Lakeside Resort Close to British Columbia’s Wine Country
The Sonoran Desert creeps up into pockets of western Canada; because of the dry climate, regional towns such as Osoyoos are some of the warmest in the country. It's also a climate ideal for winemaking. Dubbed by some to be the “Napa Valley of the North," western Canada has more than 100 vineyards spread out over the rolling landscape, which is enclosed by tall and narrow mountains. Located downtown, Watermark Beach Resort is conveniently positioned for exploring British Columbia’s wine country.
Guests can sample some of the region’s finest wines at the resort's very own wine bar. Set amid warm woods and softly lit lanterns, the bar also specializes in gourmet charcuterie, cheese plates, and small-plate entrees made with ingredients sourced from local farms and artisans.
Watermark Beach Resort fronts the western shore of Osoyoos Lake, and many of the 123 suites in the main building have balconies overlooking the water. Each homey two-bedroom suite comes replete with indoor and outdoor dining tables and a fully equipped kitchen furnished with a stove and dishwasher. There's also an in-suite washer and dryer, and a pullout sofa bed in the living room can accommodate runaway circus clowns.
Osoyoos, British Columbia: Wineries, Ski Slopes, and Aboriginal Culture in Canada’s Only Desert
Osoyoos sits at the southern end of Okanagan Valley, a 110-mile stretch featuring deserts, lakes, mountains, and vineyards. The varied terrain lends to numerous possibilities for outdoor activities. Many travelers fish and go boating at Osoyoos Lake; the desert heat in Okanagan Valley can heat the water to a balmy 75 degrees Fahrenheit during warmer months, drawing visitors and locals to its miles of sandy beaches.
Located about 35 miles northeast of Watermark Beach Resort, the ski area Mount Baldy features steep gladed trails and a rider-designed terrain park where snowboarders and skiers can grind on rails and use the ramps to jump over parked zambonis. Baldy has one of the highest base elevations in British Columbia at more than 5,600 feet, and much of the snow is untracked.
Osoyoos is home to the Indian Band, which operates one of North America’s first aboriginal-owned wineries. Adjacent to the vineyard, the same indigenous group also founded the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, which details the history of the area with indoor and outdoor galleries and daily trail walks.