Located on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake (the largest in a chain of lakes), Kelowna is a city with an ever-expanding population. The lakeside community has developed into a popular resort, thanks to its sandy beaches and more than 2000 hours of sunshine a year. In winter, the region attracts skiers to a number of large resorts. Kelowna is home to more fun-filled family options than you can shake a zipline at. Whether you’re in the mood for water activities, adventure parks, hiking trails near Myra Canyon or something a little less off-the beaten path.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to travel to Kelowna is during the early fall when temperatures are mild but hotels are a lot cheaper.
Top Places to Visit in Kelowna
- Lake Okanagan
The largest in a chain of lakes, Lake Okanagan touches the shorelines of most major Okanagan communities including Vernon in the north, Kelowna in the center, and Penticton to the south. It is the main recreation playground for locals and visitors alike, offering boating, swimming, and beaches, plus many scenic drives along its shorelines.
2. Big White Ski Resort
Just 60 kilometers east of Kelowna in the Monashee Mountains, Big White Mountain (2,319 meters) is one of Canada’s most spectacular ski resorts. The mountain is known for its snow, an average of about 7.5 meters of the glorious white stuff, falling in winter. Situated at 1,511 meters, the family-friendly Big White Ski Resort offers a range of ski runs, winter activities, accommodations, and dining.
3. BC Orchard Industry Museum
The BC Orchard Industry Museum in Kelowna tells the story of the Okanagan Valley’s transformation from cattle range to the beautifully manicured orchards that exist today. Exhibits include artifacts and information on packing, processing, home preserving, and fruit picking. The museum is housed in the historic Laurel Packinghouse, which was built from local bricks in 1917/1918.
Most of the township of Summerland is on terracing above Lake Okanagan, amid fruit trees. The orchards provide the main industry in the town, with a history that dates back to the 1890s. Visitors can sample from roadside fruit vendors that line the highways in the summer, or head to Summerland Sweets for tastings. There is a wonderful view of Okanagan Lake from Giant’s Head Park, atop Giant’s Head Mountain. A road leads through the park with lookouts along the way. There are also a number of walking trails, benches, and picnic sites.
Peachland sits on the shores of Lake Okanagan, between Kelowna and Penticton. The community lives from its thriving orchards and status as a popular tourist retreat. Though now closed, the Brenda Mine also extracted copper-molybdenum from a nearby site. The walk to Hardy Falls is a favorite local excursion and is wheelchair accessible. There is plenty for visitors to do in this area with golfing, boating, hiking, horseback riding, restaurants, and shopping.