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Are you looking for an adventure in Vancouver? Do you want to experience the beauty and diversity of the Canadian wilderness? If so, you should definitely visit Grouse Mountain, the peak of Vancouver.

Vancouver is one of the best cities in BC, thanks in part to the beauty of Grouse Mountain. Grouse Mountain is more than just a mountain. It’s a year-round destination that offers something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to wildlife lovers to foodies.

Grouse Mountain is a very family friendly destination. Kids will love everything from the lumberjack show and the grizzly bear sanctuary in the summer to skiing and snowboarding, tubing, and skating in the winter.

Visiting Grouse Mountain is one of the best ways to spend your day in Vancovuer. We’d recommend planning to spend your full day here, or at least 4-6 hours at the top exploring. If you want to do activities like skiing or ziplining, you can easily spend even longer!

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about visiting Grouse Mountain, including how to get there, what to do there, and where to eat there. Whether you are a local or a tourist, you will find Grouse Mountain to be an unforgettable place that will make you fall in love with Vancouver.

Quick facts about Grouse Mountain

Whether you’re visiting Vancouver, or have lived here for years spending the day at Grouse Mountain is one of the best things to do in Vancouver. It doesn’t matter what season you are here, Grouse Mountain offers something for everyone. This family friendly destination is one of the best mountains in Vancouver.

Where is Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain Address: 6400 Nancy Green Way, North Vancouver, V7R 4K9

Grouse Mountain is in North Vancouver, about 15 km from downtown Vancouver. It’s part of the North Shore Mountains, which are a subrange of the Coast Mountains that run along the western edge of British Columbia.

Grouse Mountain hours

The Grouse Mountain Skyride operates between 9 am to 9 pm daily. Grouse is open year round and is worth visiting any time of year. The attractions at the top have different hours so it’s important to plan your day accordingly. We recommend going in the morning or early afternoon to make sure that you have time to do all the fun activities at Grouse Mountain.

Best time to visit Grouse Mountain

Winter at Grouse is a completely different experience than the summer.

The best time to visit Grouse Mountain depends on what kind of activities and experiences you are looking for. Grouse Mountain is a destination that offers something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to wildlife lovers to foodies. Here are some general guidelines for choosing the best time to visit Grouse Mountain:

  • If you want to enjoy winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or ice skating, you should visit Grouse Mountain between December and March, when the mountain is covered with snow and offers a variety of trails and slopes for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. You can also experience the Peak of Christmas celebration, which features festive lights, Santa’s workshop, reindeer, and sleigh rides.
  • Summertime at Grouse Mountain features hiking up the Grouse Grind trail, you should visit Grouse Mountain between May and October, when the trail is open and safe for hikers. You can also enjoy other summer activities such as ziplining, paragliding, mountain biking, or exploring the wildlife refuge.

Want to see the stunning views of Vancouver and the surrounding regions? The Skyride gondola or the Eye of the Wind viewing pod is the place to do it.

How high is Grouse Mountain?

Grouse Mountain height is 1,231 m (4038 ft) high and has a vertical drop of 365 m (1198 ft). It’s one of the highest peaks in the North Shore Mountains, which are part of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains. Grouse Mountain is also known as the peak of Vancouver because it offers spectacular views of the city and the surrounding region.

Grouse Mountain tickets

We recommend booking your Grouse Mountain tickets before you go to make your day easier. Your ticket costs $80 CAD ($60 USD) for adults with children and seniors getting discounted rates.

Tickets include roundtrip access to the Grouse Mountain Skyride (Grouse Gondola) as well as many different activities at the top including the Peak Chairlift (summer), wildlife refuge, lumberjack show, and more.

If you are a local to Vancouver, you can enjoy discounted prices.

Grouse Mountain weather

The weather on Grouse Mountain varies drastically during the winter and summer. Summer on Grouse is from June to August with an average temperature around 16 C – it can still get chilly at night so bring a jacket, or at least a sweater.

Grouse Mountain in the winter is another story. The average temperature is around -2 C at the base but can be 20 degrees cooler at the peak. If it’s windy and nightime you could be looking at close to -30 degrees with windchill.

Grouse Mountain and other popular BC mountains like Big White Whistler and more

The cool thing about this ski mountain is that it has live webcams that allow you to see the weather in real time. The weather Grouse Mountain has on a daily basis changes within minutes. It can go from sunny and beautiful to foggy and raining in a matter of minutes. The chalet Grouse Mountain webcam gives you a look at what’s happening on the mountain before you leave.

You can even see what’s happening in the bear habitat on the Grouse mtn webcam!

Gear Rentals

If you don’t have your own ski or snowboard and want to try out the sport you can rent the gear at Grouse Mountain. We recommend getting there early in the day because they could sell out throughout the day. If they do, you’ll have to wait until someone returns their rental. You can rent everything from skis, to snowboards, ice skates, and more.

Storage

Whether you are looking to go hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter, you need a place to store all your stuff. Luckily, there is a bag check at Alpine Guest Services in the Peak Chalet. There are also lockers on site for $2. There are limited available and they are rented on a first come first serve basis so be sure to pack light and get there early.

If you are biking to Grouse Mountain, you can lock up your bicycle at the bike racks located at the base of the mountain by the gondola.

How to get to Grouse Mountain

One of the best things about Grouse Mountain is its location. It’s so popular because it’s so close to Vancouver.

Driving

Grouse isn’t like the other Vancouver ski hills – it doesn’t have a windy, sketchy road to get to the slopes. Instead, Grouse Mountain parking is at the bottom of the gondola which saves you having to brave the treacherous part of the drive.

Downtown Vancouver to Grouse Mountain it’s a 12 km drive that usually takes around 25 minutes.

Taking a shuttle or bus

One of the easiest ways to get to Grouse is by taking a shuttle. This saves you the hassle of driving across the bridge and to the North Shore. Taking the free Grouse Mountain shuttle in the summer is the best way to get to the mountain. The shuttle runs between Canada Place and Grouse Mountain and has multiple departure times between 9 am and 6 pm. This shuttle cannot be booked ahead of time and runs on a first come first serve basis.

You can also take public transit to the mountain. You will start by taking the Vancouver SeaBus from Waterfront Station to North Vancouver and then take Bus #236 to Grouse Mountain.

Taking a taxi

You can book a taxi or uber from anywhere in Vancouver to get you to the the Grouse Mountain gondola. This is definitely your most expensive travel option but a good way to get direct access to the mountain.

Booking a tour

If you are visiting Vancouver, taking a tour to see the area is a great way to visit Grouse Mountian.

    1. Enjoy the best of North Vancouver with this Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge combo tour. Entrance fees to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Grouse Mountain Skyride as well as round trip transportation from your Vancouver hotel are included in this $224 CAD ($168 USD) price tag.
    2. If all this sounds good to you but you want a private tour with just your group, you can book that as well.
    3. If you’re visiting Vancouver on a cruise ship, this cruise day tour will pick you up from the cruise ship harbour and take you to all the Vancouver highlight points including a stop at Grouse Mountain.

Getting to the top of Grouse Mountain

From hiking to gondola rides, there are many different routes you can take to get to the top of Grouse Mountain.

grouse gondola skyride in north vancouver

Grouse Mountain Gondola (Skyride)

The Grouse Gondola, called the Skyride, brings you from the parking lot to the top of the mountain and is an adventure in itself. With windows on all sides, you can enjoy 360 degree views of the ocean, forest, and downtown Vancouver. If you’re visiting in the summer you can try the Skyride Surf Adventure where you ride on the roof of the Skyride with the wind in your face enjoying the unobstructed views.

The Skyride runs every 15 minutes.

Hiking up the mountain

The Grouse Grind is the most famous trail on the mountain. It’s accurately coined Mother Nature’s Stairmaster and takes you to the top of Grouse Mountain – you will want to prepare for a climb!

This is a one way hike as you also can’t climb down the mountain. You will need to buy a download ticket which is a one way ticket down the gondola for $20. Climbing the Grouse Grind Vancouver is one of the best hikes in the city if you want a good workout with hugely rewarding views.

Some common questions about the Grouse Grind:

  • How long is the Grouse Grind? This steep hike is 2.5km (1.5 miles) in length. The Grouse Grind elevation gain is steep at just over 800 meters (2,624 feet). Don’t be fooled by the short distance, this climb is straight up and considered a difficult climb. In fact, there are 2,830 stairs to climb on this hike.
  • When does the Grouse Grind open? That depends on the city of Vancouver. Be sure to check before you go to make sure the trail is open for your hike. This area receives a fair amount of snowfall in the winter months so it’s safest to bet on this being a spring to fall workout.
  • How long does Grouse Grind take? That depends on your fitness level. We’d say to bank on the hike taking between 2-2.5 hours.
  • How hard is the Grouse Grind? Well, it ain’t easy! If you’re new to hiking, we wouldn’t recommend it. The hike is considered difficult and requires a good amount of cardio endurance and strength training to complete. There aren’t mid way facilities so it’s important you dress appropriately (good hiking shoes) and pack water and energy bars.

There is a lesser known trail that runs parallel to the Grouse Grind called the BCMC trail. It is worth noting that there are 160 markers on this trail. While these aren’t evenly spaced and don’t showcase any new achievement, they can give you some orientation to how far you are into your hike.

Things to do on Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is a 4 season destination offering fun things to do year round – there is never a bad time to visit. But depends on what kinds of activities you are looking to do. If you want to go skiing or snowshoeing or enjoy some Christmas festivities, visiting Grouse Mountian in winter is your best bet. If you want to do some great hikes, zipline through the mountain and enjoy an ice cold beer on a patio, summer in Gouse is ideal.

There are many activities that are included in your Grouse Mountain admission ticket.

What to do on Grouse Mountain in the summer

1. Visit the wildlife refuge

We LOVE supporting ethical wildlife refuge centers that work to provide a safe haven for rescued animals. Grouse Mountain is a native area for bears to explore and is home to 2 rescued grizzly bears: Grinder and Coola. There are bear viewing areas where you can bring the family to see how the bears interact. Their enclosure is large with lots of room to roam the forest and ponds inside.

You can watch the Grinder and Coola from anywhere by viewing the Grouse Mountain webcams.

Access, including ranger talks that happen multiple times a day, is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

*As eco tourists, we don’t support typical tourist spots like the Vancouver Aquarium or the Vancouver Zoo.*

2. Play at the Tree Canopy Adventure

One of our favourite things to do at Grouse Mountain with kids is this Tree Canopy Adventure Park. Climb through the treetops as you make your way through this forest obstacle course. Kids will run through nets, and wavy bridges, slide down curly slides. The park is open to all ages but mostly geared towards kids 3-8 years old.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

3. Watch the lumberjack show

A great family friendly activity, take in the show on the top of the mountain as lumberjacks battle it out in an attempt to be the top lumberjack. You will watch log rolling, a tree climb, axe throwing, and more. There are multiple show times throughout the day so you can plan accordingly.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

4. Play in the treetops at the Mountain Ropes Adventure Course

Kids and adults can test their fears at this treetop obstacle course. While Myles is too scared of heights, Samara did her first treetop obstacle course in Revelstoke and loved the thrill of adventure in the treetops. This course is suitable for ages 8 and older and will have you walking on wooden planks suspended up in the air.

You can buy your tickets online for $48 CAD ($ USD) or on the mountain for $53 CAD ($ USD).

5. Take in the views from the Eye of the Wind

As part of Vancouver’s initiatives to be a green city, the Grouse Mountain windmill helps generate the mountain’s power. At the top of the windmill, you will find an observation area that has 360 degree views of Vancouver and is an epic viewpoint. It is the world’s first and only turbine that allows you to climb in and enjoy the views.

Note: The Eye of the Wind is temporarily closed, be sure to check this website before you go if you want to take part in this activity.

6. Go ziplining

If you’re looking for the best views at Grouse Mountain, you have to try ziplining! This thrilling adventure lasts about 2 hours and will have you flying at speeds of up to 70km/hr on 5 different ziplines. We love that they have a dual line system so you can fly with a friend the whole time.

You are required to be within the weight restrictions of 70-250 pounds and be wearing close toed shoes. Tickets are $119 CAD ($88 USD) in person or $114 CAD ($84 USD) if bought ahead of time online.

Going for a hike in BC forest.

7. Go hiking

If you don’t want to hike up the mountain but are looking to get some exercise, you’ll be happy to know there are TONS of hiking trails at the top of Grouse Mountain. Hiking at the top is ideal as you will get a chance to actually enjoy backcountry trails rather than just climbing a bunch of stairs in the forest. The trails are well marked and there are a lot of different areas to choose from.

Climb up Dam Mountain, Little Goat Mountain, Goat Mountain, and Thunderbird Ridge. If you want a real challenge and are an experienced hiker, you can even try your hand at climbing Crown Mountain.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

8. Play disc golf

If you’ve never tried playing disc golf before, Grouse Mountain disc golf course is a hell of a place to start! Their 18 hole disc golf course features epic views of the lower mainland throughout. The course starts at the top of The Cut and is well worth the effort. This is a super fun way to get your steps in!

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket. Bring your own frisbees or get some from Outfitters in the Peak Chalet for $14.99.

9. Ride the Peak Chairlift

For even better views of the city, you can ride the Peak Chairlift to the apex of Grouse Mountain. This open air chairlift takes you 1,250 meters (4,100 ft) above sea level and is a 14 minute ride. You will enjoy unbeatable views of Vancouver set against the Pacific Ocean and find out why it’s called beautiful British Columbia. While this is a great family friendly activity, there is a height requirement of 1 meter (3 ft) tall.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

10. Enjoy a patio cocktail

The only thing better than a cold drink served on a patio on a hot summer day is enjoying it with a view. Both Altitudes Bistro and The Observatory offer patios with unbeatable views of Vancouver’s lower mainland.

