Okanagan lake


Coined Kelownafornia, we decided to make Kelowna our home base for many reasons, one of the biggest ones being the weather! Long hot summers and short mild winters make Kelowna the perfect beach town.. well, perfect in Canadian terms! Thanks to the massive Okanagan Lake the town is built around, there are so many great beaches in Kelowna to enjoy to beat the summer heat.

Kelowna easily doubles in population in the summer months when flocks of tourists come to enjoy the stunning weather. We’re talking 25-40℃ (77-100℉) sunshine between May and September. When you aren’t visiting the many wineries in Kelowna, you will want to cool off by jumping into the Okanagan Lake at one of the many beaches around town.

All of the beaches on this list are in Kelowna meaning they are west facing and perfect for watching sunsets. Beach weather (and patio season) here is typically from early May to the end of September.

If you’re planning your vacation for summer, visiting the Kelowna beaches is an absolute must! Below I’ve listed all the 6 best beaches in Kelowna. Each beach has its own vibe depending on whether you’re looking to paddleboard, take the kids to a waterpark, or chill out and soak up that beautiful Okanagan sunshine.

Looking for a good time? The City of Kelowna has launched a pilot project allowing alcohol consumption in designated areas of 3 Kelowna parks and beaches in summer 2023. Pack your cooler and enjoy a brewski in the sunshine between July 4 and October 6 from 12pm – 9pm. You will find these areas at Waterfront Park, located right beside Tugboat Beach, Boyce-Gyro Beach, and Kinsmen Beach located near Strathcona Beach.

6. Strathcona Beach

Address: 2290 Abbott St., Kelowna, BC, V1V 1E3

Amenities: large grass area, kids playground, public bathrooms

Perks: less busy, more locals than tourists, sandy beach

If you’re looking to lose the tourists and hang out with Kelowna locals, head to Strathcona Beach. Located behind Kelowna General Hospital (KGH), it feels like it’s miles away from the city while only being a short walk away. There is some paid street parking along with a small paid parking lot making it easy to unload your gear.

This beach is one of the best in Kelowna for watching the sunset. Grab a seat on the beach and watch the show as the sun sets over the hills across Lake Okanagan.

sunset, strathcona beach, kelowna beach

Strathcona Beach is a natural haven. The beach has a good amount of sand as well as a large grass area, both with large trees that offer a good amount of shade. There are many giant ancient trees, including some Willow trees that flow into the water making for a perfect place to sit and take in the sights or read a book.

This is a great beach in Kelowna to spend the day with the family at the park. You can set up on the grass or on the sand and know that your little ones will be safe. Here you will find a nice sized kid’s playground that has just been recently rebuilt from the ground up.

The park is accessible with a new concrete path leading out to the beach. You will find a large sandy section of the beach that flows into a rocky area for those who don’t like the sand. There is a small walking trail lined with stunning willow trees that connects to one of Kelowna’s most beautiful streets: Abbott Street.

new park located at strathcona beach

5. Bertram Beach

Address: 5680 Lakeshore Rd., Kelowna, BC, V1W 4J4

Amenities: nice pier, picnic area, walking trails, public bathrooms

Perks: escape the crowds, large grass area with picnic tables

Located in Kelowna’s south mission neighborhood you will find Bertram Park. A 14km (8.7 miles) drive south of downtown Kelowna, you should carve out a 25 minute drive each way to get to this beach. But, the drive is along the water and is sure to amaze you – just keep your eyes on the road! A well-kept secret oasis that typically only locals frequent, Bertram Creek Beach is the perfect place to escape the summertime crowds and enjoy the best of an Okanagan summer day. The water is clean and clear here, perfect for swimming or paddleboarding.

The beach itself is fairly small and rocky compared to other beaches in the city however, the amenities more than make up for it. Bertram Creek Regional Park has multiple walking and hiking trails for those looking to mix up their day with some light activity. You will find picnic tables and benches, perfect for picnic lunches or barbeque dinners. Kids will also enjoy the playground.

This is the perfect beach for bringing a BBQ and setting up for the day. There is a lot of free parking making this beach worth the trip. As this park is located quite out of the city it is not uncommon for wildlife to frequent the area. You may see many species of birds, deer, marmots, and garter snakes in the area.

There is a boat launch area to launch everything from a large boat or some kayaks. The waters around this area are excellent for paddleboarding, kayaking, and lounging on an air floaty. A large fishing dock will keep the entire family entertained. Public bathrooms remain fairly clean thanks to the lack of crowds. The city views from the beach are absolutely stunning.

We recommend staying an entire day here. Bring some snacks, set up your area, and relax knowing you have nowhere to be and nothing to do except enjoy your day.

4. Rotary Beach

rotary beach, kids playground at rotary beach

Address: 3736 Lakeshore Rd., Kelowna, BC, V1W 3T1

Amenities: kids playground, watersports rentals, public bathrooms

Perks: nearby restaurants, less busy family-friendly option

Rotary Beach is another great Kelowna beach, not far from Boyce-Gyro in Kelowna’s Mission neighborhood. This beach, while certainly popular, is often a less busy alternative to Gyro Beach. It’s about 4km from Downtown Kelowna making it easy to get to by renting an electric scooter or bike.

A large section of white sandy beach sets you up for a great day at the lake. As with most of the other beaches in Kelowna, the water remains fairly shallow for a good distance making it a perfect place to swim and play in the water.

Pro Tip: There are many “Rotary Beaches” in the area, so make sure you’re selecting the one in Kelowna or you may end up going for an unexpected long drive.

There is a good sized kids playground as well as a large grassy area offering a good amount of shade. Rotary Beach in Kelowna is typically quite clean and well maintained, even the public bathrooms are generally in good condition.

Rotary beach rental shop

You can rent watersports at the beach and it’s quite close to the Lakeshore boat launch and Manteo Marina.

