Welcome to Oliver
Sitting in the South Okanagan amongst the vast rolling mountains and endless rows of vineyards in Oliver, BC. Commonly known as the Wine Capital Of Canada, this quaint town is known primarily for its wine, mild temperatures, and abundance of outdoor activities.
With a population of around 5,000 people, Oliver is one of the smaller towns in the Okanagan. The main industries here are grape and fruit production, wine, tourism, and agriculture. The Syilx of the Okanagan Nation have the founding roots in this beautiful area, and there is plenty of opportunity to learn about the history.
Highway 97 runs directly through the town, making it an easy place to get to. 40 minutes south of Penticton and 5 hours east of Vancouver will get you to the Wine Capital of Canada. The Kelowna International Airport is less than an hour and a half north, making it an easy place to access from anywhere.
The hot, dry summers attract travellers from all over to come experience wine country in all its beauty. Oliver is rich in hiking and biking trails, family-friendly activities, and of course wineries, making it an ideal destination for the entire clan. We’ve outlined the most popular things to do, places to stay, and eating/drink destinations below. Keep reading to learn about this small town full of beauty!
Things to Do
Immerse yourself in the Southern Okanagan culture that revolves around enjoying nature. Hiking, wine tasting, golfing, and watersports are just a few of the popular activities here – the desert-like weather allows for one of the longest warm weather seasons in Canada, and there is no shortage of winter fun. The growing arts & culture scene means art galleries, live performances, and plenty of opportunities to learn and pay respect to the Syilx Okanagan Nation.
There are a multitude of hikes here that lead to incredible views of the South Okanagan. Make your way to the popular McIntyre Bluff or stroll along the Oliver Hike & Bike Path. For something more unique, try your luck fishing at Tuc El Nuit Lake or explore various bird species at the Vaseux Lake Bird Sanctuary. During the winter, be sure to check out the popular Baldy Mountain Resort for every mountain sport under the sun!
An impressive fifty percent of all wine grapes in BC are grown in Oliver. It’s called the Wine Capital of Canada for good reason, thanks to its 40+ wineries nearby. You could spend weeks exploring every winery in the region, but we recommend taking a private wine tour for the best experience possible. Taste your way through the endless rows of vineyards, unique wineries, and lovely culture that makes this place so special.
Located on the southwest corner of Tuc El Nuit Lake is Rotary Beach, one of the most common beaches for locals and tourists alike. Sandy beachfront, large grassy areas, washrooms, benches, and large shade trees can be found here, making it an ideal place for the whole family to spend a day.
Take the kids to Kinsmen Spray Park to go wild at the waterpark and playgrounds, go public skating during the cooler months, or simply enjoy a sunny day at Rotary Beach Park. For a different experience, check out various farms around the town to pick your own fruit!
There are two courses to play here in Oliver, each featuring its own beauty and challenges. Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course is a full-length championship course that weaves through rolling hills, sagebrush, and vineyards. Fairview Mountain Golf Course offers awe-inspiring views, well-maintained greens, and challenging holes. You can’t go wrong at either of these courses, so may as well play both!
Tuc El Nuit is the closest lake to Oliver and offers a variety of activities like swimming, kayaking SUPing, and pedal boating. Vaseux Lake, located between Oliver and OK Falls is another option and offers more opportunity for wildlife viewing. When the weather cools off, head to the Oliver pool where there’s fun for the whole family.
Arts & Culture
Complimenting the wine industry in many ways, the arts & culture scene in Oliver is strong. Immerse yourself in the various art galleries, live performances, and most importantly the history that shaped this town. Learn the history from a Syilx perspective and gain a deep appreciation for the beautiful land we are lucky to experience.
Shopping & Markets
One of the first things you’ll notice when driving through Oliver is the abundance of fruit stands up and down the highway. There is no shortage of markets that feature a variety of fruits grown just minutes away. Head to the District Wine Village Night Market every Wednesday evening for a modernized version of a traditional farmers market that you won’t be able to find anywhere else!
Health & Wellness
We all deserve to pamper ourselves once in a while. In Oliver, that’s no different. Head to the various wellness centers and spas for your favourite treatment. Whether it’s a deep tissue massage or a simple manicure & pedicure, there’s no shortage of options here to get you feeling and looking your best!
The Fall Festival is Oliver’s largest annual event. Taking place in late September, the festival attracts over 4,500 people to sample wine, listen and dance to live music and participate in various activities throughout the weekend. Have you ever been in a grape stomping competition? Well, this is your chance!
Being part of a desert, the typical Canadian snowy and cold winters are rare here. Tourism slows down, but mountain sports are on in full force at Mt. Baldy Ski Resort. Depending on the snow level, either hike or snowshoe to the beautiful McIntyre Bluff, or head to the Mckinney Nordic Ski Club to cross-country ski and snowshoe!
