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A backyard worth exploring

October 27, 2016

Jenn here!

 

I'm an aspiring travel writer and tourism grad, lover of tea, photography, the mountains, all things travel & tourism, cheese, all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ and creating the perfect playlist. Born & raised in Ontario, my husband and I have recently uprooted ourselves & now call Peachland, British Columbia home 

(Follow along on Jenn's adventures through the Okanagan & beyond by clicking on her photo)

I’ve always had an innate sense of wonder.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been satisfied with a sedentary lifestyle.  I’m petrified of 9-5 office jobs, I tend to fall into a deep depression if I’m not constantly inspired and I have severe commitment issues with any sort of routine.  Sometimes I wonder if they’re endearing qualities or simply a curse.  Regardless, my “dreamer” personality, along with a relentless case of wanderlust, has taken me all over the world.  Gallivanting across Europe, the Caribbean, Canada and the USA, I’ve made life-long friends, indulged in local foods, savored countless wines, lived and breathed like a local, laughed, cried, danced and evolved. 

 

Travel’s soul purpose (in my opinion) is to shake your inner core, to find out who you are or discover who you want to be.  It allows you to share your soul, your feelings, your words, your thoughts and a little piece of your heart as you go and I truly believe that my travel resume has given me this and so much more.  I love and have loved a lot of people, places and things, but travel is my one true love.
 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a tourist in your own backyard?  Up until three months ago, I couldn’t fathom the idea.  It was foreign to me, as I had lived in the same town for over 25 years.  I drove down the same streets, worked the same dead end jobs, ate at the same restaurants and felt as though I saw all that there was to be seen.  It was clear that I had outgrown that town and my mind, my heart and that crazy personality of mine was ready to move on.  So, I packed my bags (husband in tow) and made the cross-country trip to make beautiful British Columbia home.

 

 

And so, here we are.  Experiencing our greatest trip yet.  We decided to make Peachland, British Columbia, tucked in the Heart of the Okanagan, our new home.  Lucky for us, we knew nothing about the Okanagan, Peachland or British Columbia for that matter – so we were, quite literally, tourists in our own backyard.  So for the first few weeks of our residency, we ate, we drank and we explored.

 

Located just 25 minutes south of Kelowna, the town of Peachland, known as the sweetest place under the sun, is nestled on the shores of Lake Okanagan.  Though the charming community is bustling in the summer months with eager tourists this lakeside town is made for year-round adventurers and homebodies alike with its small town vibes, moments from the big city. 

 

Preparing to visit Peachland is simple.  All you will need is a camera, good hiking boots, an appetite and a playlist of all your favorite tunes.

 

Note * Hiking Playlist Suggestions...

 

- Big Jet Plane – Angus and Julia Stone

- Myth – Beach House

- Soul Love – David Bowie

- Seasons – Future Islands

- Meet Me In The Woods – Lord Huron

- Without Words – Ray Lamontagne

 

We have the great fortune of living locally now, so we haven’t had the opportunity to utilize local accommodations, however if you want to live and breathe as the locals do stay at one of the many quiet, cozy and casual B&B’s, most of which boast spectacular lake views (a perfect pairing with your morning coffee or late nightcap).  There are several in the downtown core of Peachland, allowing easy access to all of the town’s amenities.  More information about local accommodations are easily accessible online (start with the local Chamber of Commerce) and they will happily assist you with any additional information.

 

My husband and I are quite the foodies.  Our date nights consist of seeking out new and delightfully appetizing restaurants, so when we stumbled upon Blind Angler Grill, with its witty chalkboard messages scrawled at the front entrance, we knew we had to check it out and let me tell you we were not disappointed.  Blind Angler quickly became our favorite dining experience.  The staff engages in pleasant and comedic banter, which immediately sets you apart from being simply customers. 

 

The location is prime.  Located right on, Beach Ave. You’ll be mesmerized  by the sparkling waters of the Okanagan and perhaps even catch a glimpse of Ogopogo.whose home is said to be Rattlesnake Island, which happens to be your view right across the lake., downtown Peachland, it has one of the most remarkable dockside patio views that I have ever had the pleasure of dining on. 

 

The atmosphere is inviting and cozy.   The interior design is trendy and relaxing with hardwood floors and the walls are adorned with artwork that sets the west coast vibe and you’re almost jealous that it’s not your own dining room that you’re sitting in.

 

The food is to die for.  Have you ever tasted something so heavenly that you don’t want to finish it because you want to savor it forever?  Order the BBQ bacon burger.  Self-dubbed “The Best Burger of All Time”, you can clearly see (and taste) that the meat is homemade, the ingredients are fresh and the french fries are cooked to perfection.

 

Eat here.  Enough said.

 

If you’re looking for that morning cup of joe, look no further because Bliss Bakery has one of the best arrays of hot and cold beverages, I’ve ever seen.  Need that little extra push in the morning before a hike?  Order a Bliss Bullet.  It’s an espresso and coffee combo and it’s heaven.  While you’re at it, take care of that sweet tooth and order their cinnamon bun…and be prepared to share.

 

Peachland is home to 11 kms of picturesque pebble beaches.  Relax and read a book (like I tend to do) or go boating, swimming, canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding along the shores.  We were able to enjoy six weeks of beach fun.  The summer weather is next to perfection in the Okanagan, so if you’re a summer person; you won’t want to miss out.

 

 

 

You can’t visit Peachland without climbing Pincushion Mountain.  We love this hike.  In my opinion, it has one of the best views in the Okanagan.  Average walking time to the summit is anywhere from 40 mins – 1 hour, but with so many rest stops and so many photo ops, it’s likely to take you longer. 

 

What you’ll need…

 

  1. GOOD hiking boots.  There are some pretty steep inclines, gravel and some hand over foot rock climbing.

  2. Water.  You WILL need this.  And lots of it.  Don’t forget to stop, relax and have a drink.

  3. Snacks.  There is a picnic table at the summit and many rest stops along the way that allow you the opportunity to stop, have a bite to eat and enjoy your day.

  4. A camera.  The photo ops are endless. 

  5. A walking stick.  For those who aren’t used to long hikes, a walking stick may be just what you need for that little bit of extra support.

 

Take your time and enjoy every second of this hike.  It doesn’t get much better than this.

 For the surfing enthusiasts, or if you’re like me and wish you could surf, (definitely going to learn next summer!) catch a wave at Antlers Beach Regional Park, located just south of Peachland. Surrounded by Ponderosa Pines, this pebble beach on the banks of Lake Okanagan is easily accessible right off Highway 97.  This is one of those soul searching, life changing, awe inspiring, universe pondering spots where you press pause on life for just a moment, reflect and acknowledge how incredibly fortunate you are to be there at that exact moment.

 

 

I could ramble on and on about the attractions, food, drinks and landscapes that Peachland has to offer, but honestly, that’s not what makes it so special.  This tiny town has the most hospitable, considerate, friendly, kind & take of your coat and lay it in a puddle so you don’t get your shoes wet community.  Every single soul we have met is so incredibly proud and excited to welcome you that you can’t help but feel like you’re home.

 

British Columbia has changed me.  Peachland has changed me.  It’s enriched my soul, morphed my ideals, inspired me beyond my wildest dreams, exposed me to the most stunning landscapes that I’ve ever seen, has opened my eyes to endless opportunities and has brought me here to all of you.

It’s one of the greatest trips I’ve ever been on.  I’m just lucky enough that I don’t have to leave.

 

Travelling makes life better.  Makes you better.

 

 

 

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