20 Best Things to Do in Kelowna, BC

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Updated June 7, 2022

Located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, Kelowna has become known as a haven for outdoor adventurers, golf enthusiasts, wine lovers, and foodies alike. This small city packs a lot of punch with endless activities and hot spots to choose from.

From skiing to hitting the links and everything in between, Kelowna has something to offer every type of visitor. Here is a list of 20 of the best things to do in Kelowna, BC. 

1. Take a walk at the Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm

A must visit spot, the Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm is an unparalleled landscape! For a minimal entry fee you can gain access to explore the lovely plant and flower offerings at the farm. Okanagan Lake provides a picturesque backdrop while you take in the sights and smells of the lavender.

It’s fun to stop at the wishing tree and read the many wishes posted by other visitors, but be sure to leave your mark with a wish of your own. Before leaving, take advantage of sampling the handmade products at the gift shop.

Where: 4380 Takla Road, Kelowna
When: May to September (online shop open year round)
Cost: Adults – $10, children 4-12yrs – $5, children 3 & under – free 
Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor, family friendly

2. Hang out with some roos at Kangaroo Creek Farm

Kangaroos in the Okanagan? Yes, that’s right! Kelowna is home to its very own kangaroo farm. This is a great activity for people of all ages so make sure to bring the little ones along. While there are some rules to know before entering the Kangaroo Creek Farm, you can roam the grounds freely with the animals. Baby joeys can be see peeking from their mother’s pouch and guides do show and to give you a closer look.

If for some reason you don’t love kangaroos, they also have a lot of other exotics including parrots, capybara, and a very personable African Crested Porcupine called Pricilla.

  • Where: 5932 Old Vernon Road, Kelowna
  • When: March – September (approximate)
  • Cost: Adults – $12, Children & Youth – $6, Seniors 65+ – $6, children under 4 – free 
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor, family friendly

3. Hit the slopes at Big White Ski Resort

Named Canada’s favorite family resort, Big White Ski Resort draws visitors from all over the world. Offering mild temperatures and beautiful powder, skiers and snowboarders flock to Big White. Delicious restaurants, shopping, spa services, and accommodations, there really is no reason to have to leave Big White.

You can even snag a Ski & Stay package at a local Kelowna hotel with shuttle service up to the mountain. If you are lucky enough to visit during the Christmas holidays, be sure to join in on the New Year’s Eve festivities. The fireworks display is like no other!

Photo Credit: Andrew Jay

In the summer, the hills transform into trails for hiking (access to the trails is free), guided horseback trail rides, and lift-assisted downhill mountain biking (adult day pass is $49 – season passes, bike and armor rentals available). Experience the exciting mountain views and exploration in a completely new way.

  • Where: 5315 Big White Road, Kelowna
  • When: Winter: November 28 to April 19 (subject to weather), Summer: June 27 to September
  • Cost: Child – $168-$397, youth & senior – $218-$522, adult $248-$597 (pricing is a range from 2-5 day lift tickets).
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor, family friendly, energetic

4. Kayak and paddleboard with Okanagan Beach Rentals

Okanagan Lake is by far one of the biggest attractions for Kelowna. Spanning from Vernon to Penticton, this lake can be accessed from so many different spots. Kayaking and paddleboarding are among the top activities of residents and visitors and you can see why. 

Boaters are very considerate of the others trying to enjoy the clean and calm waters so don’t worry about any tidal waves coming at you as you are on your SUP board. Is there anything better than enjoying the sunshine from the water? Kayaking or paddleboarding on Okanagan Lake should be on your bucket list, it’s a true representation of the Okanagan lifestyle!

  • Where: Vernon to Penticton
  • When: Whenever you are feeling adventurous
  • Cost: Free
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor, family friendly, energetic

5. Soak up the sun at local beaches

There are over 30 beaches to choose from in the area, making it difficult to decide which one to visit for your beach day. Smooth sand and shallow waters make Boyce-Gyro a local favorite. Just look for the giant red apple on Lakeshore Road. There is a play structure with a zipline for the kiddos and beach volleyball courts for those with a competitive side. Whatever beach you choose, the water is refreshing and the sun is almost always shining. 

