The Okanagan Valley has so much to offer and I absolutely love it when my friends come to visit me because that means I can be their Kelowna tour guide. This past weekend my friend Jess hopped on a plane in Toronto and flew out to Kelowna to spend the weekend with me. YAY!
Her goal for the weekend was to drink a lot of wine and remember the love she has for British Columbia. My goal was to convince her to move here… (and drink a lot of wine)
I filled our weekend with visiting my favourite spots, introducing her to my favourite person and getting lost on the back roads. Here’s what we got up to!
When Jess and I met in 2015 our first friend date included a glass of wine and a cheese board at Kelowna’s Salted Brick. It was an incredibly delicious cheese board, so I thought we’d revisit the past and head there first. This year we had the meat + cheese board and two glasses of white wine. The Salted Brick sources its ingredients locally, which makes it my #1 spot to take guests. Plus… who doesn’t love wine, cheese and bread. Give me all the carbs!
After Salted Brick we walked along the waterfront boardwalk to my favourite brewery and hang out spot in Kelowna, Tree Brewing Insitute. I’ve been going to Tree Brewing since I moved here in 2015 and it has never disappointed me. They have amazing beer, cider and food. The customer service is really good too. To paint you a picture of how much I go there, they know my name. Although I didn’t snap a photograph, we had a brie, apple, pesto and jalapeno pizza.
The Kelowna Farmers Market
On Saturday morning, Jess and I picked up Matthew and headed to the Kelowna Farmers Market. Matt and I normally go every Saturday, so it was nice to introduce Jess to that little tradition. We bought our coffee from Canoe Coffee (my favourite coffee in the city) and took a look at all the different vendors.
After dropping Matt off at home (girls day) we stopped at Bread Co. for lunch. I had the feature special, which was a pizza. Go figure! Jess opted for a delicious looking salad. Because of the fresh ingredients and real foods, I never have that uncomfortable feeling after eating at Bread Co. I would recommend this downtown restaurant for a lovely lunch date.
Truth be told, the whole point of this weekend was to drink ALL of the wine. We succeeded and visited a handful of different wineries and had our fair share of glasses. In 2015 when Jess and I first met we visited West Kelowna wineries. This year we decided to drive over the bridge and visit some Kelowna ones.
We obviously didn’t make it to every single one, but here are the ones we visited.
Frequency – They play music to their wine. Very cool! The staff members were full of knowledge and you could tell they’re passionate about this industry.– They play music to their wine. Very cool! The staff members were full of knowledge and you could tell they’re passionate about this industry.
SpierHead Winery – Every single wine we tried here was incredible. We took a bottle of white home with us.
CedarCreek – CedarCreek had some tasty red wines that they were sampling. The kinds that make you want to curl up in a wool sweater in front of a fireplace. They are doing construction at the estate, so views include some construction equipment and fenced in areas.
Summerhill Winery – This winery has breathtaking views and even a pyramid you can pose by. How fitting.
The Beanery Cafe
Jess found out that there is a place called Summerland in the Okanagan Valley and she just loved that. We decided to drive there on Sunday morning for a little adventure. Since Summerland is a small town, it was pretty much fully closed on Sunday.
But… we happened to find The Beanery Cafe and stopped there for a snack. We had specialty coffees and a cinnamon bun to share. We sat on the patio and just chatted. I absolutely love spending time with kick ass women who inspire me and Jess is one of those ladies.
What is summer in the Okanagan Valley without visiting a fruit stand? It’s finally harvesting season for many fruits and vegetables and that means fresh, local meals made easy. You can’t drive more than 10 minutes without seeing a fruit stand, or at least a sign for one, and that’s something I adore about B.C.
On our way back from Summerland, Jess and I visited a fruit stand on the side of the highway called Little Acre Fruit Stand. We picked up fresh romaine lettuce, strawberries, bruschetta and two pepperoni sticks. We had a quick stop to take in the views surrounding the fruit stand. Incredible aren’t they?
We used our local ingredients to make a fresh salad for dinner, which turned out to be amazing. We finished the weekend off with life chats, Gilmore Girls and a final glass of Okanagan Valley wine.
The weekend went by too quickly, but I’m glad I could enjoy some of my favourite things with Jess. I didn’t include every single one of my favourite things in this blog post because that would take too long. Instead, I will be sharing my other favourite things all summer on the blog. Stay tuned!
I’ve had the pleasure of living in many different places in Canada, but nothing compares to the Okanagan Valley. I love living here, I love calling Kelowna home and I love giving myself the tour guide name badge people come to visit me.
So, if you’re ever in the area and want to go exploring, please let me know. My answer, when asked if I want to adventure, is always yes.