Hello, and welcome to today’s post!
There are few things better than a beautiful summer day here in B.C., and as August winds to a close, I’m trying to cram in every last drop I can! Today I’m going to give you a detailed guide to one of my favourite summer days here in the Okanagan – a trip to Enderby!
There are two great attractions there: floating down the Enderby channel, and catching a double feature at the Starlight Drive-In theatre! This is a ‘can’t miss’ day trip whether you’re visiting Kelowna on vacation, or you live here. The best part is that this trip is extremely budget friendly, and accessible to anyone!
Being born and raised in Kelowna, I have a piece of insider knowledge for you: the Enderby float tends to be a more peaceful float, and the Penticton float is more of a party float. Both are very fun, so you can choose either, depending on your personal preference.
Our group always chooses the peaceful Enderby float, so that’s what we’re doing on our guide today.
On an average summer day, this river takes about 5-6 hours to complete depending on current, and where you start/finish. There are multiple places to get in and out, which is nice as you can kind of ‘customize’ your float. The main thing is that you’ll need two cars (one at the start, and one at the end of the float – don’t make the mistake of not having a car waiting at the end!).
Here’s where my group always gets in and out of the channel:
We start at the bridge at Trinity Valley Rd, and finish at the bridge at Cliff Ave. (we get out on the right, but the more common place to get out is on the left, at Belvidere Park). It’s about 5-6 hours to float, and you will experience different water levels and current speeds.
There’s a bridge across the river here, near the Riverside Community Club. Next to the bridge is a small park with easy access to the river. You can park your car along the roadway here.
And you can hop out here, at this bridge across the river, at Cliff Ave. You can easily get out at either side. On the left is Belvidere Park, and on the right is a beach with access to the highway, and a parking lot to leave your second car.
Here is what I recommend you take along for the channel:
- a floatie
- sunscreen lip balm
- a hat
- a lunch
- ice water
I also like to take along a drink or two (disclaimer: this is definitely illegal), however if you choose to partake, remember the rules of the river – know your limit, and stay within it. Not only do you pose a risk to yourself or others if you get too drunk, your friends also don’t want to take care of your sloppy self all the way down the river if you overindulge. Stick to 1-2 bevvies, alternate with water, and bring along some carby snacks to soak up the alcohol. The sun, an empty stomach, and dehydration can emphasize the effects of alcohol. Stay safe out there friends!
Now that my mom lecture is over, let’s get back to the fun! We like to go in a big group, and we bring rope to tie our rafts together to create a fleet of floaties! We bring extra tubes and boats for towing our picnic and cooler bags as well.
When choosing a floatie, I would recommend getting one that will keep you up, and out of the water. Being water-logged gets old about 3-4 hours in, not to mention chilly. We bring big loungers, and big air mattresses, and they’re so comfy! It’s nice to be able to lie down, and dry off.
There are a lot of beachy spots to stop along this river, which makes for a great time for a photo op! I know the most common advice regarding your phone or camera is to simply not bring it along. But let’s be real – we all know we will anyway! We all want those photo memories to chronicle and share our lives. So, if you do bring along your camera or phone, pack them in waterproof pouches, and be extra careful with them.
If you’re new here, this is me and my husband, Tristan!
And this is my little sister, Danielle!
Shopping info: find my swimsuit here (I’m wearing the colour ‘Peacock’), and my sunglasses here. Find Danielle’s sunglasses here, and bathing suits similar to hers here (her adorable tye-dye one piece is no longer available at Rip Curl).
Here’s a great tip for getting a group shot – prop your phone up against a rock, and start a video! Screen shot the video later for multiple photos, and a much better chance you’ll get ‘the shot’.
Everyone acts more natural as well, goofing around and casually posing. You’re sure to get a great photo, and the video is cute to have too!
Something else worth noting – don’t wear your fine jewelry out on the river. Man + River probably won’t be able to come save you if you lose it! It’s better to leave it at home, or in the car (hidden of course). If you feel weird without a wedding band, you could wear silicone ones, like the one Tristan is wearing here. They’re handy to have for the gym, outdoor exercise, hiking and travelling as well. Tristan has this set, and I have this one.
Another tip – bring an oar or two (we actually had three on this trip). They’re great for steering your fleet away from shore when you drift too close to sharp branches (that’ll put a damper on things if someone pops!), and at some point your crew is probably going to get tired, sun soaked, and ready to be on land again, and the river can get pretty slow. This is especially important if you want to make it to the drive-in on time, and the river has stopped moving.
After you’ve completed your float, you could go grab some dinner before the drive-in. We like to go to either the D & E Diner, or we choose a local chinese buffet. Here’s a great list of places other people love on TripAdvisor as well.
Now off to off to the drive-in!
If you didn’t stop for dinner, by now you will probably be tired, hungry, and ready to be cozy and dry! Enter: The Starlight Drive-in. This drive-in is North America’s largest drive-in theatre, and it’s only an hour from Kelowna, making it a convenient excursion if you’re staying here. You could even skip the channel and just come out to the movies! It’s only $11 per person, and they have super cheap snacks – think classic popcorn, soft drinks, candy – and if you skipped dinner out, you can grab a hot dog, or even chicken fingers and fries!
If you read my camping tips post, maybe you remember our awesome zero gravity chairs. Here’s another great use for them! We love sitting outside our cars in a group, to watch the movies together.
Here’s what I like to bring to the drive-in after a long day on the river:
- fresh clothes
- warm shoes
- toiletry bag of essentials
- a heavy jacket
- a toque
- a thick blanket
My ‘Wanderlust’ toiletry bag was in the Simply Beautiful Summer 2018 box. I use it often, it’s a great size. My go-to pair of camping shoes for the last 6 years have always been my moccasin booties from Boathouse – the brand is Grizzlees by ZIGiny. I can’t believe the quality of these shoes. 11/10 would recommend!
Have I mentioned before that I really, really like being clean? Here’s what’s in my bag:
- a magic face cloth
- mini hairbrush and elastics
- toothbrush and paste
- Saje Wellness breath spray, lip balm and refresh mist
This drive-in is adorable. It still has old-fashioned decor, and plays the classic drive-in commercials before the movie starts! You know:
There is also an intermission between movies to refill your snacks, and use the restroom (it has a real public restroom, no porta-potties here).
The first movie typically starts between 8-9, to ensure it’s dark enough out to see the screen. The second movie typically ends around 1:30am. You can leave after the first movie, but we always stay for both. I strongly advise not skipping the blanket, coat and hat I mentioned before. If you’re a camper, you know it gets COLD in the middle of the night, and out here is no different – except that you don’t even have a fire to keep warm! You might be thinking, ‘can’t I just use my car heater?’. I would advise not, as it can be distracting to your fellow movie-goers if you keep turning your car on and off. Engine noise and exhaust, brake lights, and headlights on the screen can all be pretty annoying! If you get cold, I would advise hopping into the car and snuggling up with a friend to keep warm.
On that same note, if you do experience noise and vision distractions from other people (humans are restless creatures, it’s bound to happen!), try not to let it bother you too much. You’re here for the experience, and to spend time with your friends! Everything else is relative.
I hope you enjoyed my mini guide today, and if you did please let me know! I’d be happy to make more of these for you. You can also subscribe to my blog below, and get updates on when I post. I try to post every week, and you can also follow my daily goings-on on Instagram, in my stories.