Best Beaches in Kelowna: Explore Tugboat Beach & More!

Posted by Dave Kotler on Monday, July 3rd, 2023 at 10:02am.

Best Beaches Near Kelowna

Nestled in scenic British Columbia is the Okanagan Valley, which offers a multitude of hidden gems to beach enthusiasts. With 135 kilometres of sandy shorelines along Okanagan Lake, locals and travellers seeking fun and water recreation visit Kelowna's 30 beaches. As one of the most striking lakes in the region, the Okanagan Lake is the epicentre of community life in the city of Kelowna. With so many choices, keep reading to check out some of the best beaches in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley.

Tugboat Bay Beach (Kelowna)

Tugboat Bay Beach is in Waterfront Park, one of Kelowna's best parks. The site boasts a boardwalk connecting to an outdoor theatre where live music shows take place during summer. While the boardwalk has food, drinks, non-motorized boat rentals, and washrooms, the sandy cove tends to be more tranquil than others in the area.

The beach has grassy and sandy locations along with picnic tables fronting the crystal-clear water. It's important to note that the water gets deep fairly quickly from the shoreline. Popular activities are water polo, beach volleyball, and paddle-boating.

Adjacent to the beach is the 7.4-hectare Waterfront Park, featuring public art displays, gardens, and a lushly landscaped lagoon. While leashed dogs can be on the boardwalk, no pets are allowed on the beach.

There is a share of Kelowna waterfront homes directly north of Tugboat Bay Beach and highrise condos within walking distance of the sands. Public washrooms are located on the south side of the beach.

Tugboat Bay Beach Additional Information

  • Address: 1200 Water Street, Kelowna, BC V1Y 9V1
  • Fees: Beach access is free; paid street parking by the hour/day

Hot Sands Beach (Kelowna)

Hot Sands Beach is extremely popular as it's conveniently walkable from condos in downtown Kelowna. Located in Kelowna City Park, the southern edge of the beach ends at the William R. Bennett Bridge. There's a public washroom and change room right next to the beach. This is a lovely beach for all to enjoy since there are a lot of nearby amenities in City Park, including a skate park, a water park, and a children's playground. Plus, many downtown hotspots for dining and drinks are across the street.

Live music plays during the summer, and volleyball and basketball courts are available; the lively atmosphere all of this fosters is one of the many reasons to love living in downtown Kelowna. Buskers are on hand to entertain, and vendors sell snacks and ice cream. 

Hot Sands Beach Additional Information

  • Address:1600 Abbott St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1B7
  • Hours: 6 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Phone: 250-717-2757

Boyce-Gyro Beach (Kelowna)

One of the most popular beaches in Kelowna is Boyce-Gyro Beach, which is just south of downtown Kelowna. Situated along a 3.5-hectare beachfront park, this is the longest stretch of public beach. Even when it's crowded on summer days, visitors can still find a spot with plenty of surrounding space.

Relax on the golden sands or head to the warm waters to enjoy paddleboarding, kayaking, aqua cycling, and other activities. There are various outlets in the park to obtain rental gear, too.

There is even more recreation available on land with sand volleyball courts, a playground, and a fun zipline that visitors can use to glide into the water or cruise across the sand. Next to the changing rooms and washrooms, there are concessions along the paved walkway.

Boyce-Gyro Beach Additional Information

  • Address: 3400 Lakeshore Rd, Kelowna, BC V1W 3S9
  • Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Phone: 250-717-2757

Okanagan Lake Beach (Penticton)

Enjoy Okanagan Lake at the Beach

Okanagan Lake Beach is at the far southern end of the lake in Penticton, which is one of the best places to live near Kelowna. It takes less than an hour to drive south from Kelowna and enjoy this 1.8-hectare beach. This is an impressive stretch of sandy beach with nearby shops for baked treats, ice cream or a cold brew. On the eastern side of the beach, Penticton Creek flows into Okanagan Lake. This is a great spot to watch for ducks and other waterfowl.

Dogs are allowed on this beach but must remain on a leash, and owners must pick up after their pets. The Penticton Ikeda Japanese Garden is next to the park, and it's worth strolling through to enjoy the sights. Okanagan Lake Park is where many annual festivals and events, such as the Penticton Peach Festival, happen each year. The park has public washrooms, boat access and drinking fountains.

Okanagan Lake Beach Additional Information

  • Address: Lakeshore Drive W, Penticton, BC V2A 1B8

Rotary Beach (Kelowna)

Rotary Beach encompasses 1.5-hectares and offers a sandy beach with a swimming area, restrooms, a playground, and walking and jogging trails. The beach here is very popular with paddlers, picnickers, and kiteboarders seeking nice waves to cruise the shoreline. A concession stand and equipment rental booth are right on the coastline, along with showers and bathrooms.

Visitors can play volleyball, frisbee, or sit and watch the waves and still keep an eye on their kids using the park's playground. Just south of this beachside park is another stretch of public shoreline surrounded by luxurious homes and several places to park. No dogs are permitted on Rotary Beach but are welcome on the trails when leashed.

