Where is Kelowna? What are some of the interesting things to do in Kelowna?
Kelowna is a relatively small city located in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia but don’t let its small size fool you! Being the hub of Okanagan Valley, there are endless amazing things to do in Kelowna. Also known as the Land of Peaches and beaches, Kelowna grew into a tourist attraction in the recent few years for its infamous vineyards and wine tasting tours as well.
If you are looking for something good to eat or climb up a mountain or ride a jet pack or even go want to visit an art gallery- Kelowna will never disappoint you in any way. There is just something about Kelowna that will draw you towards this city and you can’t help it.
Don’t believe us? You don’t have to yet. Go through this article of awesome things to do in Kelowna and you will realize how truly mesmerizing the place is!
Today I’m gonna share everything about Kelowna as well as fantastic things to do in Kelowna. So let’s get started!
How to get to Kelowna?
The Kelowna International Airport is just about a 15 Km drive from downtown Kelowna. It also happens to be one of the busiest Canadian airports.
A drive to Kelowna is also a good option and a pretty relaxing feeling. As the roads are well maintained and full of scenic beauty, many people tend to take the driving option. Kelowna is just a 4-5 hours drive from Vancouver, BC. If you are going from Calgary, it might take up to 7 hours. Again, this will vary depending on your driving speed
If you don’t want to choose the driving option, then don’t fret! There are regular E buses to Kelowna. These buses offer their services from different areas of British Columbia as well as Alberta throughout the week.
So, Kelowna is a pretty accessible place that also has more than 70 commercial flights scheduled every day!
Best time to go to Kelowna
So, what is the best time when you can avail of all the amazing and adventurous things to do in Kelowna? You need to keep in mind that there is no average temperature range in Kelowna as temperature varies drastically. The best time to visit is from July to August where the days have moderate temperature and you can enjoy to the fullest.
Where to stay in Kelowna?
Although there are amazing hotels all around the place, try finding a hotel in the downtown area. The downtown is the heart of Kelowna. Also, staying downtown will help you get to all the major sightseeing easily and quickly.
Things to do in Kelowna
1. Breathe in the majestic view of the Okanagan Lake
Kelowna is located on the shores of the Okanagan lake so watching this beauty is one of the most significant things to do in Kelowna. Lake Okanagan offers a lot of activities like parasailing, boating, and other water activities to locals as well as visitors. You can even go sailing on Okanagan Lake. But being one of the major tourist attractions, it is filled with people and can sometimes be a little bit too crowded for your liking.
2. Go wine tasting in Okanagan Valley
When in Kelowna, one of the most important things to do is go wine tasting at the Okanagan valley. You seriously cannot visit the Okanagan without talking about the wine as there are wineries everywhere you go. It is true! Kelowna has a population of only 130,000 yet there are over 20 wineries here. Don’t believe me? Look it up for yourself!
Living in a wine country can be a bit difficult as it is very hard to decide where you will go.
In Kelowna, you can go check out the Sand Hill Winery that stands out among the rest. Also, it’s right beside the Vice and Virtue brewery so you can compare between these two.
One great thing about Sand Hill winery is that you get to taste their complex wine while hanging out in a rustic establishment! If you want a different experience while tasting some good quality wine then Sand Hill has indeed high ratings for you to check it out!
Apart from this the Okanagan wine cellar and the Mission Creek wine cellar are important places to check out too!
3. Enjoy skiing at Big White Resort
I cannot write an article about the best things to do in Kelowna without mentioning the biggest mountains that surround it! There is nothing to complain about Big White.
The Big White ski resort is just an hour’s drive away from Kelowna making it one of the most favorite family spots. The mountain is quite large and provides a wide variety of terrain from learners to experienced people. Apart from skiing and snowboarding in the winter, there are a lot of things to do in summers.
Many festivals like Craft and Country Beer festival (which serves the best craft beer) and Huckleberry Finn Festival (that serves pies) take place. In summer the mountain looks wonderful covered in wildflowers. Hike down to the Rhonda lake at the bottom of the Cliff Chair and have a picnic. These are indeed some of the greatest things to do in Kelowna.
4. Try cliff jumping from Rattlesnake Point
The Kalamalka lake is arguably one of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see. This emerald green lake is surrounded by lush forests and has ample rock cliffs. If you are someone who has never tried cliff jumping then you ought to try it here. This is one of the adventurous things to do in Kelowna. If you are staying in one of the hotels in downtown Kelowna, then take a 45-minute drive to Lake Kalamalka.
It is a pretty big lake with a lot of spots to choose from. Once you get there, take a 20-minute walk through the conservation area to get to the Rattlesnake point. It is truly one of the most incredible points to sit back and unwind yourself. Try cliff jumping, don’t get out of the water so easily, soak in the warm sun, and enjoy the green water at least for an hour.
