The 20 Best Things to do in Kelowna (2020 Guide)

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Whether it’s your first or fifth trip, you’ll absolutely love working your way through this list of the best things to do in Kelowna!

In the Okanagan Valley on the Eastern shore of Okanagan Lake is Kelowna. Surrounded by stunning provincial parks, wineries to rival those of any wine country in the World and a welcoming laid back vibe.

A 4-hour drive from Vancouver means it’s the perfect option for a weekend getaway, and there is so much to do here to keep you entertained on a longer trip too.

With an airport servicing several international routes the city is pretty easily accessible.

There is also the greyhound bus that operates daily between Kelowna and Vancouver if you don’t have your own vehicle. 

With a mild climate, Kelowna has amazing summers and pretty mild winters. You’ll find various things to do in Kelowna depending on the season you visit.

For winter getaways there are tons of snowshoeing trails, skating on frozen lakes and amazing ski resorts to enjoy.

In the spring and summer, there will be lake days, boat trips and you’ll be visiting in the prime season for the best wine tasting too. 

The city centre is full of life and beautiful views and the mountains aren’t all that far away either.

Neighbouring Peachland and Penticton are perfect for day trips. And a trip to Kelowna is not complete without an awesome day exploring the wineries.

Kelowna is also surrounded by several fantastic provincial parks to get in all your hiking needs. Plus there are a few resorts for skiing/snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking.

READ MORE: Plan your trip to Canada with our comprehensive Canada Travel Guide.

Amazing Things to do In Kelowna

No matter what it is you’re looking for, or what your budget is, you’ll find it all and then some on your trip to this beautiful part of British Columbia.

With a varied array of amazing activities and places to visit, here is a list of 20 amazing things to do in Kelowna to help you plan out the best trip yet!

1) Get out on the Okanagan Lake

Stretching over 135km from end to end Okanagan Lake is one of the best things to see in Kelowna. Known for the beaches, with over 30 in the area, these are all prime real estate in the summertime.

With a mix of sandy shores with green spaces nearby, fun parks and even bbq areas, there is a beach for everyone. Some top ones to check out include Strathcona Park, Hot Sands Beach, Rotary Beach and Sarson’s Beach.

If the weather isn’t ideal for sunning yourself, the views from the shore are well worth a visit too.

Known as a major recreation playground to locals and visitors this is also where you’ll find fun opportunities for sailing, house boating, powerboating and paddleboarding.

2) Spend a Day Wine Tasting

Renowned for its orchards, Kelowna has 40 different wineries throughout the city to visit.

One of the best things to do in Kelowna is to definitely spend a day exploring and enjoying all the wine you can, responsibly of course!

Sandhill Winery and Calona Vineyards can be reached on foot which makes for two easy stops in the day.

If you have your own vehicle and a designated driver you can easily do a self-drive tour of a few wineries including CedarCreek, Mission Hill Estate, Quails Gate and Mt.Boucherie.

If you want to make a complete day of it and not worry about choosing where to go or how to get around there are several companies that will do that for you too.

KelownaWineTasting
Wine Tasting in Kelowna

3) Make Plans for Myra Canyon

Less than 30km from downtown a trip out to Myra Canyon is one of the top Kelowna attractions to see.

Myra Canyon is part of the Kettle Valley Railway and one of the most scenic places in all of the Okanagan Valley.

The Trestles at Myra Canyon are 4100 ft above the valley so you know that the views will be incredible.

Lace up your hiking boots and spend a few hours exploring the woodlands of the park and the views from the trestle.

Or for something a bit more adventurous there are a few outfitters in Kelowna that organize mountain bike tours of the area and equip you with everything you need.

Along the Trestle section of the park, there are 18 trestles and 2 tunnels to explore, all more amazing than the next.

The entire Kettle Valley Railway trail extends over 80km which is awesome if you’re in Kelowna for a few days and want to take on that challenge.