With so many wineries here, summer nights are typically filled with live performances and events at various venues. Check out the Oliver Theatre to catch the newest blockbuster hits, or visit the recently-established Venables Theatre to watch live shows and performances. The District Wine Village is a cool district with 13 wineries, an eatery, a distillery, and a brewery – it’s the perfect place to enjoy with friends and family!
Places to Stay
With a pleasant mix of hotels, vacation rentals, campgrounds, and budget-friendly motels, Oliver is home to a wide variety of accommodation options. Take advantage of the secluded and relaxing bed & breakfasts scattered throughout the rolling vineyards, camp on the stunning Tuc-El-Nuit Lake, or bring the whole family to enjoy the Lakeside Resort. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to find comfort in Oliver.
Hotels & Motels in Oliver
The Lakeside Resort sits on the stunning Tuc El Nuit Lake on a 5-acre property in the heart of Oliver. With a private beach, multiple accommodation options, boat rentals, and more, it’s an ideal place to spend a family vacation. Known as “an Okanagan classic”, travellers have been staying here for years to enjoy the relaxation, great location, and welcoming staff.
Coast Oliver Hotel carries the great consistency of a Coast hotel in the Wine Capital of Canada. Located conveniently close to a variety of wineries, golfing, and outdoor activities, it’s an ideal place to set up basecamp for your South Okanagan Adventure. Enjoy the comfortable rooms with the best amenities, fast wifi, and free daily breakfast!
Desert Arms Hotel is a historical hotel that has been around for almost 100 years. With four room options to choose from, it’s perfect for those travelling on a budget. You’ll appreciate the close proximity to wineries, hiking trails, and Tuc El Nuit Lake.
Bed & Breakfasts in Oliver
Vintage Merlot B&B sits right across the street from Canyon Desert Golf Course. The friendly hosts Walter and Debbie welcome you to stay, play, explore, and relax. With two rooms to choose from, you’ll be staying in comfort. Enjoy a delicious continental breakfast each morning to fuel you up for a day of golfing or adventure!
A Golden Mile B&B overlooks the gorgeous vineyards and rolling mountains of Oliver, sitting at the beginning of “The Golden Mile”. Guests have two room options to choose from, with both providing comfortable beds, beautiful views, and all the necessary amenities.
Uncorked B&B is a restful getaway located just steps away from the beautiful Tuc El Nuit Lake. Each room here features access to the saltwater pool, patio, BBQ, and shared kitchen. The welcoming hosts, Ian and Judy are happy to share their knowledge of the area to ensure you get the best experience possible!
Campgrounds & RV Parks in Oliver
Ncicn Creek Campground is a beautiful space located on the flats just outside of Oliver. This is an ideal spot for those in search of a rustic and more secluded experience, where you’ll often see both quails and wild horses passing through. Ncicn Creek offers short and long-term stays, and stays open all year long!
Desert Lake RV Resort is located right on Tuc El Nuit Lake, giving easy access to lake life and a variety of water sports. Each site contains water, power, sewer, and complimentary wifi. Enjoy the beauty of lake life and Oliver’s popular attractions close by to this relaxing RV resort.
Gallagher Lake – A Parkbridge Camping & RV Resort is nestled in amongst the tall pine trees, making it a different and more unique landscape than the other campgrounds nearby. Located 10 minutes north of Oliver, guests have access to a private beach on the quaint Gallagher Lake. Flush washrooms, hot showers, laundry facilities, wifi, and year-round camping are available here, but book your spot far in advance as this is a popular place!
Eat & Drink
Known as The Wine Capital of Canada, Oliver is home to some of the country’s most precious wineries. To complement this, there is a wide variety of restaurants and cafes that cater to all cravings. The district wine village is a one-of-a-kind experience where you can taste delicious local vino and indulge in high-quality bites!
Breakfast & Lunch in Oliver
M&J’s Country Kitchen serves a wide variety of country-style, home-cooked meals made from scratch. This hearty restaurant has proudly been serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner to locals and tourists since March 2020. From a classic French Toast breakfast to the popular Twisted Reuben Poutine, M&J’s is a perfect option for any time of the day.
The Ditch Cafe is a cute cafe that serves a variety of delicious coffee, specialty tea, baked goods, and quick meals. The inviting atmosphere, friendly staff, and high-quality food make it one of the go-to cafes for locals in the area. With continuously changing soups and salads, you’ll have a new option almost every time you walk in!
Big Al’s Bakery & Deli is easily one of the best bakeries in the South Okanagan. Come try their well-priced breakfast and lunch options, pair it with your favourite coffee, and relax in the laid-back bistro-style dining area. Big Al’s is most well known for their baked goods made from scratch, so make sure you buy some treats for the road!
Dinner in Oliver
Savvios Family Restaurant is an Okanagan gem. This popular eatery offers Greek, Italian, steak, and seafood. Enjoy your meal in the beautifully decorated dining room or outside on the patio. We’d recommend going on a pig or lamb roast evening – an experience you can’t easily find in the Okanagan!
