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Incredible wine, fresh fruit, and gorgeous beaches – the best things to do in Kelowna, BC are all about indulging.
Every year thousands of visitors travel from across Canada and across the globe to see what the Okanagan has to offer. And oftentimes, this means spoiling yourself and having a very relaxing holiday full of food and booze.
And on our recent visit to Kelowna, we did just that!
We went to more wineries than we can remember (probably because we did tastings at all of them), picked fresh berries, ate at some gourmet restaurants, tried locally-made cheese, tasted craft beers and ciders, and overall probably gained a few pounds.
But what many visitors don’t realize or take advantage of is the active lifestyle that also surrounds Kelowna, BC. The locals love the area and get out and about all year around. In the winter, they hit the slopes, and in the summer, it is all about the mountains and lakes.
We kept ourselves busy in Kelowna and discovered a ton of fun and amazing things to do in Kelowna, BC.
Some of the activities on our list are those most popular “cannot miss” top-rated tourist activities, and some are a little more off the beaten path or local secrets.
21 BEST Things to do in Kelowna, BC
1. Ride the Kettle Valley Trail at Myra Canyon
|Location:||Myra Canyon, a 40-minute drive from Kelowna.|
|Price:||The trail is free but it’s $39 CAD for a half-day bike rental|
One of the most popular activities in Kelowna, BC is bike riding the Kettle Valley Trail around the Myra Canyon.
This route was once a railway that trains passed through. But now, all of the tracks have been removed and what is left behind is one very scenic trail perfect for cycling or walking.
The trail starts up in Myra Canyon Provincial Park only a 40-minute drive from Kelowna. The entire ride is a 22km round trip, but don’t stress, it’s completely flat and easy to ride.
Along the way, you’ll cross lots of wooden bridges and even pass through some old tunnels. I personally loved the ride and despite not getting the greatest weather, had an amazing time.
If you don’t have your own bike then you’ll need to rent one, and luckily enough this can be done at the start of the trail. Myra Canyon Bike Rental rents bikes from the start of the trail for $39 CAD for a half-day.
If you don’t want to ride you can just drive to the trailhead and walk for a few kilometers. Of course, you must come back the way you came so keep that in mind as you take in the awesome views!
2. Get tipsy on a wine tour
|Location:||Tours pick-up from your hotel and travel to one of the wine|
regions around Kelowna
|Price:||Tours range in price starting at around $120 CAD|
It’s no secret that I love wine tours and it’s also well known that Kelowna is one of the best places in Canada for wine. So, it’s really not surprising that we went on not one, but two wine tours during our most recent visit!
Now if you’re wondering why, well, there’s actually a few wine regions around Kelowna and no tour will take you to all of them – there are simply just too many wineries!
Wanting to experience more, we did one tour through West Kelowna and one through East Kelowna. If you want to venture a little farther, Lake Country on the way to Vernon is another great place for a wine tour. Of course, for most people, one Kelowna wine tour is enough and my advice is that you simply must do at least one!
The wine region around Kelowna is famous for Riesling and Gewürztraminer but there is a much larger variety that includes favorites such as Pinot Noir and amazing Rose.
What I loved most about the wineries around Kelowna is that they’re testing the waters and making some very unconventional wines. To me, wine isn’t all about tradition and more of a forever evolving industry where creativity is endless.
In Kelowna, there are literally dozens of companies that offer different wine tours. There’s really no easy way to choose the right tour but I highly recommend this wine tour for its affordable price, inclusions, and fantastic reviews!
Of course, you don’t have to do a tour to enjoy the best wineries in Kelowna, and as long as you have a designated driver, can visit cellar doors on your own. In fact, some Kelowna wineries are even perfect for a picnic lunch!
Some of my personal favorite wineries in and around Kelowna include:
- Quail’s Gate
- Mission Hill
- Sandhill Wines
- Vibrant Vines
- Ciao Bella
- Tantalus Vineyards
- Volcanic Hills Estate Winery
- The Hatch
3. Explore the local cuisine on a food tour
The Okanagan Valley is all about fresh produce and all of the treats made with it. With that in mind, it’s no surprise a food tour is one of the best things to do in Kelowna. We actually love food tours and have done them all over the world including a food tour in Vancouver recently.
