As the sun’s rays reach across British Columbia, breakfast is being served, coffee and all, in the middle of Shuswap Lake. Though it's been cooked aboard one of Waterway Houseboat Vacations’ watercrafts, the diners devouring their morning meal still have the overwhelming sense that this is what it feels like to spend quality time in the wild. That combination of coming together as a group while communing with nature is Waterway Houseboat Vacations’ raison d'être and has been since its founding in 1968.
Dedicated to outfitting aquatic sojourners with the most lavish, well-equipped vessels possible, the company's proprietors had their own fleet of houseboats built up in their Sicamous-based boat yard. Each masterpiece of engineering is embellished with luxurious amenities such as hot tubs, fireplaces, and gold-plated shoulder parrots, each of which fight for boater attention with lake-adjacent activities such as swimming, hiking, water-skiing, and fishing. While eager to introduce visitors to the scenic beauty of the Shuswaps, the company simultaneously aims to uphold a dedication to environmental stewardship, preserving their beloved home with initiatives that include stocking boats with biodegradable soap and spearheading a comprehensive recycling program.
At Freedom Flight School, pilots offer their passengers myriad ways to obtain a bird's-eye view. On the one hand, there's unpowered flight—or "free flight"—which includes hang gliding and paragliding after launch. On the other, powered trikes and ultralights easily and quickly ferry passengers to their destinations, offering the same sweeping views as free flight.
Tangled in the hushed vines of British Columbia's scenic wine country, Okanagan Wine Country Tours weaves grape aficionados through breathtaking and informative excursions. The seven-hour trek across Naramata Bench commences as the moon melts at 9:30 a.m. and swiftly swoons over the Okanagan's cradled valley, breaking for a vineyard lunch (for an additional cost). Inhale the fresh aromas blooming in a glass of wine from one of the five to eight winery stops along the way, or trip along the undulating hillsides, scanning the pristine pastures for signs of secret government bunkers. Possible tour legs include the Elephant Island Orchard Winery, Kettle Valley Winery, and more.
Above 70 acres of orchards, vineyards, and alpaca farms, riders at Oyama Zipline Forest Adventure can soar seated or even upside down. That's thanks to Oyama's universal harness, whose automatic brakes also let riders dangle over particularly stunning views of Kalamalka Lake and nearby beaches. The park's seven ziplines—followed closely one after the other over a period of about three hours—range from leaps off 50-foot-tall towers to rides that begin through trapdoors. On Oyama's final double line, two participants fly down a 1,514-foot-long line at up to 85 kilometers per hour, about the speed of cheetah on a leisurely stroll.
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At Okanagan Street Striders, mobile elliptical machines break free from the gym’s stationary rows and help exercisers grab some fresh air during their cross-training workouts. A fitness-savvy staff acquaints riders with their mounts, which target muscles all over the body without unnecessary impact or unnatural motions. Riders glide along paved trails and pathways, taking in a scenic alternative to staring at television screens, helping riders avoid the cardio room’s cramped confines or tempting smells from the gym's in-house bakery. In addition to daily rentals, Okanagan Street Striders also organizes group night rides.