If you want an overdose of everything Canada, Kelowna is the place to go. The thing is though, it’s a good thing you can’t have too much fun as Kelowna is filled with amazing adventures and stunning sights.
Fairly (for being Canada, anyway) close you’ll find Vancouver, it’s not that far to the US border, and the city once filled with ripped jeans and flannel shirts, Seattle, either. Sounds good, right? To be honest, though, you probably won’t feel the need to stray very far from the lovely lakeside city of Kelowna, because it is packed with awesome experiences – and we’ve lined up our top 8 for you because you want to know what’s good before you go, am I right?! Good, let’s have a look!
Pro Tip: Kelowna actually has quite warm summers and comparatively mild winters, so bear that in mind when packing. Oh, and if you’re not familiar with North America: don’t forget to tip for any service you are provided!
Except for the truly amazing views of Okanagan Lake and the mountains that frame almost every sight you see, you’ll also find so much art: studios, galleries, museums, theaters – there are an abundance of vineyards, which means even more lovely landscape. Keep your Insta eye open for great spots for photos!
Now, the views here will have a thing or two to teach those other views from before – this is pretty much an old stretch of railway, with two tunnels and the 18 trestle bridges that give it its name, running through and over the most fantastic examples of fine Canadian scenery: forested mountainsides, steep cliffs and a sky that seems to go on forever. Really, the only bad thing is that your camera probably won’t make the vistas justice.
There are more places and trails to hike and bike in the area that would fit in this whole post, but we’re gonna name a few of our favorites: the Okanagan Rail Trail runs from Vernon to Kelowna (or the other way around!) past three lakes and stunning scenery, and there are mile after mile of fantastic bike trails from beginner to expert. The best ones, though, might be the waterfalls: hike through the lush forest past colorful wildflowers to cliffs where the water falling from it seems to disappear into the air – absolutely magnificent!
This is definitely sightseeing 2.0. Instead of going on a boring walking tour of a snoozefest of a bus tour (we don’t actually mind tours, but these ones are just all that more exciting!), you get to see the area from – a helicopter! Fly over the city, the lake, or the mountains and canyons and see Canada as you’ve never seen it before (unless you flew there). There are also wine tours, and even adventure tours, that combine helicopter fun with other kinds of fun. How fun!
The absolutely hardest thing about these posts is picking what to include because there are so many experiences to be had! But, we’ve separated the wheat from the… wheat and come up with a couple of awesome things for you!
Where there’s a lake, there are activities, as the old saying goes. Lake Okanagan is a little paradise – or Atlantis – for anyone who enjoys watery fun. With beaches, bays and every kind of boat you can imagine; at least the standard ones like stand-up paddleboards and pedal boats. Check out the Kelowna Paddle Trail (there are birds!) and if you feel a bit more adventurous, there’s flyboarding, parasailing, and scuba diving. Oh, and you simply must keep your eyes open for Ogopogo, Kelowna’s own Nessie!
There are rocks, cliffs and boulders begging for your attention all around, and as long as you have the right equipment, you’re good to go! If you’d like to stay close to the water for some amazing views you can do that, or you can go a bit further into the mountains for some prime-time rock climbing. Seeing as there are hundreds of climbs in the area, you’ll be able to find one that’s just right for you. It’s the Cinderella shoe of stony fun!
In the mood for some ziplining, rope swings, wobbly bridges, and cargo nets? Yeah? Great, because there are lots of adventure parks where you can let out your inner Tarzan and have lots of adrenaline-fueled, aerial fun. There are giant swings, swinging logs and tightropes, and if you’re so inclined there are paintball and rope bridges that allow you to go from tree to tree. As long as you tie your hair up and don’t wear flipflops, it’s perfectly safe, too!
After days of physical fun, your muscles might want a little tending to and your senses a little break from all the stimuli out in the world, and this is the perfect time for a little spa relaxation. Wrap yourself in mud from the Dead Sea or unwind in a Japanese bath – or, if you prefer, go to Arion Therapeutic Farm where you can take a proper break from the city pace and hang out with the animals in the sanctuary while eating gorgeous, plant-based food!
Speaking of food made of plants, there are many a place in Kelowna where you can find the most scrumptious vegan meals and treats! There are salads, spicy kale, Thai noodles, burgers, pizza, cauli-wings, sushi – do we need to go on? Yeah? Okay then! You’ll also find pretty awesome street food in town, and the cozy coffee shops are to die for. Or to get some caffeine, it’s your decision to make!
As you’ve seen, Kelowna is basically Canada’s GOAT wrapped up in a neat little package, served on a silver plate for anyone with decent hiking boots to enjoy. And that’s you, right? Now that we’ve shown you our fave experiences in this Canadian gem, it’s only fair that you tell us a little bit about what you love about the place! Playground rules, right?!