19 Best Things to Do in Kelowna, British Columbia In 2024

Written By: The Planet D

Looking for things to do in Kelowna, BC? We’ve got you covered. While on a road trip from Vancouver to Revelstoke, we had the chance to revisit one of our favorite places in British Columbia, the Okanagan Valley. It had been a while since we explored this beautiful community and quickly learned why so many people are moving to Kelowna.

This town not only has a glorious wine scene but there’s also a fabulous food scene, distilleries, and outdoor activities galore. When planning a weekend getaway from Vancouver or exploring the province of British Columbia makes sure to put Kelowna at the top of your list.

Things to do in Kelowna, British Columbia

Top Things to do do in Kelowna

Kelowna is located in Okanagan Valley in the interior of BC. It is situated halfway between Vernon to the north and Penticton to the south. It is a four-hour drive from Vancouver and sits on the east side of Okanagan Lake.

Kelowna is surrounded by vineyards, orchards, mountains, and, of course, the gorgeous lake. The surrounding lake country offers various outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, and biking, along with other Kelowna attractions like the Okanagan Lavender Farm, which has beautiful gardens, lavender products, workshops, and the Kangaroo Farm.

A visit to Kelowna is a must on any British Columbia itinerary, and the reasons for this are below. So, read on to see all the things to do in Kelowna to help you plan your trip.

1. Myra Canyon – Kettle Valley Railway

things to do in Kelowna Myra Canyon

This was by far our favorite of all the things to do in Kelowna. Everyone we met along this trail commented how spectacular it was and we agree. The trestles of the Kettle Valley Railway in Myra Canyon offer one of the most spectacular views in British Columbia, let alone the Okanagan Valley.

The Kettle Valley Rail Trail itself runs from Hope to Castlegar and is actually 650 kilometers long, but the most beautiful views are located just outside of Kelowna in Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park.

Hiking the Kettle Valley Rail Trail in Kelowna BC

You can hike or bike to see the 18 trestle bridges that cling to the sides of Myra Canyon. There are two impressive railway tunnels carved through canyon walls and the views are glorious. Get out early in the morning and either go hiking or you can rent bikes starting at 9:00 am from the bike rentals that are set up at the trailhead.

2. Vineyard Hopping The West Kelowna Wineries

West Kelowna Wineries

There are a whopping 40 wineries within 20 minutes of Kelowna, so it is no wonder that wine tastings and wine tours are some of the most popular things to do in Kelowna. Plan a day of wine tasting by visiting a few wineries such as CedarCreek, Mission Hill Estate, Quails Gate, and Mt.Boucherie. Pick up a Wine Trail guide to take a self-guided tour on your own, or you can book a wine tour in Kelowna.

The Okanagan Valley makes some of the best wines in Canada, from Summerhill to Cedar Creek, where you’ll have the chance to taste its delicious vintages.

Make sure to enjoy lunch on one of the terraces overlooking the valley and Okanagan Lake. When you find a wine you like, you can even have it shipped home. Book this Kelowna Wine Tour to explore established and family-run wineries in a Mercedes.

Vineyard suggestions in Kelowna:

3. Take a Tour of Okanagan Lake

things to do in Kelowna Tour of Okanagan Lake

Speaking of Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is located on the eastern shore of the Okanagan Valley’s largest lake. This fjord lake is a deep lake that was carved by glaciers creating a 135 km (84 mi) long reservoir that is ripe for exploring from Vernon to Penticton.

The lake warms to a balmy 19-23C (69-71F) in the summertime, making it an inviting place to go for a dip. From the Kelowna waterfront, you can rent stand-up paddleboards (SUP), kayaks, pontoon boats, and pedal boats. You can even try your hand at flyboarding.

If you are looking for something unique to do in Kelowna, take a Maeg’s BBQ boat tour. You can either go on a 45-minute guided sightseeing tour, or you can rent your own Barbecue Boat Float and have your own BBQ on the water as you explore Kelowna’s shores.