This is a great beach to visit for families looking to explore walking trails. Nearby you will find the Mission Creek Greenway, a relatively flat trail that winds along Mission Creek. There is paid parking offered right at the beach but it does fill up fairly quickly so be sure to come early. In the summer there is also a food truck at the beach which is a great way to fuel up throughout your day.

food truck at rotary beach in kelowna, rotary beach kelowna

3. Boyce-Gyro Beach Park

Address: 3400 Lakeshore Rd., Kelowna, BC, V1W3S9

Amenities: kids playground with a zipline in water, volleyball courts, water sports rentals, public bathroom

Perks: great family-friendly beach, restaurants nearby, large size

Boyce-Gyro Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Kelowna for both locals and tourists. Its great location places it amongst many restaurants and grocery stores in a very residential area of Kelowna. Kelownas Gyro Beach is one of the larger public beaches in the city that is specifically popular amongst families. The water stays fairly shallow for quite a while allowing you to walk out quite far before losing your ability to touch.

I love this beach because there is a large grassy area offering a fair amount of shade for those more looking for a picnic with a view. The beach is also quite large making it an ideal place to set up camp for the day. Boyce Gyro Beach also has a watersports rental spot on site so you can rent paddleboards and kayaks for the day.

This is the best beach in Kelowna for families to visit. The large playground will keep the kids busy for hours. There is even a zipline that leads from the playground into the water. There are also volleyball courts on site, a concession stand, a public washroom, and a changing room. Oh yeah, did we mention it has a zipline into the water?!

zipline in Kelowna, Boyce-Gyro beach, Kelowna beach,

The only downfall with this beach is that parking is limited. While there is a large paid parking lot and plenty of street parking along Watt Road, the area still fills up. I recommend coming early to ensure you get a closeby parking spot.

2. Tugboat Beach

Address: 1088 Sunset Dr., Kelowna BC V1Y 9W1

Amenities: watersports rentals, public bathroom

Perks: downtown location, often lots of events happening

Not far from the downtown core, along the boardwalk towards Knox Mountain, you will find Tugboat Beach. This is another popular beach that often has different food trucks or live concerts happening. There are lots of trails around in every direction from this beach making it a great area to spend the day. Bathrooms and watersports rentals are also offered within a short walk.

This beach was named after the S.S. Sicamous paddlewheel which now sits in Penticton.

The main draw to Tugboat Beach is the amenities around it. With Rotary Marsh Park, a nature reserve bird sanctuary, to the one side and Waterfront Park and boardwalk to the other, there is lots to do. Tugboat Beach is also close to downtown Kelowna’s craft brewery district which makes for the perfect day. If you’re more adventurous there is also places to rent stand up paddleboards and kayaks.

waterfront boardwalk in kelowna, dogs on leashes

The only downfall with this beach is that there is not a lot of shade offered. The sand is also a little more coarse here than on other beaches in the area but still nice to lay in. There is also no kid’s playground on site making it more appealing for adults and those looking to tan.

One of the coolest things about Tugboat Beach is that it’s part of the Kelowna Cultural District Walking Tour. It features two art pieces – I Had a Dream and On the Beach. It’s also within walking distance of Rotary Marsh and the iconic Waterfront Park Sculpture: Rhapsody.

1. Hot Sands Beach

Address: 1600 Abbott St., Kelowna, BC, V1Y 1B7

Amenities: Tennis court, volleyball court, kids playground, waterpark, public bathroom

Perks: downtown location, lots of amenities nearby

Hot Sands Beach is the star of the show being centrally located right in downtown Kelowna’s City Park. Here you will find all the amenities you’d expect from a downtown beach including basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts, public bathrooms and a good mixture of sandy and grass areas.

If you’re looking for a kid friendly beach, this is one of the best beaches in Kelowna with water park of your dreams. Older kids will love the Wibit Splash Park, which is an inflatable obstacle course in the water. There is also a large playground complete with a zipline for kids to enjoy and lots of shaded grassy areas that are perfect for a beach picnic.

If you’re wanting to walk there’s a large boardwalk through the park that will connect you to downtown ice cream parlours, delicious restaurants and great shopping. With benches lined along your route, it’s the perfect spot to take in the beautiful waterfront views. There is also a dock facing the marina that is one of our favourite spots in Kelowna for jumping in the water.

Thanks to the downtown location, you will find your choice of ice cream parlors (Parlour Ice Cream is the best), restaurants, cafes, and corner stores nearby. If you’re looking for something fun to do at this beach, you can try a flyboarding experience. Whether you’ve gone before or this is your first time, flyboarding will give you the adrenaline rush as you soar out of the water.

downtown kelowna, rhapsody kelowna, kelowna art, sculpture in kelowna

Dogs are allowed to walk down the boardwalk but not on the beach. If you’re looking for a closeby dog beach, check out Lake Avenue Beach just through the city park tunnel.

Best Beach Tours in Kelowna

Pontoon boat cruise: What better way to enjoy a lake day than by packing a cooler and jumping on a private 22 ft pontoon boat? You will be driven to a secluded bay where you can jump off the boat and swim in the warm lake water.

This is the perfect private captained boat option for your group of up to 11 people. The cost is $960 CAD ($720.31 USD) for the 3 hour rental, so split between 11 people, the cost becomes incredibly affordable.

Full day private cruise on Okanagan Lake: If you love the sound of spending time on a pontoon boat on the water, but would rather spend the full day rather than a few hours, this is a great option. Costing $1,770 CAD ($1,328 USD) for up to 11 people, your crew can spend a solid 6 hours aboard a private boat cruising around Okanagan Lake. All you need to do is bring your music (there’s a Bluetooth speaker on board) and a cooler full of cold drinks.

Private sailing cruise on Okanagan Lake: Enjoy a couple of hours sailing on Okanagan Lake. You will have unbelievable views of the city as you cruise around onboard a stunning big sailboat. You will have a relaxing experience enjoying the calming serenity of life on the water. This sailing cruise is priced per person and varies based on how many people are in your group.

E bike and yoga on the beach: If you’re wanting to have a fitness inspired morning, this tour is ideal for you. You will start downtown and jump aboard an e-bike heading through the city towards Sarsons Beach where you will stop for a 1 hour beachside yoga session. This guided yoga session is sure to put you in the best mindset and get your blood pumping. Once you’re stretched and relaxed you will jump back on your e-bike taking a scenic route back downtown.

Final Thoughts

Kelowna is affectionately referred to as Canada’s Hawaii and for good reason! The two best things to do here are to visit the wineries and spend time at the beach! Every few blocks you will find small sandy lakefront beaches that are great for spending your day. While there is no shortage of options, there are certainly a few beaches in Kelowna that stand out as the best of the best.

