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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. During the winter in Kelowna, 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.
- 25+ BEST Things to do in Kelowna, BC
- 1. Ride the Kettle Valley Trail at Myra Canyon
- 2. Get tipsy on a wine tour
- 3. Explore the local cuisine on a food tour
- 4. Hit the slopes
- 5. Visit Kangaroo Creek Farm
- 6. Soak up some sun at one of Kelowna's beaches
- 7. Fly on a Flyboard!
- 8. Taste some local cider
- 9. Test your skills at axe throwing
- 10. Drink ALL the craft beer
- 11. Cruise the lake on a pontoon tour
- 12. Relax on a sailing cruise
- 13. Go fruit picking
- 14. Visit the Kelowna Farmers and Craft Market
- 15. Drive through scenic Lake Country
- 16. Walk the waterfront
- 17. Get out on a water bike
- 18. Enjoy dinner and drinks with a view
- 19. Visit Okanagan Distillery for a tour and tasting
- 20. Cross-country skiing or snowshoeing
- 21. Go hiking
- 22. Sightsee on a parasailing adventure
- 23. Buy delicious cheese
- 24. Go ziplining
- 25. Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Jammery
- 26. Learn to rock climb at Skaha Bluffs
- Where to Stay in Kelowna, BC
- Thanks for reading!
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25+ 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 $44 CAD for a half-day bike rent
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 22 km (13.7 mi) 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. You can also expect to see lots of wildflowers and gorgeous views of Okanagan Lake! 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 $44 CAD for a half-day.
You could instead also visit Myra Canyon on a guided tour! This bicycle tour on the Historical Kettle Valley Railway will have you peddling for 24 km (14 miles) through tunnels, over bridges, and past beautiful scenery. You’ll end the tour by visiting 3-4 wineries on a boutique winery tour- the perfect reward if you ask me!
During the ride, your guide will also teach you about the railway’s history and how parts of the trail have been restored after being damaged by wildfires.
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 are actually a few wine regions around Kelowna, and no tour will take you to all of them – there are simply just too many wineries in Kelowna!
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 is 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 sightseeing wine tour for its affordable price, inclusions, and fantastic reviews!
Upon booking you will have the option to visit either East Kelowna or West Kelowna wineries and your group will visit 4 very different wineries for samples! I love this tour because no matter which side of Kelowna you decide to explore, the wineries there will not disappoint – trust me I’ve been to a lot of them!
During our tour, our guide also shared with us the secrets of the soil and what makes the region so ideal for wine-making. Being that the tour is 4 hours long we did not feel rushed and had plenty of time to walk the vineyards, relax, and admire the impressive lake views!
If you’re interested in doing the same tour that we did you can book it here for $159 CAD.
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, you 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
Related Read: Want to try more wine? Check out our guide on the best things to do in Salmon Arm for more wineries to check out nearby!
3. Explore the local cuisine on a food tour
- Location: Downtown Kelowna
- Price: $95 CAD +
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. We even got to enjoy a special paired beverage at the end! It’s certainly not a tour you’ll leave hungry from!
We did our Spirit of Downtown Tour with Okanagan Foodie Tours and couldn’t recommend them enough. We had a fantastic time and at only $95 CAD per person for the tour, it’s really good value!
Another highly rated food tour is this one – it is about $83 CAD per person and includes 7-8 different tastings around downtown Kelowna. What a great value for the cost!
Plus, it’s not only a food tour but as you are walking between restaurant stops you’ll also check out some of Kelowna’s notable sights such as the Kasugai Japanese Garden and the Rotary Centre for the Arts. There is a lot to eat and see on this tour so come with an empty stomach and your camera!
Related Read: There are also some incredibe cafes and coffee shops in Kelowna that you should checkout!
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 take on one of the top BC activities and head up for some skiing and snowboarding at their local ski field called Big White Ski Resort. There are 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 of 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.
If you don’t have a car or don’t want to worry about parking at the resort you can alternatively book a taxi, bus, or shuttle.
The Public SilverStar Ski Shuttle is the most popular option that offers several pick-up spots including the airport and nearby hotels. This costs $65 CAD one way per person or $85 CAD round-trip.
