2023 Guide to the Deliciousness of Summer in The Okanagan

From long table dinners to lake country swims, there is a lot of ground to be covered in the Okanagan this summer. We've mapped out a few events and attractions that should be on your radar.

2023 Guide to the Deliciousness of Summer in The Okanagan

From long table dinners in the Similkameen Valley to Lake Country swims, there is a lot of ground to be covered in the Okanagan this summer. With that in mind, we’ve mapped out a few events and attractions that should be on your radar. Got any tips or suggestions for our next road trip? Let us know!


CONNECT | If you’re going to be in Kelowna in early August, give yourself the gift of a down-to-earth, thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable long table dinner. Hosted by food enthusiast, Aman Dosanj, “Sourced” dinners are not just designed to feed people good food, but also to bring communities together and introduce people to flavours, customs and stories of different cultures through the food on their plate. There are two dinners left in this year’s series: Sunday, August 6th at Green Croft Gardens (1.5 hours north of Kelowna) and Tuesday, August 22nd at Little Schack at Orchard Hill Farm in Kelowna. Tickets are $160 per person. Space is limited, so book a seat ASAP. DETAILS.

Sun, Aug. 6th | Green Croft Gardens | $160 42 Meadowview Rd., Grindrod MAP
Little Schack at Orchard Hill Farm 2351 Rojem Rd, Kelowna, BC, Canada, British Columbia MAP

LEARN | The Laurel Packinghouse in Kelowna offers informative Traditional Plant Use Walking Tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am to Noon. Learn a little about the flora of the region on a two-hour-long walking tour with a Syilx / Okanagan Nation “knowledge keeper”. From event organizers: “The Okanagan is incredibly biodiverse, and the syilx/Okanagan people have deep knowledge of how to use the different plant species for food, medicine, shelter, even natural deodorant!” A great way to explore, hear about native plants, and meet some interesting people. DETAILS.

The Laurel Packinghouse 1304 Ellis St., Kelowna, BC MAP

FUEL UP | A cow-milking corner converted into a coffee shop – how cool is that? Milk Shed Coffeehouse serves up coffee and baked goods (as well as bread from much loved Sprout Bread). DETAILS.

Milk Shed Coffeehouse 101-4629 Lakeshore Rd., Kelowna, BC MAP

VEGETABLES | Some of the best produce in all of BC grows in the Okanagan. While visiting, take full advantage of this by eating as many fruits and vegetables as you can. Right-from-the-farm is always an option, but Frankie We Salute You is a nice table, chair and kitchen option. This 60-seat Kelowna restaurant continues to offer one of the best plant-based menus being plated in the Okanagan right now. Expect healthy and totally unpretentious comfort food that jibes with the bright and cheerful feel of the room. DETAILS.

Frankie, We Salute You! #6 - 1717 Harvey Avenue, District Market MAP

PICK | Is there anything better tasting than fresh fruit picked at its prime? Nope! You’re in “fruit country”, so we suggest going directly to the source for a u-pick experience. Try Kuipers Family Fruit Farm near Kelowna for cherries (while they last), apricots, peaches, and plums. DETAILS.

Kuipers Family Fruit Farm 579 Barnaby Rd., Kelowna, BC MAP

READ | When in the Okanagan, lakeside reading with a cool drink in-hand is a necessary activity. Need a new book? Mosaic Books is a literato’s dream. As the largest independent bookstore in the Okanagan since 1968, the establishment has amassed a dedicated patronage and a provincial reputation for bargain-priced books. Browse the vast (8,000+ square foot) wonderland of stacks for a good beach read (bonus points if it’s by a local author) before spending the afternoon reading by Kelowna’s glittering lakefront, just steps away. Having a hard time parsing through the huge collection? Ask one of Mosaic’s bookish staff for an expert recommendation. If you need a souvenir before heading back to Vancouver, Mosaic has those too. DETAILS.

Mosaic Books 411 Bernard Ave., Kelowna, BC MAP

Nearby Scout Members

Friends and Scout supporters in the area, be sure to visit (say “hi!” for us)

CedarCreek Estate Winery 5445 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna MAP
Mission Hill Family Estate 1730 Mission Hill Road, West Kelowna MAP
Tantalus Vineyards 1670 DeHart Road, Kelowna MAP
Quails' Gate Winery 3303 Boucherie Road, West Kelowna MAP
Mission Hill Family Estate 1730 Mission Hill Road, West Kelowna MAP
8th Generation Vineyard 6807 HWY 97, Summerland, BC MAP


INDULDGE | Sitting atop a 20-foot-tall golf tee, the giant peach on Highway 97 is almost impossible to miss. Years ago, the statue advertised a (now-defunct) golf course; today, it’s a sign that you’ve arrived in Peachland. Once the reformed golf ball is in view, turn onto Ponderosa Drive for coffee and on-point pastries (house-made quiches, tarts, and golden croissants) at Bliss Bakery. Of note: The peanut butter Nanaimo bars are well worth the minor detour, but Bliss also has locations in Kelowna and West Kelowna if you miss the turnoff. DETAILS.

