Welcome to Kelowna
Located in the heart of the Okanagan Valley is Kelowna, BC. Commonly known as one of the most popular summer destinations in Canada, this sun-kissed, laid back city is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills, vineyards, and pristine beaches.
Home to almost 150,000 residents, Kelowna has seen significant growth in the past ten years. This BC interior gem is the perfect place to raise a family and continuously attracts people from around the world. Thanks to the international airport, Kelowna is an easy place to get to. By car, it is 4 hours east of Vancouver, and 7 hours west of Calgary.
Although Kelowna is a popular four season playground, it is most known for its sunny, hot summers. The winters are seemingly underrated. During the colder months, the city itself seems to quiet down, but activities in the mountains are on in full force. Mild temperatures and ample amounts of snow attract skiers and snowboarders from all over.
As locals to the area, we’re often exploring the beauty of this place and are excited to share some of the best with you below!
Things to Do
Whether you spend your day exploring the 40+ wineries scattered throughout the city, getting your dose of Vitamin D on the lake, exploring the farm-to-table dining experiences, or ripping it up on the slopes, it’s hard to think you’ll be bored here. Here are our favourite things to do throughout the seasons in Kelowna.
Hiking, biking, skiing, and everything in between. Kelowna is a perfect city to explore new places and enjoy the outdoors. Climb to one of the most desired views in the valley on Knox Mountain, rent a bike and discover the Myra Canyon Trestles. When winter rolls around, get your heart rate up at the Kelowna Nordic Center.
With over 40 wineries scattered up and down the valley, the opportunities are endless when it comes to fine wine here in Kelowna. Explore the varieties and learn the history of how these unique orchards, vineyards, and farms came to be. A self-guided tour using the Wine Trail Guide is popular for many, or you may also book a private tour. Either way, you are sure to experience award-winning wineries at every stop you make.
It’s rare for a cloud to be in the sky on a Kelowna summer day. It’s mid-afternoon, you crave some cooler temperatures, and the beach is calling your name – where to go? For the sandy beaches that remind you of a Californian beach day, head to Gyro Beach, Tugboat Bay, or Hot Sands Beach. Bertram Creek Regional Park or Paul’s Tomb are others that are less populated yet offer more tranquillity. If you are looking to explore some less popular areas, many smaller and hidden beaches are located along Abbott Street, providing the perfect balance of both.
Kelowna has an abundance of family-friendly activities that are sure to keep you busy. Take the family to Kangaroo Creek Farm to interact with exotic animals, and learn how they live. Scandia Golf & Games hosts a ton of fun activities that will bring you right back to the 90s – mini golf, go-karting, arcade games, and more means there is something for everyone to enjoy. Another local favourite in the summertime is the Kelowna Wibit, where kids can burn their energy on an inflatable playground on the water.
From high-end wakeboard and surf boats to leisurely bowriders, there is no shortage of rental options. Spend a few hours enjoying the many different areas of Lake Okanagan. And no, you do not need a boater’s licence! If motor boats aren’t your speed, we suggest renting a paddleboard or kayak to discover some hidden beaches on the north side of Knox Mountain – a local secret.
With one of the longest golfing seasons in Canada thanks to the sunshine and mild shoulder season temperatures, Kelowna is a go-to golf destination. From the challenging and pristine courses of Black Mountain to budget-friendly courses like Michaelbrook, there are options for every type of golfer.
Arts & Culture
The newly emerging Cultural District downtown has become the hub of arts and culture in Kelowna. Take a self-guided tour, get lost in the Okanagan Heritage Museum, or visit a show at the Kelowna Community Theatre. Thanks to many passionate individuals, the arts and culture scene has been gaining popularity and draws people from all over to be a part of it.
Shopping & Markets
With over 120 vendors, the Kelowna Farmer’s Market is the biggest in British Columbia. Come here on a Saturday morning to find a variety of organic produce, local farm products, and a wide variety of goods created by local artists. Alternatively, discover the locally owned shops in the Bernard District and Pandosy Village, or spend an afternoon at Orchard Park Mall. Either way, you’re sure to get your retail therapy fix!
Health & Wellness
When you’re hiked out, biked out, or skied out, relax and rejuvenate at one of the many day spas scattered around the city. Enjoy services such as a deep tissue massage, full body scrub, a relaxing couples massage, and more. Treat yourself right during your time in Kelowna and take advantage of a wide variety of pampering experiences.
No matter the time of year, Kelowna always has something fun to do. Summertime is most known for live music, with Parks Alive providing weekly concerts at various venues. Annual events like the Kelowna Beer Fest, the Downtown Kelowna Holiday Light Up, and Denim on the Diamond are festivals that bring this close-knit city together for various celebrations. There are constantly new events popping up around the city, something for people of all ages to enjoy!
