Welcome to a very special blog post!
Whether you’re planning a visit to our beautiful city, or you’re a local looking for some new adventures, this guide featuring all of my Kelowna favourites is for you. From restaurants and shopping, to activities and hotels, you’re sure to find something new here. Read on, for the inside scoop on my best tried-and-true tips and suggestions for planning your perfect Kelowna vacation!
Click any of the following options to jump to that section of the guide, or scroll through to check everything out as you go.
Kelowna is brimming with delicious eateries – here are a few of my favourites!
Breakfast & Brunch
The Jammery (Lake Country) – a quaint restaurant and gift shop in Lake Country, offering novelty souvenirs alongside homemade jams and jellies. Featured on You Gotta Eat Here. Try the Breakfast Paella – my favourite!
Molly’s Garden Cafe (Downtown Kelowna) – a cute, unassuming breakfast spot on Bernard Ave. Great for families and children! Tristan loves this place.
Pür & Simple (Central City) – this new sleek and modern breakfast spot is located right in the centre of the city, making it a perfect place to grab breakfast before a day of shopping.
Cora Breakfast and Lunch – this Canadian chain breakfast spot is a go-to of many, due to its excellent location (inside Orchard Park Mall), and its use of so much fresh fruit! If you go here, go with a big appetite for the generous portions.
Bean Scene (Downtown Kelowna, Landmark District, Central City) – offering 3 locations in Kelowna! Great coffee, and lots of vegetarian and vegan options.
Sprout Bread Shop (Cultural District) – very hip little bakeshop, with great coffee. A favourite of local Instagrammers. Grab a loaf of bread to take with you!
Winfield Bakery (Lake Country) – a Lake Country gem if you’re staying out that way – be sure to grab a lemon danish – they’re Danielle’s favourite!
The Salty Caramel Kitchen (Lake Country) – an adorable vegan joint in Lake Country, with a patio right across the road from the beach! Grab the ‘tuna’ sandwich to go, and eat it right on the shoreline.
Wood Fire Bakery (Central City) – “Chicken Cordon Bleu!” This cafeteria style german lunch spot has a cult following here in Kelowna. Grab a half and half on kaiser, and a bowl of creamy tomato borscht – your tastebuds will thank you! Make sure you check the hours before you go – this spot has short hours, only serving lunch. But trust – it is so worth it.
Earl’s On Top Kelowna (Downtown Kelowna) – Earls On Top is a mainstay of downtown Kelowna. It boasts possibly the best rooftop patio in town! Make a rez for this spot, as it’s a local favourite and is usually jumping. Bonus story – my mom worked here while pregnant with me! Back then it was called Hollywood On Top. Rumour has it she even saw the Ogopogo from the window while working one day… maybe you’ll see him too!
Cactus Club Kelowna Yacht Club (Downtown Kelowna) – if you’re looking for a ‘glam’ lunch when you’re dolled up in your summer finest, this is the spot for you. Located at the Yacht Club, this Cactus Club has a lakeside patio and beautiful view. Grab a Frosé and some Truffle Fries, or the Butternut Squash Ravioli (my friends Danica and Sara LOVE the ravioli!).
Oak + Cru (Downtown Kelowna) – an upscale restaurant residing inside the Delta Grand Hotel, make sure to request patio seating! Go for happy hour and try the fish tacos and fries. You’ll love the view!
Kelly O’ Bryan’s Downtown Kelowna (Downtown Kelowna) – Eat, Drink and be Irish at this local favourite! Boasts a great rooftop patio as well. Pachos and extra Emerald Isle sauce are a must! Hidden tip – you can order a jar of sauce to go! Great on home fries or hashbrowns.
Central Kitchen & Bar (Downtown Kelowna) – arguably the best burger joint in town! Sara and I love hitting this spot for lunch and grabbing a Southern Crispy Chicken Burger, and a Habanero Margarita. The plant-based poutine is fantastic as well!
OK Centre Patio Cafe (Lake Country) – a lovely spot to grab lunch before the beach. They have excellent sandwiches and baked goods!
Craft Beer Market Kelowna (Downtown Kelowna) – one of the best patios in Kelowna, this hot spot on Bernard is part restaurant, part brewery – it’s Tristan’s favourite restaurant in Kelowna! Great vegetarian options as well, my friend Kayla loves the ‘Nashville Hot Cauliflower’.
