Lifestyle West Blog

How to Time Your Kelowna Hotel Visit Around Orchard Season

April 27, 2015

Kelowna orchard flowers in bloom

The onset of spring sees the Okanagan Valley landscape transform into a stunning sea of beautiful blossoms that can be enjoyed by Kelowna hotel visitors.

Photo by Tourism Kelowna

In so many ways, the Okanagan Valley is the land of plenty. With its fertile soils and spectacular seasonal climate, local orchardists have been growing tree fruits for generations. In recent years, these ventures have morphed into a thriving agri-tourism industry as more and more visitors to Kelowna hotels are flocking to the area to see firsthand how their food is produced.

Depending on when you’re visiting the Okanagan, there are two prime times to experience an orchard—blossom and harvest.

 

Blossom

From about mid-April to mid-May, Kelowna hotel travelers can witness a spectacular vista across the region as various trees send forth fragrant blossoms. The weather can greatly influence the exact timing—either a late winter or early spring—but here’s a rough timeline for the blossoming of locally grown fruits:

  • Apricots: April 10-25
  • Cherries: April 20-May 7
  • Peaches: April 20-May 2
  • Pears: April 25-May 10
  • Prunes and plums: April 28-May 10
  • Apples: May 5-20

 

Harvest

If seeing beautiful blossoms is visually impressive, then tasting freshly picked Okanagan fruit is sublime. Whereas imported fruit is usually picked well before it ripens—to allow for transport time and reduce the chances of it being damaged during transport—in-season Okanagan fruit is picked at just the right time.

Okanagan fruits seem to ripen in waves. Just as one crop peaks and starts to dwindle, the next one comes to market. Here’s how the harvest plays out:

  • Cherries: early July to August
  • Apricots: mid-July to mid-August
  • Peaches: late July to early September
  • Prunes and plums: mid-August to mid-September
  • Pears: mid-August to late September
  • Apples: mid-August to late October

 

So you may be wondering “How do I get my hands on some of this fruit?” Well, for Kelowna hotel guests, there are a number of ways, each of them far more exciting than a humdrum trip to the supermarket:

Farmers’ Markets: Come and meet the farmers who pick the fruit. The Kelowna Farmers’ Market—which goes outdoors on the corner of Dillworth and Springfield Roads from Easter to Thanksgiving—is a fun and convenient way to load up on fresh fruit because many of the local orchardists are gathered in one spot.

Farmgate sales: Many farmers have a stand set up right on their orchards, meaning the fruit will have traveled a couple hundred feet at most.

Roadside fruitstands: Kelowna hotel goers will start to see these popping up as fruit comes into season. If you’re bombing down the highway and feel like a snack for the road, it’s hard to beat a bag of fresh lapin cherries.

 

For Kelowna hotel guests wanting to learn a bit about the area’s history, read Kelowna Historic Sites Near Dog-Friendly Hotels in the Okanagan.

 

Stunning spring blossoms or freshly picked fruit? The Okanagan has plenty of both depending on when you visit the BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotel and Suites. With experienced, professional staff, inviting amenities, and a range of room styles—from standard to executive to self-catered suites, there’s something for everyone.


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