If you want to elevate your transport experience or your desired pick-up location for the public shuttle isn’t offered you can also book this private one-way or round-trip SilverStar Shuttle which can pick you up from your exact Vernon or Kelowna hotel or even straight from the airport if you are staying at the resort (they will even let you make a grocery stop!). It costs $120 CAD per person and while it is expensive it is a luxury service.
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: $16 CAD for adults, $8 for children, under 4’s are free
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 drive to the farm from Kelowna is around 20 minutes.
The entrance costs $16 CAD for adults and $8 CAD for kids making it one of the cheap things to do in Vernon. The farm is home to many types of kangaroos including small joeys (baby kangaroos). In addition, they also have other types of animals here too including but not limited to a sugar glider, a capybara, a pot-bellied pig, an emu, and a peacock.
Kangaroo Creek Farm is a really unique opportunity and the farm is run by lovely people who really love their kangaroos!
6. Soak up some sun at one of Kelowna’s beaches
- Location: All throughout Kelowna and the surrounding areas
- Price: Free to visit the beaches, just bring a cooler of food and drinks!
To nobody’s surprise, I was a total beach bum while we were visiting Kelowna. Can you blame me? The sun was always shining, the sand was toasty warm, and I had some beach reads on my Kindle.
We visited so many beaches in the area that I lost count of them all. However, I did have some clear favorites that I would recommend to anyone visiting! Here are my top recommendations:
- Hot Sand Beach — This one gets a recommendation because there is so much to do here besides sunbathing. There’s volleyball, basketball, tennis courts, and even a waterpark for younger members of your crew!
- Tugboat Beach — This beach was my most frequented, since it is in the center of Kelowna but was a little bit more relaxed than some of the surrounding beaches. Bring an umbrella because there is not a lot of natural shade!
- Dog Beach — Most beaches don’t allow dogs, so if you are hoping to bring your pup, you should definitely head to Dog Beach in Ceder Creek Park.
- Rotary Beach Park – a great spot for swimming and sunset with beautiful views of Peachland’s valley across the lake. It has bathrooms, picnic tables, a playground, concessions, and kayak and paddleboard rentals.
- Bryce-Gyro Beach – a nice clean city beach that is great for those with kids as the water stays shallow for a long distance. It has play structures and even 2 free zip lines. If you don’t like being in full sun there are also shade trees to sit under. Parking is cheap, starting at $1.50 CAD per hour but can be limited at busy times. For even more fun, make use of the volleyball court or rent a paddleboard or water trike.
- Sarsons Beach Park – On this list, this beach is located the most southern from central Kelowna but still only a 10-minute drive away. It is one of the least busy beaches and far enough from the city where you can’t hear the traffic. There is also lots of combined sand and grass space. If you’re looking for serenity, this is it!
7. Fly on a Flyboard!
- Location: Okanagan Lake
- Price: $127 CAD for a one-hour board rental
Did you know that you can actually fly over Okanagan Lake while in Kelowna? Well, you can on a water-propelled Flyboard! This is a super unique activity in Kelowna that involves flying on a board and it works by fastening yourself into the boots on the board and having water funneled from a jet ski into the jet turbines underneath the board that will propel you upward so that you can actually fly.
On the flyboard, you will explore Okanagan Lake taking in the views and having a few laughs along the way. Don’t be mistaken though, these flyboard go fast! On the flyboard, you can reach speeds of up to 55 km/h (34 miles/h) and beginners can expect to reach a height of around 1.5-3.7 meters (5-12 feet). This makes for a thrilling ride and it’s a great alternative to a jet ski, plus, it’s something that you’ve probably never done before!
Flyboarding is also much easier than it looks and with some simple instructions, most people the hang of it within a few minutes – anybody can do it!
This flyboarding experience in Kelowna costs $127 CAD for a 30-minute session that includes all safety gear as well as instructions on how to control the board. The company that offers this unique experience is called Okanagan Flyboard and you should book online in advance since there are only limited boards available.
You must be 12 years or older to ride a flyboard.
8. 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 Cambium Cider Co. They’re actually closer to Vernon and their tasting and sales desk is actually located at the BX Orchard. Cambium 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! In particular, this High Spirits Classic Tour while pricey does visit 6 different venues to sample the area’s best local ciders, beers, and spirits! This tour starts at the downtown Marina, across the street from Tourism Kelowna. Note: The price per person goes down with the more people you have in your group.
