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What to Do in Kelowna: 11 Must-Try Activities

Kelowna is a relatively small city 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 recent years for its infamous vineyards and wine-tasting tours.

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.

Things to do in Kelowna

We will cover everything about Kelowna and the amazing things to do there in depth. You’ll see Kelowna’s enthralling by reading this post on fantastic things to do there!

1. Majestic View of the Okanagan Lake

Kelowna is located on the shores of Okanagan lake so watching this beauty is one of the most important things to do in Kelowna. 

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Photo by Tyler Reynolds on Unsplash

Lake Okanagan offers many parasailing, boating, and other water activities to locals and 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 too crowded for your liking.

2. Go Wine tasting in Okanagan Valley

When in Kelowna, wine tasting at the Okanagan valley is one of the most important things to do. 

Kelowna has a population of only 130,000, yet there are over 20 wineries here. You cannot visit the Okanagan without talking about the wine, as there are wineries everywhere you go. 

Wine cellar
Photo by brandy turner on Unsplash

You can check out the Sand Hill Winery in Kelowna, which stands out among the rest. Also, it’s right beside the Vice and Virtue brewery so you can compare these two.

One great thing about Sand Hill wineries is that you can 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 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

Big White has the biggest mountains in Canada. The Big White ski resort is just an hour’s drive away from Kelowna, making it one of the favorite family spots. 

The mountain is quite large and provides a wide variety of terrain for learners to experienced people. Apart from skiing and snowboarding in the winter, there are many things to do in the summer.

Many festivals like Craft and Country Beer festival (which serves the best craft beer) and Huckleberry Finn Festival (which serves pies) take place. 

In summer, the mountain looks wonderful, covered in wildflowers. Hike down to 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 great rock cliffs. 

Kalamalka lake
By Imagenet/ Shutterstock.com

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, take a 45-minute drive to Lake Kalamalka. Once you get there, take a 20-minute walk through the conservation area to reach Rattlesnake point.

It is a big lake with many spots to choose from. Try cliff jumping, don’t get out of the water so easily, soak in the warm sun, and enjoy the green water for at least an hour. Sitting back and unwind yourself is truly one of the most incredible points.

Tip: Always take warm spare clothes and a towel.

5. Try Wakesurfing at Wood Lake

If you have never tried wake surfing, it is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Kelowna.

Wood Lake’s water is warmer compared to the others. So, this lake is the perfect option if you want a better surfing experience!

Also, keep one thing in mind: there are many surfing options in Okanagan Lake, but it is one of the major tourist attractions making it a very crowded place.

Wood Lake is situated on Kelowna’s outskirts and 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 in any direction; no matter where you go, you will be surrounded by breathtaking scenic beauty and landscape.

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By Edwin Christopher/ Shutterstock.com

Mount Boucherie and Knox Mountain park are two of the most classic Kelowna hikesThese hikes are just a few minutes from downtown Kelowna and will give you an amazing workout on your way up. 

From up Knox Mountain, you will get a bird’s eye view of the entire Kelowna, while Mount Boucherie provides a sweet picture of the Okanagan Lake. 

Also, you won’t find a better place to catch the sunset than here.

7. 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 catch a shuttle that departs from downtown Kelowna. Also, the Kettle Valley Railway Company provides fantastic driving tours along with a tour guide.

Kettle Valley Railway
Harry Beugelink/ Shutterstock

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 across 18 train trestle bridges and through two massive caves. If you visit in the winter, you must take a car as the Myra Canyon is covered with snow. 

Still, if you’re there in the summer, you can bring a bicycle and cycle along the trails, ride over the trestles, and through the caves. This is the more traditional and one of the bewildering things to do in Kelowna.

8. Enjoy the downtown vibe

 Downtown is the heart of Kelowna. The downtown atmosphere is refreshing, and there are endless cool things and cozy places to experience.

During the winter, the city opens up a public skating rink along the waterfront boardwalk. Grab some skates, lace up, and bomb around the rink until you’re frozen because it gets cold in Kelowna. How extremely cool is that?

Now for those who could improve at skating ( I know, most of us aren’t!), you can walk around downtown and experience the different tastes Kelowna offers. 

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. Little things like these make you feel at home in this new city!

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 covered you on both ends!

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Photo by amenic181 from Shutterstock

One of the best breweries in town (as rated by tourists) is Vice and Virtue. They do things differently and have a modern ambiance and a killer craft beer collection. 

What makes them unique is 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 going to 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, and 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, ample good restaurants 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 games. 

This is indeed one of the most fun things to do in Kelowna for people of all ages. This adventure park 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, 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 joggers on their morning walks.

Closing Thoughts

Apart from everything on this list, there are other things to do in Kelowna. 

Visit the Mission Creek Regional Park, which has several walking trails and tiny streams, the Kasugai Garden, which offers stunning views of flowers and trees, or even the historic site of Oliver, which the Canadian government gave to the World War I veterans.

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?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best way to get to Kelowna?

The Kelowna International Airport is about a 15 Km drive from downtown Kelowna. It also happens to be one of the busiest Canadian airports.

Many people prefer driving because the roads are well-maintained and full of scenic beauty. A drive to Kelowna is also a good option and a pretty relaxing feeling. 

Kelowna is just a 4-5 hour 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 want to avoid choosing the driving option, don’t fret! There are regular E buses to Kelowna. These buses offer services from different areas of British Columbia and Alberta throughout the week.

So, Kelowna wine country is a pretty accessible place that also has more than 70 commercial flights scheduled every day!

2. What is the best time to go to Kelowna

So, what is the best time you can avail yourself of all the amazing and adventurous things to do in Kelowna lake country?

 You must remember that there is no average temperature range in Kelowna, as temperature varies drastically. The best time to visit is from July to August, when the days have moderate temperatures, and you can enjoy it to the fullest.

3. Where should one stay in Kelowna during the visit?

Although there are amazing hotels all around the place, try finding a hotel downtown. The downtown is the heart of Kelowna. Also, staying downtown will help you get to all the major sights easily and quickly.

The most recommended one is silver star mountain resort. From here you can easily go to these popular locations; waterfront park, Kelowna brewing company, west Kelowna hot sands beach and Kelowna art gallery.

They also prepared own food signature food. So, you can also try that out.

Suggested Reads

Best Wineries In Kelowna: 13 Amazing Wineries In Kelowna!

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