Many people who come to the city of Kelowna for a vacation move here permanently—it makes quite an impression on them! From sandy Kelowna beaches on Okanagan Lake to the beautiful weather and the arts and cultural destinations, the city has much to offer. The winters are warmer than in most other parts of Canada, making year-round activities possible. Nearly half of the grape vines in British Columbia are here, too, making the Okanagan Valley the "Wine Capital of Canada." Here are five reasons to love living in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Easy Access to Okanagan Lake
Okanagan Lake is the center of activity in Kelowna during summer. There are several kilometres of sandy beaches on the lakeshore, with easy access for residents to get out and enjoy the water. Many waterfront homes in Kelowna are adjacent to public lake access points, allowing everyone to participate in the activities here. There are 10 beach parks in the city—and that's just on the east side of the lake!
Standup paddleboarding is popular in Okanagan Lake. Rental outlets along the beach offer canoes, kayaks, inner tubes, and more. Some brave souls even head out on the lake in a wetsuit during winter for standup paddleboarding, so long as the ice is not too thick.
Boat owners can dock their watercraft at one of Kelowna's marinas. Additionally, taking a sailing charter is another great way to see the lake and the surrounding areas. There are also 11 scuba dive sites in town—the best visibility for diving in the 232-metre-deep lake is during the spring, fall, and winter.
Beautiful & Seasonal Weather
With four distinct seasons, Kelowna has some of the best weather in Canada. Okanagan Lake and the local geography ensure that temperatures rarely get bitterly cold in the winter. There are some hot days in the summer, usually around the beginning of August. The summers are hot and dry, the winters are comfortable, and the spring and fall are pleasant.
Kelowna's average high temperature during winter is 2.3° C, with an average low of -4° C. Snowfall is usually dry, which creates excellent powder conditions for skiing. Winter in Kelowna involves residents enjoying popular activities like downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoeing. The interior lakes freeze over, making ice fishing possible.
During summer, the average weather in Kelowna reaches a temperature of 26.3° C, with an average low of 12.3° C. The beaches and waterparks get crowded on the hottest days! Additionally, the many trails in Kelowna are full of great hiking and biking spots to enjoy during the warmer seasons.
Summer temperatures provide a fantastic growing season for Kelowna's many local orchards and vineyards. Be sure to visit the Kelowna Farmer's and Crafter's Market during the growing season!
Dozens of Quality Wineries
The views of the wineries alone make it worth living in Kelowna. Residents on upper-floor condos can gaze out over kilometres of vines growing in the southeastern part of Kelowna. A couple of wineries are on the north side of town and the western shore of Okanagan Lake. Wines from growers in the Okanagan Valley have earned national and international attention, which is why this truly is the "Wine Capital of Canada."
There are more than 30 wineries in Kelowna, and most of them are open year-round for events. Kelowna wine tours and tastings are very popular, and some wineries are even dog-friendly. There are five organized wine trails in the area, on which visitors can take a walk to view multiple wineries and sample the goods:
- Downtown Grapes to Grains
- Lake Country's Scenic Sip
- Lakeshore Wine Route
- Sip Southeast Kelowna
- Westside Wine Trail
There are so many wineries to explore that guided wine tours are available to assist guests. They can tour with a driver/guide to several wineries or even take a helicopter ride to fly over the local wineries in the valley!
Year-Round Outdoor Activities
Kelowna is a very active and outdoors-oriented city. Mountain biking is extremely popular, thanks to Kelowna's hilly terrain. The city also has more than 300 kilometres of bike lanes, so urban biking or simply commuting to work via bicycle is relatively easy. Kelowna also has more than 60 kilometres of separated bike paths throughout the city.
There are 19 golf courses in Kelowna, each individually beautiful and offering unique challenges for players of all skill levels. Ice skating is popular in the winter, with a free outdoor rink at Stuart Park. Additionally, the Big White Ski Resort and the SilverStar Mountain resort are less than an hour away for skiing and snowboarding.
Fat biking and snowmobiling are winter activities that many locals also enjoy. Hikers heading up the trail to the top of Knox Mountain Park during winter can see amazing views of the entire city.
Arts & Culture Destinations
There are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy in this city, too. Also known as the Cultural District, downtown Kelowna has museums, trendy art galleries, theatres for catching a movie, a casino, and much more.
Here are five Kelowna museums to check out:
- Father Pandosy Mission
- Okanagan Heritage Museum
- Okanagan Military Museum
- Okanagan Wine & Orchard Museum
- Sncewips Heritage Museum
The Rotary Centre for the Arts is where locals can catch music concerts, dance acts, stage plays, and more. The Centre includes tourable artist studios, pottery studios, galleries, and a bistro. The Kelowna Community Theatre is another Kelowna performing arts theatre for music, dance, comedy shows, and stage plays.
Art lovers will want to stop by the Geert Maas Sculpture Gardens and Gallery in the northeast part of town, which displays more than 350 sculptures, paintings, and other artworks from the world-renowned Maas. It's also home to one of Canada's largest collections of bronze sculptures.
Another excellent option for art lovers is to walk around the downtown area near Water Street and Cawston Avenue, where many art galleries are available.
For those who want to try their luck, Chance's Casino Kelowna has more than 400 slot machines, table games, lottery outlets, and a bar and café.
Come for a Visit, Stay for a Lifetime
It's no wonder many visitors fall in love with and eventually move to Kelowna after vacationing here. Kelowna's weather, scenery, and attractions make it a truly unique place in British Columbia. The climate makes it possible to enjoy outdoor activities in Kelowna year-round, and there are always events to keep locals active.
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.