Rotary Beach Additional Information

  • Address: 3736 Lakeshore Rd #3726, Kelowna, BC V1W 3T1
  • Hours: Daily, 9:30 a.m. to dusk
  • Phone: 250-862-6191

Kal Beach (Coldstream)

Take a scenic drive up the Okanagan Highway from downtown Kelowna to reach Kal Beach. It's in the Coldstream area, on the north shore of Kalamalka Lake. It takes about a 45-minute drive, but it's worth the trip to visit both the town and the beach park. This is a smaller beach than the previous ones listed here, at about 300 meters in length. It also tends to be less crowded than many of the more popular beaches in this part of British Columbia.

The beach has lots of free parking and public restrooms. Beach volleyball, sunbathing, swimming or family picnics are favourite activities here. Many people take a kayak to the beach and launch from there. There's a pub with a lovely outdoor patio at the beach's eastern end to enjoy a meal and the view after a swim. The Kalamalka Lake Rotary Pier is the perfect spot for anglers to reel in a northern pikeminnow or a sockeye salmon.

Kal Beach Additional Information

  • Address: Kalamalka Rd, Coldstream, BC V1B 1M7

Strathcona Beach (Kelowna)

Strathcona Beach is small at just 1 hectare, but a designated swimming area and a playground make it popular for gatherings and quiet days on the coast. Located just two kilometres south of downtown, those with younger children and non-swimmers appreciate how long the water remains after stepping off the shoreline.

Strathcona Beach is a part of the 28-kilometre Kelowna Paddle Trail, making it a haven for those who enjoy non-motorized boating. Many on the trail make a pitstop here to enjoy a picnic, grab a bite, and use the restrooms. There are no tables here, but one can bring a large blanket or a few chairs to sit along the beach or in the large grassy area, where visitors can enjoy a variety of land sports and popular Kelowna outdoor activities.

Offshore, there is plenty of shade provided by mature trees that surround the park's perimeter, allowing for large grassy areas, picnic tables, and spots for laying out reclining chairs and blankets for sunbathing. In addition to accessible washrooms, there are mobility-friendly pathways leading from the parking lot. There are no lifeguards on duty here, and pets are prohibited.

Strathcona Beach Additional Information

  • Address: 2290 Abbott St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1E3
  • Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Phone: 250-717-2757

Kalamoir Regional Park (West Kelowna)

To reach Kalamoir Regional Park, head across the bridge to West Kelowna. The park is just 15 minutes from downtown Kelowna and south of the beautiful homes in the Lakeview Heights neighbourhood. The park is 27.6 hectares in size and has long stretches of sandy beaches for visitors to enjoy. There are even three off-leash dog beaches in the park. An accessible dock lets people launch canoes or kayaks into Okanagan Lake easily.

The park has dirt trails leading to the best views of Okanagan Lake that are nice for hiking, biking or jogging. Dogs have to be leashed on the trails, however. The trail along the waterfront is rated "Easy" and is mostly flat. It's wheelchair accessible. The park also has picnic tables and public washrooms but not much else in the way of amenities. One of the central beaches has a swimming platform. 

Kalamoir Regional Park Additional Information

  • Address: 3041 Collens Hill Rd, West Kelowna, BC V1Z 1X5
  • Hours: 6 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Phone: 250-763-4918

Bluebird Beach Park (Kelowna)

Bluebird Beach Park is situated along Lakeshore Road and is one of the best places for those ready to walk, bike, or swim. The park is modest in size but has ample green spaces and a nice stretch of sandy coastline. As a new beach park, amenities are minimal and only include a few tables and a washroom. However, installations are expanding routinely.

Bluebird Beach Park is a top spot for those getting off the Lakeshore Wine Route, who come for a sunset picnic after their tasting tours. No dogs are allowed here at this time.

Bluebird Beach Park Additional Information

  • Address: 4006 Lakeshore Rd, Kelowna, BC V1W 1V6
  • Hours: Daily, Dawn to 10 p.m.
  • Phone: 250-717-2757

Sarsons Beach (Kelowna)

Just south of Boyce-Gyro Beach awaits a hidden gem called Sarsons Beach. While the park only features one hectare of grass, sand, and shoreline along Lake Okanagan, many visitors and locals appreciate the intimate charm and quietness.

During summer, many swimmers start their day working out with local swim teams in the designated swimming zone, while joggers tend to run the park's perimeter. An expanse of grass shaded by large trees makes it a prime place to picnic with friends and family or relax the day away with a good book. Parking, restrooms, and a thrilling playground are available.

Sarsons Beach Additional Information

  • Address: 4398 Hobson Rd, Kelowna, BC V1W 1Y3
  • Hours: Daily, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Love Beaches? Fall in Love with Kelowna

As the sun sets on the best beaches in the Okanagan Valley, residents and visitors soak in the natural splendour of the region. Whether planning a visit or considering moving to Kelowna, if beaches are a favourite pastime, it could be the perfect place for you. People here are welcoming and enjoy offering advice and directions to visitors and newcomers. Explore the beaches and discover all that this remarkable community offers.

If the opportunities in Kelowna excite you, contact the agents at at 250-999-9844 to get in touch with a local real estate agent who can help you find the perfect home in Kelowna today.

Dave Kotler

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