Most of Kelowna’s beaches offer a gradual descent in the water meaning you can walk quite far out into the water while still being able to touch. Despite Okanagan Lake’s large size, the water warms up quite a lot during the summer turning into a warm bathwater style by August.

Ever visited Kelowna? Let us know what your favorite Kelowna beach is below!

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Kelowna is one of the most visited cities in British Columbia welcoming about 2 million visitors annually. Long hot summers full of lazy lake days transition into a buzzing Kelowna nightlife making one of the best vacation spots in BC.

Whether you are traveling to the Okanagan or a local looking for a spark of inspiration, you’ll be happy to hear we are going to dive into the top fun things to do in Kelowna. One of the biggest draws to Kelowna is the massive Okanagan Lake. Stretching an impressive 120km in length, Okanagan Lake is only one of the 50 lakes in the region.

Aerial views of downtown Kelowna. Kelowna city life is vibrant with tons of things to do in Kelowna it is a top travel destination in BC.

From doing wine tours through the many Kelowna vineyards to biking through tunnels and across trestled bridges in Myra Canyon to visiting the best beaches, there’s no shortage of things to do in Kelowna in summer. Kelowna is known to be a romantic getaway spot amongst couples looking to escape on a relaxing beach vacation in BC. It also is a hotspot for hosting weddings and bachelorette parties every summer.

Kelowna winters are some of the best in the province, second only to Whistler. BC. A shorter season brings cold weather perfect for a good dusting of snow. Popular ski hills like Big White, Silverstar and Apex mountain are all within driving distance.

Heading to Vancouver? Check out our top things to do in Vancouver.

In typical Okanagan fashion, grab a glass of wine and let’s dive into all the best things to do in Kelowna Canada.

Table of Contents

1. Be a part of the downtown Kelowna nightlife

Downtown Kelowna has a lively nightlife scene, comparable to the nightlife in Vancouver. After all, alcohol and good times is what Kelowna is all about. Head to Bernard Street you will find a hotspot of entertainment and is one of the best things to do in Kelowna.

The street closes to all car traffic in the summer months while restaurants bring their patios to the middle of the street. Tons of art installations pop up and the nightlife begins to buzz.

Cars may not be able to get around downtown, but electric scooters can!

Being a part of downtown Kelowna nightlife is one of the best things to do in Kelowna. The iconic sail statue downtown Kelowna.

Bernard Street is the main downtown hotspot hosting tons of restaurants, bars and clubs in Kelowna. During the day, you can visit the many boutique stores and local cafes that line the streets. The street runs down into City Park and Okanagan Lake. In this area you will often find live music and other events happening during summer months.

Downtown Kelowna is home to a lot of different restaurants. This 3 hour private downtown foodie tour is a great way to taste the best of Kelowna. Skip the large chain restaurants and head to some of the local delicious independent restaurants that are only found in Kelowna. The tour costs $120 CAD ($89.50 USD) and includes all food and drinks at the different restaurants.

There are a few nightclubs in the downtown core. The most popular amongst locals is Gotham Nightclub. The Liquid Zoo is an adult entertainment club and another popular spot in Kelowna. While not an official nightclub, Social 242 Lounge on Leon Street is one of the best places to go on a night out. As a bonus, Tuesdays are Ladies Nights where ladies can receive $20 off a $40 including alcohol. Cheers!

2. Spend the day at one of Kelowna's beaches

One of the biggest draws to Kelowna is the stunning Okanagan Lake that the city is built around. There are a ton of great beaches in Kelowna that you should visit while you’re visiting.

Hot Sands Beach is centrally located right downtown Kelowna in City Park. Its downtown location makes it the best beach Kelowna has to offer, especially if you don’t have a car. Here you will find all the amenities you’d expect from a downtown park including basketball, volleyball and tennis courts. Kids will love the Wibit Splash Park, an inflatable obstacle course in the water that you can do. There are public bathrooms on site at Hot Sands Beach.

Walking along Okanagan Lake beaches at sunset. Best beach in Kelowna. Beautiful lake getaway in Kelowna. Okanagan travel.

Not far from downtown Kelowna, along the boardwalk towards Knox Mountain, you will find Tugboat Beach. With its generous size and great location, this is one of the most popular beaches in Kelowna. In summer you will often find food trucks, special events, and live concerts here. There are lots of trails and Kelowna’s bird sanctuary beside as well. Bathrooms and watersports rentals are also offered on site. Tugboat Beach is close to Kelowna’s brewery district too. Let’s face it, beach days and beer are two of the best things to do in Kelowna… talk about the Okanagan lifestyle!

Heading south along Lakeshore Drive you will find many small beaches along the Okanagan Lake coastline that are often less crowded. The big beaches in this area are Boyce-Gyro Beach and Rotary Beach. You’ll wish you were a kid again with the large playground on site at Boyce-Gyro that even has a zipline into the lake. There are tons of delicious restaurants and ice cream parlors close by. Bathrooms and volleyball courts are located on site.

One of the best beaches in Kelowna is Boyce Gyro Beach. This family friendly beach in Kelowna has all the best summer lakeside fun. A kids playground and volleyball courts make this Kelowna beach one of the best.

If you’re looking for something fun to do at the beach, you have to try this Okanagan Flyboard Experience! Test your balance and core strength as you strap these fly boots to your feet and try flying out of the water. At Waterfront Park in downtown Kelowna, you can try this experience for $127.18 CAD ($94.85 USD). The guides will give you pointers, and a safety briefing, and make sure you have everything you need to fly like a superhero

Looking to get fit on the beach? Do some yoga in the park, this e-bike and outdoor yoga tour is a great option! You will warm up with a 30 minute e-bike tour from downtown along the lake before getting flexible with a 1 hour open air traditional yoga class at Sarsons Beach Park.

When you’re done doing yoga, you will get back on your bikes and head back downtown feeling refreshed and happy. The tour includes everything you need from the ebikes and helmets to the yoga mat and spiritual guidance for $99 CAD ($73.84 USD).

West Kelowna has some great beaches that are typically way less busy than east Kelowna beaches. One of the most popular beaches in West Kelowna is Sutherland Bay Park. Here you will find a large sandy coastline with lots of parking and a kids playground.

