Get Out There

Five Okanagan mini road trips to discover this fall

 | September 8, 2020

The promise of crisp weather and transformative autumn colours that encapsulate the province make fall one of the most exciting seasons to explore new places and take in the last of the year’s bounty.

Across the Okanagan, the fall months mark a period of yearly celebration and excitement as people gather to collect the seasonal product and share in long-anticipated experiences best done under the falling leaves. These are five of the best mini road trips to escape to this season.

While open year-round, Davison Orchards in Vernon, B.C. is a pinnacle fall destination in the Interior. As you stroll into the country village market, make your way through a sizable pumpkin castle before you’re greeted by the intoxicating aroma of fresh apple cider and baked goods.

Other activities like the petting zoo and tractor-driven orchard tours make Davidson a popular family-friendly destination and the perfect excuse to stock up on pies and produce before the winter.

As you continue to explore the Vernon area, be sure to stop at the BX Press Cidery and Orchard for a different kind of crisp and naturally sweet cider, wood-fired pizza or a guided tasting tour through the orchard. On your way out of town, take a quick trip back in time at the O’Keefe Ranch and explore a piece of Okanagan’s history.

In October, a different school of travellers make their way back to the riverbeds of the Shuswap. Particularly in the Adams River, located within the borders of Tsútswecw Provincial Park, hundreds of Sockeye salmon return to their birthplace to spawn a new generation that will undergo a four-year journey. While the next dominant year won’t take place until 2021, the salmon run still makes for an inspiring and educational adventure.

If capturing the breathtaking fall colours of the Okanagan is more your thing, there are several adventure-worthy lookouts ranging in access difficulty. A two and a half-hour drive from the Sun Peaks Village along Highway One will take you to Sicamous and the widely popular Sicamous Lookout. This hang glider launch perch high above Shuswap Lake and Eagle River will leave you with equal feelings of bewilderment and vertigo as you take in the changing colours of the area. Be sure to stop at D Dutchmen Dairy afterwards for some of the region’s best ice cream! 

Those looking for a tough but rewarding hike can travel two hours east to Enderby to tackle the 15 kilometre (round trip) hike up Enderby Cliffs, towering over 700 metres above the North Okanagan vistas unfold below you from the top.

And finally, for a closer to home day-trip, venture to Kamloops’ Westsyde farmlands where the vines of Privato Winery and Vineyard have been happily growing in the sun since 2010. The stunning and private grounds are not only home to wine, but the new Woodward Cider Co., making this a two-in-one experience for anyone looking to plan an afternoon picnic paired with crisp fall flavours.