The Okanagan

Apex Mountain Resort, Snow
Dec11

If you still fancy heading to the Okanagan this winter, why not visit Apex Mountain Resort?  This resort is located thirty minutes from Penticton and is perfect for a day trip or a stop-over especially if you like the snow!

Apex is largely a winter resort and builds its income from the amount of snow sports it offers.  With a range of beginner, intermediate and advanced trails – the longest run being close to 5km – this is a great ski resort to try out.  Test your skills this winter on one of the 73 downhill trails.

Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, Tubing & Ice Skating!

If skiing or snowboarding is not really your thing, there are plenty of other optional activities you can take part in.  Why not rent some snowshoes and try hiking up one of the mountain trails?  It might take you a while to get used to the feeling of having weird metal contraptions on your feet – but just aim to walk normally and it will be easier than you think! Snowshoeing is an awesome way to experience the snow as well as giving you a workout.

For those that are looking for something a little less physical or an activity for the youngsters, Apex Mountain Resort also has a tube park.  Tube Parks are a family favourite – sliding down a hill in a tube never gets boring, no matter how old you are!

More of an ice-skater?  Apex has an ice rink too! Not only does it have an NHL-sized Outdoor Hockey rink, but it is also home to an Ice Skating Adventure Loop which is a 1km ice loop through the natural environment.  Admire the snow-lined trees and enjoy evenings skating against the stars and fairy lights.

Learn more about this gorgeous mountain resort here, and enjoy the Okanagan in the snow!

 

Written by Hannah Poaros

Dec04

But that doesn’t mean you have to hibernate in your sweatpants and oversized sweater until spring comes. Here are some wearable ideas to make it through the winter months in style without getting frost bitten.

  1. Ski jackets: designed for the slopes the traditional ski jacket doesn’t have to be hidden in your closet and only taken out when you hit the hills. With several companies now making cute, wearable ski coats, you can get daily use out of that pricey winter coat.
  2. Long sleeves: believe it or not, your favourite cozy oversized tee with the sleeves that extend past your fingertips is in style this winter! Stay warm, comfy and in style, who knew?
  3. Puffy coats: that puffy down North Face jacket you’ve hidden in the back of your closet all those years? Finally in style! Haul that lumpy, oversized down coat out of storage and choose warmth and style this year!
  4. Trench coats: they get a bad rap, but the floor length button down with the belted waisted are IN.
  5. Turtleneck dresses: just because it’s snowing doesn’t mean you have to throw your dresses into hibernation! Try a long sleeved turtle necked knit dress with a pair of stockings and knee high boots. Cozy and chic!
sun peaks resort
Nov27

Why you should Ski at Sun Peaks Resort this Winter

 

While Sun Peaks Resort may not be as sought after as Whistler, it continues to offer superb ski conditions. Nestled high up in the Okanagan region, a short drive from Kamloops and just over three hours from Kelowna, Sun Peaks is Canada’s second largest ski area.

With three mountains and 4,270 acres of terrain, there’s a trail here for everyone.  You have the chance to ski all areas in one day as all mountains can be accessed easily.  There are many beginner, intermediate and advanced runs available across all areas of the Ski Resort so the whole family will be able to try out the snow, even if they’re not confident!

If backcountry is more your thing, the resort offers some excellent Nordic trails! Find your way through the mountains, admiring exceptional sights along the way.  Catch up with other Nordic enthusiasts at the Sun Peaks Nordic Centre or take your dog skiing on the pet friendly trails.

For those new to winter sports, there is the Sports School on site. They offer a range of lessons so that everyone can feel confident in their boots.  With options for all levels of ability, the sports school should be your first stop on the mountain! Improve your skills and make friends whilst getting ready to enjoy the season.

When you’re tired of perfecting your moves on the slopes, why not take some chill-out time?  Sun Peaks has lots of other activities on site such as tubing, dog sled rides and ice fishing.  More into shopping?  That’s okay too. Sun Peaks has a cute range of boutique shops where you’ll find all the gifts you never knew you wanted.  Take a sip of regional wine and wonder why you’ve never ventured out here before.

Being in the Okanagan Region, Sun Peaks has a high percentage of sun each year yet still manages to have a full helping of snow!  Look forward to lots of bluebird days and leave with an understanding of how this charming resort has earned its name.

In short, Sun Peaks needs to be on your bucket list this winter.

Written by Hannah Poaros

Nov13

The Okanagan region has long been a coveted luxury destination for many Vancouverites. From the vast kilometers of the country’s best and most famous wine region, to the excellent hiking trails and pristine lakes, the Okanagan is an oasis. However, many Vancouverites never get to experience wonders of the Okanagan in the winter. While ski hills like Big White and Silver Star might come to mind, an activity that is often overlooked is ice fishing.