If you are looking for dog friendly beaches in Kelowna, you will be happy to hear that there are a few off-leash dog beaches in Kelowna. Close to downtown there is Lake Avenue Dog Beach that is a really popular place. There are almost always dogs at this beach meaning your pup will have a great time playing. The parking here can get tricky but luckily nearby Abbott Street is a stunning shaded street to walk your pup down.

Lake Okanagan stretches from Vernon to Penticton. Kelowna is right in the middle offering a stunning lake getaway in BC. Pauls tomb is a secret beach in Kelowna.

At the base of Knox Mountain there is a very small dog beach called Poplar Point Dog Beach. While it may be small, it is a great way to cool your dog off for a hike up Knox Mountain. Cedar Creek Dog Beach is a great beach to bring your dog to. While the shoreline is rocky, the beach itself is quite spread out meaning you will have more space for your dog to run and play. A great dog friendly beach in West Kelowna is Gellatly Dog Beach.

3. Go wine tasting at one of Kelowna's wineries

Kelowna’s main claim to fame is the many stunning vineyards in the area. With over 180 wineries in the Okanagan, you will have no shortage of options in the area. One of the best things to do in Kelowna is spend the day hopping from winery to winery. Wine tasting is a full experience with each winery having their own personality and unique appeal. With so many wineries in the area, it can be tough to decide which wineries in Kelowna are the best. The truth is, they’re all delicious. Seriously, Kelowna wine is amazing!

Some great wineries in Kelowna are:

  • Cedar Creek Winery
  • Summerhill Pyramid Winery
  • Vibrant Vines
  • Tantalus Vineyard
  • The View Winery
  • Sandhill Winery

If these sound good to you check out our Self-guided East Kelowna wineries tour

Kelowna vineyards are some of the best in the Okanagan. Delicious Kelowna wine is a staple in the region. Bachelorette parties in Kelowna love Kelowna wine tours.

Some great wineries in West Kelowna are:

  • Quails Gate Winery
  • Frind Estate Winery
  • Mission Hill Winery
  • Black Swift Winery
  • Crown & Thieves Winery

Check out our Self-guided West Kelowna wineries tour

If you’d rather someone else do the driving, booking a wine tour is a great way to visit the best wineries in Kelowna or West Kelowna. With this afternoon wine tour, you can choose between visiting either East or West Kelowna wineries. You will visit 4 different wineries on this tour that can accommodate groups of up to 6 people. The price varies based on how many people are in your group with 2 people costing $250 CAD ($186.46 USD) each and groups of 6 costing $179 CAD ($133.50 USD) each.

4. Go Craft Brewery Hopping downtown Kelowna

Over the last few years, Kelowna’s craft brewing scene has boomed with more than a dozen popping up around Kelowna. A large concentration of craft breweries in Kelowna have congregated into an industrial area near downtown. Creating a micro brewery district in Kelowna has allowed the perfect opportunity to go brewery hopping: one of the most “Kelowna” things to do in Kelowna. Why go to one brewery if you can hop around a few?

Some of the best breweries in Kelowna are:

  • Red Bird Brewing
  • Bad Tattoo Brewing
  • Jack Knife Brewing
  • BNA Brewing Tasting Room
  • Kelowna Beer Institute

Check out our self guided Kelowna brewery tour where you can download a map of Kelowna breweries right to your phone.

If you are looking to visit some of the best breweries but don’t want to worry about getting to and from the different stops, this Kelowna brewery tour will take all the hassle out of the experience. You will visit three of our favorite breweries including BNA Brewing, Tree Brewing, and Kettle River Brewing. The price of this tour is $110 CAD ($82.04 USD) and includes a flight of beer from each stop and transportation between them. You will meet downtown Kelowna and be toured through the breweries learning all about the beer making process and tasting some delicious local craft beer.

If your love for beer is equally matched by your love for food, this downtown Kelowna food and beer tour is a great option! You will start your experience much like you start your day, with a cup of coffee in hand. This walking tour will take you past some great local bread and cheese shops to sample the local product before heading to the breweries.

You will visit Kettle River Brewing for beer and lunch and then head to Rustic Reel Brewing and BNA brewing for more snacks and beer. This tour costs $145 CAD ($108.14 USD) and includes all food and drinks.

5. Spend a day at a Kelowna farm

Kelowna is the perfect mix of urban and rural living. Escape the busy downtown and head into the farmlands to visit some great local farms. Spending a day at one of the Kelowna farms can be one of the best family friendly things to do in Kelowna. Farms like the Kangaroo farm can make for a great day date in Kelowna. You are guaranteed to get some great photos for Instagram.

The Lavender & Herb Farm in Kelowna is one of the most picturesque places. Walk through the stunning purple lavender fields and breathe in the clean fresh scent of the flowers all around you. Kelowna Lavender Farm’s store sells all fresh from the farm skincare products, essential oils and tea blends.

Lavender farm in Kelowna is one of the best instagram spots in Kelowna. Walk through the lavender fields at this Kelowna farm.

Another great farm in the area is the Arion Therapeutic Farm. This peaceful sanctuary is tucked into the hill and the perfect way to interact with some loving animals. All the animals on this farm are rescues so you can feel happy to be a part of their happily ever after.

There is also the Kelowna Kangaroo Farm where you can get up close and personal with this Australian animal. This large farm has much more than just Kangaroos, you will find wallabies, goats, peacocks and even emu. This farm acts like a petting zoo and allows you to go right up to, and even feed, the animals.

6. Head to Big White Mountain for the day

Kelowna is home to one of BC’s top ski mountains, Big White ski resort. It takes about an hour to get from Big White to Kelowna making it a great day trip option. One of the best things to do in Kelowna is head up to the mountain for a day.

There are many restaurants and cafes in the ski village as well as a market where you can top up on groceries. While some people live in Big White full time, most seasonally rent their cabins on sites like AirBNB. This leaves a lot of great accommodation options on the mountain.

Big White is a very popular mountain for skiing and is one of the top things to do in Kelowna, especially in winter. Big White is a dog friendly mountain that allows your dog to walk through the village and on most hiking trails. They even allow dogs to ride chairlifts in summer months to get to peak hiking trails.

Big White thrives in the winter as skiers and snowboarders from across the country hit these slopes. The mountain’s location provides the ideal location for fresh powder and extended mountain seasons.