  • Where: 3400 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna
  • When: Whenever the sunshine calls your name
  • Cost: Free
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor, family friendly, crowded at times

6. Get competitive at Scandia Golf & Games

Voted the Okanagan’s favourite family fun center, Scandia Golf & Games is a fun-seekers mecca. Go-karts, mini golf, batting cages, and arcade games can make this spot a full day adventure for the entire family. 

  • Where: 2898 Highway 97 North, Kelowna
  • When: Year round (for most activities)
  • Cost: All activities are pay to play (on average people spend around $25/person.
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Indoor/outdoor, family friendly

7. Zen out at Pranify Yoga

Relax and recharge at a yoga class at Pranify Yoga Kelowna. No need to feel intimidated, the instructors and staff are welcoming and embrace yogis from beginners to advanced. You can drop in for a small entry fee and they even have mats and towels available if you forgot yours. Get ready to sweat and center yourself at this yoga studio. Namaste!

  • Where: #206 – 2900 Pandosy Street, Kelowna
  • When: Year round – classes are available daily 
  • Cost: Drop-in – $20, 5 class card – $90, 10 class card – $160, unlimited monthly classes – $100
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Indoor, fitness focused, laid back

8. Support local vendors at Kelowna Farmer’s Market

Don’t miss out on the many offerings at the Kelowna Farmers’ & Crafters’ Market. You can find the vendors set-up at the corner of Dilworth & Springfield during the summer season on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. During the winter months, the vendors will set-up indoors at the Parkinson Rec Center on Saturday mornings. Organic coffee, veggies, baked goods, and flowers, this is a great stop to make to support local! 

9. Buzz around at Arlo’s Honey Farm

If you think that honey is honey regardless of where or how it’s made, you are wrong! Arlo’s Honey Farm has won awards and accolades for its 100% pure honey. The farm not only makes honey for traditional use, but you can also purchase skin care, soap, and candles made from the hive’s hard work. There is a reason for all the buzz surrounding Arlo’s!  

10. Cherry pickin’ at Kempf Orchards

BC cherries are famous and the crew at Kempf Orchards has by far the most experience in the business. You can check their cherry calendar before your visit as there are 9 varieties of cherries offered for your picking pleasure. This is such a great family activity or even a unique date idea. Whether you are making pie, jam, chutney, or eating them in their truest form, you can’t visit Kelowna without grabbing some local cherries!

  • Where: 1409 Teasdale Road, Kelowna
  • When: Cherry Season (early July to mid-August approx)
  • Cost: $4-5/lb for u-pick, add .50/lb for pre-picked, boxes are $1 each
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor, family friendly

11. Saddle up at O’Keefe Ranch

O’Keefe Ranch has to be one of the coolest places you will ever visit! Located near Vernon, this ranch has a plethora of activities to enjoy. Horseback riding, a corn maze, and animal exhibits are always popular choices. Every year people wait for the launch of Field of Screams at Halloween. This spooky tour is unbelievable and really gets you into the Halloween spirit. 

Where: 9380 Highway 97 North, Vernon
When: May to September 
Cost: General ranch admission – $8.50-13.50, family pass for general admission – $33, corn maze – $5-8, family pass for corn maze – $25, combination passes available for ranch/corn maze combination
Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor, family friendly, historic

12. Bike the Myra Canyon Trestles

Another epic adventure, the Myra Canyon Trestles are a spectacular experience to say the least. There are those who opt to hike the route that includes 2 tunnels and 18 bridges, but most will choose a bike as their mode of transportation. This is a great half-day outing suited for the entire family. You can rent a bike from Myra Canyon Bike Rentals or take advantage of the guided tours. There are so many spots to stop and capture a photo that will make your friends and family jealous of your excursion.  