11. Go Tandem Paragliding

The most epic way to get to the bottom of the mountain is by paragliding to the bottom. For $229 per person, you can jump off the mountain and glide to the city on this exhilarating ride. This is open to anyone aged 6 and older.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

12. Take in the views from a lookout point

Grouse mountain forest hike in Vancouver

If you’re looking for a great spot to take a photo, you can enjoy the vantage point from any one of the 5 designated lookout points on the mountain.

The lookouts:

    • Peak of Vancouver Lookout
    • Georgia Strait Lookout
    • Wilderness Lookout
    • Cascade Mountains Lookout
    • Grizzly Lookout

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

13. Catch a show at the Theatre In The Sky

This year round activity is a great way to learn about the history of Grouse and the mountain culture. The large theatre has comfortable seats and is a great way to learn more about the mountain.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

14. Check out the Birds in Motion

If you are visiting in the summer months you can visit the resident owls and even enjoy a talk learning all about the different birds of prey.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

What to do on Grouse Mountain in the winter

While Vancouver doesn’t consistently have snow, Grouse Mountain makes sure it does. In fact, the mountain actually makes its own man-made snow in order to ensure optimal skiing conditions

1. Skiing and snowboarding

Grouse Mountain is most famous for its skiing and snowboarding. The hill opens in late October (the exact date depends on the snowfall) and stays open until March/April. There are 33 runs, 4 chairlifts, 2 terrain parks, and a snow school for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. You can rent ski and snowboard equipment on the hill as well.

Night skiing is popular in the area with 15 night run trails being available. Practice your skills on any of the 5 terrain parks.

2. Snowshoeing

There are also cross country trails that allow for great snowshoeing. Grouse Mountain has 10 km of snowshoe trails that range from easy to challenging. You can rent snowshoes and explore Grouse Moutain in the snowy forest, the alpine lake, and the wildlife habitat on your own or join a guided tour. You can also rent snowshoes or join a snowshoe clinic at the mountain.

There are so many great BC Mountains to visit from Grouse Mountain to Whistler to Big White.

3. Ice skating

For a great family friendly activity, enjoy the 8,000 sqft outdoor skating pond. Skate rentals are available on the mountain if needed.

4. Sliding zone

Fun for the whole family, rent a sled from the Fireside Hut for $5 CAD ($10 CAD for the year) and race your friends down the two lanes of Sliding Zones.

Note: No outside sleds are allowed.

5. Grizzly bear refuge

The grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola, are residents of the refuge year round which means they are still living here. While the refuge is still open, the bears hibernate as they would in the wild. Allowing the bears to keep to their natural schedule is what we love about this sanctuary. The bears will likely be hibernating between November and March. You can watch the Grinder and Coola as they sleep from anywhere by viewing the Grouse Mountain webcams.

6. Peak of Christmas celebration with Light Walk

Experience Vancouver’s North Pole on top of Grouse Mountain. You can meet Santa and visit his workshop and say hi to his reindeer. If you find yourself here after nightfall, make sure to take a walk through the winter light show. Walk through light tunnels and see Blue Grouse Lake lit up in all its glory.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

There are so many great mountains in BC including Grouse Mountain, Whistler and Big White

Restaurants on Grouse Mountain

At the base of the mountain, you will find a Starbucks to get your coffee fix before you ride up the Grouse Gondola.

The Observatory – a beautiful upscale cuisine with local ingredients and stunning ocean and city views.

Altitudes Bistro – casual vibes with delicious comfort food, local craft beer, and delicious Okanagan wine.

The Rusty Rail BBQ & Grill – smoked BBQ dishes on a patio. Sometimes has live music.

Lupins Cafe – a self serve cafe serving pizza, sandwiches, and healthy food options.

Grouse Grind Coffee Bar – a great place to get your caffeine fix and some delicious pastries.

Beavertails – another great cafe serving right near the Lumberjack Show (near the Rusty Rail).

Where to stay when visiting Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain’s location being so close to downtown Vancouver makes it the perfect activity. If you’re visiting from out of town, we highly recommend finding one of the Vancouver hotels in the heart of the city, close to all the action and the Vancouver nightlife.

Our favourite downtown Vancouver hotels:

One of the best downtown Vancouver hotels to stay at is the Paradox Hotel Vancouver. This upscale hotel has a great location in Vancouver’s financial district close to lots of shopping and restaurants. If you don’t want to leave the hotel you can enjoy the cocktail lounge and fine dining Chinese restaurant in the hotel.

If you’d rather an apartment style accommodations, we love Level Vancouver Yaletown. You will get a taste of downtown Vancouver city life with a downtown apartment. You will enjoy city views from your apartment and a full kitchen to cook. Our favourite part – the rooftop pool! The rooftop here is a VIBE tucked into all the downtown skyscrapers you will enjoy a whole rooftop patio complete with a pool and hot tub.

If you don’t find one you’re looking for, try browsing all the best hotels in Vancouver.

Thanks for stopping by!

Spending the day at Grouse Mountain is one of our favourite things to do in Vancouver. Grouse Mountain is a must visit spot in Vancouver, especially for people traveling with kids. There is tons to do on the mountain and the views of the city are worth the trip in itself!

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Grouse Mountain Vancouver BC offers so many great things to do.
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Ohhh Cozumel, our favourite place in all of Mexico. Located just off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Cozumel Island is the place to be for those looking for a vacation full of relaxation and adventure. This island is a whole lot of fun to explore whether you’re looking to explore the rich culture at some ancient Mayan ruins, scuba dive on the second largest barrier reef in the world, or simply sip on some margaritas while you watch an epic sunset at a beach club, you will have no problem finding fun things to do in Cozumel.

You’ll notice most of the things to do in Cozumel involve being on, or in, the water. This is not by accident. Cozumel is the place to go if your focus is spending as much time in the gorgeous Caribbean Sea as possible. You can expect pristine white sandy beaches full of vibrant marine life at this Mexican oasis.

If you’re planning a trip to Cozumel, be sure to read our complete guide to Cozumel where we dive into all your must know travel tips. Everything from how to get to Cozumel to the best places to eat, drink, and stay on the island.

For now, let’s jump into all the amazing things to do in Cozumel so we can really showcase all this beautiful island has to offer. Trust us, you’ll love it!

Table of Contents

Top things to do in Cozumel

As Mexico’s largest island, Cozumel has so much to see and do. Its location is pretty well perfect in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula not far from other popular tourist destinations like the bustling city of Cancun and the nearby boho town of Tulum. If you’re trying to decide what to do in Cozumel, we’ve got you covered with our top 22 activities.

1. Go snorkeling in the beautiful turquoise water of the Caribbean Sea

An epic way to spend any day on the island, Cozumel is THE PLACE to go snorkeling. Whether you’ve tried snorkeling before or not, trust us you will want to go snorkeling here! Cozumel has built a reputation worldwide of being home to some of the best snorkeling in the world. You can (and should) take a tour out to the best snorkel spots but even just snorkeling from the shore will reveal some of the best snorkeling conditions you’ll ever see.

Cozumel Island sits in the middle of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest coral reef. This means you can expect a thriving and colorful reef system here that is full of life. You will see more colorful tropical fish than you thought possible in these waters – an experience that will make anyone an ocean lover!

If you’re looking for free snorkeling in Cozumel, you have a few options. Our favourite is the centrally located Playa Casita. There’s an amazing oceanfront restaurant called La Monina that you can eat at and rent lockers from while you snorkel from the beach right in front of it. Another spot is Sunset Beach which is close to the ferry terminals. Playa Corona is another great spot, but you’ll want to stay close to the shore here as the currents can get a little strong.

snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea

There are also some great paid beach snorkel sites in Cozumel. Chankanaab Park is one of the most popular places in Cozumel to go snorkeling (although we DO NOT support their dolphin and manatee enclosures). Playa Palancar and Dzul Ha are other popular areas.

By far the best snorkeling you will get is on snorkel tours where they take you to the best snorkel spots on Cozumel. This half day 3 reef snorkel tour takes you to 3 of the best reefs in the island: Palancar, Columbia, and the stunning Playa el Cielo reefs.

If you’re visiting Cozumel on a cruise ship, or are otherwise short on time, this coral reef snorkel tour is a great option. The 5 star reviews speak for themselves, this 2 hour snorkel tour allows you to get the best experience the island offers.

If you want to ensure you see some amazing marine life like sea turtles and starfish, this turtle sanctuary snorkel tour is an amazing option. This half day tour takes you to 3-4 snorkel spots, one being a natural sea turtle sanctuary, and another being a starfish sanctuary. This is a great (and ethical) animal encounter tour that we can get behind!

If you’re not too keen on snorkeling but want to get an intro to the underwater world, booking a tour on an invisible boat is a great option. You will board a completely clear boat that will allow you to see all the beautiful corals, fish, and even shipwrecks below the water’s surface. At the end, you will have an opportunity for a short snorkel. This is great for young kids or elderly people who may not be physically able to snorkel in the water.

2. Explore the San Gervasio Mayan Ruins

Those looking for a good dose of Mexican culture and history will love a visit to these ancient Cozumel ruins. This is one of the lesser known Mayan ruins in Mexico and is certainly worth the visit. This is where many Mayan women flocked to in worship of the Goddess Ixchel – Goddess of fertility. (Just saying… Samara did get pregnant just 6 months after visiting so beware!)

Entrance into the San Gervasio Mayan ruins is 216MXN ($17.50 CAD/$13 USD) per person with kids under 3 being free. The ruins are fairly easy to get to located inland about 15km (9.3 miles) from San Miguel de Cozumel. The ruins are open daily between 8 am and 4 pm.

Cozumel mayan ruins called San Gervasio are some of the best mayan ruins in Mexico

The only downfall with these ruins is that there is not a lot of information throughout explaining the significance of the different buildings. For history buffs who really want to learn about the importance of this site, booking a guided tour is a great way to get a good backstory of the ruins.

This Mayan ruins and beach private tour is a great way for your group to jump into history and learn all about the Mayan heritage. You will be guided through the ruins and learn all about the significance of the site before heading to some of the best beaches and lookout points on the island.

3. Go scuba diving in the Mesoamerican Reef

Scuba diving in Cozumel is one of the best places to go in the world. It’s famous for its chill drift drives where the current pulls you gently, colourful reefs, and abundant sea life. Cozumel sits along part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest behind the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Cozumel is a great place for any level of scuba diving. No matter if you’re interested and want to try it out, or if you’re a certified scuba diver and have been diving around the world Cozumel will impress you. Cozumel diving certification is recognized all over the world making this island the perfect place to get PADI scuba dive certified.

Cozumel’s ocean temperatures sit around 26-30℃/78-86℉, similar to their air temperatures. Being from Canada we love warm water scuba diving.

This area of the Caribbean Sea features colourful reefs, lots of sea life, and interesting diving areas. You have the chance to see three different species of sea turtles, rays, sharks (Samara’s favourite), dolphins, and whale sharks (between May and September). Cozumel dive sites include features ranging from easy drift drives, wreck drives, cave dives, and wall dives. In fact, there are more than 50 diver sites around the island.

PADI scuba diving on the Mesoamerican Reef in Cozumel

Our favourite was a Cozumel drift dive. Starting as the most impressive wall dive we’ve ever done, we swam through a small tunnel only to come out the other side and be greeted by a large leatherback turtle. An absolutely epic experience we will never forget!

Some of the top dive sites in Cozumel include the Santa Rosa Wall, Palancar Horseshoe, Chankanaab Reef, Cantarel Wall, Columbia Reef, Punta Sur Reef, and El Cielo

Cozumel diving cost varies depending on the dive shop, the dive site, the dive package, and the equipment rental. However, on average, a two-tank dive from the boat is around $125 CAD ($90 USD). This usually includes two tanks, a marine park fee, and snacks. You may have to rent the other gears, such as BCD and regulator, which are still very affordable at around $10 to $12 each. Some dive shops also offer discounts for multiple dives or group bookings.

You can also get Cozumel scuba diving packages which range from group dives to multi day excursions.

4. Eat Mexican food

One of the tastiest things to do in Cozumel is eat all the delicious food the island has to offer. The island is full of delicious restaurants serving up everything from fresh seafood to delicious Italian. Of course, you come to Mexico to chow down on some tasty enchiladas, tacos, and burritos. You will find no shortage of options for quality Mexican restaurants on the island. Three Amigos and La Choza were our favourites.

tacos and lime margaritas

We like taking food tours because they’re done by local guides that know all the best places to eat. The best food day tours are the ones that include many stops at a wide variety of restaurants. This way you get to know what the food is really like in that area.

This 3 hour Cozumel Food Tour takes you to 5 Cozumel restaurants. Starting at 11 am, it focuses on the Caribbean and Cuban influences on Mexican food. You’ll eat authentic dishes including empanadas and tacos and wash it down with Agua Fresca (fresh fruit juice) and beer and end with Mexican pastries.

If you want to grab some food but also want to bike the city an E-Bike City Tour though Cozumel & Taco Tasting Tour is our recommendation. Not only do you get a tour of some of the attractions in Cozumel but you also get to take some tacos and ice cream. Plus you can eat more knowing you’re getting a good workout too!

5. Get lost in a jungle 4x4 adventure

Cozumel isn’t just a great Mexican city – part of the Island is still covered in a rugged lush green jungle. We love a good adventure day and find them the perfect way to balance our lazy beach days. Luckily for us, Cozumel accommodates both our adventure travel and beach bum sides.

The best way to get around the Cozumel jungle is by ATV. You’ll get to bomb around the forest on trails until you arrive at a cenote you can swim in. This ATV and cenote tour is an awesome way to spend your day on Cozumel.