If you’re looking for private transportation from Kelowna to Big White, Cheers Okanagan Tours is a great company to organize it. Your driver will pick you up from Kelowna and transport you safely up to Big White in a vehicle big enough to accommodate all your luggage comfortably.

Summer in Big White has a ton to offer. Take a chairlift to the peak of the mountain to begin your hike or trek up there yourself. The most popular thing to do in Big White in summer is go mountain biking. Once the snow melts in the summer the ski runs turn into epic mountain biking trails. Bikers from all over the world come to bike these trails.

The village in Big White has a very lively buzz to it no matter what time of year you are here. Big White hosts events throughout the year as well such as fireworks shows and various races. One of the most popular races is The Spartan race at Big White. This obstacle course race has three skill level options: 10km Super with 25 obstacles, 21km Beast with 30 obstacles or 50km Ultra with 60 obstacles.

7. Walk Kelowna's downtown waterfront

Kelowna has a reputation for being a sunkissed city with laid-back beach vibes. The city was built around the Okanagan Lake leaving many great city walking trails. One of the best things to do in Kelowna is to walk around the downtown area to orient yourself with the city.

Downtown Kelowna waterfront. Okanagan lake at night. Downtown Kelowna at night.

Starting from downtown Kelowna’s Bernard Street, you can head north towards Knox mountain. Winding along the waters shore you will pass large parks and a marina. Kelowna waterfront restaurants are plentiful in this area with Cactus Club, Kelowna Yacht Club and King Taps offering lakeside dining.

Continuing down this path will take you on a waterfront boardwalk with paths that wind you through a beautiful park. This path lands you at Tugboat Beach, a very popular spot for locals. You will often find events happening in this area like Kelowna’s Island Time music festival that happens every summer. Following the path will take you through the stunning trails of a bird sanctuary.

If you want to combine your downtown walk with tasting some food from all the different corners of the city, this Kelowna walking food tour is the way to do it! Sample the best of Kelowna as you head to 7 different places to give you an in depth look at food in the city. This 3 hour walking food tour costs $83 CAD ($61.90 USD) and includes all tastings and drinks along the way as well as a guide who will teach you all about Kelowna as you go.

Another beautiful walking option for days you need a bit more shade is to head south from downtown. Walking south along the pathway through City Park, you will see the City Park Tunnel that goes underneath the highway. Turning inland will lead you up a pedestrian bridge to Lake Avenue off leash dog park. Following the road away from the beach will take you to the nearby Abbott Street. This is where you’ll find locals walking their dogs and biking with their kids up this gorgeous tree-lined street. There are a lot of secret Kelowna beaches along this route.

8. Take in the city views at Knox Mountain

Knox Mountain is a 580 acre park located just north of downtown Kelowna. There are a few beach spots and boat launches at the base of the mountain. The base of the mountain also has tennis courts, a large field that is ideal for picnics and a disc golf course.

Stunning downtown Kelowna views from on top of Knox Mountain Park. Some of the best hiking in Kelowna can be done at Knox Mountain.

This is a great area to bring your dog as there are 2 off leash dog areas. The first is a small gated beach area called Poplar Point Dog Beach at the base of the mountain. This is an ideal area to splash with your dog in the water to cool off on hot summer days. If you’d rather your pup have some more space to run, head a short way up the mountain to the Knox Mountain Off Leash Dog Park.

Knox Mountain is popular amongst mountain bikers who take to the many trails and jumps in the park. The peak of the mountain is accessible by road or hiking trail. The road to the top of the mountain is typically closed to vehicle traffic but in summer months vehicles can drive up to the first lookout and park in the scenic Thanisorn Parking lot where they will be met with lake and city views.

The paved road to the top of Knox Mountain invites road bikers to test their skills pedaling to the peak. Hikers will love the constant views provided in the trails leading to the top as well. There are many great trails that connect to different parts of the mountain including some that lead to the hike-in only Kathleen Lake.

Popular Knox Mountain hikes include hiking to the peak of the mountain on the Apex Trail and the Ogopogo Trail. Another popular Kelowna hike is the Paul’s Tomb trail. This will take you to the back of the mountain to a hike-in only beach area on Okanagan Lake.

9. Bike the Myra Canyon trestles along the Kettle Valley Railway

BC is home to the Kettle Valley Railway that was originally built by hand in the early 1900s. While the railway is no longer active, many parts of it still stand today. It has since become a popular hiking and biking trail throughout BC. The Kettle Valley Rail Trail stretches from Hope to Castlegar, an impressive 650km.

If you’re looking for romantic things to do in Kelowna, a bike ride over the trestle bridges is sure to deliver just that!

Snowshoe Myra Canyon trestle bridges and tunnels. Winter at Myra Canyon cover the Kettle Valley Railway in beautiful snow covered paradise.

The section of the railway that stretches through Kelowna is in an area known as Myra Canyon park. This beautiful section of the Kettle Valley Railway features 2 tunnels and 18 trestle bridges. Cycling Kettle Valley Railway is a bucket list item for many people. The Myra Canyon trestles trail is easily one of the best things to do in Kelowna.

The Myra Canyon Trestles are about 40 minutes away from downtown Kelowna but well worth the drive. Due to the railway here, the area is incredibly flat and considered more of a walk than a hike.

There are 18 bridges crossing Myra Canyon trestle bridges in Kelowna. The Kettle Valley Railway in BC has a cool area in Kelowna. Bike through tunnels and across bridges. Snowshoe Myra Canyon trestles in the winter.

In winter months, Myra Canyon receives a significant amount of snow. The road up to the trestles can get quite rough, a 4×4 is recommended during winter. If you do come to the Myra Canyon trestles in the winter, this is a great area to go snowshoeing or cross country skiing.

If you’d like to experience all the beauty of the Kettle Valley Railway with a group, this bike tour from Myra Canyon to Penticton is a great option! You will bike across all 19 trestle bridges and 3 railway tunnels on this full day bike tour. While the tour is certainly long, there is a flat or slight downhill grade throughout making it an easy journey. The tour costs $225 CAD ($167.81 USD) per person and requires a group of 4 or more. It includes round trip transportation from anywhere in Kelowna or West Kelowna and bike rentals.

