water sports


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

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

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

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

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

6. Strathcona Beach

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

Amenities: large grass area, kids playground, public bathrooms

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

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

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

sunset, strathcona beach, kelowna beach

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

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

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

new park located at strathcona beach

5. Bertram Beach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Rotary Beach

rotary beach, kids playground at rotary beach

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

Amenities: kids playground, watersports rentals, public bathrooms

Perks: nearby restaurants, less busy family-friendly option

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

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

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

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

Rotary beach rental shop

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

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

food truck at rotary beach in kelowna, rotary beach kelowna

3. Boyce-Gyro Beach Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Tugboat Beach

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

Amenities: watersports rentals, public bathroom

Perks: downtown location, often lots of events happening

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

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

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

waterfront boardwalk in kelowna, dogs on leashes

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

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

1. Hot Sands Beach

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

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

Perks: downtown location, lots of amenities nearby

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Beach Tours in Kelowna

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

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

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