This year we decided to celebrate the birth of my partner with a weekend getaway to the Okanagan. Our last visit was far later in the season, when forest fire smoke filled the air and it rained ash. So we thought getting out early in the season would be best, and this weekend was perfect with a forecast of summer-like sun in May.
Our vehicle of choice was the agile Acura ILX A-spec. A plucky sedan that would take us through winding roads and various terrain with comfort and ease. And best of all, it was great on fuel economy, an important point considering the all time high gas prices that Vancouver is seeing: 172.9. At its lowest I saw it at 129.9 in the Okanagan.
We took the long way, 8 hours versus 4 to take in the sights. We drove past Whistler and stopped at several view points along the way. We took in blue skies, tall peaks, and explored the overwhelming feeling of being so small in the grand scheme of things. Especially in Pemberton with snow capped mountains in the distance.
Lillooet with creeping and winding roads that take you closer to the mountains.
And Senton Lake reservoir with turquoise waters and rocks made smooth from wind and wave.
Deadman Junction Ranch was a ghost town in the making. Recreated buildings from out of the wild Wild West.
We had dinner at “Red Collar Brewing Co.”, and sampled a handful of their Kamloops based brews. For the full review of our time spent, visit the link below.
We eventually made it to “Tinhorn Creek Vineyards” where we would be spending our nights. I had won a contest and was redeeming my voucher for a two night stay. For the extensive review on our accommodation, visit the link below.
On our first morning we enjoyed brunch at “Miradoro”, “Tinhorn’s” bistro, a mere 2 minute walk from our suite. They are worth visiting for the view alone, not to mention the ability to taste various wines made on the premise. For the full review of our meal visit the link below.
We also explored the rest of “Tinhorn Creek Vineyard”, including their barrel room. Here, it was wall to wall, and ceiling to floor metal racks and wood oak barrels stacked one on top of another. Diagrams and signs walked tourists through the anatomy of a wine barrel, the name and function of the tools used in the production of their wine, and the steps it took to bring grape to drink. This was part of their self guided winery tour.
Our next day was spent exploring Osoyoos. We drove on the unmarked paths indicated on the Acura ILX’s GPS, searching for view points. Although with the low profile tires we felt everything, from the well travelled roads to all the cracks in between.
One such path took us to the highest point of Osoyoos, where we collected many insects on the front bumper and grill of our Acura, the sign of a well travelled road trip.
We made sure to pause at Osoyoos Lake for a stroll in Canada’s warmest lake.
And nearby enjoyed some child-like fun at “Rattlesnake Canyon”, an amusement park with spinning rides, trampolines, go karts, and a water park.
There, we had a cool treat from their windmill ice cream parlour. 48 flavours to choose from and we went with the chocolate chip cookie dough and the “shark bite”, a grape vanilla base with blue raspberry ice cream and raspberry syrup.
Later in the evening we visited Penticton, the only city between two lakes. There, we watched the sun set behind the mountains, until the light no longer reflected off the calm waters, between the green valley.
At night we marked my partner’s birthday with a dinner at Penticton’s hot spot by the beach: Salty’s. For all the extra large drinks that we had, the international food that we shared, and the cake that helped us celebrate visit the link below.
On our last day we enjoyed the hospitality of “Urtica” bistro and “Legend Distilling” in Naramata. You wouldn’t think to visit a distillery in wine country, or to enjoy a meal out of a shipping container, but I did and highly recommend both. All the details in the link below.
The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying the orange sands of Skaha beach. After exploring all the beaches in Okanagan Valley proper, we have concluded that this is the best, and our favourite.
Here, the sand is smooth, the water is on the warmer side. There is plenty of parking, with food stands and ice cream sales, plus clean enough washrooms.vWith very little wind, we tanned quick and got hot fast, but luckily simply standing knee deep in the melted glacial water was enough to cool your entire body down. The more daring beach goers dawned their bathing suits and splashed around.
Having our fill of fun in the sun, we sought dinner in Kelowna. We hit up our traditional spot, the second floor “Earls” by the Marina for some blacked chicken fettuccine and bbq ribs with a potato salad and slaw.
Then off we went, speeding along on the Coquihalla Hwy. We took the less visually interesting, but quickest way back home to Vancouver. Majority of it was spent chasing day light and watching the sky turn black. Here, night driving was made easier thanks to our Acura ILX’s intuitive lights. The high beams turned on and off as needed. The slightest detection of light in the opposite direction had them switching off themselves. A handy feature when majority of the road between city centres are without lights and high beams are in regular use.
And thus ends our weekend in the Okanagan with the Acura ILX A-Spec, a great looking car to drive, be see in, and take photos of. At its conception this is an entry level Acura, and the top of the line Honda Civic. It is user friendly and approachable, but the most pricy of this ILX class; yet still the least expensive model in the Acura family. It drove like a Civic and was reliable, like all the other civics I have had before. A great economic car that got us far and one that I can confidently recommend. Thank you for the fun and stress-free travel Acura!