Kelowna is a popular international tourist destination for many and it’s not hard to see why. With a central location in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, there are countless attractions to explore while in town. Kelowna has something for everyone in your family- from the outdoor enthusiast to the art fan. Read on to discover the top 9 must sees when visiting Kelowna below to guarantee you don’t miss out on the fun:
1. Okanagan Lake
The Okanagan Lake is perhaps the most recognized landmark in Kelowna. Stretching 135 km through Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, Summerland and Lake Country, the Okanagan Lake is a hotspot for outdoor fun and entertainment. In Kelowna alone, there are nearly a dozen water sport rental companies for you to choose from to try out fun activities like jet skiing, kayaking, wakeboarding, sea-dooing, canoeing and tubing. The Okanagan Lake also has over 30 beaches scattered throughout the Okanagan Valley, with eight beautiful beaches located on Kelowna’s shore line for you to visit and soak up the sun at!
2. Myra Canyon Park
This expansive canyon situated on the edge of Myra-Bellevue provincial park has every outdoor activity you could ever want to entertain the entire family. There is horseback riding, hiking, bird watching and cycling available plus access to the Kettle Valley Railway Trail, Kelowna Boulder Fields and Myra Canyon trestles. With all the activities offered at this family-owned and operated business, you can easily spend a day at Myra Canyon Park exploring the beautiful Kelowna region.
3. Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm
A family-owned business since the sixties, the Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm has been growing lavender, rose, lemon balm, basil, spearmint, sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme crop for nearly fifty years. These plants are harvested and turned into essential oils, dried herbs, skin care products, soaps, tea and aromatherapy. They are sold exclusively in their gift shop.
The farm has two amazing tours for you to choose from, from their daily guided visit, to the PURE Wander daily that includes a scavenger hunt for children. To discover more about the lavender growing process, the farm offers small group workshops and classes, as well as private group outings for special occasions.
4. Kasugai Japanese Garden
This serene japanese garden features all the traditional elements of a japanese garden from stone lanterns and pine trees to a waterfall and pond. Built in 1987, the Kasugai Japanese Garden represents the friendship between Kelowna and its sister city, Kasugai, in Japan. It’s a quiet escape from the bustle of the city and a great place to go for a walk or jog in between sightseeing.
5. Big White Ski Resort
Named Canada’s Best Family Resort by Ski Canada Magazine, this award-winning ski resort is widely considered to have one of the best ski terrains in North America. It includes a 12-foot half pipe, snow-cross classes, plus a beautifully set up progression system that allows skiers and snowboarders to progress along at their own pace throughout the trails. If you’re looking for something to do besides skiing and snowboarding, Big White also offers dog sled tours, horse drawn sleigh rides, skating, tubing, snowmobiling, snowshoe tours plus a 60 foot ice tower to climb! In the summer, Big White opens its beautiful grounds for hiking and sightseeing so there’s constantly something to do in Big White!
6. Wine Tours
With over 30 wineries located in the Kelowna area, there is no shortage of wine tours for you to choose from when you visit the Okanagan Valley! While you’re more than welcome to visit your favourite wineries on your own, Kelowna offers plenty of highly-rated wine tours that give you the chance to explore numerous wineries all in one day. Sip on wine, enjoy lunch in a vineyard and explore the beauty that is the Okanagan Valley with any one of the recommended wine tours that offer quality service and an overall fantastic experience.
7. Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market
The Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market has been a Kelowna weekly tradition for over 21 years. Located on the corner of Dilworth and Springfield every Saturday and Wednesday, this farmers’ market is one of the largest in BC. Its 165 vendors sell some of the best locally produced fruit, vegetables, dairy, meats and baked goods in the province. The Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market is also a great place to find souvenirs, with many vendors also selling jewelry, woodwork, soaps and handcrafted pottery. Besides their fantastic local products, the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market often hosts special events throughout the day, including children’s games and entertainment, a cherry pit spitting contest, a bean bag toss competition and live music. Between visiting all the vendors and taking part in all the fun activities, the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market is a relaxing way to spend a morning in Kelowna.
8. Golf Courses
With over 2,000 hours of sun every year, the Kelowna golf region is considered one of the best places to golf in Canada. The golf courses are spread out over acres of lush Okanagan landscape, with beautiful views of the Okanagan lake, mountains and vineyards surrounding the area. No matter if you’re a beginner or a pro, one of the twenty prestigious golf clubs in the area is sure to be right for you. From local favorite, the Kelowna Golf & Country Club, to the more challenging The Rise Golf Course, you can explore all of Kelowna’s golf clubs in detail here.
9. Kelowna Art Gallery
A must-see for the art advocate, the Kelowna Art Gallery puts a strong focus on featuring Canadian art in its four gallery spaces. Whether historical or contemporary, the gallery always has a wonderful exhibition exploring Canadian culture on display. The Kelowna Art Gallery also offers art classes and workshops throughout the year but for the tourist only in town for a short time,
Family Sundays is a great way to take in all the art gallery has to offer. If you have yet to visit, check out the Kelowna Gallery’s events schedule to discover upcoming artist lectures, talks and panel discussions.