4) Hike to Paul’s Tomb

If you’re looking for somewhere amazing to go, and in less than 10 minutes from the center of town, look no further than Paul’s Tomb.

A quick trip to get to the trailhead means you’ll have all the time in the world to explore this really pretty park of Kelowna.

Rembler Paul is an important figure in Kelowna’s history and was quite the eccentric pioneer. The tomb was placed here in the early 1900s and can be found once you get close to the end of the 2km hike.

Accessible in every season, although the trails can become quite slippery in the wetter winter months, this is the perfect thing to do in Kelowna if you are short on time.

Take in the views from the trails, and enjoy the beach that looks out to the mountains, a perfect spot for sunset too! 

READ MORE: Don’t miss my other guide to the best things to do in Vancouver!

5) Explore Waterfront Park

Located in the centre of town, Waterfront Park is such a gorgeous part of the city that is used by everyone.

On Water Street next to The Grand Hotel you’ll find this lush green space that is so much more.

The Boardwalk is the perfect place to stroll with a coffee on a Saturday morning, go for a much-needed run after your long travel day or just sit and watch the sunset.

Incredible views of the mountains are made even better with beautiful sailboats floating along, and the chance to see local wildlife like beavers, herons and the occasional eagle soaring above you.

Waterfront Park also hosts a variety of free events, concerts and performances throughout the year. To see what is on during your visit check out the events section of their website here.

Waterfront Park
Waterfront Park

6) Spend an Afternoon at Mission Creek

As one of the offshoots of the Okanagan Lake, Mission Creek is a great place to get out and into nature on your visit to Kelowna.

With over 100km of trails, parks and lush green spaces, Mission Creek is a recreational paradise not far from downtown.

One of the biggest draws to this area is the Greenway Trails. The Greenway consists of 26m of trails for runners, walkers and cyclists.

In the spring and summer, you’ll be shaded from the sun by the beautiful trees.

In the autumn months, all these trees will turn beautiful shades of gold and red.

Even in the winter, while it may be a little wet it’s still a great place to get out and explore.

There are informative plaques along the trails, maps and all trails are really well signposted to keep you going in the right direction.

Don’t worry if you do get a bit disoriented, it’s such a beautiful spot you won’t even notice.

7) Pedal to the Metal at SilverStar Resort

One of the best activities in Kelowna involves a drive out to the amazing SilverStar resort.

Known of course for the amazing skiing/snowboarding opportunities, SilverStar also offers some of the country’s most amazing bike trails.

As the second-largest bike park in all of Canada, SilverStar has trails for those just starting out, for those in-betweeners and for the professionals.

The bike park here was created by bikers, and for bikers with cross country, downhill and endurance bikers in mind.

With a rental shop, 44 trails, 40 different dirt jumps and 60km of downhill trails to be enjoyed there is something here for everyone.

And if your visit takes you in the dead of winter you’ll be in luck with some of BC’s best slopes too. For more information on activities by season click here.

8) Stop and Smell the Lavender

Who doesn’t dream of a beautifully vibrant flower field on a daily basis? Maybe not everyone, but if you do then one of the top Kelowna attractions on your list should be the Okanagan Lavender Farm.

Open from May until October this is a great little spot to come and not only admire the beautiful gardens but learn more about the lavender farm too.

The farm shop is full of incredible products all created using the lavender from the farm itself.

There are also workshops held throughout the season at the farm where you can learn to create your own products for cooking and aromatherapy.

Tours for the farm happen during the lavender season and it really is such a great way to get an up-close and personal experience with such an amazing plant.

If your visit brings you outside of the lavender season the farm shop is still open and the grounds still are pretty even without the pops of purple everywhere.

Kelowna Lavender Farm
Off-Season at the Kelowna Lavender Farm

9) Learn More About Kelowna

While Kelowna is by not a massive city it doesn’t lack in anything, even museums.

There are half a dozen different museums to visit in the city including The Okanagan Heritage Museum where you can find out more about the natural and human history of the area.

