real Estate Board: Real estate information and listings for Penticton and the South Okanagan
- WorkBC: Overview of the job search process and links to job-hunting resources in Vancouver and elsewhere in British Columbia. For more job search resources, see Finding a Job.
- Invest British Columbia: Resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners
- Health Insurance BC: How to apply for health insurance in British Columbia
- Okanagan schools: Central Okanagan School District #23 (Kelowna area), Vernon School District #22, Penticton/Naramata School District #67, Okanagan Similkameen School District #53 (Osoyoos, Oliver)
- Getting around the Okanagan: Kelowna Regional Transit System, Vernon Regional Transit System, Penticton Transit System, Osoyoos Transit System
- Okanagan media: Kelowna Daily Courier, Vernon Morning Star, Penticton Herald, Osoyoos Times, Okanagan Life magazine
– Excerpted (in part) from the book, Living Abroad in Canada. To read more, buy the book.
Osoyoos Lake photo ©Alan Albert