The Okanagan

BC Beer
Oct30

Let’s chat about B.C. beer. We talk a lot about wine on this blog. After all, B.C. is considered the “wine country” of Canada. Beer drinkers need not despair! We have plenty of craft breweries in the area, too. B.C. craft beer is rising in popularity, especially on Vancouver Island and in Vancouver proper. That means there is a ton our there for beer lovers to try.

Autumn and winter come with their own flavours (think: dark beers, like stouts, and anything spiced). And B.C.-based breweries are more than accommodating to these seasonal tastes. Try any of these fall/winter season B.C. craft beers. You won’t regret it.

  1. Granville Island Lions Winter Ale

If you don’t already know, Granville Island is a peninsula and shopping district in Vancouver, B.C. Granville Island Brewing was Canada’s first modern microbrewery. Their beers are ubiquitous across the province. You’ll have no problem finding the Lions Winter Ale, and more, at any local liquor store. The Lions Winter Ale has a vanilla-like flavour that pairs well with full-flavoured foods and cream-based sauces.

  1. Whistler Brewing Chestnut Ale

You can probably guess by the name, but Whistler Brewing is located in Whistler, British Columbia. This ski-resort-town is bustling with winter sports and year-round entertainment, including eateries and breweries. The chestnut ale is a spiced/herbed beer with a blend of caramel and crystal malts. It’s a “Warm you up from the inside out” kind of drink. The bold, nutty flavour will do well with any rich winter meal.

  1. Hoyne Dark Matter

Hoyne Brewing is located in Victoria, B.C., so if you are staying at one of our Parksville or Qualicum Beach vacation properties, a day trip for a tour is not out of the question. (It’s about a 2-hour drive away.) Dark Matter is a delicious stout-meets-brown-meets-porter. It’s a bit of an enigma, soft to sip with hints of chocolate. This is a beer for everyone, even those who tend to avoid darker brews.

  1. Nelson Brewing Co. Faceplant Winter Ale (Organic)

Nelson Brewing, located in, obviously, Nelson, has been a staple in the local community since 1991. They produce all nature, full-flavoured beers. They are certified organic, producing without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetic engineering. The Faceplant winter Ale has hints of brown sugar and molasses. It’s sweet, malty, dark, and smooth.

  1. Driftwood Satori Harvest Fresh Hop IPA

Driftwood Brewing is located in Victoria, B.C. The Satori Harvest Fresh Hop IPA can only be brewed once a year when fresh Centennial hops are collected from Satori Cedar Ranch near Chilliwack. This IPA is hoppy, floral, piney, smooth, and grassy. Everything we love in a fall and winter season beer. It has a 7% ABV, so enjoy responsibly.

Find something you like thanks to this guide? Let us know online! Use @lacasacottageresort on Facebook and @lacasacottages on Instagram. Want to visit some B.C. breweries first-hand? Ask us about our Kelowna area vacation rentals.

Halloween events Kelowna
Oct23

Are you visiting the Kelowna in October? Luckily, there are Halloween events all month long. Visitors can enjoy a spooky date night or a family-friendly event. Read on, here are just a few yearly events you can look forward to.

  1. Halloween Nightwings

Don’t miss this all-ages adventure! Learn and discover who is flying around the Okanagan at night. This is a not-very-scary event, so bring the whole family. The Okanagan Heritage Museum staff introduces guests to local nocturnal fauna.

Location: Okanagan Heritage Museum, 470 Queensway Avenue.

  1. When Death Comes Calling: A Cemetery Tour

Take a spooky tour through a cemetery. Learn true stories about Kelowna’s “dead.” Lovers of history and true crime will enjoy this unique event. This is quite a popular tour. As a result, registration is required for this event.

Location: Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery, 1991 Bernard Avenue.

  1. Field of Screams

This cornfield maze is filled with ghoulish play-actors and chilling backdrops. Also, every year is based on a theme! For instance, they have done Alice in Wonderland in the past. Check out sprawling set pieces, horror movie clichés, and everything else we love about the season. Note, this event is not suitable for young children.

Location: O’Keefe Ranch, Vernon.

  1. Kettle Valley Halloween Terror Train

All aboard the Halloween train for 2020! The Kettle Valley Steam Railway showcases a unique part of the Okanagan’s history. They do plenty of holiday-themed events throughout the year. The Halloween train trip tours the preserved section of this historic railway! The duration is 60 minutes. Lastly, reservations are a MUST.

Location: Kettle Valley Steam Railway, 18404 Bathville Road.

Contact us if you need somewhere to stay in the Kelowna area in order to attend any of these events. We have multi-bedroom cottages, lakeside views, full kitchen suites, and more.  Plus, we often offer last minutes deals. Subscribe to our newsletter to keep an eye out for them.

Vacation Home Pros
Sep25

Thanks to services like Airbnb, travellers everywhere are rethinking vacation accommodations in a big way. Traditional hotels are fine and are certainly reliable but they have many downsides, too. Vacation home rentals offer a more personal, community-based travel experience that can really add a lot to a vacation or trip.

Let’s take a look at why traditional hotels and motels aren’t keeping up with the times.

The Cons of Staying in a Hotel

So why are modern travellers turning away from common hotel brands? There are a few reasons.

  • Hotels are the Same Around the World. A branded hotel looks pretty much the same from city to city and sometimes even country to country. That means you might be missing out on unique aspects of that culture or community!
  • Hotels are Bad for the Environment. From over-washing sheets and towels to maintaining huge amounts of empty rooms during downtimes, hotels can have quite a negative impact on the environment. In fact, they produce up to 60 million tons of CO2 emissions annually. Yikes! They tend to use a lot of power and water, much more than is needed to sustain a private vacation rental home or cottage.
  • Hotels are Crowded. Vacationing usually means you are looking for some rest and relaxation. But with a packed hotel, you never know what kind of neighbours you are going to get. With other patrons above, below, and on either side of you, you might be exposed to all sorts of racket.