10. Wander through the orchards at a Kelowna U-Pick

Kelowna’s warm interior location and extended growing season provides delicious fruits and veggies. The entire Okanagan area is full of farms, lots offering U-pick. Going to a Kelowna fruit farm is one of the best things to do in Kelowna. Not only is this a fun activity for the whole family, but it typically ends up being much cheaper than at the grocery store.

Bring a deeper understanding to the concept farm to table by going directly to the farm. This is a great educational experience for kids. It can also be one of the more romantic things to do in Kelowna. Bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic in the orchards.

Okanagan cherries are one of the most famous things to pick. Apples, berries and asparagus are just some of the things you can expect to pick on your farm adventure.

11. Visit Kelowna's Farmers Market

Kelownas Farmers Market is one of the best things to do in Kelowna this week. The summer outdoor famers market in Kelowna has lots of fresh Okanagan fruit and veggies as well as locally made crafts.

The Kelowna Farmers Market, being the biggest city in the area, draws in a big crowd of farmers from all around the Okanagan who sell their goods. In summer months it takes its outdoor location on the corner of Dilworth and Springfield across from Orchard Park Mall. Visiting the farmers market is one of the best things to do in Kelowna on Wednesdays or Saturday mornings. The Kelowna Farmers Market is open those two days between 8am and 1pm in April to October.

The Kelowna Farmers Market is open year round moving indoors into Parkinson Rec Centre. In the winter months, the market transitions from being dominantly fresh fruit and vegetables to handmade goods and dried products.

12. Enjoy watersports on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna is a water lover’s paradise. Lakeside living means lots of watersports and beach days. The Okanagan Lake temperatures are sure to impress you with their warm waters. The gradual coastline that allows you to walk out quite far.

Kayak downtown Kelownas waterfront on the Okanagan Lake. Summer in Kelowna is full of fun things to do in Kelowna.

Okanagan Lake is long and skinny stretching an impressive 135km from Vernon to Penticton. Legends have it there is an Okanagan Lake monster named the Ogopogo. This lake monster is similar to Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster. The Okanagan Lake Ogopogo can be seen downtown Kelowna in statue form right at the end of Bernard Street.

One of the best ways to experience Kelowna is by spending the day out on Okanagan Lake. This private pontoon boat cruise will take your crew of 2-11 people out to spend the afternoon on the lake. The tour includes a captain leaving your group to just focus on soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the day on the water. The cost is $960 CAD ($715.99 USD) which is split 11 ways and becomes super affordable! Be sure to pack snacks and drinks aboard and bring your favorite music for a great day on the water.

If you’d rather sail than pontoon, this private Okanagan Lake sailing cruise is a great choice! This cruise is perfect for up to 6 people and includes a captain who will drive you around. Either laze on board or take the wheel for a while as the skipper gives you some pointers on how to sail. The price for the cruise varies based on the number of people in your group with 2 people costing $160 CAD ($119.33 USD) per person and 6 people costing $130 CAD ($96.96 USD).

Camping Okanagan Lake is a great way to be able to spend even more time on the water. West Kelowna’s Bear Creek Campground is a great place to stay if you are looking to spend the most time on the water.

If you don’t have your own there are lots of places that you can rent watersports in Kelowna.

Tugboat beach, Boyce-Gyro Beach and Rotary Beach: Okanagan Beach Rentals offers: Paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, pedal boats and water trikes.

Downtown by Kelowna Yacht Club: Lakefront Sports Centre rents boats, jet skis, kayaks and paddleboards. There is also Wakebenders Boat Rental who offers speed boat rentals.

Downtown by Bernard Street: Hydrofly Kelowna who offers thrill seekers a chance to try Flyboarding. They also offer lake tours in their pontoon boat. There is also MSURF Okanagan who provides wake surfing lessons.

Gellatly Beach: Lake Surf Rentals offers boat, paddle boards and kayak rentals.

13. Go hiking in the Okanagan

Kelowna is an outdoor enthusiasts paradise. There are a ton of must do hiking trails in Kelowna, most result in stunning Okanagan Lake views. One of the most popular hikes in the city is to hike downtown’s Knox Mountain park. This is one of the best places to go hiking with dogs as there are multiple water sources for your pup. Spending the day in Knox Mountain is one of the best things to do in Kelowna. You can go hiking to the mountain’s peak, to the hike-in only Kathleen Lake, or to the most popular Paul’s Tomb area which has hike-in only Okanagan Lake beach access.

The Lochview Trail is another great trail in Kelowna that has a swing hanging from a tree at the top with lakeviews behind. This is one of the best spots to take photos in Kelowna. Another great network of trails can be found in the Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park. If you are looking for waterfalls, Crawford Falls is a short hike with the reward of a stunning waterfall at the end.

Hiking West Kelowna provides a ton of great hiking trails. For some of the best hiking in the area, head to Rose Valley. There are tons of trails in the area of various difficulties. This hike rewards with a secret hike-in only lake, Rose Valley Lake.

West Kelowna hiking is some of the best in the Okanagan. Hike Rose Valley in West Kelowna for some great views of Rose Valley Lake. A secret lake in Kelowna.

If you are willing to do a bit of a drive, there are a lot of great hikes in neighboring cities as well. Peachland is home to the beautiful Pincushion hike. While this hike is shorter, it is steep giving you a great workout and stunning views. In the other direction in Lake Country you can explore the trails at Spion Kop. If you are willing to make a bit of a drive, one of our favourite spots to go hiking in BC is the Enderby Cliffs.

14. Practice your swing at one of the Kelowna golf courses

Golf in Kelowna is an incredibly popular activity with some of the best golf courses in the world. This is one of the most popular things to do in Kelowna with people flying from all over the world to play a round. Golf courses in Kelowna are some of the best in the world with some at a championship level.

Visit Predator Ridge golf club in BC. Predator Ridge in Vernon is some of the worlds best golfing. Practice your golf swing at BCs best golf course.

Some of the best Kelowna golf courses include The Harvest Golf Club, Tower Ranch Golf Club and Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club. Mission Creek Golf Club is a great option for beginners learning to golf in Kelowna. For those looking to perfect their swing, there are some great Kelowna golf simulators in the city to check out.

Views of the entire okanagan valley. Kelowna is a beautiful city in BC. Kelowna golf courses overlooking the Okanagan Lake.

