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23 EPIC Things to do in Kelowna in Winter

23 EPIC Things to do in Kelowna in Winter

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Kelowna is the underdog when it comes to winter destinations in BC, Canada. Widely known for its vast lakes, winery tours, and grape-laden fields, a summer trip to this lakeside city is high on the bucket list for many travelers.

However, in recent years Kelowna has transformed into a year-round adventure hub that is the perfect addition to any Canadian winter bucket list.

Located in the southern interior of British Columbia in the Okanagan Valley, Kelowna is a vibrant city and the central hub to the local mountain Big White. When the seasons turn and the snow sets in, there are so many things to do in Kelowna in winter!

From skiing at Big White to exploring the fat biking trails, snowshoeing along ridgelines, sipping wine at snowy vineyards, exploring local craft breweries and restaurants, and so much more, Kelowna in the winter is an exciting destination that you just have to explore for yourself.

I’m lucky enough to have close family members who actually live in Kelowna. For this reason, it’s a place I visit frequently and know lots about – which is why I’ve written this blog!

In this blog, I’ve included all the info that you should know before visiting Kelowna, BC in winter. I have a huge list of the best winter activities as well as some pointers about the weather, and of course, the absolute best places to stay in Kelowna on your winter holiday – enjoy!

23 Things to do in Kelowna in Winter

1. Go downhill skiing and snowboarding

Snowboarding at Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna, BC
Fresh powder and pine trees with my cousin who lives in the area!

Kelowna’s local ski resort, Big White, is 56 Km (35 miles) from Kelowna. With 119 designated trails and a whopping 18% of those designated as beginner level and 54% intermediate, it’s the perfect mountain for a novice rider.

Looking for more advanced terrain? Don’t worry, Big White’s annual 750cm (24.5ft) snowfall covers the more advanced trails (not to mention all the unmarked tree runs!) These are a powder hound’s heaven and are sure to have your legs burning while you ride the chairlifts all day long, taking in the panoramic snow-covered peaks.

Expect to pay around $100 CAD for a day pass to the mountain (prices are lower during the week and higher on weekends) and around $50 for rental gear. If you’re a new rider or looking to up your skills, snow school lessons are available starting at $335 for a half-day lesson (up to 3 people) up to $675 for a full day for all levels. If you’re traveling alone, you can get a 1-hour lesson for $135.

The ski season at Big White runs from the end of November until the first week of April with the best conditions being in the middle of the season. I myself love spring skiing and usually go in late February for warmer temperatures.

Those without a vehicle can either rent a car in Kelowna or take a private shuttle to the ski resort. Big Mountain Little Shuttle is the company that runs the shuttles for individuals. This costs $70 CAD for adults and $40 for children one way. This is really overpriced in my opinion and I always rent a car instead. This costs around $80 a day in Kelowna.

Those who want to ski for a few days without the hassle of driving up to the ski resort every day can choose to stay at the Big White Village. Prices at the ski resort vary depending on the hotel but prices start at around $250 CAD plus tax per night for a 1 bedroom apartment during the winter season. In the village, you’ll find restaurants and shops. It has everything you need for an awesome ski holiday in BC!

Skiing at Big White is without a doubt the most popular winter activity in Kelowna among both locals and visitors! I myself love this ski resort!

Related Read: Skiing is also one of the best things to do in Canmore in winter as well as Whistler in winter – read my blogs for more info!

2. Drink lots of craft beer

Having a cold brew at the Kelowna Beer Institute in downtown Kelowna
The Kelowna Beer Institute is one of my favorites!

While this region is famous for its wineries, Kelowna has a trendy craft beer scene that has been growing in popularity over the past 20 years. While there are breweries widespread across the city, in the North End Brewery District you can explore on foot with over six breweries (and one cidery) within walking distance to one another. The best part? More are opening in the area! A few of my favorites include The Office Brewery and Red Bird Brewing.

Outside of this district, there are also lots of other breweries in Kelowna. I certainly recommended heading to the Kelowna Beer Institute near the waterfront. Sit inside right beside the huge stainless steel beer tanks and get yourself a tasting paddle. They also serve food so it’s perfect for lunch.