Naked Cafe (Downtown Kelowna) – vegans will love this one – the Naked Cafe serves up an array of delicious vegan eats in the heart of downtown Kelowna. Try the Kale Caesar salad and the Hula Burger, my faves!
Bamboo Chopsticks (Downtown Kelowna, Central City, West Kelowna)- 3 locations, so you can grab a vietnamese soup and sub wherever you are!
Turtle Bay Pub (Lake Country) – this laid-back eatery out in Lake Country has a patio on the marina – a perfect spot to grab a beer and a snack after a day at the beach. Super laid back, with an extensive menu! The sangria’s are ice cold and refreshing, and the Lobster Prawn Mac ‘n’ Cheese is epic.
Mount Royal Bagel Factory (Central City) – a local favourite, this bagel shop is a great place to grab some make at home breakfasts and lunches, thanks to its array of different bagels and cream cheese spreads. Grab some to keep at your hotel between meals!
Pane Vino Pizzeria (Oyama) – this new hotspot in Lake Country is a ‘cannot miss’ experience! Located next to Gatzke Farm Market (go a little early so you can pop in here, as well!), this pizzeria is authentic to a T. With a real, mosaic tiled wood fired pizza oven, and a sprawling patio hidden under a lush grapevine canopy, this restaurant is oh so romantic. Perfect for date night, girls night, or a family dinner. Make a reservation for this popular new eatery, and try, oh, one of everything on the menu.
Mamma Rosa (Downtown Kelowna) – And this Italian eatery in the heart of downtown Kelowna is where you’ll find old world cuisine that will make you feel like you’ve just walked into Lady and the Tramp. Pasta: check. Mood lighting: check. Italian music: check. Checkered tablecloths: check! This dining experience is a little more high end, so just go into it knowing that. Otherwise, it’s a perfect spot for date night, or to take the whole fam!
Dunnenzies (Downtown Kelowna, Central City, Mission, Airport Village) – This local pizzeria brand now has 4 locations! Wherever you are, you can now enjoy the best pizza in town. Grab a pie by the airport, a slice in the Landmark district or in downtown Kelowna, or go for the full experience – at their new dining room in mission! Live music and wings make this a great place to hang with friends.
The Fixx Cafe (Lakeshore) – a favourite date night spot for Tristan and I, this romantic little gem in the Lakeshore area has fantastic pastas, and an impressive wine list! Plus, they have a great patio for warm summer evenings. Try the Brie Babes – mushrooms covered in melted brie, with crostini for dipping. You won’t find another dish like this anywhere!
L’isola Bella Bistro (Lake Country) – This authentic bistro out in Lake Country is another great date night spot, and boy is it ever affordable! 2 can dine for a 3 course meal, plus a glass of vino and often still come in under $100. My fave is the rosé pasta with prawns, and a glass of rosé!
The Greek House (Lake Country) – if you’re in the mood for Greek, check out the Greek House! Located in Lake Country, this local gem has greek tzatziki – and ‘can’t miss’ melt-in-your-mouth lemon potatoes.
El Taquero (Downtown Kelowna) – this ultra authentic taco house is delicious! The location is fantastic as well, right in the heart of downtown. Try the ‘build your own’ tacos, or the torta sandwiches – and don’t miss the margaritas! I also love the jars of fresh salsa – the pineapple jalapeño is our fave!
Hector’s Casa (Lakeshore) – this is the cutest little restaurant located on Pandosy in the lakeshore area. Tristan and I love getting the dinner for 2 – my favourite is the stuffed poblano peppers!
Bai Tong Thai (Downtown Kelowna) – this restaurant is so sleek and stylish, and the delicious curry dishes are perfect for when you’re looking for something outside of the standard ‘burger and fries’ fare. Try the Pa-nang or the Chicken Lemongrass!
Ume Foods (Central City) – feeling too tired to go to dinner? Grab some sushi to go! Ume is extra authentic, and the pricing is great. Try the Ika Karaage – this squid dish is unlike any you’ve tried before. Instead of the typical rings in mayo, this dish is full on tentacles topped with chili sauce, and served with fresh lemon – Tristan and I LOVE it.
The Blind Angler Grill (Peachland) – looking to get outta town for the evening? Visit this literal ‘shack on the beach’ in Peachland – the Blind Angler is right on the beach, with an amazing view of Okanagan lake. Make a reservation ahead of time to ensure you get a table.
