With a favourable climate, scenic setting, and year-round activities, Kelowna is often recognized as British Columbia's premier city in the Okanagan Valley. About 142,000 residents live in Kelowna, with a greater metro population of 217,000. It is recognized as one of Canada's fastest-growing communities, offering various sought-after residential properties, including waterfront homes and luxury homes, among others. Kelowna has the advantage of milder temperatures than other areas of the country, adding to its appeal and providing ample opportunity to experience all the city offers, no matter the season.
Tourism plays a growing role in Kelowna's economy. The city offers a large array of attractions and activities appealing to everyone. Here's a list of popular Kelowna attractions you shouldn't miss.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Recognized as the most visited winery in Canada, Summerhill Pyramid Winery offers tastings, food, tours, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the natural surroundings. Founded by owner Stephen Cipes who came from New York in 1986, the winery follows strict organic growing practices and produces 100% organic wines.
The winery hosts several activities for visitors. It holds wine tastings year-round, seven days a week, beginning at 11 a.m. through 6 p.m. The tastings are held at the wine shop on a drop-in basis and are free to those purchasing something from the shop. The winery also offers its estate house as an event venue, providing rentals of the entire house at one time.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery operates its own farm-to-table restaurant on the premises, Summerhill Organic Bistro, offering lunch and dinner menu items Tuesday through Saturday. Visitors can make reservations online.
Summerhill was named a Canadian Signature Experiences member by the Canadian Tourism Commission at the program's launch in 2011.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery Additional Information
- Address: Summerhill Pyramid Winery, 4870 Chute Lake Rd, Kelowna, BC V1W 4M3
- Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sunday–Monday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
- Contact: 250-764-8000
Bear Creek Provincial Park
Known as one of Kelowna's top destinations, the popular Bear Creek Provincial Park is set along the shores of Okanagan Lake. It is located in the Central Okanagan Basin, to the west of Okanagan Lake, and extends about 178 hectares in total. Thanks to its proximity to the waterfront, the park offers lakeside camping. There are over 400 metres of sandy beaches and five kilometres of hiking trails. The natural landscape includes a scenic canyon carved into the bedrock by Bear Creek.
Summer is the busiest time to visit Bear Creek, with advanced reservations required for camping. The campsite operates roughly from the end of March to mid-October and contains 143 vehicle-accessible campsites in total. There is a cost of $35 per party per night as an overnight camping fee.
Visitors can choose from a long list of outdoor activities to enjoy, including cycling, canoeing, fishing, hiking, swimming, water skiing, and wildlife viewing. Pets are welcome as long as they are kept on a leash, and the park includes two play structures to accommodate kids of various ages and skill levels. The park also operates a concession stand during warm-weather months.
Bear Creek Provincial Park Additional Information
- Address: Bear Creek Provincial Park, Westside Rd, Kelowna, BC V0E 1S0
- Hours: 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
- Contact: 519-826-6850
Kelowna Art Gallery
The Kelowna Art Gallery is located in Kelowna's Cultural District in downtown Kelowna and hosts many events throughout the year. These include arts and culture lectures, panel discussions, and artist talks.
The Kelowna Art Gallery features several rotating exhibitions that reflect the area's historical or contemporary artwork. The gallery's permanent collection features over 800 pieces while providing a range of publications developed to accompany the exhibits.
Kelowna Art Gallery began in 1976 and has since grown to become a leading public art gallery serving the entire central Okanagan region. It started as a not-for-profit charitable society in 1977.
The gallery was first housed in the Kelowna Centennial Museum. Nearly 20 years later, in 1996, the City of Kelowna constructed a 1,464-square-metre building and leased it back to the Kelowna Art Gallery. The state-of-the-art facility ensured the building would provide a secure, climate-controlled home for the gallery, suitable for storage and exhibition of artworks in the years that followed.
The gallery holds several programs, including art camps and Family Sundays with hands-on art activities.
Admission is free to members of the non-profit society supporting the Kelowna Art Gallery. The cost of admission for non-members is $5 or $10 maximum for families. Seniors are $4, and children under 12 are free.
Kelowna Art Gallery Additional Information
- Address: Kelowna Art Gallery, 1315 Water St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 9R3
- Hours: Tuesday & Thursday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday, 12–4 p.m.
