I tip toed across the sun room to the screen door, where I smacked my flip flops down onto the entrance’s paver stones. Unlatching the gate on the white picket fence that surrounded the cottage, I made my way up Veranda Drive to pick up our vehicle from its parking spot. The sun was rising over the vineyards, painting everything pink in the early morning. The dewy air smelled like peaches from the neighbouring orchards. I heard a small sound and looked across the lane to a patch of lawn where a boy, in his pajamas, was collecting rocks and storing them in a Pringles can. “Ah, summer mornings as a kid at the cottage.” I thought to myself. This kid was going to have a good day at Veranda Beach Resort.
He was probably going to get called into breakfast soon, the smell of bacon wafting through the shrubs already, and then maybe the family would head to the beach before the afternoon sunshine got too hot. Perhaps they would head out onto their boat, then they would regroup at the cottage for lunch on the barbecue, grab some inflatable loungers and hit the pool for a round of Marco Polo.
To dry off, a game of soccer on the lawn where orange cones would be setup to mark goal areas, or a round of shuffleboard near the pool deck. Before dusk, the Veranda Beach team would roll out the giant movie screen in preparation for the free outdoor family movie that night. Lawn chairs, blankets, and snacking on popcorn with a popular cartoon blockbuster. Walking back to the cottage, they would drag blankets that would be laid out in the back yard where they could look up at the stars. I imagine being a kid at Veranda Beach would be pretty great. But being an adult there was pretty great too.
Veranda Beach has all of the perks of staying at a hotel, while being independent in your own cottage. John and I were there on a couples’ getaway in late August with Keira, her husband, and their fur baby Jordy. We cooked breakfast, hit the beach, paddle boarded, had lunch at the diner, swam in the pool, played games on our deck, barbecued, enjoyed some local wine, and hit up the hot tub for adults only hour. Lather, rinse, repeat each day. Sunshine, swimming, sizzling BBQ. If we had more time, hiking and wine touring would have been a part of the equation too. 48 hours was just enough to unwind to the point of where we wished we had booked an entire week at Veranda Beach.
Things We Loved
Full Service: When we arrived, a staff member showed us to our cottage, pointed out some of its features, and made sure our key cards worked.
On top of the well-appointed home with every gadget, cooking utensil, fan, pot, and even sphere ice cube makers in the freezer, we could call the front desk and still have a replenished propane tank delivered for the barbecue or even more dish soap. Garbage was picked up by the curb, there was a recycling program, and towels for bath and beach were supplied in the home.
Diner: Open during the summer months only, we could actually get full food & beverage service from the diner down at the pool. However, we went up to dine on the patio picnic tables anyway, where Jordy was also welcome. In fact the server even brought out some water for him to lap up. I had the BLT, which was delicious. Served on thick slices of multigrain with heaping pile of fries on the side (with several vegetable and salad options too). They ever served a Caesar — not a Bloody Mary.
Pet Friendliness: On that note, Keira expressly told me to mention how everything was so incredibly pet friendly at Veranda Beach. Jordy was allowed in the pool area (his leash attached to her chair), he frolicked on the beach (as best he could in the deep sand), he drank with us on the patio at the diner, and pretty much went everywhere we went. He even made a few friends on the great lawn.
Marina: Rent from Kevin at the marina! He’s a local who can tell you all about the history of the area, and set you up with a Sea Doo, bumper boat, paddle board, kayak, and more.
Independence: While you had the support of the resort (with diner, general store, pool, games room, fitness centre, and marina) you could easily disconnect and simply enjoy time on your own. There was a guide book in the cottage with instructions on being self-sufficient with the dishwasher, air conditioning, trash disposal, and more.
Things We Would Have Loved to See
If I had to come up with one complaint or area in need of improvement I’d just have say that the deck of cards in the drawer was missing a King of Spades. That’s it! Of the four of us, none once uttered the words: “It’s great but I wish there was…”. It was the perfect getaway.
Tip: There is a liquor store and grocery store in Oroville, Washington when you cross the border, before you turn onto 16th to head out to Veranda Beach. I would recommend getting your alcohol at the grocery store as we found it was quite a bit cheaper there.
The resort is open year-round for vacation rental booking and still offers plenty of activities in fall and winter. In fact I’ve been told that in winter, closer the Christmas, they build an outdoor ice rink for those who spend the holidays there! The diner and general store close when summer’s over, and reopen in late spring.
Veranda Beach is just 20 minutes from the Canada/USA border, on the Washington State side of Lake Osoyoos, and about 5 hours from Vancouver along Highway 3. Vacation rentals sleep 4-12 guests so the nightly rate, split among friends and family, is rather affordable. Our cottage was huge, it slept 12, and went for about $600/night. Pets are allowed and you can use a detailed search feature when browsing the bookings.