If you’re like us, combining a 4×4 adventure with splashing in the ocean makes for the perfect excursion. This ATV and claer boat ride experience is one of our top picks for fun things to do in Cozumel. This combo tour combines a fun 4×4 ATV ride through jungle trails, a clear boat tour to see some shipwrecks (costs an additional $27 CAD/$20 USD per person), and access to Playa Uvas beach club which includes lunch, soft drinks, and snorkeling to finish the day off.

6. Rent some wheels and tour the island

It’s no secret we love a good road trip! Touring around islands is particularly fun because if you get lost, you’ll almost always end up at the beach.

The best things to do in Cozumel is rent a scooter to tour around Cozumel islan

We love renting scooters when we travel places – it’s one of our favourite ways to see a new area. We rented scooters to tour around Cozumel and absolutely loved it. There aren’t many roads on the island so it’s almost impossible to get lost. We recommend getting out of the city and doing a lap of the island. While there are bigger waves on the East Coast which makes it not great for snorkeling it’s amazing for spending the day at a quiet beach with epic views.

When we were touring around we saw a lot of people driving in these sick looking dune buggies – but like high end dune buggies. We looked into renting a dune buggy and turns out it’s actually a really great deal! With your rental, a guide will come with you to either chauffeur you around the island or take the backseat to navigate you to all the best parts of the island.

The dune buggies will pick you up from anywhere around town, including the cruise ship terminals making for an epic excursion. The rental cost includes entrance to the Sky Reef Beach Club where you can enjoy some free drinks and food, a few different private beaches, the Punta Sur National Park entrance fee, a tequila and chocolate tasting, snorkeling, and more.

Paradise Beach Clubs in Cozumel Mexico with the Caribbean Ocean

7. Relax at a beach club

One of the most famous things to do in Cozumel is lounge at a beach club (have we mentioned how much we love a lazy island life!). These are essentially restaurants or hotels that have chairs and cabanas set up on the beach. This pass gives you a place to store your belongings and hide from the sun when you want to relax. The best beach clubs also include all you can eat buffets, an open bar, pools, and activities to do during your stay.

The most famous beach club in Cozumel is Mr. Sanchos Beach Club. This all inclusive day pass includes an all you can eat buffet, an open bar (with 2 pool bars), snorkeling from the private beach, access to kayaks, and lockers. The beach umbrellas are first come, first served so we’d recommend getting there early in the day (you pay the same if you’re there for an hour or the whole day).

It’s open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday and 9 am to 5 pm on Sunday.

If you’re looking for another famous beach club in Cozumel this Paradise Beach all inclusive day pass is for you. You’ll be treated to all day food from their two restaurants, an open bar, lounge chairs, pools, and showers. There is the option to upgrade your beach day pass to include access to the water park, kayaks, paddleboards, snorkels, wave runners, and more.

Paradise Beach Cozumel is open Monday to Sunday 8 am to 6 pm.

8. Ride in a submarine

Where else in the world can you ride in a submarine for fun? Hands down one of the most unique things to do in Cozumel is to take a ride underwater in a submarine! It has been US Coast Guard Certified so you can rest assured that you will be completely safe. This day tour takes you below the crystal clear water of Cozumel for about 45 minutes in Chankanaab where you can take in all the beauty of the underwater world.

You’ll be safely inside the Atlantis Submarine and be taken past one of the most colourful reefs in Cozumel. This Cozumel Submarine Experience will dive to depths of 30 meters (100 feet). We were expecting it to cost more than it did at $137 CAD ($99 USD) per person! This is one of the best kid friendly things to do in Cozumel. There is a 4 year old, 3ft (91 cm) tall age and height requirement for the submarine.

9. Go shopping in San Miguel de Cozumel

Plaza del Sol on Cozumel Island Mexico

Cozumel is home to some fantastic shopping. While you won’t find your typical chain stores like H&M and Zara, you will find an array of jewelry stores, souvenir shops, and specialty shops. Just across from the ferry terminal, you will find Plaza del Sol which is considered downtown, and where you will find a good array of many different types of shops and restaurants.

Continuing for many blocks along the waterfront and extending back into the streets behind, here you will find everything from impressive wood carvings to fine jewelry. You should expect an island tax here where prices are higher than in other areas on the mainland like Playa del Carmen.

10. Watch the sunset

Cozumel sure is a great place to watch the sunset. San Miguel is west facing making it a great spot to watch the sun go down. There are so many great spots to watch the sunset over the beautiful Caribbean Sea, we’d almost have an easier time telling you where to catch a bad sunset. Head to the beach, or better yet head to an oceanfront bar and pair your sunset views with an ice cold cerveza.

We stayed at a hotel with a rooftop pool and made it our nightly routine to watch the sunset every night. You’ll get a 360° view of Cozumel (and even Playa del Carmen if you’re lucky). We were incredibly lucky and almost every night was just us on the rooftop (don’t expect this on your trip to Cozumel).

sunset on a rooftop pool on Cozumel Island in Mexico

11. Go on a horseback riding adventure

If you are a horse lover or are traveling with kids, taking this horseback riding tour in Cozumel is a great way to spend your time. You will enjoy a 30 minute horseback ride starting at Mr. Sanchos Beach Club. You can expect stunning views of the island as you ride through the jungle and along the stunning Caribbean waters. We’re happy to report that these horses are well cared for, and well trained, for riders of all ages.

12. Take in ocean views parasailing

Samara’s first time parasailing was in Mexico so she can attest to how amazing it is! With epic views of the stunning Caribbean Sea, you can expect your parasailing adventure to form some great core memories. If you have a GoPro, this is the time to use it!

With this parasailing tour, you will get access to the Tortugas Beach Club amenities as well as enjoy your time flying through the air. You can choose between a solo or tandem parasail.

13. Zipline through the jungle

Myles is notoriously scared of heights and has been battling this fear ever since we started traveling. It turns out that a lot of the cool things you do abroad involve heights. In an effort to not miss out, he’s been trying to challenge his fears everywhere we go. When we were in Playa del Carmen, we took a day trip to Xplor Park where we did a lot of ziplining. Shockingly Myles absolutely loved the experience and now wants to go ziplining everywhere we go!

The ziplining in Cozumel is a 6 line course with varying speeds, heights, and lengths to keep you on your toes. Tucked into the jungle, you will get stunning aerial views of the island as you ride. This is a great activity for families but keep in mind riders must be over 70 pounds.

14. Walk along the ocean floor in an underwater helmet experience

Looking for what to do in Cozumel Mexico - try this underwater helmet experience

Have you always wanted to walk underwater but could never hold your breath long enough? Well, you can and in the crystal clear turquoise water of Cozumel. Samara did this on a trip to Cancun when she was 18 before she became a scuba diver and absolutely loved it. Many (many many) years later she still has fond memories of her experience putting this goofy looking helmet on and walking along the ocean floor. In fact, it was a driving force for her to want to get her scuba diving certification.

The SeaTrek Underwater Helmet experience doesn’t require any diving or swimming experience. You will start by putting your helmet on as you enter the water. You will climb down a ladder until you get onto the ocean floor. There will be ropes to hold onto as you walk along the bottom of the sea with swarms of colorful tropical fish all around you.

This experience is located in Jeanie’s Beach Club and as a bonus, you get access to the beach club including free snorkeling gear after this tour.

15. Set sail aboard a catamaran

luxurious catamaran cruise in the Caribbean Sea in Mexico

Nothing screams island life quite like boarding a stunning sailboat and spending the day on the water. From all inclusive style party boats to private luxurious catamarans, you’ll find it all on Cozumel. If you’re trying to figure out what to do on Cozumel, chartering a yacht should be at the top of your list!

If you’re traveling with a group, booking this stunning 39 ft catamaran is an epic way to spend the day on the water. Snorkel equipment, a paddle board, and a large floating mat are all included making this excursion great for the whole family. In true Mexico fashion, these boats are all inclusive and include food and drinks in the cost.

If you’re looking for a party, this catamaran party boat is one of the best things to do in Cozumel. This afternoon excursion will have you boarding a huge 65 ft catamaran and sailing out to sea. You will be taken out to a snorkeling spot before heading to a private beach for a beach party. Food and drinks are included in the price along with water sports like kayaks and paddle boards, water floats, trampolines, and slides.

If you’d rather stay on dry land there are hammocks and cabanas ready for your leisure.

16. Ride a sea scooter

If you want to snorkel and love speed, these cool sea scooters are a lot of fun. You can sit back and relax as the scooters propel you forward allowing you to see more in less time. You will feel like a fish as you effortlessly move through the water past sunken ships and colorful fish.

We love that this sea scooter tour includes a bit of everything giving you a well rounded day in Cozumel. You will not only get to snorkel through the water but enjoy some tasty lunch and, of course, a tequila tasting. You will even learn how to make some traditional Mexican snacks so you can go home with a taste of Mexico.

Best things to do in Mexico is jump in the hot tropical water of the Caribbean Ocean and snorkel and scuba dive in the Mesoamerican Reef

17. Visit Punta Sur Ecological Park

The Punta Sur Eco Park is located in the southern part of Cozumel right beside Playa El Cielo and the Columbia Deep Reef – one of the most popular beaches and dive sites in the area. This is a 1000+ hectare state reserve with everything from birds to crocodiles to a lighthouse and even sea fan gardens throughout the reef. We strongly recommend stopping here for a few hours to explore the area.

Tickets cost $26 CAD ($19 USD) for adults, $18 CAD ($13 USD) for children 4-12 years old and free for children under 3. This includes parking, showers and dressing room, life vests, scenic tower, Celarain Lighthouse, a Catamaran boat ride, “El Tatich”, hammocks and beach chairs, a nature trail, and access to the beaches – well worth it in our eyes.

18. Ride a mini SUB

Another cool way to explore what’s under the sea, this Mini-SUB Diving Adventure is a cool way to speed through the water. After meeting at the Wyndham Cozumel Hotel & Resort, you’ll ride around in your own personal underwater submarine (it looks like a bicycle with a large see-through helmet). You’ll be able to breathe normally underwater as you would above the surface without anything in your mouth or a mask on your face.

This Cozumel excursion doesn’t require any previous diving experience.

19. Take an island tour

Tour around Cozumel Island on a scooter or jeep rental in Cozumel Mexico is one of the best things to do in Cozumel Mexico

If you’re visiting Cozumel on a cruise ship or on a day trip, you will want to see as much of the island as you can in a short amount of time. Taking a private tour of the island is a great way to fit in as many fun things to do in Cozumel as you can into a single day excursion.

Drinks and snorkel gear are included in this private day tour allowing you to comfortably cruise around Cozumel’s top sights. We love that private tours allow you the freedom to explore the things you want and customize your day to your liking.

20. Tour the El Caracol Mayan ruins

If you’re a history buff looking to dive into the rich heritage of the Mayan people in Mexico, visiting the Zona Arqueológica El Caracol is a must! Like the San Gervasio ruins, El Caracol gives you a taste of Mayan culture with some insight into how this ancient civilization lived. Built between 1200 and 1400 AD, this impressive slice of history is worth a visit.

We love that this Mayan temple has a seaside location and backs onto the beautiful Laguna Colombia. As a bonus, you will get a cool view of the crocs that live in the area. Located on the southern tip of Cozumel, you will need to rent a scooter or another form of wheels to get here.

21. Sip a margarita

In true Mexico fashion, your trip to Cozumel is not complete until you have a margarita in hand. We loved visiting Wet Wendy’s Margarita House and trying one of their 30 flavours of margaritas. Thirsty Cougar also makes delicious margaritas and has a great location in San Miguel de Cozumel.

The Coconut Shack and Coconuts Bar & Grill are both on the east coast of Cozumel and make a mean marg with stunning ocean views.

Going shopping in San Miguel de Cozumel is one of the best things to do in Cozumel Mexico.

22. Try a chocolate making workshop

If you’re looking for a great reason to eat some tasty chocolate, do it in the name of Mexican culture! You can learn all about Mayan culture on this Chocolate Workshop Cozumel tour. For an hour and a half, you’ll be walked through all the steps of how to make a delicious chocolate bar using a Mayan recipe. At the same time, you will dive into the history of the ancient Mayan culture.

Unethical Cozumel

In our effort to promote sustainable tourism, we do not support businesses that exploit animal welfare for tourism’s sake. We would love to promote places like Chankanaab National Park as they offer amazing snorkeling and diving as well as a relaxing beach club however we DO NOT stand behind their dolphin and manatee exploitation practices. Please do not ride captive animals. An hour of enjoyment is not worth the animal’s entire life in a small pool.

Thanks for stopping by!

Oh Cozumel, we love you! While we were initially drawn to the island for its world class snorkeling and scuba diving, we found it hard to pack everything we wanted to do into a few short days. For being a relatively small island, it packs a punch offering tons of fun things to do in Cozumel. Whether you’re visiting Cozumel on a cruise ship and looking for a day excursion, or spending a week on the island, we’ve got you covered.

Now, all that’s left to do is book your flights.

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Guide for the best things to do on Cozumel. From scuba diving the Mesoamerican Reef to exploring Mayan ruins at Punta Sur.
Looking for a tropical holiday in the Caribbean Sea? Cozumel Mexico is the best vacation destination in North America.
What to do on Cozumel everything from Mayan ruins to finding the best Cozumel beaches for snorkeling.

Kelowna is one of the best summer vacation spots in BC and Canada. This city sees around 1.8 million tourists visit every year (according to Kelowna Tourism) meaning it can be frustrating trying to navigate the busy streets. This means knowing how to get around Kelowna without a car is so important during your visit. Kelowna is built in a valley and is a very bike friendly city. Luckily, you have many good options to get around Kelowna without a car.

Interested in Kelowna? Check out why you should visit now!

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Companies in Kelowna have taken advantage of the ride-sharing trend that has skyrocketed around the world and the high gasoline prices. There are two main companies that offer electric scooters and e-bikes for you to rent. They are relatively inexpensive and incredibly convenient – if you can find one around you that is.