If you’d prefer to take it easier, try your hand at some Kelowna mini golf. There are a lot of options for mini golf in Kelowna, our favourite being found in Scandia where you can choose between their indoor and outdoor mini golf courses.

15. Take the family to Scandia

Scandia is on every kid’s (and big kids) of their favourite things to do in Kelowna. There is so much to do at this park, it is a must-visit for families visiting Kelowna. Scandia originally opened in 1981 making this amusement park more than 40 years old. Retaining much of its charm, this kids fun house is an arcade lovers’ paradise.

Scandia in Kelowna is one of the best family friendly things to do in Kelowna.

If you are looking to get more active, you can try a round of mini golf at either the jungle-themed indoor mini golf or the outdoor mini golf. Or you can practice your swing at any of the 9 outdoor batting cages for either softball or baseball. If that doesn’t pique your interest, head outside to the Scandia go-kart course.

16. Go off roading through Kelowna's backroads

There are tons of forest service roads (FSRs) surrounding Kelowna meaning you’re never too far from getting some mud on your tires. All you need is a good off roading vehicle and a forest service road BC map (or download off roading apps to your phone) and head out into the outback. This is one of the most adventurous things to do in Kelowna.

Kelowna backroads make for one of the best things to do in Kelowna. Off roading in Kelowna FSRs many great trails is a must do in Kelowna in summer.

Gillard Forest Service Road: leads to Chute Lake and can eventually take you down to Penticton.

Beaver Lake Road: This road breaks into a network of roads that take you to many different lakes such as Beaver Lake, Crooked Lake, Deer Lake and Island Lake to name a few.

Postill Lake Road: Taking you to Postil Lake where you will find Postill Lake Rec Site. Confident 4x4s can cross a river which will eventually take you down to Black Mountain.

Off road down Kelowna's backroads. 4x4 kelowna is one of the best things to do in Kelowna. Toyota 4 runner off roading in Kelowna.

West Kelowna is home to some great FSRs as well:

Jackpine Forest Service Road: This road will take you to a system of off roading trails that can take you hundreds of kms into backwoods. Some great sites along the way will be Jackpine Lake and Lambly Lake.

Bear Lake Main Road: This is a very well maintained dirt road that is accessible even without a 4×4 in summer months. This road has a lot of trails leading off of it. It also leads to some larger areas such as Merritt and Westwold.

17. Rent Maeg's BBQ Boats

These BBQ boats are a unique Kelowna experience you won’t want to miss. Maeg’s BBQ boats are a great way to spend a special day out on the water, especially for those traveling in larger groups. If you are looking for things to do in Kelowna for bachelor parties, these boats fit up to 10 people on them making them a great option.

You have two options with these BBQ boats. The most popular is to do a 2 hour rental where you will be given a run down on how to run the boat and then you’re off on the water with your party. You can bring your own drinks and BBQ supplies with you. Make sure not to forget your own music for the provided bluetooth speaker.

Maeg’s BBQ Boats do have a catering service available as well at an additional cost. A 2 hour rental costs $295 with the option of purchasing a third hour for an additional $85. If at full capacity, this makes it less than $30 a person (based on a 10 person max occupancy).

If you’d rather take a simply guided tour, you and up to 9 friends can pay $25 a person to have a guide take you around the water.

Perhaps one of the most relaxing things to do in Kelowna is checking into the lavish Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon. This luxurious spa is located 47km north of Kelowna in Predator Ridge. This spa is one of a kind being owned by an Austrian businessman who also owns Swarovski Crystals. The resort has over 3.5 million Swarovski crystals throughout and just breathes pure luxury.

Sparkling Hill in Vernon is BC's best spa retreat vacation. Swarovski crystals line this luxury spa in the Okanagan. Sparkling Hill was built for luxury and makes a romantic getaway or fun girls trip.

Located at the top of a hill, you can see this resort from quite far away. Half the rooms in the hotel have luxurious floor to ceiling lake or Predator Ridge Golf views. The bathtub is ideally located for pure romance right beside the windows. The other half showcases beautiful mountain views of the rolling hills around. Perfect for a romantic getaway, this place doesn’t miss a beat and is an excellent spot for anniversaries and honeymoons.

Make sure to pack a bottle (or 3) of delicious Kelowna wine to enjoy while you’re here.

While there is the stunning KurSpa on site for those looking for added pampering, there’s a ton to do in the resort without it! Sparkling Hill Resort offers a ton of free activities included with your night’s stay. There are 7 saunas and steam rooms to be explored in Sparkling Hill spa. While they’re all amazing, a favourite by far is the Crystal Steam Room which has a beautiful mint scent. The Rose Room is another great place to relax.

Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon is the best spa in bc. Luxury spa vacations in bc don't get better than this. Visit Sparkling Hill today for a meditative spiritual retreat in vernon.

There is also an Igloo room that has ice walls and a cool watered floor with a crisp peppermint scent. The idea is to go between hot and cold here to help you boost circulation and speed recovery times. Sparkling Hill also offers both indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs and hydrotherapy pools. If you are looking to relax, the on site meditation and tea rooms provide the perfect place to do that. Relax and unwind while enjoying this stunning Okanagan spa retreat.

If you’re looking to stay active you can find many Sparkling Hill Hiking trails in the area. They will show you a different perspective of the area.

Planning a bachelorette party in Kelowna? We’ve got the perfect self-guided Kelowna winery tour!

You can even download the winery route straight to your phone!

19. Visit Kalamalka Beach in Vernon BC

Kalamalka Lake is one of the nicest lakes in the Okanagan region. Vernon is home to the stunning (but admittedly quite busy) Kalamalka beach. This beach is definitely worth visiting as it sits close to the city but feels like a mile away. With a convenience store and a nice pub, Alexander’s Pub, right near the beach, you can really spend all day here.

Renting a boat or paddle board is a great idea in this area. The lake is stunning with beautiful turquoise waters that will have you feeling like you’re on a tropical beach.

Juniper Bay beach is a great beach that is more frequented by locals than tourists. This gorgeous beach also links to some great hiking trails through the Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park. Hiking up the route to Rattlesnake Point will give you some cool private water access points you can scale down to. There is also some great cliff jumping in this area.