4. Watch Sunset from the Beach

Sunset from Rotary Beach in Kelowna

Kelowna has some beautiful beaches that are perfect for watching the sunset. There is a beach right downtown beside the Kelowna Visitor Center and marina, but there are other beaches around town. Our favorite for sunset was Rotary Beach Park. There are 30 beaches in Kelowna, with lakeside parks scattered along the shores of Lake Okanagan.

The beaches are great places to hang out, even if you aren’t watching the sunset. Many have amenities, playgrounds, and watersport rentals. Some of the more popular beaches in Kelowna are Hot Sands Beach, Boyce-Gyro Beach, Sarson’s Beach, and Strathcona Park.

5. Waterfront Park

Waterfront City Park in Kelowna, BC

Kelowna has a beautiful waterfront, and the city has made the most of that view by building the lovely Waterfront Park. This city park features a shoreline, boardwalk, marina, picnic spots, and recreational facilities, making it an appealing destination for visitors looking for a special occasion.

A long paved trail winds its way along the lake, creating a great vibe for an afternoon stroll. There are plenty of green spaces and parks, art sculptures, and art along the way.

There are restaurants nearby, sandy beaches to relax, and there are even Muskoka chairs (Adirondack Chairs) in the park set up for people to relax while taking in the view.

6. Wander Through Kasugai Gardens

Sunny day in Kasugai Gardens Kelowna British Columbia

In the heart of downtown is a tranquil escape that you will most certainly miss if you don’t know it’s there. Kasugai Gardens was created in honor of Kelowna’s sister city in Japan, Kasugai. It is a typical Japanese garden with waterfalls, rock gardens, a Koi pond, and lanterns. Make sure to wander through this garden for a little escape.

7. Okanagan Spirits and Craft Distillery

Craft beer scene in Kelowna

The Okanagan Valley may be known for its wine, but spirits are fast taking over. Head to the Okanagan Spirits and Craft Distillery to sample whiskey, gin, and vodka in their tasting room. They offer free shipping to Canadians on orders over $125, and Americans pay a $30 flat fee. Or you can simply sit on the patio while enjoying a cocktail.

8. Craft Beer Time

Taking a craft beer tour in Kelowna

Not everyone loves wine. I know my brother will have a beer over wine any day. And luckily, there are several craft breweries in Kelowna. In the past few years, several breweries have popped up around Kelowna thanks to the Great Okanagan Beer Festival that takes place annually each May.

Breweries offer flights and tastings with great food. One of the more unique breweries to visit is BNA Brewing that is connected to a bowling alley. The Kelowna Brewing Company is also a great choice to enjoy views of Kelowna from their heated patio while sampling a local beer.

9. Kelowna Food Tours

Things to do in Kelowna, BC Kelowna Food Tours

Book this walking food tour of Kelowna. Kelowna has a blossoming food scene and the best way to indulge in local cuisine is to take a tour with a local guide. This tour offers up to 8 food and drink stops at local eateries but it also explores the history and beauty of downtown Kelowna. For those seeking a luxurious dining experience, Bouchons Bistro is the ideal place for a fancy night out.

10. Okanagan Lavender Farm

The Lavender Herb Farm is the place to visit in early summer when the lavender is in full bloom. We visited in late summer so we weren’t so lucky, but you can still go shopping to purchase some lavender products and essential oils. We have a few diffusers at home and love filling our house with the fresh smell of lavender.

11. Take a Helicopter Tour

Views over Okanagan valley from a helicopter

Seeing the Okanagan Valley from the sky is a must. The beauty of Okanagan Lake really comes alive when seeing its shores from above. This massive 351 square km lake is massive and is the largest lake in the Okanagan Valley. Book a helicopter tour to get a birds-eye view of not only Okanagan Lake but also the Myra Canyon Trestles and Okanagan Bridge. We didn’t do this in Kelowna, but in nearby Penticton, we took a helicopter tour overlooking Okanagan Lake, which was spectacular. Watch it here.