If you’re looking for a more expansive guided experience, definitely check out this Kelowna Brewery Tour. The tour transports you to three of the local breweries around town for 3 hours and includes a flight of craft beers at each stop all for the steal of $90 CAD. On the tour, you’ll learn a lot more about the breweries and the brewing process. It’s a great tour to do in Kelowna in the winter since no walking outside in the cold is involved.

Related Read: Do you love breweries? Then head to Calgary where you’ll find 44 craft brewies within the city! Checking out breweries is also one of the best things to do in Calgary in the winter months.

3. Go on a wine tour

Quails Gate winery in winter
The stunning Quails’ Gate Winery in winter! Photo credit – Quails’ Gate

Kelowna wineries in the winter have a certain Danish ‘hygge’ (comforting) feel to them. Of all the things to do in Kelowna in winter, sipping on a bold red while overlooking the snow-blanketed vineyards is definitely a worthwhile stop.

You can explore the wineries on your own simply by picking a few out and heading out with Google Maps in hand. First, pick a region. You can either do West Kelowna or East Kelowna (either side of Lake Okanagan.) I personally prefer West Kelowna and my favorite wineries there are Quails’ Gate, Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, The Hatch, and Rollingdale Winery Inc.

Some of my favorites in East Kelowna are The Vibrant Vine Winery (one of my all-time favorites), The View Winery & Vineyard, Tantalus Vineyards, and SpearHead Winery.

Please note: Some cellar doors are closed during the winter season so please check before arriving.

If exploring on your own isn’t what you came to Kelowna for then an organized tour is a great option. This West Kelowna Wine Tour is a top-rated tour that will take you to five of the best wineries in the Okanagan. This 3-6 hour tour includes transport, tastings, water, and snacks for $199 CAD. Oh, and did I mention that they encourage guests to dress up in costumes? Yes, this is the perfect winter tour for wine lovers who are looking for a good time!

If you love wine, check out our blog on the 16 BEST Wineries in Kelowna, BC!

4. Explore on snowshoes

Snowshoeing in Canada on trails through the forest
Snowshoeing is a fun activity and it makes getting out and exploring much easier! It does take some getting used to though!

Snowshoeing is a great way to hike and explore outdoors in the winter months and doesn’t require lessons or prior experience! The local telemark Nordic Club in Kelowna offers around 50km (31 miles) of snowshoeing trails that range from 2km to 15km loops.

The 8km Panorama Ridge Trail is an iconic snowshoeing trail that leads you to the top of Panorama Ridge. This provides a spectacular vantage point of Lake Okanagan. A day pass to access the trails is $8 CAD and snowshoe rentals are $13 per day, so it’s the perfect cheap winter activity in Kelowna.

If you want a more wild experience head up to Myra Canyon with your snowshoes and enjoy a beautiful walk along the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. In the summer, it’s popular to bike the 12-kilometer trail (each way) but you shouldn’t miss it in winter either! I wouldn’t try to hike the entire 24 kilometers and instead stop around halfway and simply turn around.

5. Try fat biking

Fat biking at Big White Ski Resort. Kelowna
Fat Biking at Big White! Photo credit – Big White

Curious to explore Big White’s backcountry terrain but don’t have the ski experience? Big White has you covered with their new fat bike trails and rentals.

This is a fantastic way to see the beauty of the backcountry for skiers and non-skiers alike. Pedal your way around the nordic trail ‘Trapping Meadows’ that winds around the mountain and explore the designated trails. Rentals are available 11 am-3 pm and cost $39 for 2 hours or $74 for 4 hours.

Once again, you can also take your fat bike up to the Kettle Valley Rail Trail in Myra Canyon and ride the entire 24-kilometer trail. This is my personal recommendation for the experienced fat biker!

Related Read: Fat biking is also super popular in the town of Golden BC – read all about the other things to in Golden in winter!

6. Work up a sweat cross-country skiing

Cross country skiing in Canada
Off I go! I was a natural because of all my skiing experience!

Sharing the same nordic trails used by the fat bikes at Big White, explore the backcountry by cross country (aka nordic skiing.) The trailhead begins behind the ice tower near Happy Valley and loops back to the Happy Valley Day Lodge where you can grab a hot chocolate and a snack after this full-body workout.