Home to one of Canada’s most popular family ski resorts, Big White Ski Resort is British Columbia’s second-largest resort village. With over 115 runs, and whether it’s deep powder, steep trees, or family-friendly groomers, you are sure to find terrain that fits your ability. Spend a few nights in this winter wonderland with Canada’s largest ski-in/ski-out accommodation.
There’s no shortage of entertainment for all ages. For the young ones, check out Energyplex and Airhouse and let them bounce off the walls. For the adults, enjoy Playtime Casino and Chances Casino to try your luck at the classic casino games. If you want to catch a movie, head to Landmark Grand 10 in Rutland, or Cineplex Cinemas in Orchard Plaza. No matter what you choose, you won’t be bored here.
Places to Stay
The options are seemingly endless when it comes to finding accommodation in Kelowna. From the high-end resorts that sit on the shores of Okanagan Lake to the various budget-friendly hotels and motels conveniently located near the city’s top attractions, you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs.
For a more luxurious stay, resort-style hotels like the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Hotel Eldorado, and the Royal Kelowna by Bellstar are your best bet. These lakefront resorts are perfect for weekend getaways, events, and family vacations.
If you’re looking to experience the creative arts, the tasty cuisine, and the busy nightlife, we recommend staying near this lively downtown core at Hotel Zed, Coast Capri Hotel, or the Royal Anne Hotel.
For those who are planning to stay longer than a few days or prefer accommodation to set up a home base with more amenities, check out these vacation rentals. The Shore is located on Kelowna’s best beach and Discovery Bay sits amongst the action downtown with a rooftop pool you can’t get enough of.
If you’d like to experience Kelowna in its purest form of the outdoors, visit Heartland Kelowna for a historically beautiful wilderness experience. Other popular campgrounds that are within reasonable distance of Kelowna are Bear Creek Provincial Park, Kekuli Bay Provincial Park, and Ellison Provincial Park – each offers world-class camping beside gorgeous lakes.
Eat & Drink
Kelowna’s food and drink scene is almost unmatched. Whether you’re craving a uniquely crafted beer, a fresh cider made from apples grown in the surrounding orchards, a farm-to-table dinner, or handmade ice cream to end the day, you’ll be impressed with the options you have.
Breakfast in Kelowna
To start the day, indulge in a hearty brunch at some unique nooks. Each of these places puts their own spin on classic-style brunches spruced with local ingredients. Bohemian Cafe offers a bright and cheery twist on amazing breakfast dishes, Sunny’s Modern Diner provides a cozy, intimate atmosphere to enjoy high-quality breakfast eats, and DinerDeluxe is the perfect spot for friends and family to gather for a delicious meal.
Lunch in Kelowna
When lunchtime rolls around and you’re on the go, check out these local lunch nooks that locals rave about. Mad Mango Cafe has the best Asian Fusion around (and is friendly on the wallet), The Little Hobo Soup & Sandwich Shop is a local favourite providing quality comfort food at a reasonable price, and Frankie We Salute You is the best plant-based restaurant around!
Dinner in Kelowna
The high-quality dining options continue for dinner, with options that cater to all cravings. Here are some true farm-to-table restaurants that you won’t forget. Bernie’s Supper Club & Cinema is the one place where you can watch your favourite movies while enjoying a delicious meal and cocktail, RauDZ Regional Table has set the standard for restaurants collaborating with growers and wineries in our region, and Waterfront Wines, named the “Okanagan’s Best Restaurant” for the past 11 years has accolades that speak for themselves.
International Restaurants in Kelowna
From the spicy Thai food that will make you feel like you’re in Southeast Asia to the delicious Indian cuisine, there are plenty of international food options prepared with traditional style methods. Momo Sushi is the go-to sushi restaurant for many in Kelowna, Zabb Thai Restaurant has two locations and serves the best Pad Thai around, and Dawett Restaurant has the best traditional Indian cuisine and makes you feel like royalty as soon as you walk in the door.
Wineries in Kelowna
If you’re spending the day wine-tasting, be sure to check out the local favourites below. From the scenic wineries on Lakeshore Road to boutique spots nestled in the hills of East Kelowna, enjoy the tastes and stories of how these various wineries came to be. Check out some of the Kelowna wineries here.
Breweries in Kelowna
With over 15 breweries and counting, you’re not going thirsty here. Carve out an afternoon for a brewery tour to get the full experience – enjoy the unique beers and original atmospheres these awesome local breweries are known for. BNA Brewing is the spot to enjoy tasty beer and an upstairs bowling experience, Barn Owl Brewing is the hotspot of the lower mission, with a cozy, barn-style vibe, and Red Bird Brewing has become the go-to brewery for tasty pizza, live music, and dancing in Kelowna.
Time to Explore!
It’s quite obvious that you won’t find yourself bored while spending time in Kelowna. From action-packed outdoor sports to fine dining & wine tasting, there is something in between for everyone. We hope that you enjoy some of the activities outlined above and look forward to hosting you in this beautiful place we call home.