Why we Recommend Vacation Homes

Taking up in a rental home instead of a traditional hotel gets you closer to the community you are visiting, gives you more peace and privacy, and often comes with personable perks that hotel chains don’t offer.

  • Supporting local businesses. Many rental properties (like ours!) are owned and maintained by residents of the province or city itself. That means your money is going right into the hands of long-standing community members, rather than CEOs somewhere oversees.
  • A personal touch. Vacation homes tend to be less stuffy and corporate-feeling, so you can feel right at home asking for recommendations of what to do or reaching out directly to a property manager if you have any concerns.
  • Budget travel. Vacation properties come in all shapes and sizes so you are sure to find something that fits your requirements and budget. You can shop around until you find something that fits your budget perfectly before committing to anything.
  • Last minute travel deals. Vacation rentals often have special deals for any open spaces available on a last-minute notice. For example, you can join our newsletter to be notified about special deals as they arise.

What do you think? Have we convinced you to give up stuffy hotels and try out a unique vacation home bursting with personality? Contact us to see what we have to offer, whether you are booking a quaint overnight stay or a big seasonal bash.

BC Wines
Aug28

Be sure to check out the expansive local vineyards if you are planning to travel B.C. this summer. Not only are they stunning to behold but they produce delicious B.C. wine of every flavor and variety. Any vacation trip to B.C. would do well with some samples from the local wineries. Many visitors arrange wine tours during their stay. (Ask us if you are staying with us and in need of recommendations!)

In honour of all the great B.C. wineries and orchards, here are just a few of our favorite B.C. wines:

  1. Quail’s Gate Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay | Okanagan Valley, BC

This tropical and balanced wine pairs well with any pork-centric meal. It won a bronze medal in the 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition, among other notable achievements. This Chardonnay is refreshing, golden, and smooth with a fruity essence.

  1. Painted Rock Estate Red Icon, Bordeaux Blend | Okanagan Valley, BC

A red Bordeaux blend usually has Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc in it. Bold and structured, this wine pairs well with beef and/or venison meals. Red Bordeaux are often compared to fruits like plum and blackcurrant because of their dark colour and rich flavour.

  1. Painted Rock Estate Syrah | Okanagan Valley, BC

Syrah is a dark-skinned red wine grape known for floral flavors in its youth and more peppery flavors as it ages. Because of this, it pairs well with BBQ (think: spareribs and grilled veggies), braised beef, and aged hard cheeses. Fun fact: It’s only called “Shiraz” if it’s from Australia.

  1. Laughing Stock Vineyards ‘Portfolio’ Red, Bordeaux Blend | Okanagan Valley, BC

Laughing Stock Vineyards is located in the beachy city of Penticton, B.C. This red pairs well with heavy, fatty, and spicier steaks and lamb. We’re sensing a theme here. Routinely wins top accolades from wine competitions and wine critics alike: a proven chart-topper.

  1. Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Riesling Icewine | Okanagan Valley, BC

An ultra-sweet icewine with tons of tropical fruit flavours, like citrus and apricot. Don’t worry, citrus-infused acidity keeps it balanced. It will pair perfectly with berry-centric desserts so be sure to stick around for an after-dinner snack.

We hope this guide will help you sample the best B.C. wine. If you in the area visiting and need a cozy vacation rental, be sure to contact us. Our staff would be happy to help you find the right fit.

Travel BC
Aug21

Why travel B.C., you ask? As native British Columbia residents, we at La Casa Cottages have a few answers for you. Has traveling B.C. been on your mind? Thinking about visiting the beaches, parks, and cities? We don’t blame you! Here are just a few of the things that we love about beautiful British Columbia.

  1. B.C. Hiking Trails

From the Okanagan to the Island, B.C. has hiking trails for all ages and skill levels. Take a family-friendly meander through a wooden grove or challenge yourself with a steep uphill climb! If you’re lucky, you might spot some wildlife (from a safe distance, of course).

  1. National Parks

B.C. is home to some of the most gorgeous national parks in all of Canada. You can birdwatch, picnic, or site-see to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to call or email ahead to ensure that they are open to the public during your day/hour of choice. Make a day trip to the nearest one—you won’t regret it!

  1. Budget Travel

B.C. has a perfect blend of flashy cities and small, community-centric towns. That means that no matter what your budget is, you can find somewhere to stay. Also: B.C. has a moderate climate year-round, meaning that you can fill your days with cost-free outdoor activities.

  1. The Beaches

B.C. borders the Pacific Ocean and has many lakes and ponds that are safe for a dip. No matter where you stay, you’ll be able to find a waterside spot to soak up some sun. Okanagan Lake is a must-see if you are vacationing in the Kelowna and Vernon area.

  1. Tourist-Friendly

Not only is B.C. very multicultural but they have a thriving tourism industry. That means everywhere you go you will feel welcomed and taken care of. Our doors are always open to newcomers.

  1. Wine County

B.C. wineries have a long history in the province, where the warm weather allows orchards of all sorts to flourish in the summer and autumn months. Book a wine tour to learn more or ask around for the best local picks.

  1. Farmers’ Markets

Wine grapes aren’t the only produce that grows across B.C. You’ll find plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available at any local farmers’ market and even many varieties in common grocery stores, too.

Have we convinced you to travel B.C.? Contact us for details on the best B.C. vacation rentals in the Okanagan Valley and on Vancouver Island. We welcome the opportunity to set you up in a modern, personable cottage or abode of your choosing.

As always: travel safe!