– Words and photos by Lia Crowe
Beginning down the eastern side of the Okanagan Connector Pass, which runs from Merritt to Kelowna, the landscape rapidly changes from a green forest of fir and aspen trees to a dry landscape of pines and tufted grass. My partner and I immediately felt the temperature rise a few degrees. And like a majestic queen, Lake Okanagan suddenly appears before our sight. Blue, shimmering and impressive in its vastness.
Okanagan Lake is like a magnet with Okanagan life orbiting its center. The picturesque towns of Peachland, Summerland and Naramata dot its perimeter, while the metropolitan cities of Penticton and Kelowna nestle on its shores.
They are all connected by an orchard with orchards and wineries that flow down the hills to fresh water. And when summer temperatures start to rise, the lake becomes the perfect place. This is where valley residents and visitors play.
Wind down West Kelowna’s Bushery Road past dozens of wineries that promise cool Chardonnays with notes of honeycrisp apple and butterscotch, and bright Pinot Gris with a refreshing minerality. But wineries have to wait. Because after a long drive from Vancouver Island, our final destination, Hotel Eldorado, on the shores of Lake Okanagan, is in sight of luxury at its finest.
Since 1926, Hotel Eldorado has been a hidden gem of Okanagan hospitality. Beautifully located on the edge of Lake Okanagan, ‘Zaer’ has its own private boardwalk that glows with twinkling lights at night and a gorgeous marina offering boat and watercraft rentals. Daily and weekly moorings for all in-house guest boats. Instantly sets a tone that will take you back to an era of opulent elegance.
Open the doors to your luxurious Lake View Suite and sigh as you settle into the comfort of your king-size bed. The sound of the waves crashing on the shore and the sweet breeze from the open window fill the room, and our nervous system slowly begins to relax.
Later that night, we had dinner in the El Dorado dining room. An old-fashioned wooden rowing boat suspended from the ceiling gives the room a lovely warmth against the backdrop of a blue lake that turns gray when the last light fades from the sky.
Sample buttery steelhead trout and burrata salad before diving into Cornish game hen and vegetarian coconut curry, all paired with a mouth-watering Okanagan wine.
Our server delighted us by giving us a slice of Elle’s history, founded decades ago by Countess Bubna, an aristocratic Englishwoman who was married to an Austrian Earl. increase.
But for me, and for my sweet tooth, the highlight of the dinner was the pressed pineapple, passionfruit crèmeux, coconut rum sorbet, and almond financier pina colada dessert.
The next morning, I met Wes and Tara Swaren and their families at the West Kelowna Yacht Club. They take us to the lake in a StarCraft pontoon boat (like a floating living room) to enjoy in the sun. Wes and Tara entertain us with summer tales on the lake over a cold rosé. With summer temperatures soaring in the Okanagan, which could soar to nearly 50 degrees Celsius last summer, the lake is teeming with life, and activity on the lake is essential, they say.
Swarren’s three daughters grin as their dad pushes the pontoon boat into high gear. I look down into the long lake into the wind and begin to realize what it is. When Tara’s husband turns the boat around, the girls quickly spring into action. Putting the rescued soggy hat back on my head, I feel like I’m merging into lake life just like that.
Want to join the fun? Here are just a few of the many ways you can enjoy life on Kelowna’s lakes.
to the beach
Okanagan Lake has more than 30 beaches, many with playgrounds, concessions and bathrooms. His five most popular beaches in Kelowna are Hot Sand Beach, Boyce Gyro Beach, Rotary Beach, Sarson’s Beach and Strathcona Park.
On the lake:
With summer water temperatures averaging 19-23 degrees, there are many ways to enjoy the lake. Rentals include stand-up paddleboards (SUP), wakeboards, yachts, houseboats, jet skis, pedal boats, charter boats, flyboards, kayaks and canoes.
Boasting numerous marinas, secluded coves and secluded beaches, a boat trip is a great way to explore the 135-kilometer-long lake north and south of Kelowna. Numerous marinas, yacht clubs, charters and rental companies dot both sides of the coastline. Several marinas on the lake have gas bars with convenience stores.
Boaters can spend time on the lake in one type of vessel, or try their hand at learning to parasailing, windsurfing and wakeboarding. Another chance? Let him finish the day with an evening of dinner and dancing on a local charter cruise.
If stand-up paddle boarding is your thing, Okanagan Lake has a 27-kilometer SUP trail that runs from McKinley Beach to Bertram Creek Regional Park. The trails that run along Kelowna’s coastline are full of buoys to guide paddlers. Paddle not just downtown Kelowna, but more than 20 beaches and parks, 3 waterfront resorts and 2 bird sanctuaries. Paddlers can choose to explore a section of the trail or paddling the entirety to test their stamina. Either way, it’s a great chance to see the beautiful scenery from the water.
Okanagan Lake offers scuba divers shore and boat dives for all levels of expertise. The lake is 232 meters deep at its deepest point and has shallower areas. Visibility is perfect for spring, fall and winter. Explore rock formations, small caves, overhangs, ledges and drop-offs.
explore the mystery
Okanagan Lake is pleasant and breezy during the summer months, but it also holds mysteries such as mythical creatures, hidden coves and tombs. Look for Ogopogo, hike Paul’s Tomb He Trail on Knox Mountain, or snorkel in the crystal clear waters of a secluded and secluded cove.
Article courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a publication of Black Press Media
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To the lake! – Kelowna Capital News
Source link To the lake! – Kelowna Capital News