Where: Myra Station Parking Lot: Follow McCulloch Road past the golf course to the Myra Forest Service Road. Follow it for 8kms to the parking lot. 

June Springs Access: Follow McCulloch Road to June Springs Road, continue for 6kms to Little White Forest Service Road. Continue on this unpaved road for 4.5kms to the parking lot. 

  • When: Year round, ride at your own risk and dress appropriately
  • Cost: Donations are encouraged
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor, family friendly, historic, energetic, scenic

13. Wine tasting at local wineries & vineyards

Let’s be real for a second here, wine is basically the Robin to the Okanagan’s Batman. This region has drawn wine lovers from all over the world and produces award winning wine. There are over 40 wineries in the Kelowna area. Yes, you read that correctly, over 40!

Whether you take a self-guided tour or you let Uncorked Okanagan lead the way, there isn’t a wrong route to choose. Enjoy the organic creations at Summerhill Pyramid Winery or take in the quirkiness of Dirty Laundry Vineyard. Sipping tasty wines with a beautiful view, sign us up!

  • Where: Okanagan Valley
  • When: Year round (may vary by location)
  • Cost: Fee for service
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Indoor/outdoor, family friendly (some offer fruit juices to children during tastings.

14. Epic views at Kelowna Mountain Vineyards & Bridges

Kelowna Mountain Vineyards & Bridges is a great place to soar above the valley or face your fear of heights! The views are indescribable throughout this entire adventure. From the cliff walk across a waterfall to the chairlift and even the bridges spanning over the vineyards, this is an experience you don’t want to miss out on! 

  • Where: 5755 Gillard Forestry Road, Kelowna 
  • When: Saturdays and Sundays in July & August
  • Cost: Adult – $24.95, seniors & post-secondary students – $19.95, children 0-18yrs – $1/year
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor, family friendly, adventure, scenic

15. Outdoor skating at Stuart Park

A family favourite, the outdoor skating rink at Stuart Park is free for anyone to use. Located right downtown along the waterfront, this is a winter staple in Kelowna. Don’t have your own skates? There are rentals available onsite. 

16. Embrace the Okanagan with a hike

No matter where you go in Kelowna there is always a hike available to you. The most well-known has to be Knox Mountain Park. Located in the heart of Kelowna, you can drive halfway up for some amazing views of the lake or be bold and hike the entire way to make it feel like you are on top of the world. 

Another amazing option is Fintry Falls at Fintry Provincial Park. This hike is a windy drive down Westside Road and is a historical and protected area. The stairs provide an amazing leg workout, but there always seems to be a platform strategically placed to catch your breath and feel the mist from the falls. Take a different path and trek to the base of the falls where you can go for a refreshing dip in the water.

  • Where: Okanagan Valley
  • When: Whenever the mood strikes
  • Cost: Free
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor, family friendly, scenic, adventure

17. Dinner cruise on Okanagan Lake with Kelowna Cruises

Take in a Kelowna sunset the way it was meant to be! Enjoy a delicious buffet dinner during a relaxing cruise from Kelowna Cruises on Okanagan Lake. This is a perfect date night idea or family outing. There is live entertainment to set the scene and add to the ambience of the evening. Reservations are recommended. 

  • Where: 230 Queensway Avenue
  • When: July & August
  • Cost: Adults – $60-65, children 7-12yrs – $40-55, children 6 & under, $10
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Indoor/outdoor, family friendly

18. Golf a championship course

Kelowna has 19 golf courses making it a beacon for golf enthusiasts from near and far. The golf season in Kelowna is longer than most places. Seeing people book tee times on Thanksgiving weekend isn’t uncommon. If you aren’t sure which courses to play, reach out to local hotels about their Stay & Play packages.

Where: Okanagan Valley
When: April to October 
Cost: Varies by course
Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor, family friendly, golf enthusiasts

19. Craft beer experience at Kelowna Beer Institute

Kelowna may be known internationally for its wine, but it is making its mark in the craft beer market as well. Kelowna Beer Institute is an industry leader and a popular spot to educate yourself and enjoy a variety of beers and ciders. Branch out (get it?) at their communal tables inside or on the outdoor patio.