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What are the options for getting around Kelowna without a car?

Kelowna has a few different options to get around the city without paying the high gas price. The most interesting and fun option is the electric scooters and bikes that are scattered around Kelowna. Sure you can take the bus ($2.50 will get you pretty much anywhere you want to go), or walk, but you’ll be missing out on the exhilarating experience of riding a scooter or ebike in the summer. There are a few companies that have different ways of getting around Kelowna.

Lime’s website states that “Lime is the world’s largest shared electric vehicle company.”. This company has found a home in “more than 200 cities in nearly 30 countries on five continents.”.

Their four main core principals include: safety, sustainability, community, and innovation. Lime’s website makes it clear that this company is focused on their customers and our planet making your decision to ride with them a good one.

Photo credit: Lime's website

You won’t be able to miss this scooter and bike rental place in Kelowna. Lime has electric scooters and e-bikes all over Kelowna that are ready for you to jump on and ride. These scooters are bright white and green in colour.

You won’t be able to miss this scooter and bike rental place in Kelowna. Lime has electric scooters and e-bikes all over Kelowna that are ready for you to jump on and ride. These scooters are bright white and green in colour.

Unfortunately, Spin is no longer available in Kelowna.

This company has been around since 2017 and its headquarters is in San Francisco. According to its website, Spin is in more than 70 “cities and campuses around the globe” with the majority of its locations in the United States. Their blog has 33 pages of articles ranging from calling out jaywalking laws to the company’s stance on the Row vs. Wade ruling in the United States of America.

Spin's operating location in Kelowna, BC

The Spin website has many videos in different languages to help you throughout your time scootering and cycling. There is even a quiz you can take for a promo code (if you score 100%). You’ll also find information about what you should “know before you go”, “your first ride” and how you can keep yourself and others safe. There is also a “Help Center” where you can find information ranging from “Scooter FAQ’s” to “Parking Rules”.

How To Get Started?

If you’re feeling generous please use our referral code, thanks in advance!

Lime: RQTBV6V (we both receive $3 when you start riding)

It’s so easy to scoot and ride in Kelowna. Honestly, starting your scooter and ebike riding journey is as easy as taking a picture with a smartphone. Each scooter and e-bike has a unique barcode that, when scanned, takes you directly to their company’s app.

Just keep in mind it may ask you to scan your driver's license to validate your age.

Once the app is downloaded and you’ve created an account you are ready to start your journey. Simply walk up to an e-bike or scooter and scan the QR code on the handlebars. This will give you information about the electric vehicle including its range, price and availability. When you’re ready to ride simply click on the reserve or ride button.

Taken from the Lime Android smartphone app
Taken from the Spin Android smartphone app

Looking for some road trip through BC ideas? Check out our top 8 stops in BC!

How much does it cost to rent a scooter or e-bike in Kelowna?

Renting a scooter in Kelowna is less expensive than you may have thought. Even though buying an electric scooter is expensive, renting one is not. Either company has a similar payment structure. There will be a startup fee and then a charge per minute of use.

Scooter price: $3.50 for first 7 minutes, then $0.35/min + tax

e-bike price: $1 to start, then $0.35/min + tax

Scooter price: $1 to start, $0.35/min + tax and fees

e-bike price: $1 to start, $0.35/min + taxes and fees

How safe are electric scooters and e-bikes?

These scooters for adults are not like the Razor scooters of our childhood. Even though their top speed is limited they are still very fast and agile.

Safety for riders and the public is one of the biggest issues surrounding e-ebikes and e-scooters. If you ask the hospital you’ll quickly find out that injuries are common with the electric ride sharing trend. Every electric scooter and bike comes with a helmet that we recommend wearing for your protection.

If you follow the rules and don’t ride aggressively, or aren’t intoxicated, this is a safe way of getting around Kelowna without a car. Each escooter and ebike is speed regulated in some areas of Kelowna, like downtown and along the waterfront, where there is usually lots of people.

Where can I park the escooter and ebikes in Kelowna?

You can park your scooter rental or bike rental wherever you want, as long as you follow some basic rules.

Lime’s app has these recommendations for parking:

  • “Help keep sidewalks accessible to all by parking responsibly”
  • “Parkin a secure, upright position in line with benches, trees, poles, or bike racks.”
  • “Never block pedestrian travel, entrances, driveways, bus stops, accessibility zones or service ramps.”

The map in Spin’s smartphone application has recommendations on where to park and will even credit your account a small amount if you park in one of their hotspots. These zones are places that have high traffic and will save the company money from relocating their bikes and scooters.

Where can I ride a scooter and ebike in Kelowna?

You are able to ride these fun forms of transportation on streets, bike lanes and some sidewalks. There are areas where the ebikes and escooters will be speed limited and they will let you know of this by making a loud obnoxious noise. You’re also not allowed to ride on the sidewalks and can face a $10 fine if you do. The scooter will beep loudly if it detects that you’re on the sidewalk as well.

Scooters and ebikes available in Downtown Kelowna BC
An area in Kelowna that scooters and ebikes are not allowed

The cool thing about the rideshare applications is that they will tell you how much range the scooter or bike has remaining. This allows you to plan your trip without range anxiety.

The UI of the Lime Android smartphone application
The UI of the Spin Android smartphone application

Where are the best Kelowna scooter and cycling trails?

Kelowna is one of the most beautiful places in the world, in our humble opinion. There are many mind blowing cycling trails that will keep you entertained for hours.

  • We love the waterfront in downtown Kelowna. It’s usually quite busy in the summer but is definitely worth a ride or scoot.
  • Abbott Street has a dedicated, tree lined bike and walkway path. You’ll pass many “secret” beach access points that only the locals know exist.
  • The Mission is one of the hidden gems of Kelowna. It has many amazing places to eat, beaches and parks.
  • Mission Creek Greenway connects the Mission to West Kelowna. This is one of the most beautiful places in Kelowna. The gravel pathway follows Mission Creek northwest all the way to Orchard Park Mall.

No matter where you decide to ride you will be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to get around Kelowna without a car or truck.

Have you tried the electric scooters or e-bikes in Kelowna? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

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The Okanagan is a top romantic destination in Canada, especially in the summertime. Picturesque Kelowna beaches, stunning views, budding nightlife and a whole bunch of beautiful vineyards give this area a young and sexy vibe – there are so many romantic things to do in Kelowna all year round that make for the perfect day dates.

While there’s no shortage of romance in the city, you may still be racking your brain trying to come up with solid ideas for date nights in Kelowna. Call us your date night saviour because we’ve got you covered.!

Kelowna is a top vacation destination in British Columbia. Couples come from all over the world to this romantic city known as the California of Canada. Kelowna is a great romantic getaway and with the help of this guide, you will be able to plan all your ideas for date nights in Kelowna.

It’s sometimes difficult to come up with the best ideas for date night. We find having a list of a couple of day date activities to choose from helps when you can’t decide on what to do. Prioritizing dating and having fun is part of a healthy relationship so it is important to carve out some dedicated alone time.

Looking for a romantic idea for date night in Kelowna? Kelowna is a top romantic destination with many Okanagan wineries, outdoor adventures, and Kelowna beaches to explore. Pack a picnic at a beach in Kelowna and enjoy this romantic city.

Bringing a polaroid camera along on your date nights can be a great way to capture memories along the way. Having a scrapbook and glue stick is all you need to make a memory book of all your adventures together. You can even make this project a secret and give it to your partner as the perfect anniversary present.

Need a few more reasons to visit Kelowna? We’ve got 10 for you!

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Our “Perfect Date” Tips

1. Keep it simple. Planning a date night should be fun and easy and something you want to do more often. Spending too much time coming up with ideas for date night and getting stuck in the planning/idea stage can turn this from an exciting idea to a stressful event. Having too clear of ideas for date night can also leave you with a vivid picture in your head of how things should go (see rule #2). Instead, try keeping your plans broad, leaving room for flexibility.

We tend to focus more on what we want from the day date and work backwards. Are we looking for more of an adventure, a thrill, romance and uninterrupted alone time, some ice cold beer at a brewery, or a social celebration? Once we narrow this down, we start building our day date from there with broad ideas.

2. No expectations. When planning your ideas for date night, the only goal should be to spend quality time with your partner and build memories. Don’t overcomplicate the situation by having an expectation or an idea in your head of how the date day should go. Instead of spending your night trying to match a picture in your head, let go of the reins and put the experience into perspective – you’re spending quality time with your partner.

We bring gratitude into every aspect of our lives with a specific focus on all our day dates. Grow your bond with your partner by using this time to actively focus on the positive and all the many things you have to be thankful for. The outside world has its time, protect these sacred date nights with all the love and gratitude you can.

3. Don’t overspend. Again, you want your day date to be an enjoyable time, not a stressful one. This should be something you can easily do often without having to break the budget. We’re not saying don’t have a glass of wine with dinner (or, you know, a bottle) but instead be mindful of whether this is stretching you out of your budget.

Like wine? Check out our self-guided West Kelowna wine tour. Not wanting to cross the bridge? We’ve got a self-guided East Kelowna wine tour too.

4. Check the vibe. Level up your ideas for date nights by focusing on the mood. I’m big on creating a vibe, especially at home. Never underestimate the power of good music and some string lights. This is a great way to personalize a date night by incorporating some high-vibe items that are personalized to your relationship.

Think: foods that bring back funny memories, favourite songs, blankets you bought on vacation together, first date clothes, etc.

Ideas For Date Nights Or Day Dates In Kelowna

1. Enjoy A Fire With A View Of Okanagan Lake

Summertime in the Okanagan = backwoods bonfires. In the Okanagan, there are a million places to have a fire in the woods which is one of the best outdoorsy things to do in Kelowna. It can also be one of the most romantic ideas for date nights in Kelowna.

While you will have to travel outside city limits in order to get your fire going, the drive can be part of the experience. Luckily, no matter which way you turn you will be in nature in about 20 minutes.

The Okanagan Valley is surrounded by Forest Service Roads (FSRs) and crown land nearly everywhere you look. Finding the best spot for a campfire is easy. As much of the Okanagan is surrounded by hills, you can often find a great fire spot with a rewarding view.

If you are wanting to stay close to a city, head to Penticton and enjoy a campfire right on the beach – talk about the perfect date night! In the summertime, the city of Penticton puts fire rings out on many of their beaches that work as a first come first serve for public use. All you need is a bit of wood, a blanket and a bottle of wine to make this the perfect cheap date night idea.

Fire rings in Penticton

Before you get too far in your planning your ideas for date night campfires, it’s important to recognize that the Okanagan has a real problem with wildfires. Be sure to check to see if there are any fire restrictions in the area early in your date night planning to make sure you are safe.

How to level up the date: Pack a picnic or, better yet, bring roasting sticks and bond over yummy campfire food like hot dogs and smores.

Do a wine tasting at one of the best Kelowna wineries and grab a bottle to bring along with you (you are in the Okanagan after all) and you’re ready for the perfect night. Be sure to pack a few blankets, pillows and even a hammock to really make this a cozy date night adventure. If it’s a clear night download some stargazing apps before you go for an extra adventure.

2. Go To The Drive In Movie Theatre

If you’ve never been to the Starlight Drive-In Theatre in Enderby let this be your sign to go! If you are looking for great laid-back ideas for date night, this is it. Going to the drive-in theatre is one of our favourite romantic things to do on a summer date night.

You don’t need a truck to go, tons of people bring air mattresses, sit in the front seat of their car, bring lawn chairs or make a bed in their trunk. I’ve even seen someone bring a plastic kiddie pool and layered blankets and pillows in it.

However you decide to watch it is sure to be a great time! We are always looking for ideas for date nights that allow us to bring our dogs along. This is one of the best pet-friendly date ideas in Kelowna.

The ideal drive-in movie theatre set up

Don’t want to drive to Enderby? You can still create a romantic outdoor movie date in Kelowna with a little extra creativity. Netflix now has a download button which means you can download shows to watch them offline. Download a movie to your computer and make sure you have a full charge. If you’re worried about your computer’s battery life you can buy a car inverter to easily charge it with your vehicle.

You can make a bed in your vehicle, grab a hammock or just simply a blanket and some pillows and cozy up on the ground on a hot summer night under the stars. You can even combine this with tip #1 for a night to remember.

How to level up the date: Have a projector? Grab a sheet, a projector and some solar panel string lights and get set up for a night you two will never forget. Having a portable power station will allow you to have all the power you need for hours of date night fun.

3. Have Dinner On One Of Kelowna’s Beaches

The perfect day date doesn’t exi…. wait dinner on a Kelowna beach? This is one of the most ‘Okanagan lifestyle’ ideas for date night. There is little that matches the Okanagan lifestyle like beaches, good food and free-flowing alcohol.

Picnic on the beach in Kelowna. Kelowna downtown picnic. Kelowna city view. Travel Okanagan for these stunning Okanagan Lake views. Set up a picnic with a charcuterie board and delicious Kelowna wine for the perfect romantic day date in Kelowna.

Who doesn’t love a romantic dinner on the beach in Kelowna? With the massive lakes in the Okanagan, you have many beach access points in the area. No matter where in the Okanagan Valley you are, this is one of the best ideas for date nights you can have.

You will have no problem finding some great restaurants in Kelowna lining the beaches serving up delicious eats, great Kelowna craft beer and gorgeous summer night lake views. Having dinner on the beach is one of the best things to do in Kelowna in the summer and makes for a great day date.

Not feeling a restaurant? Transition to a perfect day date in Kelowna by filling a cooler bag with some fresh veggies, cheeses, bread and local Kelowna wine (note: you’re not technically allowed to drink in public in BC so use your own discretion) and enjoy a romantic picnic on the beach. Bring a volleyball, bocce, or cribbage board, or simply enjoy the beach vibes.