Our food tour through Kelowna made five stops at different restaurants around the city. At each place, we tried foods from some of the best restaurants in town and the portions were huge. It’s certainly not a tour you’ll leave hungry!
We did our tour with Okanagan Foodie Tours and couldn’t recommend them enough. We had a fantastic time and at only $75 per person for the tour, it’s really good value!
4. Hit the slopes
|Location:||Big White or Silver Star Mountain|
|Price:||Expect to pay around $100 for a ski lift-pass.|
If you’re in Kelowna in winter then be sure to head up for some skiing and snowboarding at their local ski field called Big White Ski Resort. There’s plenty of runs for all levels and the views from there are epic.
Alternatively, you could drive a little further and hit up Silver Star Mountain Resort instead. Hitting the slopes at Silver Star is easily one of the best things to do in Vernon, but at only an hour away, it also is easily accessible from Kelowna. And typically SilverStar is less busy than Big White.
Expect to pay around $100 CAD for a full-day lift pass. Gear rentals and lessons will be extra. But, if you want more than one day or shredding, multi-day passes are available at a discount.
If I have one piece of advice though, try to go during the week. During the weekends it is much busier and you’ll spend a lot of time waiting in line for the chairlifts.
Note: If you’re visiting Kelowna in the summer you can visit both ski hills too for downhill mountain biking or sightseeing and hiking. Keep reading for more info!
Related read: Skiing is also one of the best things to do in Revelstoke, another gorgeous town not too far away!
5. Visit Kangaroo Creek Farm
|Location:||A 20-minute drive from Kelowna|
|Price:||$10 for adults, $5 for children|
Okay, so this isn’t something I was overly keen on doing. I mean, I am from Australia and have seen thousands of Kangaroos before. In fact, we try to avoid them when we’re driving on country roads back home.
However, having Canadian in-laws meant a visit to Kangaroo Creek Farm was certain. For anyone who hasn’t seen a kangaroo before, this is one of the best chances you’ll get outside of Australia.
The entrance to the farm is only $10 for adults and $5 for kids making it one of the cheap things to do in Kelowna. The farm is home to many kangaroos including small Joeys (baby kangaroos). It’s a really unique opportunity and the farm is run by lovely people who really love their kangaroos!
6. Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Jammery
|Location:||Near the airport on the outskirts of Kelowna|
|Price:||Around $15 for breakfast|
The Jammery is a local secret and the best place in Kelowna for breakfast. We found out about it while visiting Bailey’s family (who are Vernon and Kelowna locals.)
The Jammery is an interesting mix of a restaurant and jam tasting (and sales) shop. The jams they sell are famous and the breakfast maybe even more so. All of their jams are made to a very high quality and they even have some sugar-free options – which is a great alternative for those with a sweet tooth!
The restaurant is located a little outside of Kelowna on the main highway to Vernon near the airport. It is recommended you book in advance to secure a table, believe me, this place gets busy!
7. Taste some local cider
|Location:||There are many cideries around Kelowna with BC Tree |
Fruits being the closest to the city
|Price:||Tastings are by donation or around $5|
A wine tour, a food tour, and now I’m telling you to go try cider…you may need to unbutton your pants by the end of your visit, but one thing’s for sure, you’re going to enjoy yourself! Anyways, back to the cider!
The Okanagan produces a lot of apples and since cider has made a huge comeback, many of the orchards have even switched their focus to making world-class cider.
But the small cideries haven’t limited their cider to apples and you can try a huge range of ciders including cherry, plum, and peach. The best part? They’re all delicious!
There are a few good places around town with my favorite being the BC Tree Fruit Cidery. They have awesome cider and their tasting fee is waived with the purchase of any cider.
Another great place is BX Ciders. They’re actually closer to Vernon and their tasting and sales desk is actually located at the orchard. BX is a little pricy but their tasting donation actually goes to charity and their cherry cider is really tasty!
If you’re in need of a designated driver, check out these brewery tours around Kelowna that also stop at cideries!
