Kelowna – Gateway to British Columbia’s Okanagan

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 By: Catherine Callary, Tourism Kelowna
Edited: Bob Kenyon

kelowna wine


When you think about Kelowna, you probably picture sandy beaches along the shores of Lake Okanagan, sun-soaked days, and rows of orchard and vineyard reaching nearly right into the city. Kelowna may be the largest city in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, but its charm lies not only in the urban amenities and entertainment to which you have access while in a resort-town setting. The charm of rural living so close to an urban centre is what visitors will truly fall in love with. Travellers with a curiosity for Kelowna’s agricultural heritage and a hankering for light activity can access the quiet country roads around Kelowna on a guided cycling tour. This behind-the-scenes peek at life in Kelowna is a wonderful way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Visitors to Kelowna can linger on the patios overlooking the vineyards and lake, take a winery tour, and then indulge in the menu and award-winning wares of the wineshop. With 65 wineries in the Okanagan, 15 of which are the Kelowna area, there are plenty of fascinating winery tours you can take. In addition to winery tours, the Okanagan Wine Museum is open year-round for complete background on viticulture in the Okanagan. The spring and fall also feature two wine festivals that team with social and educational events centering around wine. Click here for more information on our wine festivals.

Depending on what your preferred physical activity, there are a variety of adventure tourism outfitters who offer guided trips into the outdoor playground that surrounds Kelowna. Opportunities for hiking abound and there are many campgrounds in the Okanagan.

In the winter, Kelowna is home-base for a score of winter activities ranging form snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, telemarking, skating, and snowmobiling. Click here for more information on these winter activities.

Kelowna is a city that hasn’t outgrown its small-town friendliness and hospitality. It is a safe and active place for all ages, all year round. For more information about traveling to Kelowna, check out or call toll free at 1-800-663-4345.

Going south, down Lake Okanagan past fruit stands and orchards, travelers will reach another beach resort area of Penticton & Wine Country. On the east side of Lake Okanagan and accessed by boat, is the wilderness park of Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. Traveling north from Kelowna, via Vernon, travelers will reach the Shuswap Lakes, where renting a house boat is very popular and the city of Kamloops.

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