If you are looking for ideas for date nights that you can bring your dog along, a beach picnic is a perfect plan. Head to Cedar Creek Dog Park or Gellatly Dog Beach in West Kelowna.

If you want to take dinner on the beach one step further, why not move your picnic to the lake? Pack a cooler and hop aboard a private sailing cruise on Okanagan Lake for a date you will never forget. The cruise costs $160 CAD ($119.33 USD) per person if you’re looking for a private tour for just the two of you. If you turn this into a double date and invite along another couple, the price drops to $140 CAD ($108.14 USD) per person.

How to level up the date: Rev up your ideas for date night by looing up what time the sun sets. Find a west-facing Kelowna beach and allow your perfect day date to transition into a colourful night show that is sure to set the mood. Boyce-Gyro beach in Kelowna is a great option!

4. Go Kayaking/Paddleboarding On A Lake In The Okanagan

Kelowna is the ultimate beach vacation destination in Canada. The Okanagan is home to over 50 lakes with the most notable being Okanagan Lake. Okanagan Lake is long and skinny spanning an impressive 120km long from Vernon to Penticton. The warm lake water makes for one of the best ideas for date nights in Kelowna.

Kelowna is an active city with watersports being one of the top things to do in Kelowna. Okanagan Lake has a 27 km water trail that is perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding. It starts north of Knox Mountain Park in Kelowna at McKinley Landing and stretches all the way south to Bertram Creek Regional Park. You don’t have to do the entire route but it’s fun to do little pieces of it.

Kayaking in Kelowna. Okanagan kayaking at beaver lake. Okanagan camping and kayaking in Okanagan.

Heading to Vancouver? Read about the best places to kayak in the top things to do in Vancouver.

There is something so peaceful about being out on the water. This lake day date will give you two plenty of alone time and even allow you to potentially find some new secret Kelowna beaches.

If you are looking for ideas for date nights that are more secluded, head to any one of the other 49 lakes in the Okanagan. One of the best kayaking spots is in the lake chains of Dee Lake, Island Lake, Deer Lake and Crooked Lake. While these lakes are about an hour from downtown Kelowna, the remote BC wilderness makes for one of the best ideas for date night in the Okanagan.

If you don’t have your own gear or want to try it out before you buy some, there are tons of places to rent them.

  • In Vernon, there is a rental place right on Kalamalka Beach.
  • If you’re in Kelowna, Boyce Gyro beach, Tugboat beach and Gellatly beach offer watersports rentals as well.
  • Penticton has some rentals on Okanagan Lake Beach.

If you’re looking to buy a kayak or paddleboard, keep your eyes peeled on the Facebook marketplace or Castanet. Watersports are a great thing to buy second-hand to save money.

How to level up the date: Pack a small cooler and bring it along with you on the water. Check on when sunset is and plan a romantic “cheers” opportunity with some Kelowna craft beer when the sky turns pink with just the two of you on the water. Bring a selfie stick along to keep this magical moment alive forever.

5. Bike Ride Together

Bike rides make for awesome ideas for date nights in Kelowna. This can be revved up to be as active or relaxed as fits your couple. As an active city, Kelowna is the perfect place for a romantic bike ride with your partner. Being a relatively flat city, a romantic bike ride makes for a great day date.

Going on a bike ride is one of the best first date ideas because you can typically hold a conversation easily. They allow you to see Kelowna nightlife without spending tons of money on taxis.

If you don’t have a bicycle check out how to use Kelowna’s electric bikes and electric scooters!

Our favourite spot for biking in the Okanagan is

  • Myra Canyon along the Kettle Valley Railway. This is one of the best adventurous ideas for date nights in Kelowna. Biking through the Myra Canyon area in Kelowna will have you taking in stunning city views as you cross 18 large trestled bridges and weave through two tunnels carved through the rock. If the terrain doesn’t leave you in awe, the stunning panoramic views sure will.

This Kettle Valley Railway tour from Myra Canyon to Penticton is a great option for fit couples. You will need to make it a double date as the tour requires 4 people per booking and will start you with transportation from Kelowna up to Myra Canyon. You will spend a full day biking all the way to Penticton crossing trestle bridges and going through tunnels throughout. The tour includes bike rentals and transportation back up to Kelowna for $225 CAD ($167.81 USD) per person.

  • If you’re looking for more of a city bike ride we suggest the route along Abbott St. It takes you along the water and is a casual ride that can start or end in downtown Kelowna. Heading south will take you down the artsy Mission area where you can find many Kelowna restaurants with lake views.

In lots of areas in the Okanagan, if you go into the cities you may find electric bikes (and scooters) that you can rent. These are ideal as they are used in a hop-on and off fashion which gives you complete flexibility. We love using these as our mode of transportation when going brewery hopping in Kelowna.

How to level up the date: Biking through the hills in Naramata and visiting wineries is a great summer night activity in the Okanagan. The views you will be rewarded with are sure to be a show stopper. There are a ton of parks and fields in the area you can stop for a view of the orchards with the lake in the background.

Be sure to get a basket for your bike to store any fresh fruit or delicious Okanagan wine you pick up along the way.

6. Play A Round Of Golf In The Okanagan

The Okanagan is home to some of the best golfing in North America, if not the world. While some of the Kelowna golf courses are at a champion level you don’t need to be Tiger Woods in order to play here. Mission Creek Golf Club is a great beginner golf course in Kelowna.

For a more chill experience, skip the golf course and head to a driving range to practice your swing.

Looking for ideas for date night on a rainy day? Head to the driving range and see who can hit the targets. Make it interesting and bet a kiss every time you do.

Looking for more relaxed ideas for date night? There are a ton of mini-golfing places in the Okanagan, our favourite is Scandia. This is one of the best things to do in Kelowna for couples. Worth the drive no matter where you are in the Okanagan, Scandia is like a trip back in time to your childhood birthday parties. Home to both outdoor and indoor mini golf courses, an arcade, batting cages, a shooting gallery and even go-karts you two will have a nostalgic date night together.

If you’re wanting to try something new and looking for unique ideas for date night, grab some frisbees and try your hand at disc golf. There has been a lot of buzz about this sport recently with courses being set up at many parks around BC. In typical Okanagan fashion, some of these courses feature some appealing lake views. This is also one of the best family things to do in Kelowna.

There is a course at the base of Knox Mountain in Kelowna and another one in Penticton at the Marina View Disc Golf course.

Know what else is in that area? Kelowna’s downtown brewery district.

How to level up the date: Bring a lunch and have a picnic on the water. Some golf courses are even within biking distance if you want to rent an ebike in Kelowna to get you there.

7. Go Camping In The Okanagan

There is something about spending a night in the great outdoors that is so romantic. Cuddling by a campfire, stargazing, swinging in hammocks, being out in nature… all recipes for a great date night! With so many great places to camp around Kelowna, this is one of the best ideas for date night to give you some much needed alone time.

The Okanagan is an outdoor paradise with tons of places to camp in every direction. If you are looking for free campsites, we always recommend heading down a Forest Service Road and you’ll usually come across a great spot pretty quickly.

For those that like more amenities, you can always check out a nearby recreation site. These are great because you don’t have to book your campsite in advance as they are operated on a first come first serve basis. This is great if you are looking for ideas for date night last minute (such as a forgotten anniversary).

Recreation sites are minimally maintained and typically feature a campfire ring, outhouses and a picnic table. They typically cost around $15 a night and are in more remote locations than other campgrounds.

If you like to camp with even more amenities there are many great private and provincial campgrounds in the area but as the Okanagan is a hub for tourism, these typically book up really quickly (sometimes they’re even booked years at a time).

Hot springs make for the perfect romantic getaway and are ideal for cold weather camping as well. The closest hot springs (with attached resorts) are Nakusp Hot Springs and Halcyon Hot Springs.

The pools at Halcyon Hot Springs located in Nakusp, BC. Photo credit to Halcyon Hot Springs

The best hot spring in the area is half an hour north of Nakusp called Halfway Hot Springs. These are natural hot springs right on the river.

The 11km road to Halfway Hot Springs is not paved and is only recommended for 4×4 vehicles. The road is not maintained which means you can only get to the hot springs when the snow has melted, between May and late September.

Lots of people leave their car at the bottom of the road and hike into the Halfway Hot Springs, or in the winter snowshoe. There isn’t a parking lot so beware of leaving your car near the road. There are a few campsites here that are $15 a night and booked on a first come first serve basis so it’s best to go early.

How to level up the date: Turn your camping into glamping by bringing some romantic creature comforts from home. Lighting sets the mood so having some nice solar powered lantern lights can be a fun alternative for the tent.

Bringing dessert can help set the mood at night: think strawberries, whipped cream and a nice bottle of Kelowna wine. If you’re camping somewhere secluded try ditching your clothes, even just for a little while.

8. Head To An Okanagan Winery, Cidery, or Brewery

Vineyards always seem to have a sexy vibe about them that breathes romance. BC wines are growing a name for themselves being some of the best wineries in the world. If you’re looking for ideas for date night that don’t break the bank, going wine tasting is a great option and let’s face it, WAY more fun than stopping by a liquor store. If you are wanting to take your wine knowledge to the next level, many great vineyards offer wine tours.

Kelowna is known for its stunning vineyards offering a romantic setting and delicious Kelowna wine. With so many wineries to choose from, you can easily spend your day hopping between Kelowna wineries.

If you want to make a day of it, booking a Kelowna or West Kelowna wine tour is a great way for you both to relax and enjoy the vineyards. You will visit 4 different wineries and get the luxury of sitting back and having the whole day planned for you.

West Kelowna, just across the bridge, has developed a stunning reputation for delivering some of the best Okanagan wines while delivering unbeatable Okanagan Lake views. Taking our West Kelowna wine tour route is one of the best ideas for date night you can have.

The Okanagan is a place that loves to drink! Kelowna’s downtown core has developed a brewery district with a bunch of micro breweries opening their doors. As they are all close together, you can easily do a self-guided walking brewery tour in Kelowna.

If beer is more your style, booking a Kelowna brewery tour is a great way to spend the day visiting 3 of the best breweries in the city: BNA brewing, Tree Brewing, and Kettle River Brewing. The tour includes transportation and flights of beer from each of your stops for $110 CAD ($82.04 USD).

If you’re into beer but want to add food to your experience, this downtown Kelowna food and beer tour is a better option! You will walk the city visiting a few coffee and food shops before heading to 3 craft breweries and enjoying lunch or snacks at them all. This tour costs $145 CAD ($108.14 USD) and includes all food and drinks.

A flight of craft beer from Bad Tattoo in Kelowna, BC

How to level up the date: Plan a dinner at one of the vineyards on your route. Most of the wineries in the area have stunning views which provide the ultimate romance to your date night.

If you are looking to stay budget conscious, try having dinner before you head out and going for dessert instead. Some Vineyards do not have a kitchen and allow you to pack a picnic to have on site. Our favourite spot to do this is on the patio at Ancient Hill Winery.

The speakeasy at Crown & Thieves Winery in West Kelowna

9. SPA Day Together

Organizing a spa day together can be one of the most relaxing and rewarding ideas for date night on our list. We are big advocates for self-care, no matter how busy your schedule is. Enjoying some self care together with your partner is a great way to bond in a calming environment. The beauty of this kind of day date is that the whole goal is to feel good and recharge. When you’re thinking of ideas for date night, remember it doesn’t have to be expensive. This is a great cheap couple date idea that can be done from home.

The best way to do this at home is with the help of a romantic bubble bath full of essential oils, nice string lights, candles and a bottle of delicious Kelowna wine. Trade off some massages, order in some healthy sushi, and bask in a spa-like evening together.

Before any at-home spa night I recommend devoting 15 minutes to set the mood for the spa experience. Open up some windows to freshen the air, lighting some incense or candles, putting on some light music and dimming the lights will do wonders in setting a relaxation mood.

How to level-up the date: If you are looking for a bit fancier of a spa date, head to an Okanagan spa for a couples massage. Or, if you’re really feeling fancy, opt for a full romantic getaway. Book a night or two at Sparkling Hill resort in Vernon for an ultimate relaxing spa getaway you will not forget!

10. Try Something New Together

It is so important for couples to grow together and what better way to do that than by learning together. When looking for ideas for date night, why not grow your bond and try something new together? This can be a useful skill like taking a cooking class or more of a hobby like a new sport.

We love creating day dates by trying new sports like heading to the batting cages or grabbing a volleyball and going to the beach. Learn some “couples yoga” poses and head to a quiet outdoor area with a nice view to practice. You can also try going to the park and try slacklining.

How to level up the date: Each of you writes down an activity you have always wanted to try and put in a hat. When you run out of fun ideas for date night simply reach into a hat and pull out one of the activities.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the top romantic things to do in Kelowna! Let us know your favourite date idea in the Okanagan in the comment section below!

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After three years of sleeping with two adults and 3 dogs in a tiny little van, it is safe to say we have gotten quite good at it! We know not only how to scout out the best campsite but also how to get the best sleep once parked and ready.

We decided to pass on some words of wisdom for new vanpeople or to those who simply suffer from insomnia. These are our recommendations for those wondering how to fall asleep easily in a different city every night. Let’s face it, sleep deprivation can negatively affect every single aspect of your life. Sleep is something we take seriously. A lack of sleep can be a dangerous thing when living van life. When you are in close quarters with anyone for an extended period of time, a good night’s sleep will make it much smoother.

1. Don’t Fight Mother Nature

Your usual routine of staying up as late at night and sleeping in even later the next morning won’t fly in your camper. Instead, .you will find yourself adjusting to mother nature’s schedule. The best time to sleep may have been closer to midnight for you before, but when living in a camper, you will feel far more rested if you stick to the sun’s schedule.

