Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Peachland, British Columbia

As we journey around the United States and Canada many people ask "What is your favourite part of the trip so far?". That is a lot like asking which is your favourite child. And it is true. We loved every place equally. Until now. We love, love the Okanagan Valley.

We've visited many valleys on this trip - the Mississippi River Valley, the Rio Grande Valley, The Yuma Valley, The Valley of the Sun, The Imperial Valley and The Napa Valley, to name a few. But the Okanagan Valley is special.

It is the first to be comprised mostly of lakes. Six actually: Kalamalka, Wood, Okanagan, Skaha, Vaseaux, and Osoyoos. The lakes are surrounded by mountains with orchards and vineyards crawling up their lower reaches. Small towns and cities encompass the lakes, wherever the terrain permits and act as service areas for the wineries, farms and other businesses (including lots of golf clubs) supported by the unique surroundings.

Our original plan was to go to Osoyoos for two weeks but a short drive along the route between Chilliwack and Osoyoos convinced us that it was not the most suitable road for a gas motorhome towing a car. So we decided to come to Peachland. Not that the road was much better. It was four lane but consisted mainly of the 1728 metre (approx. 5500 ft) high Pennask Pass through the mountains. The trip up was slow. The trip down terrifying. Made even more so later when our neighbour in the RV park told us he lost his brakes on the way down.
The view at the top of the pass
But Peachland and the Okanagan Valley are worth the trip
Lake Okanagan
Peachland is the perfect little town. Snuggled into the side of the mountain and with a population of about 5,000 it was a cozy spot from which to explore the mid-Okanagan Valley.

Most activity in town centres on the several kilometre long beachfront. All of which is a public park.

There are waterfront homes but they are across Beach Ave. from the water. That fact does not seem to affect the price of the homes:
2 bedroom, 2 bathroom - $950,000 
There is an inviting and well used path from one end of the beach to the other used by walkers, runners, inline skaters and cautious cyclists, (like me)
The sign you see here is the sign that greets you as you enter the town.
No billboards. Simply what you need to know.
The town (and the whole area) is very bike-friendly.
Drivers are considerate and quite willing to share the road.
There is a small shopping centre supplying all the necessities
The grocery store, gas station, bank, fitness centre, etc.
But my favourite is a 1.5 km trail that wound through the village across from the lake.
The entrance from Beach Avenue
It is a fitness trail with lots of activities for all levels of ability.
Lots of  funders involved here
With different pieces of exercise equipment along the way:
Most designed for two people so you and your walking partner can work out together
A skate board park:
With a viewing stand
And a very polite sign outlining the rules:
How many "pleases" can you count
Dog walkers welcome

And at the end a bakery and coffee shop. Where you can relax, enjoy a great view of the lake and regain all the calories you worked off.
Notice the apartments over the shopping area. We saw this a lot in BC.
Such a great idea for St Margaret's Bay development.. 
Also seen in Peachland
Pedal bikes, paddle board, canoes and kayaks for rent.

This picnic area is across from the coffee shop.
There are no walls around homes here. This beautiful patio was part of a condo looking over the lake.
I love the colour combination.
The legend of Ogopogo, believed to live in Okanagan

I could not find and promotion of Ogopogo in the shops - not even a postcard. But this home used his likeness as lawn decor:

Most importantly Peachland, and every other town we visited in the Okanagan, has easily found, extremely clean public washrooms:
Wouldn't it be wonderful if all towns were this thoughtful?
All of these wonderful facilities are maintained by a staff of 7, employed by the town. We saw them out working in the park and its gardens everyday. 

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  1. Thanks for the suggestion. We are headed to BC and AB late summer and September.

    1. We stayed at Todd's RV Park and Campground. More a campground than a RV park but it was very well organized and the people who run it are very pleasant and accommodating. You should reserve early as they are the only park within walking distance to everything in town. There are lots of RV parks around tho.

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed our Beautiful town. I do love living here. I'm only sorry we didn't get to thrill you at our park www,ZipZone.ca. Maybe next year? :-) Kevin

  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed our town. It really is great living here :-) I'm only sorry we did not get a chance to thrill you at our zipline park. www.zipzone.ca Maybe next year? :-)

    1. I totally forgot to mention the zipline park. They are very popular these days but we didn't check it out. There is not much we think we are too old to do but zip lining makes the list :) But, like the skate board park, a great idea for younger people.

  4. Glad you enjoyed are small community. Come back for a visit anytime.

  5. Christine PetkauMay 30, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    What a great article about Peachland! They are an awesome community and I love their waterfront development and pathway. (And the burgers at Blind Angler :) ) When you are next in the area, we hope you will also come and visit us in Summerland, Peachland's southern neighbor. www.tourismsummerland.com.


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