Bliss Bakery & Bistro (Peachland) 101-4200 Beach Ave., Peachland, BC MAP

WAFFLES + WINE | Family-run winery, SummerGate, has an all-hands-on-deck approach to winemaking. Right now, the owners’ school-age son is developing a drone to help with the weeding, and one of their daughters (a psych undergrad) serves up poutine, burgers and wings on the patio. French fries and Frizzante may not be a typical pairing, but there’s no judgment here! SummerGate takes ostentation out of viniculture, specializing in drinkable, organic wines for the Summerland community members — school teachers, retirees and moms, primarily — some of whom you’ll find sipping away the season at the picnic tables out front. If you’ve got a hankering for brunch, come around for sparkling wine and waffles, served every Sunday morning. DETAILS.

SummerGate Winery 11612 Morrow Ave., Summerland, BC MAP

BEER | Sometimes, even in wine country, you just need a beer.  As an early-career construction professional, Jonah Cadieux-Johnson acquired Detonate Brewing after moving back home to Summerland. “No offence to the wine guys here,” he says, “but I’m not going to pretend every element that you’re tasting is intentional.” Count on Jonah to tell you all about the barrels sitting in his parents’ garage and the series of mistakes that led to his burnt-toffee IPA (which tastes exactly like burnt toffee, by the way). The proprietor’s laissez faire attitude is reflected in the brewery’s casual ambiance. Swing by for one of Detonate’s popular community events, including country concerts, karaoke nights and cornhole tournaments. Dogs welcome. DETAILS.

Detonate Brewing #104-9503 Cedar Ave., Summerland, BC MAP

ELEGANCE | Named after its historic orchard, Millionaires’ Row craft cidery leverages the prestige of its eponym to elevate cider’s reputation from college party staple to wedding-toast material. In reality, the decision to make cider was driven by the Annable family’s financial hardship. “We’re broke apple farmers; might as well be broke and have something cool to show for it,” the owners’ son says. Their champagne-adjacent dry cider (described as “perfect for celebrations”) tastes as elegant as its black, white and gold label implies. But don’t let the opulent packaging fool you: Millionaire’s Row also has flavours for casual sipping. Try: Makin’ A Mint (the mojito of ciders). DETAILS.

Millionaires' Row Cider Co. 14113 Dale Meadows Rd., Summerland, BC MAP

CIDER + SWIMMING | Speaking of cider, have you been to Dominion Cider Co? We love these guys! Dominion grows and harvests a variety of heirloom apples for their small-batch and hand made “from branch to bottle” cider. We’re especially big fans of ‘All That Glitter’s (French bittersweet cider apples fermented with wild yeasts and local nectarines) and ‘One And Future’ (Bartlett and Anjou pears fermented with wild yeasts and quince) – either one would pair well with a dip at Rotary Beach. DETAILS.

Dominion Cider Co. 102016 Gould Ave, Summerland, BC MAP
Gordon Beggs Rotary Beach 14877 Lakeshore Dr S, Summerland, BC MAP

TASTE | Right next door to Dominion is the brand new Pamplemousse Jus winery tasting room. WORDS ABOUT THE WINE Pamplemousse is also run by lovely-as-can-be humans (shout out to Tyler, Jordan and James). These guys are making tasty-as-heck natural wine. In their own words: “This is natural wine, baby! Neutral vessels, basket press, manual labour, wild ferments and not a filter in sight. Minimum sulphur keeps these wines delicious and juicy.” DETAILS.

Pamplemousse Jus 9819 Lumsden Ave., Summerland, BC MAP

SPIRITS | The Okanagan may be known for its wine (and increasingly, its cider) but don’t skip out on the hard stuff. Founded by high-school sweethearts who self-identify as “big-time nerds”, Controlled Entropy is a young distillery in Summerland with a soon-to-be-released lineup of experimental spirits. While we haven’t tried it yet, the tropical gin (made with grapefruit zest and juniper, steeped in hops) comes highly recommended. You’ll be able to sample it and learn all about the distilling process later this summer, when Controlled Entropy’s tasting room opens. Appropriately, the space has been designed to feel like a classroom, and the bar looks like a high-school science lab bench. DETAILS.

