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Okanagan Lake provides a beautiful setting for the city of Kelowna, one of the fastest growing cities on the continent. Located in southern British Columbia in western Canada, the Okanagan Valley climate is perfect for growing grapes, and more than a hundred vineyards are located in the region. The city boasts a metro population of about 180,000 and is served by Kelowna International Airport (YLW). City bus is operated by the Kelowna Regional Transit System.
Kelowna is home to the University of British Columbia Okanagan; if you plan to attend a Heat athletic event, choose a hotel near UBC Okanagan to be near the game and other campus activities. You might also enjoy a hotel near City Park which is a popular location for Okanagan Lake beach and water-related activities. The annual Center of Gravity festival is celebrated at City Park in August, with 3 stages of live music, beach volleyball, wakeboarding, skateboarding and freestyle mountain biking.
Year-round outdoor recreation reigns supreme in Kelowna. Two major ski destinations are Big White Ski Resort and Silver Star Mountain, and you can enjoy meticulous ski trails, outstanding terrain parks, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, ice skating and other active pursuits. Okanagan Lake Provincial Park is only 30 minutes from Kelowna; this park also offers scenic mountain views, and visitors flock here to spy local birds and other wildlife and to canoe, kayak, fish, boat, hike and bicycle. Try hiking, biking or horseback riding the Myra Canyon Trestle Trail in Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park for outstanding canyon vistas and to see wildlife. Yet another popular park, Fintry Provincial Park, has preserved a region boasting mountains, canyons, a lake with beaches, and even an amazing triple waterfall!
Another fun way to explore the beautiful Okanagan Valley is by touring some of its local vineyards. Mission Hill Winery is one of the favorites, offering tours with tastings and a much-loved Summer Concert Series. Tour Quails' Gate Winery and have a gourmet meal at its Old Vines Restaurant, which boasts lovely Lake Okanagan views. Each season the region celebrates an Okanagan Wine Festival, so grab a few friends and partake in tasting various vineyards’ favorite wines, delicious foods and special entertainment.
It’s clear that Kelowna is a wonderful destination for outdoor pursuits. But is there anything cultural here? Glad you asked! The Kelowna Art Gallery boasts a nice collection of contemporary Canadian Artwork. The city’s performing arts centre, the Rotary Centre for the Arts, offers a variety of productions and hands-on workshops and activities as well. An annual ArtWalk featuring hundreds of artists’ work and live musical entertainment is offered at Lake Country Community Complex each September. Great concerts and large events are held at Prospera Place, which is also the home of the WHL Kelowna Rockets. Prospera Place hosts a fun Canada Day celebration, offering an arts and crafts marketplace, food fair, kids’ zone, concerts and fireworks. Additionally, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and Kelowna Ballet perform at the Kelowna Community Theatre. The arts are alive and well in Kelowna!
Still looking for more reasons to visit Kelowna? How about a traditional Japanese garden, Kasugai Gardens, or the Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm, where you can explore a real working farm – especially fun during the summer’s Lavender Discovery Days festival. Golf is popular in this region, with The Harvest Golf Club being one of the most challenging courses around. Orchard Park Shopping Centre lets you shop til you drop, and it’s always fun to browse the Kelowna Farms’ and Crafters’ Market which is open year-round.
Kelowna is not only visually appealing, there’s more to do and see than you ever imagined. We have gathered together the details about all the best Kelowna attractions and events for you. All you have to do is make your reservations!