The Okanagan Wine & Orchard Museum gives visitors a real insight into the region in terms of produce and of course wineries.

The Okanagan Military Museum has an amazing array of memorabilia from both World Wars and gives visitors the opportunity to learn more about the brave people who fought.

Several other museums exist in the city and most of the museums are free/by donation which is another great reason to learn more about the city you’re visiting.

To find out more about the museums in Kelowna visit the website.

READ MORE: Check out other great day trips near Vancouver and Kelowna!

10) Go Golfing

Kelowna really does have it pretty good, not only do the 2000 or so hours of sunshine in a year make people happy but it also makes for one of the longest golf seasons in Canada.

Whether you think you’re better than Tiger Woods or just getting past the mini-putt stage of life Kelowna has tons of courses to best suit your golfing style.

With nearly 20 courses to choose from, here are a few favourites.

Black Mountain Golf Club is 18 holes of sheer scenic beauty with mountains and beautiful woodlands as the backdrop for your game.

Kelowna Spring Golf Club is a family-friendly course with 7 spring-fed lakes and a restaurant with an awesome Sunday brunch.

Shannon Lake Club offers panoramic views of the namesake lake the course is on with the best view from the 8th hole.

Whether you’re looking for a day out with the boys, a gorgeous setting for a great meal or just to try your hand at something new, Kelowna’s golf scene is one that can’t be beaten.

11) Take a Day Trip to Penticton

Just 30 minutes from Kelowna is the equally as picturesque Penticton. A smaller city, with an even more laid back vibe, this is the perfect place for a quick day trip or even just a few hours.

Rent a kayak or paddleboard for a day out on the water, or head to Skaha Lake for a day of lounging and swimming. Rock climbers will be in heaven at the Skaha Bluffs, one of the best spots for rock climbing in the Okanagan.

There are tons of wineries here too so wine tasting is always a good idea. A few good ones to check out our Poplar Grove, Bench 1775 and The Painted Rock Estate.

The Kettle Valley Railway extends as far as Penticton so you can even cycle from Kelowna out or vice versa which is a great adventure.

With quite a few farmer’s markets and gorgeous parks, there is no excuse not to get out and explore this part of the valley.

For more on what to do in Penticton click here.

Penticton
Penticton

12) Visit the Kelowna Art Gallery

The outdoor things to do in Kelowna may rival the indoor things but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t venture inside to explore.

There is a thriving art scene in Kelowna and it’s led by the Kelowna Art Gallery.

In the heart of the city’s cultural district, visitors have the opportunity to explore 4 different gallery spaces as well as enjoy the outdoor courtyard.

With a permanent collection of over 800 works of art from local and international artists, this gallery is full of creative pieces.

Offering art classes and different workshops throughout the year the staff at the art gallery will be able to let you know if any special events are taking place during your visit.

This is also a great place to get information on the dozens of other galleries in the city to do some window shopping or pick up a new piece to commemorate your trip to Kelowna

  • Location: 1315 Water Street, Kelowna V1Y 9R3
  • Time: Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm , Thursday 10am – 9pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 4pm
  • Cost: $5.00/adult & every Thursday the museum is free from 10 am – 9 pm

13) Wander Through Kasugai Park 

Kasugai Park is a hidden gem and definitely one of the most beautiful things to do in Kelowna. Located just east of the city hall you’ll find this peaceful park on Queensway Boulevard.

Completed and opened to the public in 1987 these gardens were created to celebrate the union between Kelowna and the sister city of Kasugai in Japan.

The paths here circle the beautiful pond in the middle of the park which is also home to gorgeous koi fish. You’ll find traditional Japanese elements here including bonsai trees and lanterns.

This is a great spot for photographers, especially during the golden hour, as there is a lovely bridge here and a few sculptures to admire.

14) Hit the Slopes at Big White

At just an hour’s drive, you’ll be in the heart of the mountains at Big White Ski Resort. The third-largest ski resort in British Columbia is a magical winter wonderland escape with over 2760 acres of skiable terrain.