12. Hike to Knox Mountain Park

Knox Mountain Park is a great place to go hiking and overlook Kelowna, BC. There are two hiking trails taking you to different viewpoints. One of the most popular hikes is Paul’s Tomb Trail, which was named after a local Okanagan Pioneer and is a 3 km loop that offers gorgeous views of Okanagan Lake.

You can hike up from the parking lot, or drive right to the top. If you want to tackle a longer hike, the Apex Trail is a moderate 5km trail that takes you to views of the city and valley.

13. Ski Big White

Skiing at Big White in Kelowna

I will admit, we went skiing in Big White years ago while living in Vancouver and haven’t been back since, but when we were there, it was amazing! I’ll never forget driving from Vancouver for a long weekend and hitting the powdery slopes. It was one of the last times we went skiing before taking up snowboarding.

It has a lot of intermediate runs which we were at the time so we didn’t tackle the black diamond runs to be able to properly comment. I remember loving the mogul runs. We are more on the black diamond runs these days on the snowboards, but this was an excellent resort for families. Another place we went skiing in the Okanagan Valley was Apex Mountain Resort near Penticton.

14. Day Trip to Penticton

Taking a day trip from Kelowna to Penticton is like diving into a little slice of heaven. The drive itself is under an hour and is super scenic, with the lake on one side and vineyards on the other. Once you get to Penticton, you’ll be greeted with a relaxed vibe that makes you feel like you want to stay longer.

One of my favorite things about visiting Penticton is the amount of outdoor activities. You can start your day with a casual walk along the Kettle Valley Rail Trail and take in the views. If you like wine, you’re lucky. The Naramata Bench is just a short drive away and is dotted with wineries where you can taste some of the region’s best wines while taking in the vineyard views.

The beaches in Penticton are a bonus. Okanagan Lake Beach and Skaha Lake Beach are both beautiful spots to relax, swim or try your hand at paddleboarding. There’s something about lying on the sand with the mountains behind you that’s just so calming.

15. Stroll The Shops of Downtown Kelowna

Downtown Kelowna BC

Kelowna has a lovely downtown filled with eateries, brewpubs, and shops. The main street is steps away from Waterfront Park, where you can sit on an outdoor patio and enjoy a microbrew. The thriving art scene in downtown Kelowna is highlighted by the Kelowna Art Gallery, offering visitors a classic gallery experience with various gallery spaces, a permanent collection of art, art classes, workshops, and Family Sunday events for hands-on creation.

It’s a picturesque downtown with pretty brick buildings. Downtown Kelowna has a great “points of interest map” you can follow that includes stops at The Okanagan Military Museum, The Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame, Kelowna Cruises and the Lake Front Sports Rentals where you can rent e-bikes, mountain bikes, jet skis and kayaks.

16. Okanagan Orchards

Orchards of Kelowna

If you are in Kelowna on a weekend getaway from Vancouver, now is the time to stock up on your fresh produce. Depending on the season, you can stock up on apples, fresh berries, and cherries. One of my favorite things to do is to hit a farm and pick my own berries. It makes for a great day outside. Plus, you can eat all the berries you like as you stock up on treats for the road.

17. Kelowna Farmers and Craft Market

If you don’t want to go to a farm, visit the Kelowna Farmers and Craft Market downtown, where you can pick up fresh seasonal fruit for local arts and crafts. It is open year-round by going indoors during the colder months.

It is only open on Saturdays during the winter months at the Parkinson Rec Centre (Indoors) and on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the corner of Dilworth and Springfield during the summer months. There is also a satellite market on Sundays in Kerry Park.

18. Golfing in Kelowna

Michaelbrook Ranch Golf Club in Kelowna BC

Golfing is definitely one of the most popular things to do in Kelowna. Imagine teeing off surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards, and Okanagan Lake. It’s not just about the game here, it’s about soaking up the natural beauty and making every swing feel like you’re a part of something bigger.

