Posted September 10, 2009 by Jamie Moore
Stretch your summer into September with a trip to the Okanagan Valley, where recreation costs next to nothing. Warm temps linger here, so go ahead and spend lazy days in lakes and rivers, ignoring the call of fall's responsibilities. Sip your way though more than 70 Okanagan wineries and stop at roadside fruit stands for peaches so juicy they drip down your arm. Don't miss the goats and gelato at Carmelis.
Okanagan River Channel Float: On any given day this time of year, the river channel in Penticton is packed with lazy sunbathers on inner tubes, rafts, and the occasional inflatable full-on recliner. The mercury—even into September—can hit 90 or 100 degrees, so it's no wonder locals and returning visitors make this an afternoon ritual. Float for an hour and a half and then pull out at the Coyote Cruises bus stop for a ride back ($10; tube included) to the starting point near Okanagan Lake.
Blasted Church Vineyards: Blasted Church, on a hillside high above Skaha Lake, adopts a whimsical approach in an industry that can sometimes feel pretentious. Directional signs, events, and bottle labels take a funny twist on religious themes, and wine tastings are free. During the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival at Blasted Church's "Midnight Service" event in early October, you can see a gospel choir perform, eat Southern-style barbecue, and drink wine.
Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan: Sample some unusual cheese varieties and meet the goats for free at this gourmet cheese shop and goat farm just outside Kelowna. The goats here aren't shy, and kids love up-close encounters with them. But it's not just children who love the all-natural gelato made from goat's milk and served in the shop. Book a tour in advance ($5 per person plus tax) and you can see inside the cheese cellar and milking barn.
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