Expect to pay around $35 CAD for rental skis and poles. However, if you have a current ski or board rental you can simply swap your gear for the day at no extra charge!

You can also go to the Nordic Center I mentioned above. They don’t rent skis so you’ll need to get them in town at Fresh Air Concept. After, download this trail map and head off and explore! It costs $15 for the day and they have professionally groomed runs with tracks (perfect for beginners like myself!) Cross country skiing is easy enough for anybody to try even without a lesson or previous experience. I just recommend heading to the groomed track trails (pictured above) as they are much easier to use.

7. Have fun snow tubing

Snow tubing at Big White Ski Resort
For those who don’t ski or snowboard, or, just want to have some fun, tubing is perfect! Photo credit: Big White

If you’re looking for a fun snow adventure, for $25 CAD you can spend the afternoon at the tube park at Big White. Open from 2 pm-7 pm, thrill-seekers can keep the adventure going long after the ski lifts have closed.

With five different graded specially groomed lanes, you can pick your own adventure (and adrenaline rush!) This is a perfect winter activity for families with all the different runs available – kids absolutely love it!

Make sure to bring a pair of regular shoes as ski boots are not permitted in the park. Sunglasses or ski goggles will also come in handy on a sunny day.

8. Go ice skating

Ice skating at Stuart Park, Kelowna
On a beautiful winter’s day, I always head down to Stuart Park in Kelowna for a free skate!

Kelowna’s waterfront rink in Stuart Park offers free public skating from December to the end of February (weather permitting) and is a beautiful way to spend a wintery afternoon. For info on skate rentals while the season is open you can check out the City of Kelowna website.

Big White also has a free skating rink that operates later in the season due to the higher altitude. If you need to rent skates, expect to pay around $12 CAD, and $6 CAD for a helmet.

9. Eat, eat, and eat!

Dawett Fine Indian Cuisine
Dawett Fine Indian Cuisine

If you’re like me and agree that no winter adventure is complete without a cozy fireside foodie escape, then Kelowna has you covered.

After a cozy setting with a hearty meal? Gasthaus On The Lake offers a beautiful fireside Bavarian dining experience and is known for its schnitzel which you can get for about $24 CAD. If you’re looking for something more lively then be sure to check out Vintner’s Poolside Grill at the Coast Capri Hotel with their live music nights on weekends from 7-10 pm. They offer a range of seasonal and local ‘’to share or not’, ‘handhelds’ and ‘knife and fork’ options between $14 and $21 CAD. I also love Dawett Fine Indian Cuisine.

If you don’t mind taking a short drive out of town then the best breakfast is had at The Jammery. They sell homemade jams onsite but also serve the best breakfast in the Okanagan Valley. On weekends you need to book a table in advance or you’ll likely miss out!

There are also some very lovely cafes in Kelowna that serve warm baked goods alongside freshly roasted coffee.

For the true foodies, you can also do food tours in Kelowna. I did one a few years ago and loved it. You can choose from a few different tours but this tour is the best value for money!

Related Read: Not far from Kelowna is Revelstoke. Visiting Revelstoke in winter is a must – it’s one of my favorite towns in Canada!

10. Go hiking

views from the City on the Edge of Forever hike in Kelowna, BC
The views on some of the hikes are spectacular. My favorite is the City on the Edge of Forever!

Hiking in Kelowna is beautiful at any time of the year! However, hiking in winter can be especially tranquil as most people are either up on the mountain skiing or out in town. While many of the local hikes are best done with snowshoes, depending on the weather, some popular trails can be accessed with a good pair of boots.

Kettle Valley Railway is one such trail that features 18 photogenic trestles and 2 tunnels. With good hiking boots, you can leave the snowshoes at home. Plus, with so many snowshoers walking the trail already, the snow can pack down a lot!

Bear Creek Provincial Park is another stunning area that offers three different loops varying in length to choose from, each has a different perspective of a waterfall. My recommendation is to walk the Canyon Rim Trail. This 2.7-kilometer loop is relatively easy and the views are spectacular.

Last, is Rose Valley Regional Park located in West Kelowna. This regional park is home to lots of different trails suitable for all fitness levels.