8. Test your skills at axe throwing
|Location:||Axe Monkeys, 3190 Sexsmith Rd, Kelowna|
|Price:||$25 per hour per person|
Axe throwing was the sport I never thought I’d ever do but absolutely loved! Essentially, you throw an axe one of three ways at a wooden target (and hope it sticks). It sounds simple, and it is, but it does take a little getting used too.
While we were in Kelowna I had my first axe throwing experience at Axe Monkeys. Both Bailey and I walked in a little unsure but left wishing we had more time! Our hour of throwing (which we thought would be enough) went by super-fast and we were laughing the whole time!
An hour of axe throwing costs $25 (they have discounts for servicemen, and women, and kids) in Kelowna which compared with other places (like Whistler) was very cheap. An hour is enough if you just want to try it but we could’ve stayed for two.
Honestly, it’s not something you think you’d like until you try it – so give it a go! Plus, it’s also one of the best things to do in Kelowna on a rainy or cold day since it is indoors.
9. Cruise the lake on a pontoon tour
|Price:||$50 to $100 per person|
Summer in Kelowna, BC is all about the lakes and we spent a lot of time on (and in) them! The largest lake in the area is Okanagan Lake. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a cruise on a pontoon boat.
What I love about pontoon boats is that they’re made for entertaining and there’s plenty of room to move.
We headed out on Okanagan Lake on a pontoon and had an amazing time soaking up the sun and swimming at secluded beaches. It was a day well spent and to be honest, actually quite cheap. There is a range of tours available from all-day adventures to 1-hour cruises.
I personally recommend getting your group together and joining a 3-hour cruise. These cost around $600 and can hold up to 10 people. It’s also BYO food and drinks so you’ll save some extra money there!
10. Race around in a speed boat
|Price:||$200 per hour for up to 8-12 people|
If you’re more of an adrenalin junky, then cruising the lake on a pontoon might not be your idea of a fun day out. Luckily though, on the same lake where you can relax with a drink in hand, you can also go speed boating, tubing, and wakeboarding!
For me, I personally love wakeboarding and tubing! Cruising behind the boat at high speeds holding on for dear life is a great way to get the blood pumping.
Most tours on speed boats are run per hour and cost around $200. However, they can hold between 8 to 12 people (depending on the boat) so its not bad value between a group!
Getting out on the lake is definitely one of the most popular things to do in Kelowna in the summer months!
A great tour we recommend is this 2-hour wakeboarding trip for under $400 and up to 12 people.
11. Go fruit picking
|Location:||Various farms surrounding Kelowna|
|Price:||Free to pick, you just pay for the berries.|
If you wanted to know where to get the freshest fruit in the Okanagan, I would have to say it’s at the self-pick farms! Straight from the tree to your mouth (and bucket), you can pick some of your favorite fruit and berries at a discounted rate.
We headed off to a small farm right on the lake and picked around a million raspberries. We were a little worried it would cost a small fortune but we left with 3 lbs of raspberries for around $7 (not to mention the pound Bailey ate while I was picking!)
Self-picked berries are the way locals around here stock up on fruit. But, I think it’s also a great activity in Kelowna for tourists too!
There are plenty of farms around town to go picking. Some are simply signposted and others advertise online. For a list of farms to visit check out this blog from Tourism Kelowna on U-pick locations.
12. Visit the Kelowna Farmers and Craft Market
Everyone loves a good market and the Kelowna Farmers and Craft Market is just that! We visited on a Wednesday morning and grazed on delicious foods all morning and even picked up a few souvenirs.
The event itself is open all year round however, in winter the market goes indoors and in summer, well, it’s out in the beautiful Okanagan sunshine!
The Kelowna Farmer’s Market is filled with food, produce, and crafts. You can get a huge range of gifts, snacks, and much more. Its something I really enjoyed and well worth your time! In fact, it’s rated one of the top markets in all of BC!
In summer, the market is held every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 am until 1 pm on the corner of Springfield and Dilworth Street. The summer market starts in April and goes till around November. In Winter the market is only held on Saturdays from 8 am till 1 pm and is held on 1800 Parkinson Way.