What You Need

Ice Fishing in the Okanagan allows you to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and escape to the quiet of the Greater Kelowna wilderness. One of the essential ice fishing items you will need is an ice fishing rod. These vary from traditional fishing rods because they are only around 2 to 4 feet in length. This means that they are much easier to maneuver, which is important if you are trying to fight your way through a hole cut in a frozen lake or pond. Ice fishing rods are also designed to be especially sensitive, since bites from fish in such cold temperatures can be a lot lighter than one would expect in the summer. As for your reel, it is ideal to use a smaller model for ice fishing.

In order to cut through Woods Lake (located just outside Kelowna) to access fish, you are going to need an ice auger. If you are a beginner, it is recommended to purchase a manual auger. While manual means more work on your part to cut through the ice, these augers allow you greater mobility and are lighter, so they are easier to carry onto the ice without the aid of a sled.
Be sure to buy a fishing line that is specially designed for ice fishing. A regular fishing line will not hold up against sharp ice, which is why buying ice fishing line is so important. For bait, you can use live varieties or artificial alternatives. For a beginner ice fisher, all that is usually needed is a small selection of jigs, sinkers, and bait hooks. If you like an extra hand detecting strikes, a simple bobber can also be used. Before you head out for a day out on the Okanagan ice, make sure you check to see which types of baits and tackles are legal in the region.

Where to Go

The last thing you need for your Okanagan ice fishing adventure is to choose one of the region’s extraordinary lakes. One of the hidden gems of the Okanagan region is Idabel Lake, located just 30 minutes from Kelowna. The lake even features a small resort which is the perfect place for a family wilderness adventure or a romantic winter getaway. Another ice fishing gem that is a favorite with Okanagan locals is Shannon Lake. This picturesque lake is located in the heart of West Kelowna and is the perfect mix of the great outdoors and the city. Next, all you need are a few warm jackets, a thermos of hot chocolate and you are ready to enjoy the best of ice fishing in the Okanagan.

Rainy Day West Kelowna
Nov06

Rainy day activities in West Kelowna

So you’re planning your vacation at La Casa Cottage Resort and it occurs to you -what is there to do if it rains?  The Okanagan is known for its sunny skies and scorching temperatures, so it is not surprising that most activities are outdoors.  Well do not worry! There are plenty of other activities around West Kelowna that will still get you out and about for a few hours – beats being stuck in the cottage all day (especially if the kids are nagging to go outside!).  Here are our favourites:

Catch a movie at West Kelowna, Landmark 8 Xtreme Cinemas

Everyone loves hitting up their local picture house, so why not take the family out to West Kelowna’s Landmark 8 Xtreme Cinema? This move theatre has Xtreme wrap-around screens and wide rocker seats, as well as RealD 3D (the newest digital 3D technology). Offering several promotions, including special prices during certain days of the week, this cinema is perfect for catching the latest releases.

Get some indoor exercise at Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre

Practice your lengths in the Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquaric Centre in their 25-metre swimming pool.  This centre also features a warm soaking pool, hot tub and steam room.  If you’re so inclined, hit the fitness centre to get those endorphins flowing!

Rejuvenate at Spa at the Cove

Are you looking for some pampering?  Head to Spa at the Cove for a whole range of treatments including facials, hydrotherapy, massages, waxing and manicures.  You could spend a whole afternoon relaxing here; leave the Okanagan feeling glamorous!

Get arty at the New Moon Gallery

New Moon Gallery is a beautiful gem of a gallery that acts as a working studio as well as a gallery full of original art work!  Art classes are offered year round so this is definitely to check out if you’re looking to try something new.  Artist in residence and owner Linda Loves is sure to teach you new techniques or offer an enlightening perspective on her series of artworks.

Learn something new at Westbank Museum or Sncewips Heritage Museum

These two local museums are sure to catch you up on your history of the region. Explore old artefacts  from the local area. Check out Sncewips Heritage Museum to gain an in-depth understanding of the Westbank First Nation’s culture, history and artworks.

Hit the Wineries for wine tasting & shopping 

Wine tastings are not just for sunny days!  Head down to your favourite winery and while away the hours sipping on their new vintage flavours. If you’d rather pick up some wine to take home, then many of the vineyards have small stores that can help you out with this also!

We guarantee that if you follow this list, your rainy days in West Kelowna will never be boring! So what’s your favourite thing to do when it’s wet and cold outside? We would love to hear how our guests spend their time!

For when the weather conditions are happier, check out our 5 things to do in the Okanagan blog post.

 

Written by Hannah Poaros