More Cities and Towns of Thompson Okanagan Valley
B.C. Travel Regions
Oliver may be one of the smallest municipalities in the Okanagan Valley, but its picturesque setting makes it a delightful stop on any wine tour. Billing itself as the "Grape Capital of Canada," it plays an important role in the Okanagan's fruit and wine production. The town is located approximately 16 miles north of Osoyoos on the fringe of Canada's only desert and is south of the communities of Kelowna, Summerland and Penticton.
The town offers a number of interesting anecdotes to British Columbia history. Gold-bearing quartz was discovered east of Oliver in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, the town served as a rehabilitation point for unemployed Canadian veterans.
Oliver owes its agricultural beginnings to an irrigation system that was implemented during the 1930s. A heritage walk showcasing some of Oliver's historical buildings and beginnings is available from the Visitors Centre.
There also are several ecological sights to take in around the Oliver area, such as the Federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary, and the nearby summit of Mt. Kobau, where hikers can get a breathtaking view of the surrounding valleys and lakes. The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory has displays that are open to the public.
Oliver's claim to fame, of course, is the prominence of the many Oliver wineries in British Columbia Wine Country and specifically the town's role in the Okanagan wine tours, which peak with the Festival of the Grape each fall. Camping, golfing, hiking and boating are just a few of the recreational activities for which the South Okanagan is known.
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