Salty’s Beach House (Penticton) – another eatery down the lake, visit Salty’s in Penticton to feel like a Pirate or a Mermaid at dinner! This seaside themed restaurant is situated right across from the lake, so you can make a day of it by spending the afternoon at the beach and walking along the boardwalk, before heading to dinner.
Parlour Ice Cream (Downtown Kelowna) – A delicious little ice cream shop on the waterfront of downtown Kelowna. Features vegan options as well!
Moolix Ice Cream Shop (Downtown Kelowna) – another ice cream shop in downtown Kelowna, this mainstay on Bernard Ave is the culprit of the delicious scent wafting around the street, all thanks to their housemade waffle cones.
Amore Mio Cafe & Gelato – this authentic italian dessert shop is situated in the most convenient location next to Kelly O’Bryan’s in downtown Kelowna. It features gelato, pastries, and also coffee and lunch items if you feel so inclined!
Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate (Central City) – this fine pastry shop features gorgeous chocolates, authentic macarons, and beautiful cakes, perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth.
Karat Chocolate (Downtown Kelowna) – this local chocolatier crafts exquisite and stunning chocolates. Check their stockists page to find out where you can get your mitts on some!
Rocky Mountain Chocolate (Central City) – located in Orchard Park mall, this chocolate shop features lots and lots of, you guessed it, chocolate! Dare you not to eye the candy apples when you walk by!
Purdy’s Chocolatier (Central City) – another chocolate shop in Orchard Park mall, who doesn’t know and love Purdy’s classic hedgehog chocolates?
Kernel’s Popcorn (Central City) – okay, maybe not exactly a dessert (unless you grab the caramel corn like Tristan), but Kernel’s popcorn is also in Orchard Park mall, and it’s the perfect after dinner snack for those that love a savoury treat. Whalin’ White Cheddar is my jam!
WINERIES & BREWERIES
Honestly, you cannot go wrong with any Okanagan wineries. B.C.’s wine country is unparalleled! But here are a few local, award-winning favourites to get you started:
Quails’ Gate (West Kelowna) – West Kelowna’s premier winery. It features a vineyard view of Okanagan Lake, their own Old Vine’s Restaurant, and you can even stay here in one of their two B&B’s! Plus, they have a brand new market to check out, featuring wine and food items.
Kitsch Wines (East Kelowna) – a quintessential winery located in East Kelowna, this winery is a favourite of locals. It features a gorgeous brick mansion where you can take a tour, have a tasting, all while overlooking beautiful Okanagan Lake. Also hosts events such as yoga classes, party boat tours, and art parties. And they have a Wine Klub!
Mission Hill Family Estate Winery (West Kelowna) – this winery, with it’s Terrace Restaurant, is just right for those that are looking for a photo op. The bell tower and stone masonry are picture perfect for Instagrammers.
Sandhill Wines (Downtown Kelowna) – in possibly the most convenient location ever, Sandhill Wines is a great winery to visit while exploring downtown! Features a modern tasting room, and even a wine club.
Arrowleaf Cellars (Lake Country) – Arrowleaf is perfect for those that are intimidated by wineries. This winery is gorgeous yet low-key – it has picnic tables so you can purchase a bottle and some snacks inside, then enjoy them while overlooking the vineyard and lake.
Cedar Creek Winery (Lakeshore) – a lovely newer winery, Cedar Creek features the beautiful Home Block restaurant, and possibly the most stunning tasting room ever.
B.C. Tree Fruits Cider (Downtown Kelowna) – because where else? You can do a tasting and grab a growler to go at B.C. Tree Fruits in the North End of Kelowna. Next door there’s even a local food market! You can grab some local produce and make dinner back at home during your stay.
Upside Cider (Between Kelowna and Lake Country) – this cidery has it all – a restaurant, tasting room, and a rooftop patio with sofas, games, and: an upside down tractor! A great place for a fun afternoon.
Sometimes you just want some snacks for your hotel room. That’s where these great markets come in!
B.C. Tree Fruits Market (Downtown Kelowna) – as mentioned before, this is a great place to pick up local produce downtown. Stop by the B.C. Tree Fruits cider tasting room while you’re there!
