Capturing the experiences of a West Coast road trip, blogger Mayssam Samaha is making a pitstop in Penticton and Osoyoos to highlight the area.
Together with Zipcar, a world leader in car sharing, Coast Hotels kicked off the interactive Great Coast Road Trip in Lethbridge, Alta., earlier this month. The trip will cruise through 21 cities across Canada and down the U.S. West Coast ending 4,264 kilometres later in Santa Barbara, Calif. on June 14.
Coming through Kelowna, Penticton and Osoyoos on the fourth leg is Samaha, known for her blog willtravelforfood.com. It was a finalist in Saveur Magazine’s best Food Blog award. Her portion of the trip, called Okanagan Uncorked (roadtrip.coasthotels.com) will feature a feast of recreational activities and cultural offerings.
“I have always wanted to come to the Okanagan. I have been to Vancouver before but never here so when they contacted me about doing this and offered the Okanagan leg I said yes I want to do it,” said Samaha. “I had heard of the area because of the wines but I am interested in the agriculture part too. I wish it was more into the season so I could go to orchards and taste the fruit.”
Samaha’s itinerary is full of Okanagan experiences. Her trip started on Monday in Kelowna where she visited wineries and in Penticton on Tuesday she went to The Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove Winery.
On Wednesday, she will experience a breakfast kayak tour with Hoodoo’s Adventures then is headed to a tour of Hillside Winery and dinner at The Bistro. The bloggers are also offered some free time with suggestions to try places like Ogo’s Ice Cream, walk by the peach at Okanagan Lake and visit the Ikeda Japanese Gardens. Samaha then heads to Osoyoos for a day where they will join Wine Tour Gone South for a three-hour winery tour, have dinner at Campo restaurant then lunch the following day at Lake Village Bakery before heading to Vancouver.
Having been on a few road trips through Tuscany and across the desert from Las Vegas to California then up the West Coast, Samaha said she looks forward to this adventure which doesn’t have a lot of kilometres behind the wheel.
“It is perfect for making a lot of stops along the way. That is one tip I would give is to not be too rigid with your itinerary on road trips. Take time to wander and smell the fruit. A road trip is meant to wander and find things that are not planned out. If you plan too much you miss out on the fun stuff,” she said.
Samaha encourages people to stop them and give them any ideas of things to do in the area and to also snap photos of the bright purple car with the Coast Hotels logo on it.
“You can’t miss it,” she said. “We would love to hear from people and there is a contest on social media so take a picture of the car and tag it #GreatCoastRoadTrip and you can win a trip, the leg of your choice. Or, tag your own favourite road trip picture,” said Samaha.
In April, Coast Hotels hosted a search for a budding blogger to join the international journey. The travel-savvy bloggers each complete one leg of the month-long promotion before handing off the Zipcar, a Ford Escape, to the next participant and keep the adventure going. The group of bloggers will capture their own on-the-road experiences through blog posts and photography that will be featured on the Great Coast Road Trip website and distributed via the brand’s social media channels
“We’re thrilled to kick off this interactive campaign and showcase our great accommodations, uniquely local experiences and the adventurous spirit of the writers along the way,” said Sarah Kirby Yung, executive director marketing and communications for Coast Hotels.
“This will be a truly memorable journey for those participating and we hope it will inspire those at home to plan their own summer road trip getaways and keep an eye out for our bright and colourful Great Coast Road Trip branded Zipcar as it passes through cities.”