13. Drive through scenic Lake Country
|Location:||Just outside of Kelowna heading towards Vernon|
|Price:||Free, just the cost of gas (or a rental car if you need one.)|
Lake Country is gorgeous! This little region outside of Kelowna is literally surrounded by lakes and by simply driving through it you will be rewarded with stunning views. Head out of Kelowna on Okanagan Hwy/BC-97 Towards Vernon.
This drive should take around an hour and along the way you can stop at attractions such as The Jammery, Kalamalka Lake, and then once in Vernon, enjoy some of the best things to do there too!
Rent a Car or Campervan in Canada
One of the best ways to experience Canada is by hitting the road. Some of the best things to do and attractions are located in remote areas between destinations. For that reason, we highly recommend getting your own wheels!
- Rent a car – To simply rent a vehicle, search on Discover Cars where they compare tons of different rental companies near you. This way you can easily compare prices, features, policies, and more!
- Rent a campervan or motorhome – Motorhome Republic is great for finding a motorhome or campervan to rent in Canada. With your own home on wheels, you can camp in beautiful places and save money on accommodation!
14. Walk the waterfront
|Location:||Downtown Kelowna along Okanagan Lake|
One of the best free things to do in Kelowna is simply walking the waterfront. Head to downtown Kelowna and go for stroll along the water’s edge. Visit the marina, waterpark and playground, Hot Sands Beach, and of course the iconic bear statue! For a little longer walk, walk the Waterfront Boardwalk to Tugboat Beach – it’s beautiful at sunset!
15. Enjoy dinner and drinks with a view
|Location:||Various restaurants around Kelowna, BC|
|Price:||For restaurants with a view, expect to pay upwards of $25 CAD for a main dish.|
Another activity for foodies (you’re welcome!) In and around Kelowna there are some really tasty restaurants. And the best part is some of these restaurants offer incredible views right from their dining room. That’s right, dinner with a view!
Some of my personal favorite restaurants in Kelowna that have scenic views include Old Vine Restaurant which is located at Quail’s Gate winery. The Terrace at Mission Hill winery is also amazing! But if you want to stay downtown, check out the Cactus Club near the Kelowna Yacht Club.
16. Visit Okanagan Distillery for a tour and tasting
|Location:||267 Bernard Ave in downtown Kelowna|
|Price:||Tours start from $15 CAD per person|
Do you love spirits? Whisky? What about blue-colored-gin that turns pink when mixed with tonic? Well then, you need to head to Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery. Located in downtown Kelowna this place is a retail shop offering their locally-made spirits as well as a tasting room and bar.
Head there to sample some high-quality spirits for $5 a tasting. Or, join one of their many guided tours and tastings. We did the Farm to Flask tour which is a quick 30-minute tour with four tastings where we learned about the spirit-making process and the history of the distillery.
This is a great experience for anybody who enjoys a good spirit! Their Evolve Gin is my personal favorite.
17. Cross-country skiing or snowshoeing
|Location:||Kelowna Nordic Club|
|Price:||$15 CAD per person per day|
One of the best things to do in Kelowna in the winter is either cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Both are fun outdoor activities that practically anybody can do with a little practice. On cross-country skis or snowshoes you’ll be able to explore winter terrain easily!
The Kelowna Nordic Club maintains a large network of both ski and snowshoe trails. For only $15 CAD a day you can access the trails, which are groomed and maintained regularly.
If you need to rent skis or snowshoes your best bet is to visit Fresh Air Concept, a store in Kelowna since Kelowna Nordic does not offer gear rentals.
18. Drink ALL the craft beer
|Location:||There are breweries all over Kelowna|
|Price:||Beers start from around $6 CAD each|
Kelowna isn’t just for wine lovers. In fact, these days Kelowna has just as much to offer craft beer connoisseurs. New craft breweries are [popping up all over Kelowna and the new found craft beer scene has since start the annual Okanagan Craft Beer Festival each May in Kelowna.
There are litterally so many different brewereies to visit in Kelowna, but some of my persona faovitres include:
- BNA Brewing – This brewery is located in a historic building with decor that will blow you away! They have lots of rotating taps and also serve food. Oh ya, they also have a bowling alley so you can have beers and bowl!