Peter’s Your Independent Grocer (Central City) – my favourite grocery store! Owner Peter Boyd is always bringing in local products, from produce, snacks, frozen items, and beauty care. He always makes sure every small local business has a place on his shelves. Go in and say hi if you see him!
Kelowna Farmer’s Market (Central City) – located in the lot kitty-corner to Orchard Park mall, the Main Market is open on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s from 8am-1pm, so be sure to block out one of those days to visit! During the summer you can also catch the Satellite Summer Market and the Lane Way Map Market, and in the winter you can catch the Winter Market. Check the website for more information if you’d like to check out lots of local goodies!
Gatzke Farm Market (Oyama) – located out in Oyama, this adorable farmer’s market has a bit of everything. Plus the drive to Lake Country is oh so scenic. You’ll love the quaint orchards surrounding it, and the view of the lake!
Don-o-Ray Farms (East Kelowna) – this farmer’s market is too cute – it features so many homemade goodies. I love going here during the fall, before they close up for the winter – the pumpkin display is epic!
Hillcrest Farm Market (Rutland) – another great farm market, this Rutland market not only has a great selection of local goodies, it also has B&B accommodations – an adorable place to consider staying.
Mediterranean Market (Central City) – this market in the heart of Kelowna is a local favourite. Grab charcuterie fixin’s here to take for a picnic at a local hiking trail!
Illichman’s (Central City) – for the carnivores visiting – this shop has a great deli, a sandwich bar, and more local fare on offer.
Codfathers Seafood Market (Central City) – the best place to grab seafood in town. Also has a cafe restaurant! Great for folks that love seafood (like me!).
Delta Grand Okanagan Resort (Downtown Kelowna) – this is where celebs stay when they visit Kelowna! Located in the heart of downtown Kelowna, this hotel is minutes from Knox mountain, and more restaurants and shops than you can shake a stick at. It also has a spa, and features the Oak + Cru restaurant (try the fried chicken dinner – delish!).
Prestige Beach House (Downtown Kelowna) – if you want to be right where the action is, this might be the right hotel for you! Situated right by the bridge and City Park, this hotel is only a minute walk to everything Bernard Ave. has to offer. It also has an indoor pool, hot tub, and the fantastic West Coast Grill downstairs.
Eldorado Resort (Lakeshore) – for a more vintage, homey stay, look no further than the Eldorado! It feels more like a B&B, with beautifully decorated nautical themed rooms, and shiplap everywhere you look. It also features a restaurant, the Lakeside Dining Room, downstairs.
Manteo Resort (Lakeshore) – for a luxurious stay, this hotel has it all! On the lake, with pools, a tennis court, golf, and the Smack DAB restaurant – if you’re looking for the ultimate experience, this may be the place for you!
Sparkling Hill Resort (Vernon) – sometimes you just need a little extravagance! Tristan and I LOVE coming here for special occasions. Even if you can just swing one night here, believe me, it is worth it. Featuring crystal studded everything, this spa has saunas, steam rooms, a hot tub, and an infinity pool. You will think you’re in heaven here!
How much do I love this place? So much that I made a guide! Check it out here!
The Cove Lakeside Resort (West Kelowna) – located right on the lake, this resort has it all. With two pools, the Aveda spa, a restaurant, golfing, and even paddleboards and jet skiing available, this is for the action-seeking travellers!
Beaver Lake Mountain Resort (Lake Country) – if you’re looking for a more rustic stay, consider a mountain resort on one of the smaller lakes in the area. Beaver Lake fits the bill! Make sure you have a truck or SUV to get up here. This is an out of the way stay, so pack food and supplies – this is for those that are looking for an outdoorsy experience, as it’s far from restaurants and shopping.
Sure is pretty up in the sticks, though.
Oyama Lake Eco Lodge (Oyama) – as does Oyama Lake, especially if you like fishing! The same rules as above apply to this out of the way wilderness stay.
Four Points by Sheraton Kelowna (Airport Village) – if you’re flying in and would like to stay close to the airport, this is a good option. Surrounded by the newly bustling airport village, there is a grocery store, restaurants, and more here. About a 20 minute drive to downtown, you’ll want a vehicle to get around if you stay here.
Coast Capri Hotel (Central City Kelowna) – I love Coast hotels! They’re very eco-friendly, and have a lot of amenities. This one is located at the Capri mall so there’s a bit of shopping, and it also has a pool.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Kelowna (Central City Kelowna) – great location, reliable service and amenities, this is a good one for those that want to take the guesswork out of their stay.
