As written by Janine Verreault for BC Living, October 11, 2022
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Experience all the family fun Osoyoos has to offer this autumn

Cue up Don Henley’s Boys of Summer.

The inflatable waterpark on Osoyoos Lake is gone. Scoopsies ice cream parlour is shuttered for the season. Rattle Snake Canyon amusement park is closed until April.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton to do in Osoyoos come autumn.

In fact, going to Osoyoos in the fall is a great way to extend your summer. With temperatures hitting the high 20s and even creeping into the low 30s, you can still enjoy pool and lake time, while also embracing the comfort of the cozy season.

My family (my husband, 10-year-old daughter and I) recently visited Osoyoos and got to take part in some incredible cultural and outdoor adventures that we’ve never experienced when visiting during the summer.

Here are some of our favourite ways to make the most of your trip to Osoyoos in fall…

Where to Stay

Spirit Ridge Resort Hotel –

This was our first time staying at Spirit Ridge Resort, which is located on the desert hillside overlooking the vineyards and Osoyoos Lake, about a 10-minute drive east from downtown Osoyoos. This 4-star Hyatt hotel “embraces the local Osoyoos Indian Band culture through art, language, food and stories.”

Spirit Ridge offers suites, condos and villas, which include full kitchens as well as barbecues. There is an adult pool as well as a family pool, complete with a waterslide. The Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre and winery, Solterra Desert Spa, and The Bear, The Fish, The Root & The Berry restaurant are all located right on the resort property. You could truly have a full vacation experience without ever leaving the resort, as it offers a wonderful mix of modern luxuries, amenities and local culture. However, as comfortable as we were here, we wanted to also get out and explore as much of Osoyoos as possible.

Where to Eat

The Bear, The Fish, The Root & the Berry –

Coincidentally, one of the legends in my daughter’s new book told the story of how food was given to the People-To-Be, introducing the characters of Black Bear, Spring Salmon, Bitterroot and Saskatoon Berry, so we had an extra appreciation for the name of this restaurant, located in the Spirit Ridge Resort hotel where we had a very special dinner out. The restaurant features a gorgeous view overlooking Osoyoos Lake and serves up chef Murray McDonald’s modern vineyard cuisine inspired by indigenous roots.

To start, we shared the Bannock (Indigenous fry bread) & Spreads, which included white bean sumac spread; roasted corn and hot pepper succotash; sunflower seed Romesco; and stewed tomatoes ($30). We also ordered the Salmon Platter with maple candied salmon (my daughter’s favourite); smoked salmon; beet-cured gravlax; capers; assorted pickles; grainy mustard and crackers ($38). Both platters were super-fresh, delicious and large enough that we brought leftovers back to our room for snacks the next day.

For mains, I thoroughly enjoyed the Pan-seared Pacific Lingcod with chestnut, peas and chorizo ($36), a rich and comforting dish that’s perfect for fall. My husband went all out with the 16-oz Slow-braised Cache Creek Natural Beef Back Ribs served with duck fat potatoes, mushrooms, desert sage-roasted carrots, creamed kale and spruce demi ($40). There was not a morsel of meat left on those bones. My daughter chose the AAA Flat-iron Steak from the impressive and extensive kids’ menu, which came with seasonal veggies and roasted potatoes ($16).

As full as we were, we couldn’t resist dessert, and indulged with the White Chocolate Lemon Meringue Tart with marshmallow fluff ($15) and the Honey and Stewed Pear Pavlova with spruce-tip lemon meringue, burnt honey and birch cheesecake ($15) before rolling ourselves back to the room.

For more information about Spirit Ridge, visit the resort’s website.

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