Welcome to Kelowna, where long, hot summer days are centered around the inviting Okanagan (oh-kah-NAW-gun) Lake. It is a recreational lakeside paradise for its bounty of water sports on offer, including paddleboarding, wake-surfing, para-sailing, jet-boating and more.
The town lies between soft mountain ranges offering good hiking trails like Knox Mountain and Paul’s Tomb. Explore the vineyards easily on bike with a handful of open door wineries very close to downtown. The Okanagan is the hottest and driest part of British Columbia with the varied landscapes of beaches, lakes, forest, orchards, vineyards and farms.
But there is one must do for Kelowna – check out The Lake!
Paddleboarding is fun way to get a unique perspective on the water and try out something new. A quick 15 minute lesson will show you the basics – and then you’re on your own. A lot of people say that trying to find your balance on a paddleboard is easier than you might think!
(TIP: imagine you are riding on a subway train or bumpy bus without holding on!)
However, there is a faster way to get around the lake. Zip around the lake on Kelowna’s Jet Boat Adventure, getting speeds upto 80km/h and pulling exciting maneuvers that will leave you giddy and maybe a little wet – it’s totally worth it!!
We’re so certain you’ll love these two activities that we’ve included them on most Rockies tours! Enjoy the jet boating once arriving in Kelowna from Vancouver & get up on a paddleboard for the final tour day en route back to Vancouver. (Weather dependent: learn more).
Spend the long evenings on the pier with new friends watching the active shoreline and the sun setting across the lake. Take a stroll along the seaside path from downtown and you’ll soon reach beautiful sandy white beaches filled with sunbathers, beach balls and sand castles. The waterfront City Park offers outdoor volleyball, basketball and tennis courts and a children’s water park.
Discover the mystery of the Ogopogo, a sea-creature that lives in Lake Okanagan (Kelowna’s Loch Ness Monstor) – or search for this landmark to see what the creature looks like. Kelowna’s downtown & marinas are modern with a sprinkling of historic relics from it’s old logging days. Don’t underestimate the nightlife here, there’s live music every night, cheap college nights, local jams and pumping nightclubs. A great night in Kelowna starts the party at Samesun Backpacker Hostel’s private patio and hot tub – then off for a couple rounds of bowling and then head out for music and dancing!
Highlights when visiting Kelowna
- cycle along the waterfront bike path and explore the beaches
- go zipping along in a jet boat on Lake Okanagan
- hit the water any way possible – swimming, boating, parasailing, paddleboarding, waterskiing
- climb Knox Mountain for epic views along the lake and Okanagan wine region
- taste some local wines and sample from one of many of the tasty bakeries
- grab a pint at O’Flannigans, Docs or The Train Station
- and party the night away at Level or Sapphire Nightclubs
Tours visiting Kelowna
Every tour that travels between Vancouver and Banff stop for an over night in Kelowna. The most popular tours that visit Kelowna are the Big West (14 days), Caribou (8 days) or the road runner (2 days) – check the tours page for more tours to Kelowna.
Kelowna’s best budget accommodation
- Samesun Backpackers Hostel