Best Western Kelowna (Central City Kelowna) – another good standard hotel stay, in a great location. Can’t lose if you choose this hotel!
For a more quaint stay, instead of booking in at a hotel, consider trying one of these local B&B’s!
Quail’s Gate Winery (West Kelowna) – you can stay in the The Lake House or The Nest at this beautiful West Kelowna winery! A favourite of locals, this winery really has it all, including tastings and a lovely restaurant, Old Vines. Perfect for those looking for an ‘instagram perfect’ experience.
Eagle’s Nest B&B (Lake Country) – This private B&B in Lake Country is snuggled amongst cherry orchards, mountain and lake views, and offers a peaceful and serene stay.
Kelowna Lake View House Bed & Breakfast (Lakeshore) – this adult oriented B&B is perfect for couples that would prefer a quieter stay. Located in the Lakeshore area, it’s the perfect spot for those looking to visit wineries, as it’s just minutes from the Lakeshore Wine Route!
Ogopogo Bed and Breakfast (Downtown Kelowna) – this B&B is across from the beach, just steps away from Kelowna’s cultural district and Knox Mountain park. You’ll be close to the library, tons of restaurants, and the Rotary Marsh Park, as well! A truly unbeatable location.
A Vista Villa Couple’s Retreat (Glenmore) – as stated, this one is for couple’s looking for a romantic getaway! Located in Glenmore, this B&B capitalizes on bringing you an ultra romantic experience! Check out all of the suites to find the most suitable one for you and your love.
Chesterfield Inn (South Central Kelowna) – a quaint and inviting stay just minutes from Downtown Kelowna. Has a patio and backyard to enjoy, as well as an onsite library. Good for those looking for an old-world stay.
Gable Beach B&B (Lake Country) – this one doesn’t have a website, but the location is so ideal I can’t exclude it! Here is a link to a directory of several Lake Country B&B’s, including Gable Beach B&B: Lake Country B&B’s & Suite Rentals. You can give any of these adorable B&B’s a call to see about availability.
Teehouse Bed and Breakfast (West Kelowna) – offers wine tours, and boasts beautiful tree lined views, and more in this modern, upscale B&B.
Snag a few of these and make your own vacation bucket list!
Grab an ice cream cone, and walk along the Waterfront Boardwalk.
Wine not your thing? Walk along Kelowna’s Downtown Ale Trail and try some local brews!
Drinking at all not your thing? That is A-ok! Why not try a food tour instead? Food Tours Kelowna is a walking food tour that takes you on an adventure in local cuisine!
Float down the Enderby channel or the Penticton channel – I prefer the Enderby float, so much so that I have a blog post guide to help you plan your trip!
While you’re in Enderby, catch a double-feature at the Starlight Drive-In! Tips for that are also included in my guide.
Visit the Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm for some seriously swoon-worthy photos. They also offer workshops!
Stop by Kasugai Gardens after lunch downtown. A sweet little Japanese garden located right by the Queensway bus station, it’s like a secret garden right in the middle of the city.
Visit the Kelowna Downtown Marina, where you can rent a boat or a sea-doo for the day. Or even just take a walk along the dock for a photo op!
Visit the Maude-Roxby Bird Sanctuary – a boardwalk through a marshy wetland on the edge of the lake.
Or the Rotary Marsh Park, another great birdwatching spot right in downtown Kelowna.
Visit the booming Landmark District. Take a walk through the plaza and check out the many newer restaurants and shops here.
Can’t miss pizza and mini golf at Scandia Golf & Games! Scandia offers two fun putt-putt golf courses, an indoor and an outdoor, so this is a great place to bring the kids if you have a rainy day during your trip.
Catch a movie – Kelowna has several theatres! Check out Cinema Clock to choose a movie, and go from there. Mine and Tristan’s fave theatre is the Extreme West in West Kelowna. The seats go up really high so it’s virtually impossible to have a head blocking your view, plus the arm rests lift up so you can cuddle. Danielle’s favourite is the Orchard Plaza Cineplex, because they have lazy-boy recliner seats.