The courses are great, but they’re also laid back and unpretentious. Whether you’re a pro or just starting out, you’ll feel right at home. And let’s not forget the weather – Kelowna has a long golf season thanks to its sunny, mild climate. There’s something so relaxing about playing under a blue sky with the sun on your back.

And if you want variety, you’re in luck. Kelowna has a course for every level and taste, from the tough Tower Ranch to the family-friendly Michaelbrook Ranch Golf Club. Each course has its own character and challenges, so the game never gets old.

19. Go Biking

Biking in Kelowna is an absolute blast, and it’s one of the best ways to explore the area. Imagine this: you hop on a bike and within minutes, you’re cruising past vineyards, lakes, and orchards with the fresh Okanagan air in your face. The whole place is so bike-friendly, with tons of trails that cater to all levels of cyclists, whether you’re a hardcore mountain biker or just someone looking for a leisurely ride.

One of the coolest perks is if you’re staying at The Royal Kelowna. They offer free bike rentals for guests, which is such a sweet deal. I mean, how often do you get to borrow a quality bike for free? It’s the perfect way to kickstart your adventure without any hassle. Just head down to the lobby, grab a bike, and you’re good to go.

Kelowna has a variety of trails that are worth checking out. The Mission Creek Greenway is a favorite of ours. It’s a peaceful, scenic route that follows the creek and winds through beautiful parks and natural areas. It’s mostly flat, making it an easy ride that’s perfect for a relaxing afternoon.

Where to Stay in Kelowna

Sandman Hotel in Kelowna BC

We stayed at The Sandman Hotel & Suites. The Royal Kelowna, known for its luxury amenities like a rooftop infinity pool, BBQ area, and exclusive perks for guests, is another excellent option. It is located a bit out of downtown but has all the amenities you could want with an indoor swimming pool, gym, and two restaurants connected to the hotel.

There is a shopping mall and Moxies within walking distance as well. West Kelowna offers nearby attractions such as wineries, historical sites, and outdoor adventure spots. With free parking, it was a great base for exploring the top attractions in Kelowna. Visit their website for rates and availability.

Why We love Kelowna, BC

We love Kelowna because it’s the kind of place that has everything. The natural beauty is the first thing that hits you – the lake, the vineyards, and the mountains are just stunning. There’s a relaxed vibe here that makes everything feel easy and fun, whether you’re getting outside, drinking local wine, or just soaking up the sun on a beach.

The food and wine scene is a big draw too. You can spend your days hopping between wineries, tasting some of the best wine in Canada and eating farm to table food. The local produce is amazing and the restaurants and markets make the most of it.

Getting outside is a big part of life in Kelowna. Whether you like hiking, biking, or golfing, there’s something for everyone. The trails are varied and beautiful, with everything from easy walks to challenging hikes with stunning views. And the golf courses are top-notch with some of the most gorgeous backdrops you’ll ever see.

There’s also a great community and a warm feeling that makes you feel at home. The people are friendly and there’s always something going on, from local festivals to farmers markets. It’s the perfect balance of city amenities and small town charm.

So come for adventure, come for relaxation or just come to unwind. Kelowna has got you covered. Come and discover. Come and enjoy. Come and fall in love.

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Book Your Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner. We have used them for years and have found that they have the best flight deals.

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor.

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Safety Wing - Occasional Travelers.
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Book Your Activities: Looking for walking tours, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more? Then we recommend Get Your Guide.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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3 thoughts on “19 Best Things to Do in Kelowna, British Columbia In 2024”

  1. Nice blog !!

    A small tidbit regarding Lake Okanagan temperature:

    Your blog shows temperature of 19-23C, 69-71F.

    Assuming that your Celsius temps are correct, actual correct Fahrenheit numbers are 66-73F.

    Always remember that 20C is exactly 68F, so 19C cannot be 69F.

    Again, your blogs are great.