Tip: Always take warm spare clothes and a towel.
5. Try Wakesurfing at Wood Lake
If you have never tried wake surfing then it is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Kelowna.
Also, keep one thing in mind: there are a lot of surfing options in Okanagan Lake, but it is one of the major tourist attractions making it a very crowded place. Also, the water of Wood lake is warmer as compared to the other. So, if you want a better surfing experience then this lake is the perfect option for you!
Wood Lake is just situated on the outskirts of Kelowna and rather gives off the vibes of a small cozy lake.
6. Try hiking
Hiking is one of the adventurous things to do in Kelowna.
Kelowna is surrounded by nature. You can walk around in any direction and no matter where you go, you will be surrounded by breathtaking scenic beauty and landscape. There is a ton to explore but I’m gonna point out the best of them.
Mount Boucherie and Knox Mountain park are two of the most classic Kelowna hikes! Both of these hikes are just a couple of minutes from downtown Kelowna and are bound to give you an amazing workout on your way up. But the view you will get from up there is mindblowing.
From up Knox Mountain, you will get a bird’s eye view of the entire Kelowna while Mount Boucherie provides a sweet view of the Okanagan Lake.
Also, you won’t find a better place to catch the sunset than here.
7. Click an aesthetic Instagram picture at Kettle Valley Railway
Hop onto your car from Boucherie and Myra Valley is just a short drive from there. If you don’t rent a car, you can just catch a shuttle that departs from downtown Kelowna. Also, the Kettle Valley Railway Company provides fantastic driving tours along with a tour guide.
Located about 40 minutes from downtown the drive takes you up a steep canyon leading you to the old train trestle bridges. You can take a well-maintained trail that will lead you across 18 train trestle bridges and through two massive caves. Now don’t worry it’s all decommissioned, no trains are gonna interfere with your hike.
If you are visiting in the winter then you need to take a car as the Myra Canyon is covered with snow but if you’re there in the summer you can bring bicycle and cycle along the trails and ride over the trestles and through the caves, I think this is the more traditional and one of the bewildering things to do in Kelowna.
8. Enjoy the downtown vibe
One of the highly enjoyed things to do in Kelowna among the tourists is exploring the downtown area. Downtown is the heart of Kelowna. The downtown atmosphere is very refreshing and there are endless cool things and cozy places to experience there.
During the winter the city opens up a public skating rink along the waterfront boardwalk. How extremely cool is that? Grab some skates, lace-up, and bomb around the rink until you’re frozen because in Kelowna it gets really cold.
But don’t worry about the cold, the city has also thought of that and they put a massive bonfire beside the skating rink for you to hang out and warm up afterward. It’s little things like these that make you feel at home in this new city! Now for those who are not that good at skating ( I know, most of us aren’t!), you can just walk around downtown and experience the different tastes that Kelowna has to offer.
9. Get a taste of different beverages
Now there are two kinds of people- A coffee person and a beer person. No matter what kind of person you are- Kelowna has got you covered on both ends!
One of the best breweries in town (as rated by tourists) is Vice and Virtue. They do things differently and have a modern ambiance along with a killer craft beer collection. What makes them unique is the fact that everything they do is prepared in the house. Their smoked Brisket along with Raspberry Ale is a game-changer according to many!
Not a beer person? Don’t worry, now we are gonna make a quick coffee stop. There are tons of coffee shops here in Kelowna. But Bean Scene is a Kelowna coffee staple. You can think of it as the small Starbucks of Kelowna as they have five different branches in this small place. The place is nice and comfortable, the coffee is great, they even support local artists!
What more do you even need? This is indeed a good local spot that serves killer coffee.
Apart from the beer and coffee, if you are hungry there are ample good restaurants that serve mouth-watering delicious dishes in the downtown area. Also, this place is famous for its goat cheese and elk meat so don’t forget to check that out!
10. Revisit your childhood at Scandia Golf and Games
Looking for a place to awaken your inner child? This is the perfect spot! Try arcade games, laser tag, disc golf, and all other types of games. This is indeed one of the most fun things to do in Kelowna for people of all ages.
This is the adventure park that has everything ranging from a water slide to a minigolf course. Spend a day with your family here!
11. Try jogging around the City Park
This 32- acre waterpark along with sunny beaches is an enjoyable family spot. Take your kids up here and play Frisbee with them or have a family board game in the grass! This place provides great views of Okanagan lake. It is most common among the joggers on their morning walks.
Apart from all the things in this list, there are other things to do in Kelowna like a visit to the Kasugai Garden which provides beautiful views of flowers and trees or the Mission Creek Regional Park which will provide lots of walking trails and small streams or the historic site of Oliver which was gifted by the Canadian government to the soldiers of WWI
Have you ever been to Kelowna? What are some of the best things to do in Kelowna that you’d like to take part in?