20. Take a day trip to Penticton

The drive from Kelowna to Penticton is absolutely stunning. It runs along the highway and winds along the edge of Okanagan Lake. The 62km drive south will typically take about an hour and takes you through the smaller towns of Peachland and Summerland. A day trip to Penticton is one of the best things to do in Kelowna as it offers up much of the same laid-back Okanagan vibes while being a lot less busy.

Penticton's Okanagan Lake has a stunning beach in Penticton. Penticton is BC's best small town.

What to do in Penticton?

There are so many things to do in Penticton. One of the most famous summertime activities is the Penticton lazy river. This is where you can float down the Penticton Channel on a huge inflatable flamingo. Winding you along Highway 97 and into the middle of the city, the Penticton river float takes about 2.5 – 3 hours.

Wine lovers should be sure to head to the Naramata area where you will find some of the best vineyards in the area. While this region is small, an impressive 40 vineyards can be found in the area. Our favorites here are MOCOJO Winery, Deep Roots Winery and Elephant Island Winery.

Looking to enjoy a wine tour through the Naramata bench. This tour visits 5 of the best wineries in the region and includes all tasting fees, lunch, and round trip transportation from Penticton. The cost varies based on how many people are in your group with 2 people costing $269 CAD ($200.63 USD) each and 4 people costing $199 CAD ($148.42 USD) each.

The city itself is booming with a vibrant craft brewery district that is worth checking out. If you’re more interested in beer than wine, this Penticton bicycle and brewery tour is a must! You will bike along the treasured Kettle Valley Railway to take in some of the beautiful views in the area before hitting up some of the best breweries and distilleries in the city. This half day tour includes your shuttle to the trailhead, bike rentals, a light picnic lunch, and a stop at local breweries and distilleries (tasting fees extra) for $235 CAD ($175.27 USD).

An outdoor paradise, Penticton is especially popular amongst rock climbers, hikers, and bicyclers. If you are wanting to try your hand at some great outdoor rock climbing, this 5 hour intro to rock climbing tour at Skaha Bluffs is a great option! Rock climbing is something we’ve wanted to get better at for years and this is a great tour to get out in the mountains and test your skills. All climbing gear is included in the $129 CAD ($96.21 USD) per person price tag. The guides are great at going slow and taking the time to make you feel confident.

Penticton BC is surrounded by lakes with the northern half sharing the Okanagan Lake you had in Kelowna. While it is the same lake, the water is very warm in this area making it a great place to swim even in late fall.

To the cities south there is Skaha Lake which typically draws in a younger crowd with so much to do at the beach. The city of Penticton puts out fire rings on the beaches in the summertime which means you can have a summer bonfire right on the beach.

21. Take a day trip to Enderby

Heading about 86km north from Kelowna will take you to the small town of Enderby BC. While you may wonder what a town with a population of only about 3,000 people could have to offer, the answer is A LOT! A day trip to Enderby should be on everyone’s Okanagan summer lists and is one of my favourite things to do in Kelowna.

Map of Enderby river float. Ashton Creek river map for BC's best river float. Enderby river float is one of the best things to do in the Okanagan.

The drive to Enderby should take just under an hour and a half when leaving from Kelowna. The drive to get there will take you past both Wood Lake and the beautiful Kalamalka Lake to get to the city of Vernon. Once through the city you will be transported into farm lands as you head north to Enderby.

On your way into Enderby you will pass a cute farm that will undoubtedly catch your eye: The Log Barn. This place offers something for everyone and if you haven’t checked it out before, I highly recommend a stop! An outdoor petting zoo, goats climbing bridges, massive dinosaurs and delicious pies can all be found in this one-of-a-kind place.

Once in Enderby, you have so many options of what to fill your day with. One of the most popular attractions to this town is the Enderby river float. You can choose your entry point to this float based on how long you want to spend on the river.

Enderby is also home to some natural waterslides you can go down built right into the waterfall. If you are looking to get rid of some energy, check out the Enderby Cliffs. This almost 13km out and back hike is well shaded and delivers some one of a kind views of the Okanagan.

Hiking the Enderby Cliffs. Stunning farm and valley views at the Enderby Cliffs trail. Hiking the Enderby cliffs is a steep advanced hike in the Okanagan

Make sure you stay out in this small town until nightfall and head to the Starlight Drive In Enderby. With nightly double showings in the summertime, they typically have a kids movie on first with a more adult movie as the second showing.

Where to stay in Kelowna

Hotel Zed – If you’re looking for a fun and quirky hotel right in downtown Kelowna, Hotel Zed is the best option. The affordable price tag and an excellent location make this one of the best options for a hotel in downtown Kelowna. Located right across the street from City Park, this colorful hotel is close to the best restaurants, shopping, and nightlife in Kelowna.

Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort – Another great location in downtown Kelowna, the Delta Hotel enjoys a beautiful waterfront location close to Tugboat beach in Kelowna. This 5-star hotel is great for those looking for luxury with an unbeatable location. Stunning views of Kelowna’s beaches, beautiful walking trails, and tons of amenities nearby make this one of the best hotels in the city. There are 2 swimming pools in this hotel and our favorite part – it’s pet friendly!

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Kelowna – If you’re traveling to Kelowna with kids, or just a kid at heart, the Fairfield Inn is a great option. The large outdoor pool and waterslide is a favorite amongst kids. A short drive from downtown Kelowna and within 10 minutes of the Kelowna Airport, this hotel is located close by Orchard Park Mall. With breakfast included, this pet friendly hotel is one of our favorites.

Hotel Eldorado at Eldorado Resort – This beautiful boutique-style resort is located in southern Kelowna in an area called The Mission. This resort has a beautiful lake-side location close to many popular beaches including Rotary Beach. This hotel has a beautiful swimming pool and a restaurant on-site for convenience.

Thanks for stopping by!

We love Kelowna so much, we chose to make this city our home base. Whether you’re visiting Kelowna in summer or winter, this city has a whole lot to offer. If you love adventure activities, Kelowna BC is one of the best cities in the country! We hope this helps you plan your perfect Okanagan getaway. Cheers!

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This things to do in Kelowna travel guide
All the top things to do in Kelowna. Jump in the Okanagan Lake, visit the many wineries in Kelowna and go to Kelowna's brewery district. Hike Knox Mountain and more in this things to do in Kelowna travel guide.