9. Test your skills at axe throwing
- Location: Axe Monkeys, 3190 Sexsmith Rd, Kelowna
- Price: $30 CAD 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 to.
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 $30 CAD (they have discounts for servicemen, 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.
10. 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 newfound craft beer scene has since started the annual Okanagan Craft Beer Festival each May in Kelowna.
There are literally so many different breweries to visit in Kelowna, but some of my personal favorites 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! They don’t serve food but you are encouraged to bring your own food, so it’s 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!
The cheapest way to get to all of the different breweries would be by taxi but if you are willing to pay top dollar for this convenient High Spirits Tour Tour you will have the chance to see, learn, and taste a little bit of everything the valley has to offer (beer, cider, wine, and spirits).
This tour visits 6 different locations including three breweries which are as follows; Red Bird Brewing, Kettle River Brewing, and Virtue & Vice. Note: the more people you have in your group the cheaper it becomes.
This Downtown Kelowna Walking Food Tour is a mix of food and drinks but it only visits one brewery (BNA Brewing) and it’s still a great tour so it’s worth mentioning. You’ll get 7 different food tastings and drinks from 8 different locations. Once at BNA Brewing, you can try their famous housemade beer or wine spritzers. This tour only costs $83 CAD making it the most affordable tour that I will mention.
This would also be a great option for groups – the max limit for the tour is 6 people so you’d get a private tour if you come with 6 people!
11. Cruise the lake on a pontoon tour
- Location: Okanagan Lake
- Price: $200 to $300 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 for such a fun and carefree activity with friends. 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 6-hour cruise like this one. It cost around $1,700 and held up to 11 people.
12. Relax on a sailing cruise
- Location: Okanagan Lake
- Price: $130-160 CAD for 2-6 people
One of the most fun ways to get enjoy the beauty of the lake is to go out on a boat! The perfect laid-back option is a private sailboat cruise. Let your captain take the helm as you sit back and enjoy the views of Kelwona or spend time socializing with your friends.
You’ll let the wind carry you past downtown Kelowna, City Park, Hot Sands Beach, and the Floating Bridge. Your captain will also teach you how to sail the boat if you wish to learn. The price for two people begins at $320 CAD and the cost goes down with the more people you bring.
Booking this private sailing cruise for you and your friends will let you truly enjoy the peace and calm of this setting without interruption! It’s by far one of the best things to do in Kelowna out on Okanagan Lake!
13. 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.
14. Visit the Kelowna Farmers and Craft Market
- Location: On the corner of Springfield and Dilworth Street
- Price: Free to attend
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. It’s 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 on until around October. In winter, the market is only held on Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm and is held at 1800 Parkinson Way.
15. Drive through scenic Lake Country
- Location: Just outside of Kelowna heading toward 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 you can stop at attractions on the road between Kelowna and Vernon such as The Jammery (more on this later in the blog), Kalamalka Lake, and then once in Vernon, enjoy some of the best things to do there too!
16. Walk the waterfront
- Location: Downtown Kelowna along Okanagan Lake
- Price: Free
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!
If I’ve just eaten a meal at one of the restaurants in downtown I like walking it off after to help it digest and the waterfront boardwalk is the best place to do so.
For a little longer walk, walk the Waterfront Boardwalk to Tugboat Beach – it’s beautiful at sunset!
17. Get out on a water bike
- Location: Okanagan Lake
- Price: Starting from $55 CAD for the first hour
If you’ve never tried a water bike before, Kelowna is the perfect place to do it! A water bike is a unique design that allows you to peddle, just like a bike, but on the water instead of land. The catamaran design makes the water bike super stable and almost impossible to capsize. This means almost anyone can operate a water bike. In fact, water bikes are actually even easier to ride than traditional bikes, so it’s a great family activity in Kelowna.
You can rent water bikes from a company called Kelowna Water Bikes. They rent bikes by the hour for $55 CAD. Each bike holds one person, but you can add a seat for a young child in the back if you want. The water bike rentals come with a fitted life jacket, a small storage compartment, and a waterproof case/lanyard for your phone. You’ll also get brief instructions on how to use the water bike before you set off.