- Barn Owl Brewing Co – A fairly new brewery in Kelowna, Barn Owl Brewing is set in a – you guessed it – barn! It is bring your own food, so a great place for a summer picnic complete with craft beer.
- Kelowna Brewing Company – If you’re going to visit just one brewery in Kelowna, make it Kelowna Brewing Company. Located in downtown Kelowna this huge brewery also doubles as a pub and restaurant offering a huge variety of craft beers from around the area, and delicious food too!
19. Go hiking
|Location:||Various locations all around Kelowna|
Hiking is a popular activity in Kelowna and the surrounding area. There are tons of different hiking trails you can explore that range from easy to difficult.
Head to Myra Canyon for a flat and easy walk along the Kettle Valey Trail. For something a little more exciting, head to Knox’s Mountain Park and walk to Paul’s Tomb. From here, you can do some cliff jumping if you dare!
For some epic views without having to hike up a huge elevation gain, take the scenic chairlift at the ski resorts in the summer. We went to Silver Star and did this. Once at the top of the mountain we could walk easily to different viewpoints before taking the chairlift back down again.
20. Visit Arion Therapeutic Farm
|Location:||2457 Saucier Road|
|Price:||Tours start from $10 CAD a person|
This is a great family friendly activity in Kelowna, Bc! At Arion Therapeautic Farm you can join a tour of this farm and petting zoo for as little as $10 a person. All workers here are volunteers and your tour helps pay for the faciwlity and food for the animals.
Sure, kids love petting the animals, but chances are you will too! Plus, it is a great cause to support right in Kelowna. Visit their website for more info on tours and to book.
21. Buy locally-made cheese
|Location:||1046 Richter St in Kelowna’s brewing district|
|Price:||Tastings are free, buying cheese ranges in price.|
Okay, so far in this blog I’ve talked a lot about wine, beer, spirits, fruit, cider, restaurants, cafes – all that’s missing is cheese! Luckily for you, there is a now a specialty cheese shop right in Kelowna!
Perseval & Young is Kelowna’s first specialty cheese shop. Here, you’ll find over 60 varieties of cheese from around Canada and around the world. While they don’t make their own cheese onsite, you can ensure you’re getting the freshest cheese at the highest quality! Stop in for a tasting, but just be sure to bring your wallet too as I doubt you’ll be able to leave empty-handed!
Where to Stay in Kelowna, BC
Good value accommodation can be hard to come by in Canada. However, we have been traveling long enough to know where to look and who to trust. Here are some of the best-rated places to stay in Kelowna for all budgets!
Kelowna International Hostel – This is easily your best budget option. This hostel is centrally located and although it not fancy, it’s only $80 for a double room that includes a highly rated continental breakfast. It’s also reviewed as a clean hostel with friendly staff.
Samesun Kelowna – The last decent budget hotel around the $100 mark is this place. The reviews are really good and the property is quite modern. The location is perfect if you want to be close to downtown and they include a free breakfast.
Hotel Zed Kelowna – Hotel Zed is perfectly located and comes with the added features of a pool, hot tub, and jacuzzi. The staff are very friendly and the hotel has a very relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
Dilworth Inn – I personally stayed at the Dilworth Inn. This place is a great medium budget option that’s a little out of the city center but very close to the farmers market and other great amenities. They also have an indoor pool, spa, and sauna!
Hillcrest Farm Market – If you don’t mind staying a little out of the city then you may just fall in love with the Hillcrest. Its located 8km from the city center but is beautifully located. It’s around $250 per night but includes an awesome breakfast!
Delta hotels – This is the best high budget hotel in Kelowna. It does come at a hefty price of $420 a night but it’s superbly located. It has both an indoor and outdoor pool as well as an onsite casino! If you can afford it, treat yourself!
Related Read: Heading to Vernon? Check out all of the best Airbnbs in Vernon, BC to suit any traveler!
Before you go…
Thanks so much for reading! We honestly appreciate it so much! I hope this blog has helped you have a wonderful holiday in Kelowna. It is truly a beautiful city and one I hope you enjoy as much as I did!
If you have any questions please leave them below and we will get back to you! Also if you liked this travel guide check out all our Canada travel guides here or these related articles below!