Visit the Kangaroo Creek Farm in Lake Country. There are many other animals here besides Kangaroos, including peacocks, chickens, pigs, emus, sugar gliders, and more! Please check out their website thoroughly before you go, especially the rules guide. They put the animals first here, and this is one of the reasons I allowed this petting farm onto the list. *I’m typically against zoos, circuses, and aquariums that aren’t centred on rehabilitation into the wild.
Rent a kayak or paddleboard, and paddle around Kelowna’s waterfront! Okanagan Beach Rentals has 5 locations to rent from. I would suggest Gyro Beach for the kids to splash around in, and Bear Creek for adults looking for more adventure.
Splashdown Waterslides (formerly Atlantis Waterslides) in Vernon is another fantastic day trip in the Okanagan! This waterslide park is situated on a hillside, and has a beautiful view overlooking Swan Lake. It boasts several slides, a river run, a kids zone playground, a snack and ice cream shack, and more.
Take a float plane tour! Air Hart Aviation offers several scenic packages to choose from. I would suggest the Kelowna Panoramic if you’re visiting from afar and would really like a view of Kelowna, or the Kalamalka Lake tour for locals that are looking to see a bit more of our beautiful wine country.
If you love seafood, take a day trip to Penticton, and visit one of my favourite Okanagan eateries: Salty’s Beach House! Afterwards, take a walk along the boardwalk across the street and enjoy the view.
Go bird-watching! Check out one of these locations for optimum photo-opportunities.
Rent or bring a bike, and bike the Okanagan Rail Trail!
Visit the Okanagan Lifestyle Apparel shop downtown to purchase a souvenir sweater or accessory!
City Park’s Hot Sands Beach (Downtown Kelowna) – best for: anyone! This beach is the easiest access as it’s right across from the downtown Kelowna’s epicentre. Aside from the beach itself, there are volleyball and tennis courts in the park, a waterpark, one of these things, and more. This is the action-packed beach for people that want to be smack dab in the middle of the fun! No concession stand here, but it’s walking distance to restaurants and ice cream shops.
Tugboat Beach/Tugboat Bay (Downtown Kelowna) – best for: adults, or families with older children. It has a concession, bathrooms, and watercraft rentals, and it’s located next to the Rotary Marsh Park, so this is a great place to spend an entire day.
Pebble Beach Park (Lake Country) – a lovely beach with a floating dock, picnic area, surrounded by greenery. Good for those looking for a quieter afternoon.
Waterfront Park (Downtown Kelowna) – best for: anyone. This one-of-a-kind park area features a boardwalk, gardens, beach access, and moat-like water features weaving throughout. There is also a a stage where live music often plays in the summer months.
Paul’s Tomb Beach (Downtown Kelowna) – best for: young adults and families with older children, as you have to hike through Knox Mountain and Paul’s Tomb trails to get there, or drive as close in as you can get, park in a local neighbourhood (don’t block anyone’s driveways though!), and walk the rest of the way in. This beach has outhouses, but that’s it – you’ll need to pack in your own picnic. It has a more private feel, if that is what you’re after.
Kalamoir Park Beach (West Kelowna) – best for: families. This beach in West Kelowna is also connected to a hiking trail! It’s a good place for people that like more nature, less population.
Gyro Beach (Downtown Kelowna) – best for: families with young children and teens. Features an apple-shaped concession stand, a zipline, and a playground. This of it as a slightly less action-packed City Park.
Bertram Creek Regional Park (Lakeshore) – best for: anyone. This South Kelowna park was a favourite of mine and Danielle’s when we were kids – it’s a popular spot for summer weddings, and also has trails and picnic areas.
Pixie Beach (Lake Country) – best for: those that want some quiet, and to feel like a local. This beach down Carr’s Landing Rd. (where Tristan grew up!) is a hidden gem – it doesn’t even have a web page besides it’s address! No amenities to be found here, just a beautiful view and a great spot to read your book in peace. On that same note, please respect this beach, and don’t ‘bring the party’ to this local favourite.
Oyama Kaloya Regional Park (Oyama) – best for: anyone. Another popular spot for weddings, this beach out in Lake Country isn’t on Okanagan Lake – it’s actually on Kalamalka Lake! Kalamalka Lake’s emerald waters can’t be missed, this is a fantastic spot for kayaking and paddleboarding (but you’ll need to bring your own). This is also a great spot for picnics and play, thanks to its sprawling green space, and trail around the peninsula – but beware the Canadian geese that also love this park!