Tackle the runs on Eastside, East Peak, Gem Lake the Nordic Trails, and the terrain park, runs for every level including beginners.

There is a rental shop and also a ski school on site so if it’s your first trip out you’ll be well taken care of.

If you’re the one in the group, not a fan of hitting the slopes, why not opt for a day at the luxurious Elevation Spa, an afternoon of shopping in the village or a meal at one of the amazing restaurants on the mountain.

There are also tons of trails and a brand new mountain bike park for those visiting during the summer months. For more visit the Big White website.

BigWhite
Big White

15) Get Wet & Wild at Wibit

One of the coolest things to do in Kelowna is the Wibit water park. One of only 6 other water parks of its kind, this is a seriously unique summertime experience for anyone.

Located at City Beach Park it’s the perfect spot for this fun afternoon out.

This giant floating playground has multiple slides, climbing walls and even water trampolines.

Channel your inner kid by taking on this floating obstacle course and seeing if you can make it the whole way around without a big wipeout!

Because of its prime location, you’ll have access to all the facilities and vendors at City Beach.

So if you need a breather/a nap in the park in between attempts on the splash pad it’s perfect! 

  • Location: 1600 Abbott Street, Kelowna V1Y 6N2
  • Time: Daily 10am – 8pm
  • Cost: $20.00 USD/all-day pass or $14.00/Evening pass 5:30pm – 8pm

READ MORE: Check out our guide to the best things to do in Banff on your next visit!

16) Cruise Out to Peachland

Less than 20 minutes away from Kelowna by car is the beautiful Peachland.

This charming small town is tucked on the shores of Okanagan Lake and is the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours.

With tons of great waterfront cafes and restaurants to enjoy a trip to Peachland can be done just for lunch or dinner if you fancy too.

Your trip here would not be complete without hiking Pincushion Mountain. It takes roughly 1 hour to the summit from the base and it boats the best views of the lake from up top too.

Rent bikes and cycle around town or book onto a motorcycle tour from Kelowna and see the sights in a fun new way.

Stroll the boardwalk or check out the Fitzpatrick Family Vineyard for a bit of wine tasting or a fabulous lunch.

Being so close to Kelowna there is no reason to miss out on this perfect little slice of heaven.

17) Tackle Knox Mountain

This is the largest natural park area in Kelowna and one definitely not to be missed. The park covers over 760 acres and located not far from downtown.

There are several trails to tackle here including one that connects to Paul’s Tomb.

For the best view head to the Apex Trailhead. But beware as most of the way up is at a pretty decent incline. But the views from the top will definitely be worth it.

At 300 meters above Okanagan Lake, you can be sure to see everything.

From Ellis street, you can access mostly all the trails at Knox mountain so you can either park in the area or walk/cycle from town.

This is a great place to catch the sunset as you seem to be able to see all of Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley from the top.

Off-leash dogs are permitted here and its a great place to do a bit of downhill biking too.

Knox Mountain
Views from Knox Mountain

18) Shop ‘til you Drop

If you’re a lover of all things shopping, Kelowna has got you covered. Stroll along Bernard street where you’ll find over 70 different stores and boutiques catering to anything you could imagine.

From souvenir shops to independent jewellery stores, if you’re in search of something specific chances are you’ll find it here.

For somewhere with a little slower pace, head to the Pandosy neighbourhood for unique local boutiques and vintage shops.

In addition to great shopping, Kelowna has a great selection of markets during the week. The Main Outdoor Market runs April – October every Wednesday and Sunday.

The Winter Market is held from November – March Saturdays from 9 am – 1 pm.

And Lane Way Market is on April – October Wednesday and Saturday.

From local crafts to fresh produce these markets have something for everything.

19) Head out for BBQ Boat Float

One of the most fun things to do in Kelowna come summer is to rent a boat from Maegs BBQ Boats.