Once you have your water bike, you’ll be free to explore Okanagan Lake. These water bikes go as fast as 15 km/h (9 miles/hr) so you can cover a lot of ground! If you want, you can even fish from the water bike, just be sure to have your fishing license sorted beforehand.
You can book your water bike adventure in Kelowna online in advance.
18. 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.
This is another activity for foodies (you’re welcome!). In and around Kelowna there are some really tasty restaurants. And the best part is that some of these restaurants offer incredible views from their dining room. That’s right, dinner with a view!
Old Vine Restaurant is definitely among the top of my personal favorite restaurants in Kelowna that has scenic views. It is located at Quail’s Gate Winery so as you can imagine the views of the vineyards and lake are incredible. It is also one of the oldest original winery restaurants in West Kelowna dating back 6 generations.
Their menu is fabulous with a wide variety of fresh appetizers such as oysters, carpaccio, or their farmer’s salad with eggs and a green goddess dressing. For mains, choose from a lot of mouthwatering seafood dishes like herb-crusted halibut, stuffed cod, or seafood pasta. If you’re looking for a heartier meat dish, their lamb burger or a ribeye or flank steak cooked to your liking is sure to be satisfactory!
There’s really no bad time to dine here it just depends on what mood you’re looking for. Go for lunch to enjoy the sunlight hitting the hills or for a romantic ambiance enjoy dinner around sunset and wait as the mood changes when the string lights light up once it’s dark!
If you’re visiting on Sunday, Old Vine Restaurant has a weekly Sunday brunch menu. It is a more expensive restaurant but you’ll save some money if you go during their daily happy hour which lasts from 2:30 to 5 pm.
Terrace at Mission Hill Winery is another outstanding restaurant on an impressive vineyard property. The aspect I love most about their restaurants is that their menu is built around ingredients found in the Okanagan Valley.
Depending on the time of the year you visit the menu will be different based upon what ingredients are in season. You can’t food more authentic and intentional than this!
Both the lunch and dinner menus are structured as a multi-course set menu. You can see samples of what you can expect here. All dining experiences cost $150 CAD per person before tax and tip but each course also includes a fine wine pairing from their own Mission Hill Winery for your tastebud’s ultimate satisfaction.
I would highly recommend making reservations in advance. The Terrace Restaurant is open Thursday to Monday from 12 pm to 8:30 pm.
If you want to stay downtown, the Cactus Club Cafe near the Kelowna Yacht Club will provide gorgeous waterfront and mountain views (especially during sunset) with heavenly-tasting dishes.
The interior is very open and spacious and the atmosphere is lively with good music playing in the background. It would be perfect for large groups or celebrations and even though it is typically very busy the staff does the most to be timely and accommodating.
On the menu, there is something for everyone, whether you’re craving a classic burger, want something healthier like a bowl, or even a more elevated dish like fish, chicken, or steak.
Cactus Club Cafe doesn’t take reservations and they are open Sunday to Wednesday from 11 am to 12 am and Thursday to Saturday from 11 am to 12:30 am.
19. 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 family-owned and operated place is a retail shop offering locally-made spirits as well as a tasting room and bar.
Head there to sample some high-quality spirits for $10 CAD a tasting (this is waived if you purchase a spirit). 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.
They also have two other tours, one is the Whiskey Experience and the other is called the “Gin” troducition Experience. Perfect if you are partial to either spirit.
If you are planning on just doing a spirit tasting then you can simply drop by the distillery anytime, however, if you want to book an experience an advanced booking is required. You can do so here online.
20. 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.
21. Go hiking
- Location: Various locations all around Kelowna
- Price: Free
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 iconic Kettle Valey Trail. The entire trail is 25.1 kilometers long (15.6 miles) but the best part is that you don’t have to walk very far for amazing views! Choose how long you want to walk for and then come back. The route has numerous tunnels through rocks and trussell support bridges overlooking steep declines which are super cool to see in person!
For something a little more exciting, head to Knox’s Mountain Park located 25 minutes north of downtown Kelowna.
I recommend walking to Paul’s Tomb, it’s a moderate 4.8 kilometer (3 miles) out-and-back trek that gains very little elevation. At the end, you can go swimming or do some cliff jumping if you dare! It only takes most people a little over an hour to complete so it’s a great option for busy itineraries.
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 SilverStar Mountain Resort and did this. Once at the top of the mountain, we could walk easily to different viewpoints before taking the chairlift back down again.
