When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
Renowned for its vineyards and fruit orchards, the Okanagan Valley is a haven of peace and one of the warmest and sunniest regions in all of Canada.
The Okanagan Valley stretches for some 200 kilometres and is home to the arid vineyard-covered hills overlooking Okanagan Lake. With its more than 200 vineyards, the Okanagan is a must-see destination for wine-lovers! The region's primary city is Kelowna, but there are also many other interesting places to visit: Osoyoos, with the warmest temperatures in Canada; Penticton, which means "a place to stay forever"; Oliver; Peachland; Keremeos... The Okanagan Valley has so much to offer visitors: swimming, water activities on the lake, fine dining, winery tours, hiking, and much more!
Close to the Kelowna Marina you will find Waterfront Park, a round green space in the heart of the city offering a lovely, peaceful outdoor environment. Concerts and performances of all kinds are frequently held on the small outdoor stage.
Take a long walk along the circular boardwalk along the water's edge or enjoy a picnic lunch while admiring the magnificent scenery of Okanagan Lake and the opposite shore.
Swimming in Okanagan Lake
Hot Sands Beach, not far from Waterfront Park in downtown Kelowna, offers a long sandy beach, grassy fields, playground, waterpark, washroom and change room facilities and on-site rentals. With its white sand, clear water and hot sun, you will feel like you are in the Caribbean. It's a great place for a swim and fun for the whole family!
The Okanagan Valley is home to more than 200 wineries, and has more wineries per square kilometer than anywhere else in Canada! Mission Hill Family Estate (1730 Mission Hill Road, West Kelowna), Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards (7857 Tucelnuit Drive, Oliver) and Quail's Gate Winery (3303 Boucherie Road, West Kelowna) are three of the region's renowned wineries located close to Kelowna.
Each estate offers different tour options for visitors. These may include a guided tour of the vineyard to learn about the grape varieties and the winery's history, a guided tour of the production area and the wine cellar, and a wine tasting with snacks.
Knox Mountain Park
Situated just north of Kelowna, Knox Mountain Park is the largest natural outdoor area in the city. The park offers many well-maintained trails and is a wonderful place for hiking and mountain biking. With its mild climate, the park is home to a variety of wildlife.
If you pay attention, you may even see a lynx or a rattlesnake! The summit offers a stunning view of Okanagan Lake. If you are lucky enough to be there at the end of the day, you will enjoy a magnificent sunset over the lake.
Open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
Little Hobo Soup & Sandwich ($)
This small soup and sandwich shop has been ranked as the top place to eat in the entire province of British Columbia by Tripadvisor users! Its tasty home-style cooking make it the perfect lunch spot: what could be better than a bowl of homemade soup and a sandwich?
Open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Raudz Regional Table ($$$)
Raudz Regional Table offers a warm wood and red brick décor and inventive market cuisine with a Mediterranean touch. The menu focuses almost exclusively on local ingredients from the fertile fields of the Okanagan Valley!
Open Tuesday-Saturday from 5:30 p.m.
OAK + CRU ($$-$$$)
This restaurant boasts a lakeside location in the heart of downtown Kelowna. OAK makes reference to the abundance of oak used throughout the restaurant's décor and in the wine aging process, while CRU is a French wine term meaning vintage and alluding to growth and the bounty of the Okanagan valley. In addition to a delicious meal with a beautiful view, you can also enjoy craft cocktails, good beers and excellent local wines.
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Old Vines Restaurant - Quail’s Gate Winery ($$$)
Old Vines Restaurant & Wine Bar has an exceptional vineyard-side location on the slopes of the Boucherie Mountain, a short drive across the river from downtown Kelowna. The menu features locally-sourced ingredients paired perfectly with Quail's Gate Estate's own wines. If you are lucky enough to be seated on the patio in summer, you will witness one of the most sublime sunsets in the region. Reservations are recommended for this very popular restaurant!
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
*** Hours may vary ***
FRUIT, VEGETABLES AND OTHER MARKET PRODUCE
There are many farms in the Okanagan where you can stop to pick, sample or drink of nature's bounty, and the roadsides abound with farm stands to fill your picnic basket and get your daily dose of fresh vitamins!
Where to sleep ?
Okanagan Wine Festivals
Dates: summer, fall, winter and spring 2022
Home to more than 120 wineries, the Okanagan Valley is the oldest and largest wine region in British Columbia. The Okanagan hosts four wine festivals, one each season of every year: there's always something to celebrate in wine country!
- Very Favourable