For a rather adventurous trail, try the City on the Edge of Forever. This 8-kilometer loop takes around 3 hours and gives hikers stunning views of the lake below. For a shorter Trail, Rooster Tree Lake Loop is a great option. At only 4.5 kilometers long it’s perfect for a shorter adventure. My advice though is to bring crampons because parts of the trail are very steep and slippery.

Access to Rose Valley Regional Park is done from a few places. The largest parking lot is located on Westlake Road and here you’ll find several trailheads including Rooster Tree Lake Loop. For City on the Edge of Forever head to the parking lot at the end of Rosewood Drive. Although you can hike here in winter with only a pair of good hiking boots, some cheap crampons will come in handy.

11. Head to Silver Star

Skiing at Silver Star Ski Resort
Silver Star is one of my favorite ski resorts in the Okanagan Valley!

The sister mountain of Big White known for its colorful mountain village is only 65km (about a 1-hour drive) from Kelowna airport. With 132 marked trails to choose from and annual snowfall of 700cm (23ft), Silver Star is a great addition to any Kelowna winter itinerary.

Silver Star caters to beginner riders with a mellow front side, and to the more advanced riders with a range of intermediate and advanced trails on the backside. My favorite run is the Peanut Trail which heads through the trees with tight corners and small jumps. The last time I visited I must’ve done this trail 5 or6 times!

Expect to pay $124 CAD in peak periods for a lift pass. Prices are cheaper during the week or outside of peak times.

Like Big White, you can also stay a few nights at Silver Star Village and enjoy a fun ski holiday. Personally, I prefer Silver Star over Big White so it’s my go-to ski resort in the Okanagan Valley. In fact, there are a lot more accommodation options at Silver Star and the small village even has a bowling alley!

12. Grab a brew and go bowling

Bowling at McCurdy Bowling
Not a bad way to spend a cold winter night! Photo credit – McCurdy Bowling Center

Brew and bowling go hand-in-hand in Kelowna in the winter months! In fact, you can head to the local brewery BNA Brewing to try their beers while you bowl in the onsite bowling alley. Lane rental here is $40-$50 CAD per hour (depending on the day) and an extra $5 for shoe rentals. They also serve food which is really delicious.

If you’re looking to head out for a daytime bowl, West Kelowna Bowl offers half-price bowling Monday to Friday from 11 am-3 pm including shoe rental. Then, finish the afternoon with a pint at Whiski Jack’s Pins and Pints Pub next door.

Mccurdy Bowling Center offers a competitive $15 ‘All You Can Bowl’ special on Sundays and Wednesdays from 7-10 pm. Conveniently located right next door to Freddy’s brewpub, you can go to happy hour from 3-6 pm before heading over to put on your bowling shoes at 7 pm.

13. Try axe throwing

Axe throwing in Canada
I’m not an expert at axe throwing, but I can hit the target…sometimes!

Axe throwing isn’t just for flannel-clad lumberjacks anymore – it’s the perfect date night or group activity. At Axe Monkeys in Kelowna, you can choose your weapon of choice and try axe, knife, or spear-throwing for 1 hour starting at $30 CAD or 2 hours for $50 CAD. It’s a really fun activity I tried for the first time here in Kelowna. Since then I’ve been multiple times with friends.

Each session begins with a coaching lesson, so you will be hitting bullseyes in no time!

Axe Monkeys in Kelowna is an indoor facility so it is perfect any time of year.

14. Visit a museum (or two!)

The Laurel Packinghouse
The Laurel Packinghouse

Located in Central City Kelowna, the Okanagan Heritage Museum is a fantastic way to learn about the Okanagan Valley. This museum beautifully highlights the cultural and geographical history of the region with a focus on the first nation perspective. Admission is by donation but $5 CAD per person is suggested.

If you’re curious to learn more about the agricultural heritage that makes this region famous, then be sure to check out the Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum right down the road. For a donation, you can explore everything from growing, processing, and transporting, as well as how these practices have diversified the landscape and local communities.

Another small but cute museum is The Laurel Packinghouse. I visited here on my food tour to look around at all the old apple packing equipment. It’s a beautiful building that’s available for rent for events. There’s also a small shop within the building selling locally made goods – perfect for souvenirs.

