Kelowna Top 10
Kelowna and West Kelowna are the area covered by this map and have a population of approximately 150,000 people. Aside from residential and commercial use, about 45% of the greater city is green space. This consists of farms, orchards, vineyards, fruit farms, wineries, golf courses and parks. There are over 35 wineries, 17 golf courses and numerous parks and Agri-Tourism businesses to visit. Kelowna area also has extensive lakeshore and is surrounded by mountains. This all adds up to an abundance of things to see and do for visitors. Here are the top 10 things to do in Kelowna.
The Downtown core is just north of the floating bridge by City Park and Hot Sands Beach. See the “Downtown Map” for parking. The lake side promenade extends from the bridge past Bernard Ave, the Marina, Waterfront Park Boat Lock and Tugboat Beach to the Rotary Marshes. Walk up Bernard Avenue, a popular downtown area of Kelowna lined with restaurants and shops. Visit the Kelowna Visitor Centre next to “The Sails” sculpture at the foot of Bernard Ave. Downtown is the place to be for lake side, roof top and patio restaurants, outdoor entertainment and night clubs. In the Cultural District, around the Grand Hotel, you will find The BC Wine and Orchard Museum, the Kelowna Art Gallery, and the Rotary Centre for the Arts. A number of other great galleries and museums are located nearby.
Experience history, breathtaking panoramas and excellent hiking or biking trails in the mountains surrounding Kelowna. You have many levels of hiking options in the Okanagan. Here are a couple that are close by and easy walks/rides. (1) Knox Mountain is minutes from downtown, at the north end of Ellis Street, there you will find Kelowna’s premiere natural park. The lookout looms close over downtown and also provides an excellent view of Okanagan Lake. (2) Historic Myra Canyon on the famous Kettle Valley Railway is located in the mountains on the Southeast end of the city. It’s view is much higher than Knox and is also very popular with visitors. The drive up is approximately 30-40 minutes, an upward spiral of approximately 25 km. Bike Rentals available at the top from Myra Canyon Bike Rental Ph:1-250-878-8763 (May – October) Sightseeing is definitely a top 10 thing to do in Kelowna.
With acres of high-quality vineyards and over 35 wineries, Kelowna and West Kelowna are part of one of the ultra-premium wine producing regions in the world making wine tasting a top 10 thing to do in Kelowna. Visit from large and long established wineries to small, intimate family farms. This is the best way to explore our beautiful region, even if you’re not a wine lover. Depending on what you want you can do a self-guided or guided wine tour. A tour company can show you the special hidden gems, the new, the historic and the ‘tried and true’ wineries to visit. They can pick you up from your home or accommodations so you do not have to worry about drinking and driving. Don’t forget to read their TripAdvisor reviews to get an idea of what to expect, and book the tour online directly from the company website to get the best deal.
Kelowna has miles of sandy beaches and 22 beachfront access parks. City Park Beach and Tugboat Beach downtown are two of the most popular. Two popular beaches on Lakeshore road south of downtown are Boyce-Gyro and Rotary beaches. All these beaches have amenities including grassy areas and typically have water parks, boardwalks, picnic areas, playgrounds, concession stands, rentals and washroom facilities. To find much smaller beachfront access parks go down Abbott Street and Lakeshore Road. Bear Creek Provincial Park is in West Kelowna down Westside Road next to the Bear Creek Campground and a loop waterfall hiking trail. Also in West Kelowna are Kalamoir Beach which is more secluded and has lakefront trails, and Willow Beach next to the Gellatly Bay walkway..
Along HWY 97 is the region’s largest indoor mall, Orchard Park Mall. It is filled with over 170 stores ranging from fashion, accessories, shoes, beauty products, and electronics. Orchard Plaza has over 75 shops, restaurants and services, including Save on Foods, MEC, and Winners. It’s also home to a Famous Players 5 screen cinema center. Several other shopping centers can be found along HWY 97. Downtown Kelowna is known for boutique shoe and clothing stores, a huge variety of restaurants, art galleries, great ice cream and gelato. In West Kelowna along the highway you will find a variety of big chain stores around the Westbank Hub Centre. Local goods can also be found the wineries and at the Kelowna Farmers and Crafters Market – Monday and Wednesday.