Tickets for the SilverStar gondola cost $55 CAD per person and can easily be booked online.
22. Sightsee on a parasailing adventure
Parasailing in Kelowna might be one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done (so far!). Not only are you sailing in the sky, but you are also able to soak in the sights in a way you just can’t get on the ground.
Since it was the two of us, we decided to book a tandem flight. While we were in the air, I was able to relax and appreciate the area’s beauty. I got some incredible pictures up there too!
A bonus is that you don’t even have to get wet if you’d prefer not to! We decided to get in the water, but the group before us was completely dry when they left. Just let the crew know before you’re up there.
In total, the activity lasts around 1 hour with around 10 minutes of airtime, and the rest is spent riding in the boat.
If you can only do one adventure activity while you are in Kelowna, BC make it a parasailing trip!
23. Buy delicious cheese
- Location: 1046 Richter St in Kelowna’s brewing district
- Price: Tastings are free and 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 now a specialty cheese shop right in Kelowna!
Perseval & Young is Kelowna’s first specialty cheese shop. Here, you’ll find over 350 varieties of cheese that are on rotation both from Canada and around the world. While they don’t make their own cheese on-site, 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!
You could also make your visit to Perseval & Young more of a full-day experience on this North End Food and Beer Tour! It is one of the 5 stops on the tour that also visits a bread shop for coffee and a baked good along with 3 different breweries in Kelowna. A delicious lunch will be served at Kettle River Brewing Co by a Chopped Chef Canada champ, how cool is that?
You can join this tour for $145 CAD per person which I think is worth the price for a culinary experience that will also teach you more about the culture of Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley.
24. Go ziplining
- Location: A 20-minute drive from Kelowna
- Price: $100 CAD per person
Located just 20 minutes north of Kelowna is Oyama Adventure Park. Here you’ll find all sorts of aerial attractions including my personal recommendation – ziplining! You’ll whiz through the treetops along their huge zipline course consisting of 7 different zip lines totaling over 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) of lines! It is exciting, and the views up there are stunning too.
Of course, this is a summer activity that should be booked in advance on their website. Expect to pay around $100 CAD per person for the zipline experience. Kids who weigh less than 50 lbs will, unfortunately, have to give this a miss. However, they have other things to do for kids at the park in the Kids Play section.
25. 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 – they claim to be the first like it in the world. The jams they sell are famous and the breakfast may be 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!
How good does their Golden Belgian waffle with Jammery Strawberry or 4 Berry Sauce and whipped cream sound? For something on the savory side try the British Columbia Eggs Benedict that is topped with Pacific smoked salmon, Jammery Apricot Jam folded in cream cheese, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce.
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!
They are open daily from 8 am to 3 pm.
26. Learn to rock climb at Skaha Bluffs
- Location: Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park, about an hour from Kelowna
- Price: Free to visit the park, $130 CAD for the intro to rock climbing tour
Located only an hour’s drive from Kelowna is Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park. Here, you can see hung canyons and rock walls as you hike one of the many trails.
The main trail here is the Skaha Bluffs Trail which is only a short 3.4-kilometer (2.1 miles) out-and-back trail that is narrow and rocky. It does have some nice viewpoints but you also should note that the trail isn’t well marked so be sure to follow the map closely, otherwise you may be led out to sheer drops on the cliff’s edge. Due to this, bringing young kids on this trail may not be the best idea.
If you’re looking for a new challenge to do while in Kelowna rock climbing is one of the most exciting options!
It’s one of the most popular things to do inside the park! Even if you’ve never climbed before it is the perfect place to consider learning.
On this 5-hour introduction to rock climbing tour, you will learn the ropes (no pun intended) as you climb and repel in this iconic park. Your certified instructor will first teach you everything you need to know about climbing safety, ropes, and harnesses, before teaching you basic climbing skills.
Parking Info: When the main parking lot fills up do NOT park along the side of the road or you will be subject to being towed. There is an overflow lot at the bottom of Smythe Road.
Where to Stay in Kelowna, BC
The truth is that there are so many hotels in Kelowna that it can be hard to know which one to choose for your stay. Well luckily for you, Dan and I have stayed in a lot of different hotels in Kelowna and have been able to narrow it down to our absolute favorites!