15. Go shopping

If you need to do some last-minute Christmas shopping or are just looking for some retail therapy, then swing by the largest mall in town – Orchard Park Shopping Center. Open 10-6 pm every day, with everything from apparel to electronics, it’s surely got you covered. I also recommended visiting here if you get some bad weather during your visit. You can escape the cold, get some food, and even some beauty therapy (more on that below!)

Another great option for shopping is simply downtown Kelowna. Wander the busy streets and stop in at unique boutique shops including everything from clothing to food to jewelry.

16. Relax at a spa

The Pool at the Sparkling Hill Resort and Spa
Could you imagine a more beautiful place to relax? Photo credit – Sparkling Hill Resort

Sitting on top of a granite ridge with a panoramic view of Okanagan Lake, Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, BC (just over an hour from Kelowna) offers a range of day and week-long retreats bound to soothe the soul. It is aptly named using a blend of the German word for ‘healing’ and the Latin word for ‘water’ to signify the philosophy behind the spa, “healing by water”.

As one of the largest spas in Canada, there has an extensive availability of hydrotherapy options. Spend your day alternating between the heat therapy rooms (such as the aqua meditation, rose steam, salt steam, crystal steam, a herbal sauna, classic finish sauna rooms), the cold exposure options (like the igloo room, the outdoor infinity pool), and unwind in one of the many relaxation rooms.

If you really want to immerse yourself I the experience then be sure to spend a night or two at the Sparkling Hill Resort. Although not cheap, this is a luxury experience suited to those who really want to spoil themselves!

If you want a day spa experience more local to Kelowna, then be sure to check out Namaste Day Spa. They offer a luxurious half-day spa package which includes 3.5 hours of facial, a shiatsu massage, and pedicure, all for $329 CAD.

17. Attend a festival or event

Kelowna is ripe with events in the winter months. In early December you are sure to find unique one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts at the Craft Culture Holiday Market from one of the 175 hand-picked artisans and crafters from BC and beyond.

Later in December, you can check out the free Kelowna Light Up and Winter Street Markets, which offer live entertainment, skating, food, and the inaugural lighting of the tree.

To finish off the year, you can head to Stuart Park for Kelowna’s New York New Year’s Eve event or head up to Big White for a NYE firework display.

There are plenty of events in Kelowna in the winter. Check out info on most of them online to see if any coordinate with your intended travel dates.

18. Go dog sledding

A lady poses with a sled dog on a tour in Canada
I made so many friends on the tour!

If traversing through the backcountry in a sled guided by gorgeous huskies is on your winter bucket list, then be sure to check out Big White’s Dog Sledding. A sled ride traverses 6km of the backcountry over approximately 30 minutes and costs around $269 CAD.

I myself went dog sledding in Canmore, Alberta and I can say it’s a cool experience. I got to meet so many beautiful dogs who were all happy to play and of course, get me to pet them nonstop.

One thing to note is it’s important to pick a dog sledding company that treats their dogs like family. Big White runs a tour that’s highly reviewed and because Big White’s tour is only 6 kilometers the dogs get plenty of rest between tours. Also, take note of how the dogs act, and if you see something wrong always report it and include it in your review.

19. Try ice fishing

Ice fishing in Canada
Ice fishing is a test of patience but with a drink in hand time goes by quickly and it’s peaceful!

Ice fishing is an iconic Canadian winter activity. Idabel Lake is a well-known spot for Ice fishing in Kelowna in winter. However, due to the altitude, it can become windy very quickly so dress warmly and wear rubber insulated boots. In addition to fishing gear, you will need to purchase a fishing license that starts at $10 CAD a day.

Want the full guided experience? Join Rodney’s Reel outdoor ice fishing tour. This full-day adventure includes fishing gear, lunch, an ice fishing hut, and a lakeside fire to keep you cozy throughout the day, for around $450 for 1-2 guests.

20. Go indoor rock climbing

Beyond the Crux indoor rock climbing center in Kelowna
Escape the cold but still stay active at Beyond the Crux! Photo credit – Beyond the Crux

Need a break from riding but still want to get your blood pumping to keep you warm? Then indoor rock climbing may be exactly what the doctor ordered! Beyond the Crux offers top-rope climbing for $16.50 CAD and beginners belaying courses for an additional $50 CAD.