- Contact: 250-762-2226
Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm
The Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm is set in the hills of South Kelowna, offering panoramic views of the lake and valley. This working family farm was launched in 1999 as a seasonal hobby farm and has grown to become a popular tourism destination. It features over 60 varieties of lavender among the 18 different aromatic plants and herbs grown there. The operation is start-to-finish, with the plants grown, harvested, dried, and distilled all on-site to produce toxin-free, award-winning products. The finished botanicals are sold in the farm's boutique.
Visitors are provided with the opportunity to learn about the traditional process of handcrafting essential oilsands hydrosol distillation and can take part in a guided or self-guided tour of the farm's three-acre garden, which includes whimsical sculptures, water features, a hedge maze, and winding pathways.
The farm does not use any herbicide or insecticide sprays on its plants. It is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and lowering plastic waste, focusing on eco-friendly packaging and sustainable farming practices.
Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm Additional Information
- Address: Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm, 4380 Takla Rd, Kelowna, BC V1W 3C4
- Contact: 250-764-7795
Located in South Kelowna, at the top of the Crawford Estates neighbourhood, Crawford Falls provides visitors with breathtaking views of a majestic pair of towering waterfalls.
The falls are located on Bellevue Creek, accessible via either Gordon Drive to Dehart Road, Dehart Road to Crawford Road, or Crawford Road to Westridge Road. The trail is then accessed from any of the routes by turning onto Canyon Ridge Crescent and then Canyon Falls Court.
The hike leading to the falls is about 20 minutes from downtown Kelowna. Also known as Canyon Falls, it takes about 60–90 minutes to hike the path leading up to the falls, depending on how many stops are made to rest and take in the views.
The first leg of the path will lead hikers down toward a creek and then to a secured ladder to access the first set of falls, which are approximately six metres in height. This length of the hike to the bottom of the creek is considered moderate.
The trail continues to the larger set of falls, which are about twice as large as the first. The terrain can be challenging and includes climbing over a boulder, but most experienced hikers will not have too much difficulty. However, caution is recommended. In full, the hike is about 12 kilometres in length.
Hikers are encouraged to wear proper footwear, either hiking shoes or athletic shoes. Dogs are allowed as long as they remain leashed.
Crawford Falls Additional Information
- Address: Crawford Falls, Kelowna, BC V1W 4P1
An annual favourite is the Kelowna Parks Alive! Festival that takes place outdoors all summer long. It's a live outdoor entertainment event featuring live concerts, arts-based activities and 50 events each year. You'll find it taking place in venues in East Kelowna, downtown, the Mission, North Glenmore and more.
Parks Alive! Additional Information
Beaver Lake Mountain Resort
Beaver Lake Mountain Resort is a favourite in Okanagan where you'll find sunny weather and an easy drive just minutes away from Kelowna. The resort features cabins, suites, a campground and the perfect place to enjoy fishing, swimming, the beach and hiking or biking. Enjoy the petting zoo and winter activities as well as year-round wellness treatments and a playground.
Beaver Lake Mountain Resort Additional Information
Knox Mountain is the perfect way to get in touch with nature with this being the city's largest Natural Area Park. You'll find people enjoying the trails, sightseeing, walking their dogs and just appreciating nature.
Knox Mountain Additional Information
Come Discover Kelowna
With its location along the shores of Lake Okanagan, it is little wonder that some of the most popular attractions in and around Kelowna centre on making the most of the area's natural beauty. Other top attractions include parks like City Park, Rotary Beach Park, Boyce-Gyro Beach, Waterfront Park, Mission Creek Greenway, events like the YMCA Healthy Kids Day, Hiking Trails and Campground Sites.
From taking advantage of the area's many opportunities for hiking to enjoying the wilderness on an overnight camping trip, the area offers many things to do for outdoor enthusiasts. But Kelowna is also a popular destination for agrotourism. With the valley providing the perfect climate for wineries and orchards—more than 40, in fact—many of these locally owned growers have opened their land to tourists by offering tastings, tours, and special events. Kelowna also has much to offer in cultural arts, including its many galleries emphasizing local artists and craftspeople.
If the opportunities in Kelowna excite you, contact the agents at KelownaHomes.ca 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.