Abundant green spaces are connected by biking trails and paths from Knox Mountain to the Mission Creek Greenway. Mission Creek Greenway is one of the Okanagan’s most accessible wilderness paths as it winds along Mission Creek. Starting at Lakeshore Rd, it extends all the way to just below Gallaghers Canyon in East Kelowna. The first 7.5 km are flat and wide, popular with cyclists, dog walkers and runners. At the Springfield Road entrance to the park, you will find the EECO CENTRE. Further up is Scenic Canyon Regional Park. Hike on the well-maintained paths to discover historical treasures, see old rock ovens and abandoned gold pits. In West Kelowna Bear Creek Provincial Park opposite the campground, are several hiking trails that lead to the waterfalls, swimming holes and a view over the lake.
With over 2,000 hours of sun every year, Kelowna boasts one of the longest and driest golf seasons in the country. Several of the more than 17 golf courses offer incredible views of the lake. Numerous clubhouses offer après golf dining experiences, here are some mentioned here: Michaelbrook Ranch Golf Club, an 18 hole mid-length, BCGA rated executive par 63 golf course. Mission Creek Golf Course is a mature, mid length 18-hole golf course that borders the Mission Creek Greenway. For evening golf, consider Orchard Greens, the only golf course to flood light the course for the evening. For a great putting course, try 19 Greens in West Kelowna, located on the west side of the floating bridge. Scandia Golf & Games has both outdoor mini golf and indoor Jungle mini golf.
Imagine how welcome a dip in sky-blue Lake Okanagan feels on a warm sunny day. At 135 km long and 4 km wide, there’s plenty of room for everyone. Rent a canoe, try windsurfing, the paddleboats, or jetsking. Everywhere in Canada a licence is required to operate any motorized watercraft, but vendors can assist you with your licence and basic instruction to help you have a safe and enjoyable time. Sunwave Boat Rentals and Kelowna Boat Rentals both offer a mobile delivery service that makes renting a boat quick and easy. They meet your group at a boat launch, complete a rental agreement and orientations to make sure you are completely confident in operating, and send you off to enjoy the lake. At Lakefront Sports Centre you can rent a power boat, patio boat or Jetski at their dock located by the boat launch at the Grand Hotel or choose to fly high with Okanagan Parasail Co.
Orchard Park Mall offers indoor shopping. There is lots more to do indoors like a water park, playgrounds, attractions, wineries arts and cultural venues. Museums located downtown are: Okanagan Heritage Museum, Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum, Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame, and Okanagan Military Museum. Kelowna Performance Arts are alive at Kelowna Community Theatre (KCT) one of BC Interior’s largest performance art venues and Rotary Centre for the Arts (RCA). Fun is non-stop at Scandia Golf and Games 130 arcade games, rides, a roller coaster simulator, bumper cars, Go-Karts, Canada’s largest mini-golf course and batting cages. Energyplex has it’s Cube, Trampolines, Gym, Rock Climbing, Ballistix, Laser Tag, Bungy Trampolines, Craft & Movie Corner, Full Service Café.
Beer and wine festivals, markets, fun days, outdoor concerts with Parks Alive!, the Fat Cat Children’s Festival . . . the list goes on. Main indoor entertainment venues include Kelowna Community Theatre (KCT) and The Rotary Centre for the Arts (RCA) and Prospera Place.
Kelowna Community Theatre https://theatre.kelowna.ca
Kelowna Tickets (Arts and Culture Tickets)
Annual events & Festivals (Tourism Kelowna) https://www.tourismkelowna.com/events
Kelowna Rockets – hockey team https://kelownarockets.com
Kelowna Falcons – baseball team http://kelownafalcons.com
Okanagan Sun – football team https://www.okanagansun.ca
Kelowna Raiders – lacrosse team https://kelownaraiderslacrosse.com
Kelowna Chiefs – junior B hockey www.kelownachiefs.com