Whether you are a full time RVer or are just going on a short camping trip, you are sure to find yourself running out of things to do when the sun goes down and being woken up early by the sun peeking through your windows.

This new sleeping schedule can be a bit of an adjustment and one you may not be willing to make – but trust us, going with it is much better than fighting it. Getting your body in tune with nature will help to make it so you have a good night’s rest. It will also help you to make the most of your day.

2. Find Flat Land

Finding even ground is likely something you have never thought about when in a car – that is until you are considering sleeping in your vehicle. You will know you are a true vanlifer when you find yourself always looking for the most even terrain to park on. You can cheat the system by bringing along a couple of short pieces of wood. If you find an ideal campsite but it’s not flat, you can drive up on the wood to level your rig.

Pro tip: If you are prone to snoring, finding level ground will do even more for your night’s sleep as you will be more comfortable inside and stomach sleeping.

While finding flat land is the dream, it isn’t always realistic. While you will want to aim to find as flat as possible, it is also important to consider the side where you are putting your head. If you can’t find perfectly flat ground, which you commonly can’t, you will want to make sure that the area where you put your head is at the slight incline. Having your head slightly higher will likely not bother you as much if you even notice a difference.

It is important to never find a position where your feet are higher. This will cause the blood in your body to pool in your head as you sleep and can be incredibly uncomfortable. If you are sleeping with another person in the car as we do, tilting to one side at an angle is also not ideal. With this, you will find yourself rolling into each other (and not in a good way) all night long.

We always keep a couple extra throw pillows in our van too so we can correct any problems we may feel. If we aren’t quite flat, a few strategically placed pillows can leave us much more comfortable.

3. Outfitting Your Van

To me, it is very important to get comfortable wherever I go. Whether I am staying in a hotel for a night or moving into a new home, I make sure to fully unpack all of my stuff to make myself feel as homey as possible. I think almost everyone can agree that they get the best sleep when they are at home so why not bring home with you wherever you go?

Bring Comforts

This is important no matter how long you are staying in your RV for. Bring your socks, duvet, pillows, throw pillows, sleep masks, essential oils, slippers, comfy pajamas, or anything else you enjoy using along with you. Make your camper feel just as cozy as your home does.

Being comfortable is important whether this is your home for a night or your home for life.

We see so many RVers using scratchy blankets or even sleeping bags as their bedding and we just don’t get it. There are so many things we bring with us to make it as comfortable as possible. We have our nice fleece sheets lining the bottom, a fluffy duvet on top and a whole whack of pillows everywhere. We drink our tea out of nice homey mugs and make sure to bring all of our creature comforts with us.

Check On Your Curtains

Darkness is very important for getting a good night’s sleep. This is especially important when you’re in a camper as you will have much more exposure to external light sources. No one wants to be woken up by headlights shining through your windows. If you have to sleep in a parking lot you’ll want to be able to park directly under lights without them shining into your eyes.

We would like you to learn from our mistakes and NOT outfit your van with super cute but thin blush curtains. Instead, go for something either a bit darker in color to block out the bright lights or line your curtains so that you can keep the sun (and the heat) out longer. If you have to have lighter curtains sew a thicker material onto the back so they have a better chance at blocking out unwanted light.

Invest In Screens

If there is one piece of advice we could scream from the rooftops it’s to invest in some screens for your tiny home! No matter what season you are traveling in, vans get HOT and even being able to crack your windows a tiny bit can do wonders for increasing your comfort levels. Being able to do this without being swarmed by bugs will give you a much better sleep.

In the hot summer months, we sleep with all our windows completely opened and the air flow between them is so welcomed. We do this even on cooler nights because with three dogs and two people, having some new fresh air be able to come in is always welcomed.

4. Bedtime Routines

We take bedtime routines seriously, probably due to our increase in age. Gone are the day’s where we launch ourselves into bed in yesterday’s clothes and makeup still on. Today’s nighttime routines have evolved into a much lengthier process of self care and home cleaning.

Get Tiered

While this may seem obvious, too many people struggle to get to sleep for the fact that they simply aren’t tired. It is no secret that time moves quite a bit slower when you are camping and living out in the bush, so much so that you may find yourself too relaxed and in turn not tired by the end of the day.

Never underestimate the power of a good hike, brisk yoga, or a long swim. While it may seem counterintuitive to get your heart racing before bed, it can help put you to sleep. There is no better sleep than when you are physically, and mentally, exhausted. While it is best to do this during the day as you will not be left with a sudden burst of endorphins, we have found evening strolls to be effective as well. Get outside and run, walk, bike, paddle, or hike. Whatever you decide, this is the best natural sleep aid we have yet to come across.

Essential Oils

We often get questions about which essential oils are best and why we use them. We rely heavily on essential oils in every aspect of our life and couldn’t be happier with the effect we have found from them.

While there are more and more companies popping up selling these products, we have always really liked using Sage products. The sleep well blend as well as the tranquility spray is something we use almost every single night. We bought a mask from them as well that we regularly add some essential oils to in order to get the best night’s sleep.

Meditate

Meditating is a nightly routine for both Myles and I that we take part in almost every single night. This looks a bit different for everyone but whether you are clearing your mind while lying in bed or intently seeking out a spot to do some mindful meditation, it can have great positive effects on your sleep cycle.

We have a Spotify playlist full of meditation music that we fall asleep to quite often. We now associate the music with sleeping and no matter what we are doing we start to feel sleepy the moment we hear the tunes. I combine this with some mindfulness exercises like stretching or light bed yoga. Nothing puts me to sleep quite as well as warm and stretched out muscles.

You may be wondering how to meditate but worry less about how to and just do what feels right for you.

I like focusing on awareness and fall asleep every single night analyzing every inch of my body from the hair on my head to the tips of my toe. I visualize the body part and consciously think of it melting in relaxation. Most nights I don’t get through my body before I drift into a calm and deep sleep. Others I know can’t meditate with anyone else around as they find it too distracting and instead go to seek out a quiet private spot.

5. Lighting

If you have decked out your rig for long term use, chances are you have thought ahead and have some energy efficient LED lights for indoor use. While these are great options, they don’t provide the best lighting for inducing a deep sleep. Light can play a big role in making you tired which is why we bought some warm fairy lights that run on rechargeable batteries. This causes less strain on our eyes while still allowing us to navigate our way through the van.

While ideally, you should not be using your cell phone or computer right before bed, it isn’t necessarily the most realistic thing. Whether you are setting your alarm, planning your next days route or simply checking up on your Instagram feed, the reality is our generation uses their phone up until the moment they fall asleep.

To help make this a bit better, we make sure that our screens brightness setting is always turned way down and that we have a blue light filter on, a setting called eye comfort on our phones. All of these things help make us still able to fall asleep even after using our devices.

How do you ensure a good night’s sleep in your camper? Do you incorporate any of these tips into your nighttime routine?

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The Philippines has been on the top of our must-visit list for as long as we can remember. The beautiful and pristine clear tropical waters were enough to hold our interest. That’s why the moment we planned an extended trip to South East Asia, we knew this country needed to be one of our first stops. We can now confidently say the Philippines is one of the best vacation spots in the world.

Despite all this country has to offer, it is quite remote and isn’t your typical tourist destination. All busyness is replaced with ‘island time’ where everything is a lot more relaxed and leisurely. If you’re like we were, you may not know what to expect travelling in the Philippines. We’ve made this list to get you more prepared on what to expect in the Philippines.

We’ve made a list of 10 must know facts we were surprised to learn on our trip through this country.

1. The Philippines is very eco friendly

If you are anything like us, you are always looking for ways to go green and make your travel vacation more sustainable. While in Canada we are just starting to take notice of the harsh effects of plastic straws, in the Philippines there is not a plastic straw in sight. Everywhere you look you will find paper straws being your only option.

Plastic cutlery is replaced with compostable wood and you have to ask if you want a plastic bag, they aren’t just handed over.

photo of a pontoon boat with crystal clear water in El Nido, Philippines
Crystal clear water by El Nido, Philippines

While it is not safe to drink tap water, that doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a bunch of water bottles. In the Philippines, you will find water refill stations just about everywhere you turn.

From big jugs found in hotels everywhere that are FREE to a cheap refill station located on the streets, you have tons of options. Lots of restaurants offer either free or affordable filtered water that typically is served in reusable glass bottles.

As their tourism is on the rise, you can expect to pay many “eco fees” when travelling around.

Eco fees work to clean and protect both the beaches and the ocean where you are travelling. While these are often around 200 – 500 Philippines Pesos ($5 – $12 CAD) the money does seem to really work to keep the land and waters clean making it worth every single penny.

2. Stray dogs in the Philippines are usually friendly

As with a lot of areas in Asia, stray dogs and cats are a real problem in the Philippines. As heartbreaking as this is, especially to animal lovers such as ourselves, there is a slight light at the end of the tunnel. Animals in the Philippines seem to be better treated with this country where the dogs and cats seem to be a bit better treated as a whole.

Stray dogs in the Philippines are less fearful of humans. You will see the dogs playing all over the streets, a sight you simply do not see in other parts of Asia.

Where normally dogs in this area are in a survivalist “dog eat dog” world – literally – and are much more similar to coyotes than to household pets, this doesn’t ring as true in the Philippines. It is a small breath of fresh air to see dogs acting like, well, dogs.

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3. More islands are constantly getting found

The Philippines consists of over 7,600 islands… and counting. Some islands are so small that they disappear completely in high tides. There are Philippines islands that hold large bustling cities while others show no signs of human civilization.

With so many dots on a map, it is easy to understand how you can lose track of which islands have been discovered and which have yet to have a human ever step foot on them. Combine this with the rough waters of the open ocean and you will see how some islands have never been found.

In our modern world, how crazy is it to think that there are some areas of this world that are so remote that they have had absolutely no human influence.

4. The Philippines is vegetarian and vegan friendly

Whether you’re living a dedicated vegan lifestyle or simply looking for healthier plant-based options, you will be pleasantly surprised by how many options you have in the Philippines.

We always expect a bit of a challenge finding vegetarian and plant-based meals but we didn’t struggle at all here. From smoothie bowls, vegan burgers, veggie kebabs and pasta we always had our choice of tasty cuisine. We found that many restaurants offered up more veggie options than meat options, which surprised us.

5. English is widely spoken in The Philippines

For not being a huge tourist destination, we expected more of a struggle to communicate with locals. We were incredibly surprised to learn that almost all of the locals here, even those not in the tourist industry, speak English well.

As the Philippines is so spread out with many islands, there are multiple different dialects spoken so as a way to communicate easier everyone simply speaks English. This was really great for us as it means we could communicate with locals more readily.

Speaking of communicating, we were so humbled by how friendly the locals are in the Philippines. It seemed everyone we encountered was ready to chat with us, help us and have real connections.

Getting to know the locals as we travel is one of our favourite things to do and we are always so honoured to get the chance to spend quality time learning about other cultures.

6. The remote location comes with a cost

If you compare the costs of the Philippines to other areas of Asia you will be quite surprised. We found food and especially accommodation prices to be quite high in comparison to places like Thailand and Bali. Still, a bargain compared to American and European prices, but much more than other Asian backpacking countries.

When considering lodging, we found it worth the cost to stay in a resort when visiting these islands as we found the cheap hotels to be full of bed bugs and cockroaches. While these prices may not be the lowest we have seen, it is still a great cheap beach vacation that is sure to provide memories of a lifetime.

We also found that while we spent a bit more on accommodation prices, what we got really was worth it!

7. ATMs are not easily accessible

When you are travelling through Asia you will likely not want to travel with excess valuables. The more you travel with, the bigger the target you are. While this is true in most places, the Philippines is not one of them.

There are many cities, and even islands, that do not have ATM machines in the Philippines.

If you do find an ATM machine, it will commonly undergo power outages or other service issues that limit your ability to access your money. This can be quite dangerous at times.

We recommend always having extra money with you at all times when visiting the Philippines.

8. The internet in the Philippines isn’t reliable

The internet in the Philippines is more of a fond notion rather than something that actually works. No restaurants or fast food chains offer wifi, something that I have only found in this country. Hotels and airports in this country typically have wifi but not one that actually works.

This is not necessarily a bad thing – just something to know before you go.

There is so much to see and do in the Philippines that you will have no trouble busying yourself for some precious days unplugged from the world. While no signal can be a great recharge for the soul, it is lethal for a digital nomad. We were able to get no work done the whole time in the country, we couldn’t even check a social media handle – a very foreign concept to us.

Luckily we were kept very busy swimming through some of the clearest and most beautiful turquoise waters in the world. We thought the Caribbean was blessed with amazing waters until we went here and experienced this beauty.

9. Blackouts are common in the remote areas of the Philippines

If you were hoping for a cool night’s sleep in the air-conditioned room you paid for, think again. Blackouts happen but in the Philippines, they happen OFTEN. We never experienced a single day in the Philippines that didn’t have at least 2 blackouts. Some lasted a few seconds, some much longer.

This further limits your ability to find any wifi but also cuts out fans, air conditioning, TVs, etc. For this reason, we kept our room colder than we normally would so it could stay cool even when we lost power.

10. Travelling between cities and islands in the Philippines can be hard

This is by far the biggest struggle we encountered in the Philippines. This becomes even harder when you are travelling in the rainy (ie, monsoon) season, as we did. There are very few airports in the country making it so the primary way of getting from island to island is by boat. The seas are CHOPPY and dangerous which makes motion sickness a real thing.

This is by far the biggest struggle we encountered in the Philippines. This becomes even harder when you are travelling in the rainy (ie, monsoon) season, as we did. There are very few airports in the country making it so the primary way of getting from island to island is by boat. The seas are CHOPPY and dangerous which makes motion sickness a real thing.