This family-owned company organizes fun and unique boat tours in their equally unique boats. From April until September you can hire out these bright orange circular boats and even drive them yourself.

A boating license is not necessary for you to be the captain of your own ship. With a few little instructions, you’ll be good to go.

Make sure you pack your cooler because these boats also have a BBQ in the centre which makes for a one of a kind dining experience.

If you aren’t interested in steering your own ship you can opt for the lake tour instead which is totally scenic and such a good time.

READ MORE: Add these fun things to do in Calgary to your Canada itinerary!

20) Stroll Through City Park

Just down a few blocks from Waterfront Park is City park. Tons of gorgeous green park space on the shoreline of Lake Okanagan make this a great spot to enjoy.

Stroll along the boardwalk and around the marina with a coffee, set up a picnic on the grass in the afternoon or go for a swim at Hot Sands Beach.

Head down here at sunset with your camera and you’ll get some great photos of William R. Bennett Bridge that spans across the lake.

This is also where you’ll find the iconic Ogopogo statue, a legend in Okanagan history and similar to the Loch Ness Monster.

This park is also home to a great skate park and splash pad too. 

CityPark
Ogopogo

Kelowna Travel Guide

Now that you know what to do in Kelowna, we want to help you make your other plans as well by sharing the best accommodations and places to eat in the city.

You also might want to consider renting a car as this will be a great way to get around Kelowna and the surrounding area!

The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of cars for the best value on the market.

Best Accommodation – Where to stay in Kelowna

After a full-on day of Kelowna activities, you’ll want the perfect place to rest up, with a few fun bonuses too.

Rooftop pools, vineyard views and dorm rooms for making new friends. Check out these accommodation options for every budget.

Best Hostel in Kelowna – SameSun Kelowna

After a full-on day of Kelowna sightseeing, you’ll want a great place to lay your head and not break the bank. SameSun Kelowna is just that place!

A huge outdoor patio perfect for those spring and summer days, and a cozy lounge room for some post-ski beers, this hostel has it all.

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Kelowna – Manteo Kelowna

Located on the shores of Lake Okanagan the Manteo Kelowna Resort is the perfect place to relax and sock in the views.

A private beach, lakeside patio, waterpark and beautiful room categories to choose from, what more could you want from a hotel?

Best Luxury Hotel in Kelowna – The Royal Kelowna

The Royal Kelowna is an iconic hotel choice for those looking to live a life of luxury for a few nights.

A rooftop infinity pool, a bbq area and a prime location within minutes from City Park it’s the best choice for that special occasion visit.

Best Restaurants in Kelowna

When it comes to the top things to do in Kelowna, eating all the food should be high on your list.

From World Class restaurants with perfectly paired menus to lakeside patios with the perfect view, there’s somewhere for everyone on every budget.

Budget – MadMango Cafe

MadMango Cafe is an Asian fusion restaurant that is a must-visit in Kelowna especially if you’re visiting on a budget.

Coconut curries, traditional Pho, spring rolls and so much more! Enjoy the cozy restaurant or take it to go for lunch in the park.

Mid-Range – BNA Brewing Company

In the cultural district of Kelowna, BNA Brewing Company is a trendy taproom with a gorgeous patio perfect for summer days.

With tons of beers on tap and a great menu, this is a great place to come for a drink and stay for dinner. Plus they even have a bowling alley attached! 

Luxury – Raudz Regional Table

Raudz Regional Table is an amazing menu created by incredible chefs with locally sourced ingredients and a Pacific Northwest theme.

Served at a communal table the atmosphere here is unlike any other restaurant in the city making your night a once in a lifetime experience.

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

About the author

Laura Oxley

Laura Oxley of She Who Wanders is a Canadian content creator whose travel experiences have taken her to the volcanoes of Central America, the waterfalls of Hawaii, the castles of England, the beaches of Australia and Middle Earth to name a few. In addition to writing for She Who Wanders, her work can be found published on Contiki, Women Who Explore, Penguin & Pia and Buzzfeed.

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