If bouldering is more your style then check out Gneiss Climbing. Drop-in rates are $17.50 and $5 for shoes

21. Apres ski

What winter holiday is complete without an Apres Ski? After a long day riding, you can cozy up in Micro to sample their international Bar Bites and creatively themed cocktails starting at $13 CAD. Or, settle in for the night at the BNA Brewing tasting room for a craft beer and dinner at the full-service eatery attached. And if you love to have a drink by the water then head to the Cactus Club. The cocktails here are amazing (my favorite is the peach bellini) and the food is even better!

For those staying up at Big White be sure to head to Elevation 57 Brewing Co. or at Silver Star Long John’s Pub!

22. Go snowmobiling

Snowmobiling at Big White
This is so much fun! Photo credit – Big White

Snowmobiling is a great way to get off the beaten track and explore the beautiful backcountry without the need to walk or ride. Big White offers tours that cater to all riding levels from family fun to powder chasing. Explore more terrain in less time and have so much fun while doing so. Seriously, this is one activity every adrenaline junkie will love!

Tours start at 1 hour for $149 CAD and go up to 4 hours for $299 CAD. Overall it’s great value especially if you need a break from hitting the slopes!

23. Tour Okanagan Spirits

Tasting liquor at Okanagan Spirits
I don’t look that excited but I was feeling a lot happier after my tastings!

Any spirit lovers among us? Unfortunately I myself hate straight spirits, however, as a blogger I still went to Okanagan Spirits to try it out for my readers. The verdict? It’s a really fun tour and although the taste of straight alcohol is not my thing, I still enjoyed some of their liquor on offer.

The tasting tour at Okanagan Spirits is only $5 and you’ll get to taste a few of their spirits. Bookings are not essential for the standard tasting but you can also do a private tasting for $10. After, pick up some bottles to go (they make great gifts!)

Kelowna Weather in Winter

Fat biking in Canada
Fat biking is the best way to ride through the snow!

When planning a visit to Kelowna in winter it’s important to pack right. The only way to do that is to know what to expect from the weather.

The BC Interior, where Kelowna is located, is actually known for its mild winters when compared to other popular destinations in Canada such as Banff, Toronto, and Quebec. This makes a winter visit in Kelowna a lot more enjoyable!

Although winter in Kelowna officially begins in December, the start of November brings winter temperatures with the ski resorts in the area opening at the end of November. Winter is officially over in February but those chasing snow and winter sports can expect the ski resorts to be open until the beginning of April.

In November, expect average highs of 6°C (42.8 °F) and lows of -2 °C (28.4 °F).

By December and until the end of January average highs are only 1 °C (33.8°F) and lows -6 °C (21.2 °F).

In February things begin to warm up again with average highs of 4 °C (39.2 °F) and lows of -5 °C (23 °F).

Then in March as the days get longer, temperatures increase quickly with average highs of 10 °C (50 °F) and lows of -2 °C (28.4 °F).

Of course, you can get cold snaps in Kelowna with the city getting a rare day below -30 °C (-22 °F). This usually happens in January. Those visiting in December January and February should be prepared for cold temperatures well below 0. In fact, a few -20 °C (-4 °F) days should be planned for.

Unfortunately, this makes packing a little hard and after factoring in cold snaps, you’ll need the same clothing you’d expect to need in the colder places in Canada.

As for the conditions above, Kelowna is known as a cloudy place in the winter with low cloud cover usually acting as a blanket over the valley. That low cloud makes heading up to the sunny ski resorts even more popular! As for snow and rain, November brings 24.3 mm of rainfall on average and 10.7 cm of snow, December 9.3 mm and 23 cm, January 16.4 mm and 19.5 cm, February 13.6 mm and 7 cm, and March 11.9 mm and 3.2 cm of snow.

The mountains receive much more snow than Kelowna as well as colder temperatures.

Where to Stay in Kelowna in Winter

Aspen hot tub at the hotel
Imagine relaxing in here after a day skiing! Photo credit – Aspens

There are a ton of different places to stay in Kelowna in a huge range of areas! You’ll want to pick a hotel that is close to all of the Kelowna winter activities on your to-do list

First off let me tell you about some great places downtown. For a budget stay (during winter as summer prices differ) right in the heart of Kelowna I recommended the Royal Anne Hotel. This gorgeous property is located right downtown and offers beautiful rooms at an affordable price. For a more luxurious stay, the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort is a top option that normally costs $1000 + per night during the summer but is under $600 for 3 nights in winter!

