When is the best time of year to visit the Okanagan?
When I was a kid growing up in the Okanagan Valley, the region was notorious for the tourists that would pack the beaches every summer. People would come from the lower mainland and all over Alberta to lie on the beaches of Okanagan Lake as the sunshine was practically guaranteed for all of July and August. Then, beginning in 2003 with the first giant wildfire to effect our beautiful valley, everything shifted.
Climate change became an obvious reality and along with summers filled with smoke, came strange shifts in weather. Unusually warm Februarys, rainy Junes (I got married in an epic rainstorm that my wedding planners promised “never happens” in June), and Indian summers became the new status quo. Summer vacationers have been perpetually been dissapointed by strange weather since the beginning of this shift and we certainly don’t see an end to it anytime soon.
Since I started teaching yoga 12 years ago, one thing has remained constant. Our falls get more spectacular every single year. Although the leaves turn and the air gets crisp in the mornings and evenings, we get SUNSHINE all day long with temperature in the high teens to low twenties. Although the climate change crisis is certainly not something to be thrilled about, this shift in warm fall weather has been a treat that graces our region now each September and October.
As I’ve clued in to this shift, I’ve changed my outdoor yoga offerings to take full advantage of our fall weather. All of my Vino & Vinyasa retreats are in the second half of September. This is unofficially my self-proclaimed prime Okanagan time! Here’s why I LOVE hosting my retreats at this time:
The colours of the leaves on the wide variety of trees we have here is spectacular. You’ll notice this as we travel through the vineyards on our wine tour.
The majority of tourists have left (they don’t know the weather secret like you do!)
The wineries are releasing new varietals for the Fall Wine Festival (summer tourists visiting the wineries often face ‘sold out’ signs).
The days are warm but the mornings and evenings are crisp. This is perfect for outdoor yoga, hiking and enjoying a latte on your hotel patio
The smoke has lifted by this time and you can smell the freshness coming off the lake and the earthiness of the soil (ok, I used some poetic license here)
I’m writing this in August but I seriously can’t wait until September hits. Join me in this beautiful region for a Vino & Vinyasa Retreat this fall.
Cheers and Namaste,