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We heard stories of people getting stuck on an island for more than 2 weeks because of treacherous waves.

It is not uncommon for boats to go down in bad weather, so they stop all boat traffic when rough waters are present. This can leave you stuck in an area with little control over when you can leave.

Friends we met who were travelling here for 3 weeks ended up getting stuck on an island. They missed their flight out of the country and overstayed their 30-day visitor visa. Luckily, I think, this is quite common as the officials were understanding of the overstayed visa.

When you are travelling on an island, there are many different transportation methods you can use. Our favourite is always renting a scooter. But if you are too nervous about this you can always get by using taxis or tricycles (the Philippines version of a Tuk Tuk).

Have you ever travelled to the Philippines? What surprised you most about this remote country?

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It is no secret nowadays that cell phones have turned into our lifelines. You will rarely find anyone, let alone a millennial, without their cell phone with them at all times. Most people, us included, even sleep with our cell phones just inches from our bed so that we are always within reach.

But this is especially true when you’re traveling. More than likely, you’re only going to travel to a place once in your life. This makes the decision of the device you choose extremely important. Nobody wants to look at their pictures after their trip only to find out they look like potatoes.

While it’s a romantic idea to be away from your phone and be so caught up in your travels you don’t even know where your mobile phone is, it isn’t really reality for most people. The truth is our phones have even more of a role to play when we travel. From a mere a way to check our social media when you’re home, when traveling smart phones turn into video recorders, cameras, travel agents, GPS guides and even in-case-of-emergency lifeline. This means travelers require the best smartphone you can get.

The best travel smartphone is one that is rugged enough to handle your travels (Samara is known to be hard on her technology), is reliable and perhaps most important of all Not only does it need to be reliable but also fast enough to respond to your every demand (trust us on this, you will not believe how many photo opportunities have been missed due to slow technology).

What do you look for in the best travel phone? Is it a camera quality, battery life, screen size, worldwide bands? If you are anything like us your answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE. After careful consideration and a ton of research we opted for the Huawei Mate 20 pro.

Storage

One of the biggest issues people have with aging phones is the limited storage space. Just a few years ago 32 GB’s of storage came standard on most phones. Nowadays though, that is simply not enough.

Smartphone applications are constantly increasing. Instagram, for example, is 116 megabytes. This means an older phone with smaller storage won’t be able to have access to as many crucial applications.

In a given day we use: google maps (saving maps for offline use), Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Messenger, WhatsApp, Spotify, Snapchat, GMail, Google Photos, Trello, One Drive, Planoly, Lightroom and LensDistortion.

This list then increases with banking apps, travel apps, loyalty apps and Netflix. Needless to say, we require a lot of storage. Most travelers will agree that having enough storage space to not have to worry about snapping too many photos is so important. We have been in situations where we weren’t able to capture a special moment because of a lack of space on our phone.

The Mate 20 pro comes with 128 GB’s standard. This allows us to not only have as many apps as we want but also take thousands of photos and back all those photos up. We don’t always have the time to transfer the files off our phone to our computers or we are off traveling abroad without our computers with us.

  • 32 gb = 6,250 photographs
  • 64 gb = 12,500 photographs
  • 128 gb = 25,000 photographs
  • 256 gb = 50,000 photographs

Having the ability to download full length movies or 12 episodes of our favourite showa makes long flights or extended buss hauls so much easier. Trust us, you’ll love being able to store your top 2000 Spotify songs directly to your device.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Just like a laptop computer, smartphones have RAM. This is similar to the actual storage of the device but allows you to have multiple applications open at one time without them closing. RAM also plays a massive role in the speed of your device. The Mate20 pro comes with 6 GB’s of RAM which is excellent by today’s standards.

Our previous smartphone only had 4 GB’s which means it is more susceptible to slowing down over time. A higher amount will ensure the device is future-proofed (ie, won’t be considered old technology in a matter of months). This will give you the longevity you need out of a $1000+ device.

Camera

This should really be at the top of our list as it has proved to be one of the most important things to us. Camera quality is one of those things that you don’t know what you’re missing until you have the best and then think to yourself “how did I ever go any other way”. If you read our 2018 Smartphone review you know we were impressed with the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus cameras quality. Well, upon trying out the Mate 20 pro camera we quickly realized it doesn’t even compare.

Nowadays, the need for bringing along your big bulky DSLR camera is diminishing as smartphone cameras are becoming real rivals in delivering photo quality.

Rear Camera

Especially when it comes to traveling, you have one shot to take that great photo. You don’t know when, if ever, you will be zooming down a backroad of Thailand on a scooter so it is important that get your perfect shot the first time.

This phone has a set of 3 rear facing lenses that work together to take the perfect photo. All of these work together to make some of the best photos we have ever seen from a phone. We aren’t kidding when we say the quality of this phone is unlike anything we have experienced. There’s also data to back this up!

There is an 8 megapixel (MP) telephoto (zoom), a 20 MP ultra wide angle, and a 40 MP main lens. Yes, that is a higher count than our Nikon d5200 DSLR shooter.

What we like the most is that the smartphone seamlessly switches between the lenses. If you are in the camera app and slide the zoom the camera will transition between the lenses without issue. This is a stark difference from a DSLR setup which requires you to manually remove each lens. Not only is it a pain to switch the lenses, it means you have to carry each one individually – not ideal for travelers.

We love having a built in wide angle lens. This gives us the freedom of being able to take shots without having to backup too far.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This is one of the most powerful cameras when it comes to scene detection. Huawei touts the camera is able to detect more than 1500 scenarios and 25 categories. What this means for you is when you’re in a snowy environment it’ll automatically switch scenes, and thus all the settings, to optimize the photo. The camera auto-detects faces and automatically switches to portrait mode.

At first we didn’t give this feature as much thought as we should have. We knew it was cool but didn’t recognize how much it would transform our photo quality. Our blue skies are enhanced, photos of our dogs are crisper, the snow is whiter… it is honestly one of the main reasons we are such advocates of this phone.

Front Camera

We know that it can be hard to take photos of yourself on your trip. This is why the front camera of a smartphone is so important. Yes, we know it can be embarrassing using a selfie stick but trust us, you’ll be thankful you did 6 months down the road.

The front facing camera on the Huawei Mate20 pro is 23 MP. It takes stunning photos but we definitely recommend turning off, or at least down, the phones beauty mode.

Battery life

All of this doesn’t matter if the smartphone dies halfway into your day. This is why we picked a phone that has one of the best batteries on the market. It is rated at 4200 maH which is high for such a small device.

This is so nice as we often have really long days traveling without access to a plug in. We rented a car in Bali and drove around the island and by the end of the 12 hour day both of our phones were completely dead with the amount of photos we had taken.

Huawei has coupled the battery with software that learns your usage patterns and tailors your experience accordingly. For example, if you use Instagram, maps, and WhatsApp regularly the phone will keep those apps open in the background. This makes it easy to switch between apps without having to wait for them to reload. It also means that the device uses less power (and thus less battery) throughout the day.

Fast charging

If you are a super heavy user and find yourself with a low battery you’ll be happy to know that you have a device that has built in fast charging. This has to do with the charging cable and brick setup you use. In fact, this is one of the fastest charging phones on the market. A 30 minute charge will give you 70% battery. We always travel with a portable battery bank which gives us nearly 5x our battery life.

Reverse wireless charging

One of the coolest features about this phone is that it was the first phone to have reverse wireless charging. This means you’ll be able to charge another phone (with Qi capabilities) with this phone wirelessly. This may seem silly, but it can really help out in a pinch. It’s not the world’s fastest charging (less than 5W), but it will give you enough for a couple hours while you eat dinner.

High resolution screen

The screen on this smartphone is pretty special. It can be bumped up to 3120 x 1440 for when you’re editing photos or watching movies. But out of the box it comes set to 2340 x 1080 and the Smart Resolution feature is turned on. This increases or decreases the screen resolution based on what you’re doing. So, if you’re watching a movie it’ll increase to 3120 x 1440 but if you’re just browsing the web it’ll decrease it. You should care about this because the screen is one of the biggest factors in determining battery life; The higher the resolution, the worse the battery life.

It is also made with OLED technology. This is usually found in high end televisions and smartphones. What’s great about this type of screen is that the blacks are actually the pixels of the screen being turned off. This makes it have true blacks instead of the panel trying to imitate black. None of this you will notice a difference on but will contribute to a longer battery life.

Curved glass

Not only can it be a super high resolution, it also features a curved display. While some people don’t like it we are not part of this group. It seems to fit in your hand more comfortably. Overall, it makes the devices feel much more premium than its competition. It seems like all of the best rated cell phones have this type of screen.

Small Bezels

It seems like there’s a race to a bezel-less phone, including this one. Yes, there is a notch but it houses some important features (more on this later). The curved edges give the feeling that there is no bezel along the sides. There is a slight chin at the bottom of the screen but that’s the only wasted space you’ll find. It actually makes it easier to hold in landscape (aka watching movies).

Security

There are many ways this device keeps your information safe. It has an in screen fingerprint sensor that works surprisingly well. This one is an optical sensor meaning it takes a photo of your fingerprint. The only drawback of this is that it has to shine a bright light onto your finger. You’ll only truly notice this at night or in dark environments. The cool thing about this feature is that you can set the home screen to be different based on a different fingerprint. So if you use certain apps more frequently than your wife, you can simply set it up to show a different home screen when it detects her fingerprint.

The notch is where the high tech 3D Face Unlock is located. Unlike other Android smartphones which simply use a photo to recognize your face the Mate 20 pro shoots over 30 000 little dots onto your face. This makes it much more secure as it “reads” the contours of your face. In fact, it can recognize you even if you’re wearing glasses or a hat. In our time using the phone the face unlock has worked so well that we’ve actually forgot we had it enabled.

Waterproof

Most phones these days come with some sort of water resistant rating. This device is IP68 rated. The “IP” stands for Ingress Protection meaning it fights against debris entering the device. The first number refers to solids – 6 meaning it is “dust tight”, while the second number is talking about liquids – 8 meaning it is able to be submerged in water for a period of time.

When this is put together, Huawei says this phone can handle up to a 1.5 meters (5 feet) depth for up to 30 minutes. While we don’t recommend swimming with the device we do regularly bring ours out into rain storms or kayaking with us on a lake. Just keep in mind also that this doesn’t include salt or chlorinated water. Both of these can damage the gaskets that keep the phone water tight.

Trust us, this is more than a feature you should overlook. While traveling in Bali one of our phones got a little wet and started malfunctioning. This wouldn’t be an issue if we were somewhere we could get it repaired, but we were in a remote area. The phone stopped working the next day, meaning we lost a way of capturing photos.

Worldwide bands

Travelers will appreciate the long list of available bands this device can connect to. For those not familiar with this term “bands” refers to the frequencies a device can connect to. Each country, region, and cellular company uses different bands. This means that no matter if you’re road tripping through Canada, or backpacking Thailand, you’ll be able to stay in touch with your friends and family.

Expandable storage

Even though this phone’s storage can be expanded it’s not entirely needed, and can be expensive. This is because Huawei have strayed from the industry’s standard of micro SD cards. Instead, they use something called Nano Memory. It’s quite similar to micro SD cards except it’ll be much thinner. You can get 64 GB, 128 GB, all the way up to 256 GB.

Comes with a case

Most top of the line smartphones these days come with the bare minimum in the box: a charger, the device and headphones (if you’re lucky). You’ll find a fast charger, headphones, a 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter and a case. It may not be the most durable but it keeps the device from scratching. Every time you place your device on a surface it has the chance to scratch so even the thinnest cases will ensure it stays in pristine condition for as long as possible.

Addressing the controversy

Huawei has been in the news a lot in the past few months, especially in Canada. This has tainted their name a little when it comes to their products. Some people have brought up that the company may be spying on it’s customers. Most people don’t realize that Huawei manufacturers nearly all of the cellular communication towers (at least here in Canada) so if they really wanted to take your data they’d simply siphon it from the towers. In other words, they wouldn’t need to produce a physical device in order to spy on you.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for the best smartphone for travel in 2019 you’ll want to check out the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. When it came time for us to upgrade our phones, we did a lot of research in order to find which one was going to fit into our busy rough lifestyle the best.

We are so happy with our choice to go for the Huawei, mostly for the impressive photo quality it gives us as well as the waterproofing technology.The entire device has built in Artificial Intelligence which tailors everything from the apps that stay open to the battery to the automatic selection of the cameras.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro specs speak for themself. Having 6 GBs of ram allow you to multitask without apps force closing, 128 GBs of storage gives you the ability to take photos for months without having to transfer them to a computer.

Until next year…

What unlocked smartphone do you use for travelling? Let us know in the comment section below!


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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means we may get a commission if you make a purchase at no extra charge to you. Our opinions are our own and we only share what we believe you’ll find helpful. We also use all the products that we have links to. You can even see them in the photos we post.

Ahhh Kelowna – the Hawaii of Canada! In 2019, after travelling quite extensively, we made the calculated decision to make Kelowna our home base. After thoroughly exploring North America on our three-year road trip it is safe to say we knew exactly what we wanted in the place we decided to call home: tons of hiking trails, long hot summers with mild winters, slow good vibes and friendly people. You need to visit Kelowna now!

Looking to get romantic on your next trip to Kelowna? Check out these romantic date ideas in Kelowna!

Kelowna checked all of these boxes off with flying colours! We could go on and on about why we love this city (and often do) so we decided to do just that by listing the top reasons that Kelowna needs to be at the top of your must-visit travel list.

Travelling to British Columbia? Read about 6 secret spots that are our favourite in the province.

1. Kelowna has long hot summers with mild winters

If there is one thing that Kelowna excels at it’s outdoor living. Everywhere you look you will see patios, parks, people on their bikes and at the beach. Kelowna is great for those looking for short milder winters and long hot summers.