Moving to West Kelowna (a great place to stay for amazing views only a short drive from multiple wineries) my first choice every time I visit is A View of the Lake B & B. This small Bed and Breakfast offers stunning lake views and an incredible breakfast included in the already cheap winter rate. On top of that, you are within walking distance (or short cab) of a few wineries.

Up at Big White Ski Resort Aspens is a resort I love to stay at with my friends when we plan a big ski trip. Although not the cheapest place, once split between a group of 6 or 8 it’s really not that bad. Plus the two and three-bedroom apartments include a private hot tub! Be aware most places at Big Wite have a 5 night stay minimum.

Related read: Need more info? check out our guide on where to stay in Kelowna!

Renting a Car in British Columbia

Winter road in British Columbia, Canada
Get out and explore in a rental car. The views from the road are just as amazing as the destination!

If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Car rental in Canada is relatively cheap especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $70 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Rental Cars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Rental Cars.com all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada and using crown land and campsites you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Canada Winter Travel Essentials

A lady all dressed up in winter gear in Canada
All rugged up and ready to explore!

If you’re planning to visit Canada in winter then there are a few things you should pack – things we never travel without. Some you may already have, but others you may want to pick up before you leave. This is especially true if you want to enjoy some of the best outdoor activities!

Here are some of our must-have winter essentials:

Crampons/ Ice Cleats: This is the one item I have that I use so much. If you love the outdoors and enjoy short walks and hikes, crampons are a must! The best part is, the pair that I own is only $29 CAD. They aren’t the best pair out there but they’re perfect for the everyday explorer/traveler.

Insulated water bottle: In the summer you want to keep your water cold but in winter, you want to keep it from freezing. That’s why I always carry an insulated water bottle. This Iron Flask Water Bottle is perfect because it doubles as a thermos so it’s great for carrying hot water for those winter hot chocolates! I have the 32-ounce bottle in pink but I wish I had one of the multi-colored bottles!

Merino wool socks: Cold feet can ruin your time exploring the great outdoors during winter. Please do yourself a favor and get a good quality pair of socks. Even just one pair with come in handy but I myself carry three of these COZIA Wool Socks. They’re 80% Merino wool and really warm. The best part is they are only $15 each! When I’m skiing I can even double them up if it’s -30 °C.

Thermal layers: Staying warm begins from your first layer. Life outside during the Candian winter is much more comfortable with thermal layers. There are a lot of great products in this space but look out for Merino wool products – they’re the best in my opinion!

Ski Gloves: Did you know ski resorts in Canada don’t rent gloves? That means you’re going to need to bring your own. I get really cold hands so I love these new heated rechargeable gloves. They keep your hands warm in the coldest temperatures. Although expensive, you’ll never wear another pair of gloves again.

Polarized sunglasses/ ski goggles: People often forget that on a sunny day in the mountains, the sun can really hurt your eyes when it reflects off the snow. For around town, check out these polarized sunglasses and for in the mountains these ski goggles.

Buff: I love my buff! Seriously, I go nowhere without it both in winter and summer. During the winter though, it’s perfect for keeping my nose and cheeks covered from the cold especially when skiing or hiking. There are a few brands around but I always buy the original Buff (you know, the one from Survivor!) They’re a little more expensive but the material is good quality and both breathable and quick drying.

Thanks for Reading

Bailey from Destinationless Travel on a ski hill in Canada
Thanks for reading! Have fun in Kelowna, Bc this winter!

Visiting Kelowna in winter is sure to be an adventure. In all honesty, I love winter in Canada when you can enjoy the cheaper prices on accommodation (often the most expensive part of the trip.) Not only that but there are a ton of awesome things to do in Kelowna during winter!

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you found this blog helpful and now have your upcoming trip planned out to suit your travel style. If you have any questions, leave them below. Oh and don’t forget to check out more of our logs such as:

33 BEST Things to do in the Okanagan Valley

13 best breweries in Kelowna

Know before you go – Kelowna wine tour

40+ Epic Things to do in Banff in Winter
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