Coral Beach Park (Lake Country) – best for: anyone. This Lake Country park has docks, picnic areas, and bathrooms.
Kopje Park (Lake Country) – best for: anyone. Most notable for it’s island! You can walk or wade to Grant Island in the summer, depending on lake levels, but I’d advise you to not try to climb it – it’s usually covered in seagulls (and yes, their poop LOL)! This park also features a playground, picnic tables, and bathrooms. A great family spot out in Lake Country.
Maude-Roxby Bird Sanctuary Beach Access (Lakeshore) – best for: young adults/adults looking for some quiet, a great view, and as a bonus, also features the bird sanctuary boardwalk I mentioned earlier. This place reminds me of a pirate cove – I just love it! Beware that it can smell a little marshy, but you get used to it quickly.
Check out Bear Lives for the ultimate list of Kelowna hikes, complete with photos and difficulty ratings.
My personal faves?
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park (Vernon) – prepare for a full day trip out to Vernon, and pack a picnic lunch, swimsuit and towel – trust me!
Spion Kop (Lake Country) – or as Tristan’s been calling it since he was a kid, Spine Kop, this steep hike is perhaps the most rewarding – it offers a panoramic view of 3 different lakes!
Kalamoir Park (West Kelowna) – this beautiful trail along the beach in West Kelowna is one of my favourites. Whatever the season, this trail offers a stunning lake view. Perfect for beginner hikers.
Rose Valley (West Kelowna) – this park has several trails you can take – my favourite is the one with the view of the reservoir!
Knox Mountain /Paul’s Tomb (Downtown Kelowna) – the most classic and easily accessible hike in Kelowna. Walk the main trail to the top to snap a photo of downtown Kelowna and the bridge, and if you feel really ambitious, continue on to the Paul’s Tomb trail that leads to a beautiful beach!
Be sure to check out B.C.’s AdventureSmart if you’re inexperienced with exploring new areas.
Orchard Park Mall (Central City) – the interior’s largest mall, Orchard Park is a great place to spend an afternoon exploring. So many different stores! I love visiting Indigo, Bath & Body Works, Aerie, La Vie En Rose, Honest Boutique, It’s So Mimi, and so many more. Make sure you bring your appetite as well, there’s a lot of great food to be found here! My favourite is grabbing a salad or wrap at the Lakeshore Bakery & Cafe in the food court.
Bernard Avenue (Downtown Kelowna) – think of it as a mini Robson Street – Bernard Ave. is brimming with unique shops! From clothing, to shoes, to home decor, there are dozens of doors to pop into if you go for a walk downtown. Plus you can finish it off by grabbing lunch and heading to the beach just steps away!
South Pandosy Street (Lakeshore) – Lakeshore offers some of the best clothing and accessories shops in Kelowna. Too many to list here! Take my word for it and make it a point to visit this area if you love trendy boho clothing, accessories, and decor.
Kelowna Farmers and Crafters Market (Central City) – located in the lot kitty-corner to Orchard Park mall, the Main Market is open on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s from 8am-1pm, so be sure to block out one of those days to visit! During the summer you can also catch the Satellite Summer Market and the Lane Way Map Market, and in the winter you can catch the Winter Market. Check the website for more information if you’d like to check out lots of local goodies!
The Okanagan is true 4 season weather – that means that depending on the time of year you visit, you’ll need a full suitcase to suit the ever changing weather! Here are a few things I would suggest as must-haves in your luggage.
- Books! As many things as there are to do in Kelowna, there are also so many places to kick back, relax, and read.
- A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also a must for summer vacationers – we can get 35+ days with full sun!
- Swimsuits! Even if it isn’t summer, Kelowna is brimming with pools and hot tubs at most hotels. We love water here!
- a backpack or beach bag is a must for carrying your necessities around town!
- at least 3 of the following shoes: flip flops, dress sandals, sneakers, flats, and if you like to dress up, heels. Hiking boots and water shoes are also a good idea if you plan on exploring some of the beaches I mentioned before – some of our beaches are rock beaches instead of sand. We often get summer storms here as well so it’s nice to have sneakers or flats on those days.
- a hoodie, cardigan, or light jacket are also good to have in the summertime (those summer storms and breezy evenings!).
Are you inspired to explore Kelowna yet?! Did any of your favourites make the list? What about any I missed? Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ll be trying on your next visit to the sunny Okanagan!
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