Wondering what the best way to spend a summer day in Kelowna is? Packing a cooler and relaxing aboard a private pontoon boat cruise on Okanagan Lake is the way to do it! This cruise will take up to 11 people to spend the afternoon on the lake for $960 CAD ($715.99 USD). Split that cost 11 ways and this becomes super affordable!

All the sunshine in Kelowna makes the spring and fall months feel like an extension of summer. In fact, many locals will start their outdoor living as early as late March when the snow has melted and the sun is in full force. By April, patios are in full swing and it seems every single house has a BBQ going for dinner. The many surrounding lakes help to break the heat you may be experiencing as summer temperatures are known to sit around the mid-30s (in the 90s Fahrenheit).

Tucked amongst the mountains, Kelowna continues to be a playground even through the winter months. Big White in Kelowna is a popular option amongst locals for skiing and snowboarding but there are many in the area including Apex mountain in Hedley and Silverstar mountain in nearby Vernon. A great place to experience all 4 seasons, Kelowna winters drop just below freezing to around -5℃ (around 25℉) allowing for white winters that aren’t too chilly.

Looking to go to Big White? Booking private transportation from Kelowna to Big White will get you there without stress.

2. Shopping local is easy

Kelowna, and most of the people living here, place a great priority on shopping locally. With a dominating farming industry, sourcing produce and meat fresh from local farms are the norms.

From the budding local farmers’ market to the many small markets selling locally produced goods, you have endless farm-to-table options. Even big corporations such as Save On Foods have entire sections of their stores that highlight all locally crafted items.

Click here for info about how to get around Kelowna like a local

Walking down Bernard Ave. or Pandosy St., the two streets that are most dedicated to “downtown shopping”. A majority of these stores are all local boutique-style businesses. The top cafes and restaurants in Kelowna are all smaller family-owned businesses that serve local craft beers and wines.

If you’re wanting to take part in the shop local eat local trend, this 3 hour private downtown foodie tour will take you to some of the best downtown local restaurants that are exclusive to Kelowna. The tour costs $120 CAD ($89.50 USD) and includes all food and drinks at the different independent restaurants.

If you are looking to get on board with this trend there are many farms in the city where you can go directly to buy all your produce, meats, cheeses, honey, and more.

Looking for more of a one-stop shop? The farmers market in Kelowna is large and bustling with great local finds and runs every Saturday and Wednesday morning in the summer months. You can find everything from fresh locally grown vegetables to homemade clothes and dreamcatchers.

3. There are over 100 wineries in the Okanagan

The Okanagan is BC’s little Napa Valley – full of stunning wineries. Summerhill Pyramid Winery is one of our favourites with lake and city views that are sure to take your breath away. Sandhill Wines is right downtown Kelowna making it a super popular destination. With every winery having its own spin on things you can even find some great niche wines, such as the honey wine found at Meadow Vista.

Take this self guided wine tour of the best wineries in Kelowna!

If you don’t have a designated driver, booking an afternoon Kelowna wine tour is a great option. You can choose between either an east Kelowna or West Kelowna wine tour here visiting 4 of the best wineries in the city. All tasting fees and transportation from your hotel is included in the cost. The price varies based on the number of people in your group with 2 people costing $250 CAD ($186.46 USD) each and a group of 6 costing $179 CAD ($133.50 USD) per person.

Wine isn’t your thing? There are TONS of small craft breweries and cideries in the city and surrounding area. If you want it all in one place visiting any number of the local pubs around town will give you local options.

If you’d be more into checking out the craft beer scene, this Kelowna brewery tour will take you to 3 of the best breweries in the city: Tree Brewing, BNA Brewing, and Kettle River Brewing. Flights of beer from each brewery and transportation are included in the $110 CAD ($82.04 USD) per person price tag.

Downtown Kelowna has developed a brewery district with a bunch of craft breweries opening close together. The best way to see this is with a walking self guided Kelowna brewery tour that takes you to the best Kelowna breweries. Our top recommendations are BNA, Red Bird and Bad Tattoo Brewing (all located within a few blocks of each other).

4. Kelowna’s Okanagan Lake is full of activities

We LOVE the water and that is a massive positive for the city – it’s surrounded by huge lakes. Okanagan Lake runs North to South between West Kelowna and Kelowna. Kalamalka Lake and Wood Lake also run vertically but are northeast of the city.

Kelowna’s waterways are beautiful providing gorgeous views both in and out of the water.

The lakes here are BIG and offer warm clear waters that are perfect for boating, kayaking and even scuba diving. Kelowna’s main lake is called the Okanagan Lake and is famous for having the friendly Ogopogo monster living inside, similar to Scotland’s Loch Ness monster.

This lake is lined with beaches every few hundred meters making it so there is plenty of access in the summertime. As a general rule, the farther away from downtown you go, the better your chances are of finding a great spot.

The most popular beaches in Kelowna are Boyce-Gyro Beach, Hot Sand Beach at City Park, Tugboat Beach and Rotary Beach Beach. If you are looking for less busy Kelowna beaches to visit, we recommend driving down Lakeshore Rd/Abbott Rd to find some smaller beach access points.

Venturing into West Kelowna is another great option for finding quieter beaches.

If you want a bit more luxury, another great way to enjoy the lake is by sailing on it. This private sailing cruise is a great way for your group to see the city. The price of this cruise varies on the number of people in your group with 2 people costing $160 CAD ($119.33 USD) each and groups of 6 costing $130 CAD ($96.96 USD) each. My favorite part about this tour is your captain will even let you take the wheel giving you a quick sailing lesson as you go.

If you are looking beyond just Kelowna, there are 50 lakes in the Okanagan area so you have plenty of options and may even find some secluded havens. Heading down some local FSRs (forest service roads) will take you to smaller, less crowded lakes such as Chute Lake, Lambly Lake, Hydraulic Lake, Postill Lake and Beaver Lake.

One of our favourite things to do is to hike in or kayak along the coastline to find our own private beaches. We often pack our dogs into our kayaks and paddle up the lake to find some great secret spots along the water. If you don’t have a kayak, try exploring on foot.

Knox Mountain is a great hiking spot that is located right downtown Kelowna and if you are brave enough to bushwack a bit you can find some great water access spots. A popular one to hike to is Paul’s Tomb – the walk is easy and the views are priceless. Another great hike-in-only beach is Rose Valley Lake on Kelowna’s Westside.

5. You get to enjoy the best restaurants in Kelowna

The amount of high-quality restaurant options in Kelowna is enough to make your head spin. We HIGHLY recommend skipping the big-name chains and opting for one of the many local restaurants in the area.

Wine more your thing? Check out these top Kelowna winery restaurants.

In the downtown core, higher-end restaurants such as Oak & Cru and Micro Bar & Bites combine with eclectic must-visit places such as BNA brewing, Leopold’s Tavern and Curious Cafe.

If you are looking to soak up the sunshine with a great patio and lake views check out King Taps or Cactus Club downtown or head to a winery such as Quails Gate in West Kelowna.

A great way to taste the city is to book this downtown Kelowna walking food tour. You can eat your way through 7 different places in the city. This tour costs $83 CAD ($61.90 USD) and includes all food and drink tastings along the way. Your guide will teach you about the city and the food as you spend 3 hours touring downtown.

If you’re looking for a meal with a ton of nightlife head to Craft Beer Market or Social 242 Lounge (bonus: Tuesday is Ladies Night where ladies get $20 off of a $40 or higher bill INCLUDING drinks!). Kelowna is fairly vegan-friendly with restaurants like Central Kitchen, the Naked Cafe, Frankie We Salute You and KB &Co offering many plant-based options.

6. The perfect mix of fresh fruit & local farms

Kelowna has a delicate balance of city life mixed with gorgeous farms and orchards. Okanagan fruit is definitely something to write home about – the cherries.. the peaches!!! You can expect the streets to be lined with fresh fruit stands in the summertime that are all well worth a visit.

Looking for a great date idea in Kelowna? Pack a picnic and head to a u-Pick.

If you are up for the adventure, there are MANY u-pick farms that you can visit to pick your own fruit straight from the source — it doesn’t get any fresher than this!

If you are up for the adventure, there are MANY u-pick farms that you can visit to pick your own fruit straight from the source — it doesn’t get any fresher than this!

There are even great sanctuaries that allow hands-on experience with some rescued farm animals. The Arion therapeutic farm is a favourite of ours and a great place to get in touch with nature.

7. There are so many things to do in Kelowna

If you are lucky enough to visit the Okanagan in the summertime you will be left with no shortage of amazing things to do around the city. With all the wineries, farms, and patios you will have no shortage of ways to enjoy all the beautiful sunshine that comes in this area.

If you enjoy the outdoors, we recommend exploring the Kettle Valley Railroad. This offers endless stunning views and is great for hiking, biking or even cross-country skiing in the wintertime. There are a couple of different access points, our favourite of which is located here.

If you’re wanting to try biking this trail, the Kettle Valley Railway tour from Myra Canyon to Penticton is a great way to do it. While the whole trail is either flat or downhill, you will be traveling long distances so make sure you’re physically fit. You will be biking all the way to Penticton crossing the trestle bridges and going through tunnels. The tour is great for groups of 4 or more and includes your bike rental and round trip transportation for $225 CAD ($167.81 USD) per person.

Expect a bit of a drive from the city and a dirt road climb up a forest service road but trust us it is well worth it.

If you are coming in the winter months, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the relatively mild temperatures in the area. Winter makes a short and sweet appearance in Kelowna perfectly dusting the city with some snow to make all your winter wonderland dreams come true. This gives the local mountains some great fresh powder while allowing the city to put on their FREE annual outdoor skating rink.

Looking to explore more of British Columbia? Check out the top things to do in Vancouver!

8. Kelowna has an artsy vibe

From local craft breweries to hipster cafes this city has an artsy vibe that rivals San Francisco. Everyone here has their own unique style and it seems most have found their own ways to combine their passions with their business.

The downtown core is full of life and diverse hotspots sure to light your fire whether you’re a foodie or fashionista. With a buzzing arts and culture district, there is something new to do and see every night of the week.

9. There are SO MANY places to camp!

It is no surprise that we LOVE to camp. If you’re anything like us and love to find private FREE campsites, Kelowna and the surrounding area have plenty to keep you busy. As Kelowna is nestled between mountains, forests and lakes you will find that there are a ton of great spots to camp.

Less than half an hour from the downtown core in practically any direction you will find yourself in the middle of the outback with endless free campsites to enjoy.

10. It’s dog friendly

With three dogs, this should really be at the top of our list as it is one of the first things we look for in a new city. To be honest, we were nervous to move to Kelowna as we previously had found Kelowna incredibly not dog friendly but it turns out we just didn’t know where to go.

On a hot summer day, you can keep your dog cool by hitting the beach. Cedar Creek Park in the southern mission area is one of our favourite spots to bring our dogs.

Minutes from downtown you will find Mushroom Beach (also called Lake Ave Dog Off-leash beach), another great dog-friendly beach spot. There are also lots of great trails around that allow your furry friend to come along.

If you are wanting more of a city vibe you can walk your pup downtown along the water. Bernard Street offers up a plethora of restaurants some of which have patios with water dishes for your pup.

If you are wanting more of a city vibe you can walk your pup downtown along the water. Bernard Street offers up a plethora of restaurants some of which have patios with water dishes for your pup.

Where to stay in Kelowna

Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort – If waking up to stunning lake views sounds great to you, the Delta Hotel is one of the best hotels in Kelowna. Choose to soak in either their indoor or outdoor pool, enjoy the on-site restaurant Oak + Cru, or take a trip to their on-site wine cellar to do the most Kelowna-y thing you can do – enjoy a wine tasting. Located right downtown Kelowna, this hotel is within walking distance to the best beaches, restaurants and shopping in the city.

Hotel Zed – This quirky colorful downtown Kelowna hotel has a young and hip vibe with tons of cool extras to offer. With a pool, hot tub, outdoor firepit and sauna on site, there is tons to do. This is a great place to meet people whether you’re enjoying a cold beer on their rooftop patio taking in views of Okanagan Lake, raving at their mini-disco on site or having fun at their Ping Pong lounge complete with a Wii station. You can get around on their free bikes and rollerscates offered. Best of all, the hotel is pet friendly!

Hotel Eldorado at Eldorado Resort – This stunning boutique-style hotel is located in the southern Mission area of Kelowna. This lakefront resort has a stunning indoor pool and a whole lot of character. With a charming restaurant on site, this resort is close by the top beaches in Kelowna including Rotary Beach.

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Kelowna – A great option for families traveling to the Okanagan, Fairfield Inn has a giant waterslide that is great for keeping the family happy. Rooms are spacious and breakfast is included at this hotel. A great location sandwiched between downtown Kelowna and Kelowa’s airport, this hotel is within walking distance to many great restaurants and Orchard Park Mall.

Thanks for stopping by!

All in all, Kelowna is the ultimate destination offering something for everyone. Whether you are looking to set down some roots or planning the ultimate road trip through BC Kelowna has so much to offer!

Ever been to Kelowna? What was your favourite part of the city?

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You need the best gear when you travel. It needs to be reliable when you need it. You can’t be hanging off a 40 foot bamboo ladder in the perfect Instagram pose only to wait for your phone to load its camera app. No, you need to double tap that unlock button and have it snap into action. (Yes, I’m speaking from experience here!).

Since the beginning of this year we’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. We don’t usually write articles about our gear, but this phone has changed the way we travel. Instead of trying to bring our big, bulky DSLR camera (for those are curious, we have this one) with us wherever we go, we can simply bring our cell phone. This may seem nit picky, but when you’re traveling with three dogs you never seem to have enough arms.

Honestly, we don’t care about the Galaxy S8 specs in terms of phone functi