Controlled Entropy 105-18006 Bentley Rd., Summerland, BC MAP

ALCHEMY | Next door to Controlled Entropy, you’ll find another young couple interested in chemistry, this one hailing from France: Sandrine and Simon of Alchemist Distiller. The award-winning microdistillery produces apple-based spirits “with character”, and each label is aptly decorated with an anthropomorphic creature dressed in Victorian garb. Mr. Fox, for example, represents the versatility of a great vodka. Libeulle (the dragonfly) is the mascot for Alchemist’s distinctly lemony gin; Green Frog for absinthe; Duke (the owl) for brandy; a pirate parrot sits in for the spiced variety; a hummingbird for apple liqueur; and a bear druid for strong herbal liqueur. This well-dressed woodland posse appears as though it would drink no less than the finest spirits, and Alchemist delivers on the promise of its branding. DETAILS.

Alchemist Distiller 18006 Bentley Rd #101, Summerland, BC MAP

Nearby Scout Members

Scout supporters in the area that to be sure to visit (say “hi!” for us.)

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards 697 Highway 97 South, Peachland MAP
Sage Hills Estate Winery & Vineyards 18555 Matsu Drive, Summerland MAP



NOW OPEN | Chulo Tapas JUST opened in Penticton. In fact, it’s so fresh to the scene that we haven’t had a chance to visit yet – but that isn’t going to stop us from recommending that you go. This 28-seat ‘micro restaurant’ draws inspiration from Barcelona’s cocktail bars and bodegas: approachable and simple, but with modern style. Expect a tapas-style menu, a thoughtful wine list, and a handful of cocktails. Plus, a walk-up bar! Go and report back – we want to hear everything! DETAILS.

Chulo Tapas & Bar 124 Estabrook Ave., Penticton, BC MAP

RELAX | With killer coffee, a lovely, sprawling sunshine-filled patio, and a vibrant and airy interior, Wayne & Freda in Penticton is as perfect of a place for a sunny morning pick-me-up before heading out on an adventure as it is a place to meet pals for breakfast or lunch. Bonus: Wayne & Freda’s just launched their retail venture – and the team has a knack for selecting cool stuff. DETAILS.

Wayne & Freda Winnipeg St. and Estabrook Ave. Intersection MAP

PROVISIONS | The very best food can always be found at the farmers market and the Saturday morning Penticton Farmers Market is one of the best that we’ve been to – anywhere. Wander through the market to check out farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh bread, honey, and eggs. Stock up on preserves and pickled bits, and pause to talk to the vendors – chatting with the people who “make, bake, and grow” food is one of the best ways to get to know the place you are visiting, afterall. DETAILS.

Penticton Farmers' Market 100 Block Main St., Penticton MAP

VISIT | In Naramata, Creek & Gully is a must. The team here is knowledgeable, fun and warm. They’ll set you up with a tasting flight that will take you places you never knew cider could go, and afterward you can slip down to Naramata centre for a plunge in the lake (or play it in reverse by swimming first and then visiting the cidery on your way back). The view from the seating area at Creek & Gully is breathtaking and worth spending some time to fully absorb. DETAILS.

Creek & Gully Cider 1053 Poplar Grove Rd. Penticton, BC MAP

PIZZA | You can find the Wood Wood Pizzeria truck parked on the patio outside of Tin Whistle Brewery in Penticton. Chef/owner Daniel Johansson makes REALLY good pizza. Order a pie, slip up the stairs to Tin Whistle to order a cold beer, find yourself a seat (inside or out), and your pizza will be ready before you know it. DETAILS.

Wood Wood Pizzeria (at Tin Whistle Brewing) 1475 Fairview Rd., Penticton, BC MAP

DINNER | A stroll along the lakefront in Penticton is a necessary vacation activity: wade in the water, get your picture taken at the giant peach, have some ice cream – you know the drill. Until recently, dinner isn’t something we’ve considered working into this equation, but that was before Elma arrived on the scene. Modern Turkish inspired dishes infused with local ingredients (think meze like humus, fried & charred eggplant, and labne; small plates like halloumi & spring salad; and mains like grilled seafood and shish kebabs). Nice wine selection. Good cocktails. Fun place for groups. DETAILS.

Elma 994 Lakeshore Dr., Penticton MAP

PICNIC | The patio at Poplar Grove is big, shaded, and offers a lovely view – but it’s also very popular and can fill up fast. If you can’t get a seat, we have some good news: The Restaurant at Poplar Grove also offers Picnic baskets! Each basket includes three cheeses (a selection of local and imported soft, semi-firm and blue) as well as three meats, house-made baguette, stone ground mustard, preserves, and fresh in-season fruit. Wine is also available to add on, at tasting room prices. Picnics are available from Noon until 5pm, seven days a week. $50 for a 2-person basket, $100 for a 4-person one. Soft grass and enchanting vistas included on site. DETAILS.

