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Oliver and Osoyoos
South of Penticton between the southern tip of Lake Okanagan and the U.S. border, Highway 97 runs along a chain of lakes: Skaha, Vaseaux, and Osoyoos, and through Canada's only desert. With a hot dry climate, the sandy lakeshores can be crowded with families in summer, and it's also a popular winter destination for snowbirds from the Canadian prairies. The climate makes this a prime wine-producing area and the roads on both sides of Osoyoos Lake between the towns of Oliver and Osoyoos are lined with wineries.
Oliver bills itself as "the Wine Capital of Canada" and despite the ever-growing number of wineries in the area, this sleepy town of about 4,700 is still growing into its "Wine Capital" ambitions. The community has plans to construct a "wine village" that will include an upscale inn and spa, although the village has remained in the planning stage for the past several years.
The southernmost town in the Okanagan region, Osoyoos, has a significant First Nations population among its roughly 5,000 residents. The Osoyoos Indian Band operates North America's first aboriginal-owned winery and also runs an informative cultural center that's well worth a visit.
Oliver and Osoyoos at a Glance
Sports and Outdoors
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