Where: 1346 Water Street, Kelowna
When: Open daily from 11am-11pm
Cost: Fee for service, tours cost $14/person
Atmosphere & Audience: Indoor/outdoor, laid back

20. Go back in time with a movie at Starlite Drive-in

Source: Kelowna Now

Take an hour drive into the past and catch a double feature at the Starlite Drive-in in Enderby. It is well worth the drive to take in this experience with the family or a car full of friends. Warm summer nights, tasty popcorn, and trending movies under the stars, need we say more? 

Where: 5341 Highway 97A, South of Enderby
When: May to September (online shop open year round)
Cost: General admission – $11, children 4-12yrs – $7, children 3 & under – free
Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor, family friendly

Where to eat in Kelowna

1. Earls Kelowna

A go-to restaurant for locals, Earls Kitchen + Bar is often referred to as Earls on Top. This dining experience features a rooftop patio with panoramic views that create a spectacular atmosphere. Share some tasty appies or indulge with one of their succulent burgers, there isn’t a single menu option that isn’t worth trying. 

Where: 211 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna
Atmosphere & Audience: Outdoor patio available, family friendly, casual

2. Skinny Dukes Glorious Emporium

A fairly new addition to downtown Kelowna, Skinny Dukes Glorious Emporium has the coolest vibe. Unique cocktails and culinary creations make this little gem of a restaurant a highly recommended spot. The playlist really adds to the feel of this place and makes it a memorable experience.   

Where: 1481 Water Street, Kelowna
Atmosphere & Audience: Eclectic, relaxing, date night, friendly gatherings, cozy, warm vibe

3. BNA Brewing Co. & Eatery

The cultural district is home to BNA Brewing Co. & Eatery. Quench your thirst with some delightful beers, satisfy the tummy grumbles with menu options made from local products, and you can even head upstairs for some bowling!

Where: 1250 Ellis Street, Kelowna
Atmosphere & Audience: Family friendly, fun, social

Where to stay in Kelowna

1. Hotel Zed

Boasting a retro style, Hotel Zed has added some colour to Abbott Street. Hotel Zed offers charming amenities like free bikes to explore downtown and ping pong tables to get social all while being steps from the beach, waterfront, local shops, and restaurants. 

Where: 1627 Abbott Street, Kelowna
Cost: From ~$100 (Varies by season and room)
Atmosphere & Audience: Quirky, unique, retro, family friendly

2. Manteo at Eldorado Resort

An idyllic location on the water, Manteo Resort offers full service amenities where you can rent a boat right from the dock, take in the views at Smack DAB restaurant, or relax poolside. A popular venue for weddings, it’s not uncommon to see wedding parties taking photos while you sip your local vino on the patio.  

  • Where: 3762 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna
  • Cost: From ~$150 (Varies by season and room)
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Family friendly, warm, welcoming, full service, waterfront

3. Hotel Eldorado

A historic Kelowna hotel, Hotel Eldorado has been named the city’s #1 lakeside resort. The property has endless features including a rooftop deck, marina, waterpark, and private beach. The hotel has truly embraced its history and showcases that in the guestrooms’ details. 

  • Where: 500 Cook Road, Kelowna
  • Cost: From ~$170 (Varies by season and room)
  • Atmosphere & Audience: Family friendly, warm, welcoming, full service, waterfront

About the author

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Candace West
Candace West is a Canadian born and raised freelance writer, photographer, and content marketer. She has truly embraced the Okanagan lifestyle since relocating to Kelowna, BC, but will always remain a prairie girl at heart. When she isn’t busy writing, you can find Candace out on an adventure with her trusty camera sidekick "Niko." From weekend hikes to off the grid camping, she is always up for exploring our beautiful country. Website: Candace West Read more

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