How to Make the Most Out of Your Winters in Summerland?

winters in summerland

Apart from the holiday season, winters are pretty dull. There are fewer things to do, nature isn’t very lively and the weather can be awful. Not when you’re in Summerland. This quiet town turns into a paradise during the winter season and opens up for all kinds of adventures. 

Whether you are looking at Summerland real estate as an investment opportunity or here for the natural landscape, you’ll never have a boring moment. The town is full of attractions and events that cater to food, wine, and outdoor enthusiasts all the same. Great attractions don’t just make it a fun place to live but make the properties highly coveted. 

1. Polar Bear Plunge Day 

Polar Bear Plunge Day can overwhelm even the most avid outdoor enthusiasts. It’s not for those  who can’t handle freezing temperatures. While the rest of the world welcomes the New Year on January 1st, brave hearts and minds in Summerland welcome it by plunging into the freezing Okanagan Lake.  

The tradition is almost four decades old and has become a must-watch event and one of the most daring things to do in Summerland. 2024 saw a crowd of hundreds of people with both participants and observers. Some like to plunge into the water and run back to the bank while others are brave enough to stick around for an entire swim. 

2. Winter Wine Festival

Wine tours are usually done during the fall or spring season. The temperature is just right and it’s also time for the vineyards to harvest their produce. However, winter brings its own charm and if you haven’t toured a winery during the winter, Summerland brings you an amazing opportunity from the 20th of January to the 28th of the month. 

Participate in the Okanagan Winter Wine Festival and tour through British Columbia’s finest wineries for an entire week. The snow-covered vineyards are a feast for your eyes while your other senses get mesmerized as you get a sneak peek into the art of winemaking. It’s a culinary festival with wine pairings and cosy conversations with fellow wine enthusiasts by a crackling fire in the winter chill. 

3. Summerland Ornamental Gardens

Summerland Ornamental Gardens was established a century ago as an experimental farm. However, today it thrives as part of a botanical garden and research centre and spans over 6 hectares. As you walk through the gardens, you don’t just get to see and smell beautiful seasonals, and perennials, but also get a view of the pristine Okanagan Lake, an iconic railroad bridge and the Giannt’s Head Mountain. 

What to do in Summerland? Well, those views are glaring at you with answers. Some of the most beautiful plants in this garden include:

  • Quaking Aspen with changing leaves through the seasons
  • Lilac with all its elegance
  • Rock Cress in different shades of purple
  • Siberian Squill with its indigo blooms

You’ll also get to see several cute critters who depend on this place for food and call it their home. The garden also hosts interesting programs to introduce gardening to your kids that teach them to respect and care for nature from a young age.   

4. Go ice fishing at Darke Lake

Ice fishing is a calming yet thrilling experience that’s available only during certain times of the year. In Summerland, Darke Lake is very popular among both locals and tourists for ice fishing. The beauty of this lake lies in its shape and size. It freezes, but not solid all over and that allows fish to thrive even during the coldest months. Book a guided ice-fishing tour and equip yourself with the right gear before you go on the adventure. 

5. Star gazing at Peach Orchard Cemetry

As the Okanagan Valley keeps growing, light pollution makes viewing the celestial dots in the sky a bit too difficult. However, despite all its amenities and new developments, Summerland remains a paradise for stargazers. No wonder Summerland houses for sale are growing in demand. While there are several high points for star gazing in this town, you’ll get some of the best views from Peach Orchard Cemetery as long as you can get past the fact that you’re in a cemetery at night.  

In winter, Summerland unfolds a magical tapestry of adventure. Dive into the icy thrill of Polar Bear Plunge, savour the Winter Wine Festival, explore the Ornamental Gardens, try ice fishing at Darke Lake, and stargaze at Peach Orchard Cemetery. Indulge in a wonderful winter retreat when you visit or build a forever home in this cosy town.