Here are the best places to stay in Kelowna including our personal top choice, a few budget options, mid-range options, as well as some luxury options for those of you looking to spoil yourselves!
Coast Capri Hotel Kelowna – Our Top Choice
We’ve stayed at our fair share of hotels in Kelowna, but last time we stayed at the Coast Capri Hotel and loved it! Our pool-view room was perfect with a huge balcony, two large queen beds, and even a desk area so that we could get some work done (when we weren’t busy down by the pool, of course!)
One of the best things about the Coast Capri Hotel is that it’s affordable without sacrificing any of the comforts you’ll need for a relaxing and enjoyable stay – suitable for almost all travelers and budgets. The location is central and the amenities are top-notch.
If you’re visiting in the summer be sure to go to the pool where you can order food and drinks to enjoy poolside – we even had cocktails in the pool one night!
You can book this hotel on Booking.com. Be sure to book as far in advance as possible because these guys are often fully booked!
Low Budget Hostels in Kelowna
Samesun Kelowna – This is easily your best budget option and one of the only options for backpackers. A dorm bed in a mixed room costs $41 CAD whereas a private room with a shared bathroom costs $108 CAD. The reviews are really good and the property is quite modern, plus, there is a large common kitchen and indoor and outdoor lounge spaces. The location is perfect if you want to be close to downtown and they include a free breakfast that includes fruit and pancake mix. You can book a room on either Booking.com or Hostelworld.com.
Medium Budget Hotels in Kelowna
Days Inn by Wyndham Kelowna – This hotel is located a few minutes from town and although it’s not fancy it was just renovated and costs $152 CAD for a queen room with a sofa. The property also provides toiletries and a complimentary continental breakfast each morning. Outside there is a pool to enjoy in the summer and it’s also reviewed as a clean hotel with friendly staff.
Dilworth Inn – I’ve 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! Some of the queen rooms even have kitchenettes and cost $175 CAD a night so you can save more money and eat in your room.
Hillcrest Farm Market B&B – If you don’t mind staying a little out of the city then you may just fall in love with the family-run Hillcrest. It’s located 8 km (26 mi) from the city center but is beautifully located. It’s around $250 CAD per night but includes an awesome breakfast downstairs at the cafe! Most of the rooms have private balconies, a fireplace, and mountain views. There is also a cherry farm on the property which has a unique story behind it.
Delta Hotels – This is the best high-budget hotel in Kelowna. It does come at a hefty price of $420 CAD 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!
Canada Travel Essentials
Before you decide to head off and explore the gorgeous mountains, lakes, towns, and cities around Canada it’s important to have the right equipment. Of course, it’s likely you’ll have most of the basics already but there are some common items people forget that I never travel without.
Crampons: In winter, crampons are super handy, but what people don’t realize is that they come in handy in summer too. In fact, up until mid-July, you can still expect icy conditions in the mountains. The pair I use is only $37 CAD and they have lasted me 3 seasons so far!
Waterproof shell: Most people will have this item but I thought I’d include it anyway since it’s so handy in Canada. The Columbia waterproof jacket is a lightweight windproof jacket that will seriously save you in many situations. The best part, though? It comes in pink!
Scent-proof bag (for bears): Most people think you only need to keep the smell of food away from you when you’re overnight camping. However, bears can smell the food in your bag while you’re hiking and the best way to avoid an encounter is to use a scent-proof bear bag. Basically, you put your food in the bag and the bear cannot smell it while you’re hiking. This is one item most people never have (I never hike without it) but it could save you and the bear.
Buff: I love my buff! Seriously, I go nowhere without it both in winter and summer. 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.
Dry bag: I have expensive camera equipment, so I always travel with a dry bag large enough to fit some of my equipment. It can be a camera, book, binoculars, or even my keys. Regardless, a dry bag gives me peace of mind! The MARCHWAY bag is really good quality, and when not in use, takes up only a small amount of room.
Binoculars: I love my binoculars! Seriously they have come in handy so many times, especially when I’m looking for wildlife. The best part is, I use a set that only costs $25 CAD and they serve my basic needs without any issues!
Renting a Car in British Columbia
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 isn’t relatively cheap, but it’s not that expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pick-up and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Discover Cars. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Discover Cars 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!
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
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!