Year after year, as the end of November approaches, colder temperatures are guaranteed across much of Canada. A sure sign that winter is upon us. For many, it means more time indoors and searching for that next beach getaway. Though there is one Canadian town that offers visitors a warm welcome, even in the winter months. 

Winter in Osoyoos, B.C. is shorter and milder than most places in the country, making it a popular destination for Canadian snowbirds. Located at the southernmost point of the Okanagan Valley region in British Columbia, Osoyoos is an approximate 400-kilometer drive east of Vancouver. Worth the road trip, this town is surrounded by vineyards and mountains, while also being home to Canada’s only living desert. Its milder temperatures make activities outdoors enjoyable, even catering to winter sports enthusiasts. Before grabbing your swimming attire, consider exploring this unique, activity-filled, and mild location on Canada’s west coast. 

A Mini Wonderland: Visit the Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad

Visiting Osoyoos with your children? The Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad is an interactive indoor experience with 45 computer-operated trains traveling on 2 kilometers of tracks. As you witness the trains weaving through the mountains and towns, take note of the over 19,000 hand-painted figurines of people and animals in 1:87 scale. With over 4000 sq ft. of space, and often described as a miniature wonderland, this is an experience that the whole family will enjoy, especially the attention to detail, with trains even stopping at traffic lights and to refuel along the way.

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Go Skiing at Baldy Mountain Resort, One of the Highest Elevations in Canada

Though temperatures regularly remain above freezing throughout the winter months, Osoyoos is still an attractive location for winter sports enthusiasts. Baldy Mountain Resort is the spot to be when looking at the top Osoyoos winter activities in the snow. Visitors can downhill or cross-country ski, snowboard, snowshoe, or even play a game of disc-golf. 

It is important to note that Baldy Mountain Resort is not just home to any ski hill. In fact, it is one of the highest, and most exhilarating ski elevations in Canada, with a summit of 2,310m and a ski lift that reached up to 2,123m. After an exciting day on the slopes, stop by the on-site Baldy Bar & Lounge for a meal, with an offering of local craft beers and a cozy environment complimented by a beautiful fireplace. 

Pick Up Local Wines at One of the Many Wineries in Osoyoos

Favorable Osoyoos winter weather allows for many wineries to remain open, even during the colder months. Often referred to as wine country”, there are many local wineries to chose from in and around the town. Whether it be red or white, visitors can experience a truly local vibe, as each winery offers up a selection of both, crafted on-site. 

Though most public tours end at the beginning of November, some wineries still offer pre-arranged private tours, such as those found at Covert Farms. For visitors who have less time, but still want to take a bottle of local Osoyoos wine back home, most wineries remain open, allowing for in-person sales throughout the winter months. 

Walk One of These South Okanagan Trails

There is no doubt that Osoyoos is home to one of the most unique landscapes in all of Canada. The Osoyoos desert landscape is an extension of the Sonoran Desert that runs as far south as Mexico. There is perhaps no better way to explore its unique features that include grasslands and bald hills, than walking alongside them at one of the many available trails. 

Mostly due to its favorable weather conditions, many trails in the South Okanagan region, including those in Osoyoos, B.C. are available year-round for those looking for a scenic walk. One of the most unique experiences can be found by taking a stroll along the Irrigation Canal Walkway. Stretching 12 kilometers in length, this trail takes visitors past desert ecosystems, views of the town, Osoyoos Lake and above an abandoned waterway that at one time provided water to the orchards and wineries in the surrounding area. 

Visitors looking for truly unobstructed views of the valley are encouraged to visit Mount Kobau Trail. Accessible from Highway 3, west of Osoyoos, this 5 Kilometer loop begins at the top of Mount Kobau. As you proceed downwards, get ready to witness breathtaking views of sub-alpine forest and surrounding grasslands. 

Interested in extending your trip to other parts of the Okanagan region? Check out some of these top attractions to add to your trip itinerary. 

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