The Grapest of Escapes: YYC to YYF in 60 Minutes

You can have wine in under an hour.

Oh, and you’ll be in B.C. when you drink it.

During the summer months you can guarantee that spots like Penticton double in population thanks to Albertans who are ready to trade in the grind for hot weather (instead of summer rain), quality lake time (that doesn’t involve glacial water), and a chance to enjoy all the good living that comes with having our very own Napa of the North. 

The only problem is the drive, which can feel like an eternity of passes, switchbacks, and heavy traffic.  

The good news is that WestJet now offers a year-round service from YYC to YYF (Penticton), which makes getting away so much easier.

Summer may be long gone, but this is still an incredible destination to head to next time you have a free weekend; or dare we say it, if you’re looking for an alternative to spending Christmas with the family.

Here’s what we suggest.

Book an early afternoon flight on Friday and skip out on that drag of a meeting where you’d be forced to discuss year-end with your boss.

Thank you WestJet for your genius scheduling.  

Arrive in Penticton at roughly the same time you left Calgary.

Thank you daylight savings.

From here you have 3 possible options.

1. For the Outdoorsy Type
Apex Mountain is a quick drive from the airport and offers terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. With on-site accommodations, you’ll feel right at home with a bar, bistro, and trading post to take care of all your après-ski needs.

After a long day on the mountain, take advantage of a few drinks at the Rock Oven Bar & Grill before sinking into the hot tub.

2. For the Most Relaxed Weekend Ever
From Penticton, head to the Watermark Hotel in Osoyoos, where you’ll be treated to a first class reception and every service you could ever want at the Illumination Spa. This vegan and organic spa offers guests an experience that goes beyond your usual facial or manicure by working with eco-friendly ingredients to help revitalize your mind and body.

After you’ve been pampered, take in a yoga class, grab a snack from the tapas bar, or get into a white hotel robe and enjoy a bottle of Okanagan VQA wine in your room.

Whether you’re after a girls’ weekend or something a little more on the romantic side, this is the place for you.

And if you’re saving up your flight credits until the spring, make sure to inquire about the Covert Farms tour, a must-see excursion of the South Okanagan that can be easily arranged from the Watermark Hotel.


3. For the Wine Lover
Now it’s not to say that you can’t drink wine anywhere in the area but if you really want to make your trip worthwhile then add Tinhorn Creek to your agenda. Now in its 20th year of operation, this winery sits on a stunning pocket of land known as the Golden Mile.  

Focused on making terroir-driven wines, the charming new winemaker Andrew Windsor and co. will entertain guests with their passion for grape juice and a creative new approach to wine-making that is sure to make the next vintage of Tinhorn stand out. Make sure to sign up for an afternoon in the tasting room and a tour of the facility.

You’ll be smiling purple by the end.

To round the afternoon off, you’ll only have to walk a few steps to find yourself in the coveted Miradoro Restaurant. Here you’ll be treated to a feast of regional cuisine and front row seats of the property’s surrounding vineyards.

Life really doesn’t get much better. Well, unless you add more wine, of course. 


Want more updates on the most Notable things happening so you know before your colleagues do? Get our exclusive newsletter here and follow us on Twitter for all the latest.