Pappa’s Firehall Bistro is a local favourite. Offering a variety of food and drinks, this Bistro is perfect for enjoying a meal with family, catching the game, or sharing a few rounds with your friends. We recommend trying the BBQ Ribs and Chicken – a filling and delicious meal that will leave you satisfied!
Terrafina, meaning “from the earth”, is a gorgeous Tuscan-style restaurant located at Hester Creek Estate Winery. The modern menu reflects the essence of the Okanagan seasons and frequently features locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy a lovely meal paired with delicious wine that was produced from the vineyards you’re surrounded by – a true Okanagan fine dining experience.
International Restaurants in Oliver
Oliver Garden Restaurant is a Chinese restaurant that serves all your favourite dishes with no MSG. Enjoy the classic dishes like chow mein, chop suey, fried rice, and more. Their reasonable prices make it an ideal option to feed the whole family!
Best of India Restaurant serves authentic Indian food with delicious spices made in-house. If spice isn’t your thing, they are more than happy to accommodate for everyone to enjoy. Satisfy your Indian food cravings at this welcoming restaurant in the heart of Oliver.
TacoRiendo is one of the best Mexican restaurants in the South Okanagan, serving traditional Mexican food like burritos, enchiladas, tacos, mole, and more. The simply designed interior mimics that of a true Mexican restaurant, making for an even more authentic experience.
Pizza in Oliver
Marcos Pizzeria serves incredible pizza using the freshest toppings possible. Locals and tourists alike rave about the quality of the food and the service. With fresh, daily made dough, you’ll be impressed by the care that goes into each pizza.
Amore Pizza Factory has a wide variety of pizza flavours, catering to almost every craving you have. Pair your pizza with a delicious salad, or try one of their popular baked pastas, BBQ ribs, and of course tasty dessert! Pay it forward on Thursdays from 2-4 p.m. by paying what you can, with the money going directly to the local food bank.
Pizza Rolla is a family-run restaurant that serves much more than pizza. Sushi, pasta, teriyaki hot plates, fresh salads, and wings can be found here, each made with fresh ingredients and great taste. If you’re feeding a large group, check out their selection of party trays!
Breweries in Oliver
Firehall Brewery is a family-owned and operated artisanal brewery located in an old Firehall dating back to 1948. With a variety of tasty beers on tap and seasonally rotating ales, this ‘Sip Shop & Social’ is a hotspot for locals and tourists. This brewery is known for providing fuel for the winemakers and palate cleansers for the wine-drinkers!
Wineries in Oliver
Covert Farms Family Estate Winery is a fourth-generation, certified organic winery. Sitting on a 650-acre property, regenerative techniques are at the forefront of their winemaking processes. Organic, estate-grown grapes are the foundation of their award-winning wine, which you can sip on their beautiful patio complimented by a tasty charcuterie board.
Gneiss Wines is one of the 13 wineries that operate out of the District Wine Village in Oliver. This new winery specializes in working with small artisanal producers to create delicious small-lot wines that are a direct reflection of the environment they come from. Oh yeah, it’s pronounced “nice”, which is a common type of rock found in our region!
Pipe Dreams Winery sets itself apart from the rest by going against the grain. This family-owned winery was founded by a generation of farmers who had the dream of creating wine from grape varieties that are largely unexplored in BC. Visit their tasting room and learn what makes this unique winery so special.
Cideries in Oliver
Howling Moon Craft Cider had humble beginnings in creating cider from apples sourced from friends and neighbours. Years later, an overgrown orchard was purchased, and the Howling Moon community has grown dramatically. With a wide variety of flavours, come in and enjoy their tasting garden which is open during the warmer months. Be sure to check their website before heading in!
The Maverick Cider Co. shares a name with the winery it is located at. Creating flavours that reflect the beautiful Okanagan Valley, their cider has become widely popular around the province. Maverick uses traditional hand-crafting techniques to produce an authentic, crisp, dry cider. Come see their fine-tuned approach to cider-making on the lovely estate property in Oliver.
Coffee Shops & Cafes in Oliver
EnRoute Espresso & Tea Co. is a mobile coffee shop that serves delicious hot drinks and treats during the warmer months of the year. Lattes, cappuccinos, affogatos, and more, are all made with Beach Cruiser Espresso from Tug 6 Coffee!
Big Al’s Bakery & Deli serves up a wide variety of freshly baked breads, cakes, pastries, pies, and cookies. Using in-season fruit grown locally, Big Al’s is very well known for the high level of care that goes into each batch. Come enjoy a coffee and treat, or grab a bite from their bistro menu!
The Ditch Cafe is a cute little shop that serves your favourite hot drinks, baked goods, and hearty meals. The cozy seating area and welcoming staff make it an ideal spot to catch up with friends or work for a few hours. Be sure to check out their freshly baked treats that often feature locally grown fruit!