Poplar Grove Winery 425 Middle Bench Road North, Penticton MAP

GARDEN | Whether you’re into regenerative (permaculture) gardening methods or just like to wander in a nice garden, the Naramata Permaculture Farm Garden is a cool place to visit. Check out an interesting array of plants, meet some nice community-minded gardeners, or just sit quietly on a bench with a cold drink and enjoy nature. A great place to peace out for a moment. DETAILS.

Naramata Permaculture Farm Garden Ellis Ave. & 4th St., Naramata Village, BC MAP

Nearby Scout Members

Friends and Scout supporters in the area, be sure to visit (say “hi!” for us)

Daydreamer Wines 1305 Smethurst Road, Naramata MAP
Bella Wines 4320 Gulch Road, Site 15A Comp 2, Naramata MAP
Elephant Island Winery 2730 Aikins Loop, Naramata, BC MAP
Hillside Winery 1350 Naramata Rd., Penticton MAP
Painted Rock Estate Winery 400 Smythe Drive, Penticton MAP

Similkameen Oliver Osooyos

EXPLORE | Self-guided tours through the 67-acre Osooyos Desert Centre are magic. For a more immersive exploration, consider joining a guided walk or an informative talk. Topics for upcoming talks include snakes, burrowing owls, antelope brush, grasslands, and bats. Nature Talks are scheduled for Saturdays throughout August, beginning at 11am. Early Bird Tours go down Thursday mornings, from 7:15 to 8:45am – yep, that’s early! But it’s also the coolest (in more ways than one) part of the day in the desert. Get into it. DETAILS.

Osooyos Desert Centre 14580 146th Ave., Osooyos, BC MAP

EXPERIENCE | Orofino winery and Kitsilano’s Maenam join forces for a special winemakers dinner in the Similkameen Valley on August 14th. Guests to Orofino can expect mind-blower of a meal marrying Thai culinary traditions with ingredients from the Okanagan along with the wines of Orofino surrounded by a vineyard – a remarkable experience, for sure. To get in on this feast, you’ll want to hit up Orofino’s website quickly (events like this one have a nasty habit of selling out). DETAILS.

Mon, Aug. 14 | 6:30pm | Orofino Vineyards | $160 2152 Barcelo Road, Cawston MAP

ON THE WAY | For a truly magical summer experience, plan to stop at the August 5th Lights on Lightning Lake Festival in Manning Park on your way to (or from) The Okanagan. Arrive early to make your very own lantern at a day-long lantern-making workshop, or plan your departure from the city so that you catch golden hour on the road and arrive at the park in time for the lantern launch across the water of Lightning Lake at twilight. Floating lantern-building workshop 10-3pm. Lantern launch at Spruce Bay Beach at 9pm. DETAILS.

Sat, Aug 5 | 11am - 11pm | Lightning Lake, Manning Park 7500 Hwy 3, Manning Park MAP

Nearby Scout Members

Friends and Scout supporters in the area, be sure to visit (say “hi!” for us)

CheckMate Artisanal Winery 4799 Wild Rose St, Oliver, BC MAP
Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars 2385 Allendale Road, Okanagan Falls MAP
Road 13 Vineyards 799 Ponderosa Rd, Oliver, BC MAP
Phantom Creek Estates 4315 Black Sage Rd., Oliver, BC MAP
Liquidity Wines 4720 Allendale Rd, Okanagan Falls, BC MAP
Hester Creek Estate Winery 877 Road 8, Oliver MAP

This list was compiled by the following food and drink enthusiasts:

MICHELLE SPROULE | Michelle is Scout’s owner, operator, and from-the-hip picture-taker who is very particular in her appreciation for margaritas, honey glazed donuts, and the thickness and grain of paper she writes on. An experienced road-tripper, she’s got equal amounts of love for both roadside dives and hotel lounges.

SIERRA RILEY | Sierra Riley (she/her) is a queer writer, actor and library enthusiast living on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. Her writings on art, food, ghosts and pop culture have appeared in national publications including Maclean’s Magazine, PRISM Magazine, Vancouver Pride Magazine and SAD Mag, where she is also an editor.

Did we miss something? If you have a favourite Okanagan event or destination that wasn’t included on this list, but should have been, please comment below or send your suggestion to michelle [at] scoutmagazine.ca

There are 2 comments

  1. We didn’t make it as far as Vernon on our last trip and didn’t feel confident in making comments on what was happening there – so thank you for your suggestions, Alex! We’re looking to make our way toward Vernon in September/October and will definitely check out Masiero and Cambium.