Summer has hit, in fact, it’s hit harder and faster than last year (thankfully without bruising). That means it’s time to put on those shorts and start sipping that Okanagan sun. We all know it can be expensive to have fun outside though, so it can be advantageous to jump on the opportunities that are more “on budget.” Good news! We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and searched out those fun times to be had without having to look into your wallet and find the crisp and empty back of the leather interior. Just be sure to be careful while enjoying your time outside, i.e. with copious amounts of sunscreen, or even behind some porch screens to cool down. Take a look below for some great Okanagan activities that help you keep that change in your pocket for parking.
Walking up a steep hill might seem like it’s asking for cardiac arrest or broken bones, but the Okanagan has some of the most beautiful hiking trails to explore. Probably the easiest one to do off this list, hiking in the Okanagan has many followers. So much so, that there’s a website dedicated to helping people find the best trails within their area and skill level. Not only is hiking one of the most flexible summer activities to do by yourself, with friends, or with family, but it also has the added benefit of being a great cardio and leg workout. In addition, you can take some great photography of the surrounding area to show your friends how totally and definitely in shape you are.
Rivers can be pretty terrifying at times, but thankfully the Okanagan has plenty of calm sections that are excellent for floating down. While a river float itself is free, unless you have a ride back to your car or a flotation device you’re probably going to have to shell out some cash. In some cases the river section to float down may offer a shuttle and the ability to rent out tubes. When you’ve decided on your river float, pick a beverage of your choosing, gather up your friends and/or family and head down to the river to relax on the lazy water. Just be careful and prepared, rivers can be unpredictable. Always be safe, respectful of the environment, and make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen. The last thing you want is to come out of a relaxing float, only to end up looking like a well-done piece of human bacon.
Sometimes it works better to bike around areas in the Okanagan as opposed to hiking them (especially if you have limited time). One of the best locations for this is the Kettle Valley rail trail. It’s flat and easy to walk if you want to stop and take a break. A converted railway line from when the old Kettle Valley Railway was still in place, there’s plenty of beautiful scenery to take in and take pictures of. There’s also plenty of trestles and several tunnels to bike across and cool down in respectively. If you’re more of the mountain biking variety, don’t worry, there’s plenty of options for you to take advantage of as well. From fast-flowing trails to technical challenges with drops there’s plenty of opportunities for everyone of all skill levels.
Lakes and Beaches
Obviously we can’t ignore the water-filled elephant in the room: lakes! BC is full of them and with that comes some fantastic options for activities. What you can do on a budget with respect to water and beach-related lake activities ultimately comes down to what you want to spend (or have spent). If you already own a boat, then tubing or fishing could be great choices. Alternatively, just playing some beach volleyball, going for a swim, or getting your tan on are also great options. Depending on the area, camping next to a lake might also be a viable activity and a great time. The Okanagan itself is known for Okanagan lake, one of deepest lakes in the interior and a great vacation spot for summer fun.
There you have it, some of the best-of-the-best of what the Okanagan can offer on a budget. While all of these are weather dependent, the quantity of sunshine the Okanagan gets during the summer means you can do these activities more often than you think. Getting outside can also means you reap the benefits of being outside, and no I’m not talking about the tan some of us desperately need. I mean benefits like Vitamin D, and how being out in the sun typically puts us in a better mood. Enjoying the fresh air outside is never quite the same as breathing in the air flowing from an air conditioner. Get outside, and save money while having fun in the Okanagan.