Kelowna, a city of 132,000 residents (doubling since 1999), is the centre of a fruit, vegetable and wine-growing region around Okanagan Lake. The community used be located just a bit more inland and was called L’Anse au Sable or Sandy Cove. In 1892, the townsite was shifted from Mission Creek to alongside the Lake., which was more convenient to steamboat ferries bringing settlers and supplies. Soon after, the town has 11 sawmills, three fruit-packing plants, and two canneries. The area’s cash crop used to be tobacco, but after a slump following the First World War, the farmers switched to fruit. The area now grows about 1/3 of all of Canada’s apples. Kelowna is the area’s governmental centre, and is hometown to two of BC’s premiers, W.A.C. Bennett, and his son W.R. (Bill) Bennett.
The city prides itself as being Canada’s “Summer City” with its great lakeshore, sandy beaches, and basking in the afternoon sun. The city has 65 parks, including seven along the water with beaches. Unfortunately, many people who visit decide to stay, causing Kelowna to grow dramatically over the last decade. The additional of Highway 97C, the “Peachland Connector,” in 1990 has made driving to (or from) the West Coast and Vancouver a lot more convenient.
The Lake itself is famous for its legendary Ogopogo Monster, which has a statue to its credit in the city. Recreation in the area focuses largely on golf and water sports, and skiing in the winter.
Kelowna In-Town Attractions
Father Pandosy Mission
Benvoulin & Casuro roads
This mission was founded in 1859 by Father Pandosy who served both Okanagan natives and white settlers. The mission has been fully restored including the chapel, the mission and the schoolhouse, all in their original log buildings.
BC Orchard Industry Museum
1304 Ellis St
This museum traces the development of the orchard industry in BC, with displays that explain the process from planting to processing and preparing. Open Monday – Saturday in July & August. Also the site of the Apple Fair in September.
Kelowna Centennial Museum
470 Queensway Ave
This museum displays items explaining the area’s natural history and human inhabitation, including fossils, Indian arts and crafts, a Chinese store, an 1861 trading post, Kelowna’s first radio station, and a subterranean home.
from floating bridge to foot of Bernard St
This 14.5 hectare park along a kilometres of shoreline ends at the north with the large white sculpture The Sail, by Dow Reid.
Tucked behind the Bennett Fountains is this Japanese garden with a boulder-ringed pond, complete with waterfall and stone garden. The Japanese city of Kasagai is Kelowna’s sister city.
Guisachan Heritage Park
1060 Cameron Ave
This park was one of Kelowna’s first ranches and was later the home of Lord Aberdeen , the Governor-General of Canada from 1893 -1989. There are extensive perennial gardens with labelled plants. Also a restaurant.
Knox Mountain Nature Park
north end of Ellis Street
This park, at the top end of winding road, has two lookout points over Kelowna and Okanagan Lake. Great for hiking and picnicking. At the foot of the park is an underwater diving park called “Paul’s Tomb, complete with a 7 metres long model of Ogopogo, 8 metres below the surface.
Pioneer Country Market and Museum
This is where Onion King John Casorso grew his record-breaking crop in 1909. Grave-vine baskets and jellies sold here. Open daily.
Kelowna Nearby Attractions
There are plenty of attraction close to Kelowna, outside the city’s core area. These attractions can be found on both shores, close to Highway 97. Enjoy the great Okanagan sunshine and see abit of the Lake and countryside.
Geert Maas Sculpture Gardens, Gallery & Studio
10 km north on Highway 97, west on Sexsmith Rd to Reynolds Rd.
Renowned sculptor Geert Maas displays his works in a 1 acre sculpture garden on a hill overlooking Kelowna. His sculptures include bronze, aluminum, stoneware and mixed media for a unique look. Open Monday – Saturday 10 am to 5 pm May through August. By appointment the remainder of the year.
Okanagan Orchard Tours Ltd
2755 KLO Rd
A narrated tram tour of a fruit farm and explains the season from spring blossoms to harvest. From July to Labour Day with tours at 11 am, 1 and 3 pm on weekdays, and 11 am and 1 pm on weekends.
Big White Ski Resort
6.5 kilometres east of floating bridge, then 20 km up Highway 33
250-765-3101 or 1-800-663-2772
At 2,317 metres, this is the highest ski resort in British Columbia, and is blessed with both a long season and over 550 cm of light fluffy snow. The resort has 52 runs and a vertical drop of 625 metres.
Kelowna Area Wineries
Here is a listing of wineries and vineyards in and around Kelowna. Westbank is on the west shore of Okanagan Lake, just across from Kelowna.
1125 Richter Street,
Kelowna, BC, V1Y 2K6
(250) 762-9144 or
1-800-663-5086 Fax: (250) 762-2999
Winemaker: Howard Soon
Established in 1932, Calona Vineyards has the distinction of being BC’s original winery. Nestled between historic Knox Mountain and Kelowna’s trendy downtown area, the Calona winery is closely located to one of the City’s most picturesque hiking areas and is walking distance from the finest downtown hotels, restaurants and shops. The Calona Vineyards is consistently a winner of provincial, national and international awards. 31 medals in 1997 including: International Wines and Spirits Competition in London, England .
Hours: Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 7 days a week, year round. Tours: available daily (call for details)
Cedar Creek Estate Winery
5445 Lakeshore Road,
Kelowna, BC, V1Y 7R3
(250) 764-8866 Fax: (250) 764-2603
Winemaker: Thomas DiBello
The family owned & operated CedarCreek vineyard slopes steeply toward Okanagan Lake 12 km southwest of Kelowna, is in the historic Mission district where commercial viticulture began in the late 1920s. CedarCreek was named Canada’s winery of the year at the 2002 Canadian Wine Awards competition and now produces over 30,000 cases of premium wines each year.
Restaurant on premises: Vineyard Terrace Restaurant
Hours: May – October 10am – 6pm Daily; Tours at 11am, 1 & 3pm; Nov – March 11am – 5pm Daily; Group tours available by appointment only; May – September: 11:30am – 3:30pm Daily
Gray Monk Estate Winery
1055 Camp Road
Okanagan Centre, BC, V4V 2H4
(250) 766-3168 or1-800-663-4205 Fax: (250) 766-3390
Winemaker: George Heiss Jr.
Located just north of Kelowna on over fifty acres of lush vineyards overlooking Lake Okanagan, Gray Monk was established in 1972 by George and Trudy Heiss. Today, they produce some of the world’s finest wines and the winery features a wine and gift shop, restaurant, tours and spectacular views of the beautiful Okanagan Valley.
Hours: 10 am-5 pm daily; Tours: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm on the hour
House of Rose
2270 Garner Road, RR#5,
Kelowna, BC, V1X 4K4
(250) 765-0802 Fax: (250) 765-0802
Winemaker: Vern Rose
Owned and operated by the Rose family. First crush 1992 – 1,200 gallons. Production 1998 – 10,000 gallons. Award-winning wines at affordable prices. Most wine aged two or more years. All wine produced at House of Rose home farm.
Hours: April 1 to October 31 10 am-6 pm daily; November 1 to March 30: 10 am to 5 pm daily; Closed Christmas and Boxing Day
Little Straw Vineyards Estate Winery
2815 Ourtoland Road
Kelowna BC V1Z 2H7
(250) 769-0404 Fax:(250) 763-8168
Welcome to Little Straw Vineyards, a family-owned winery established in 1996. Our winemaker, Peter Slamka, is known for his exceptional Pinot Noirs and for producing the only Auxerrois Icewine in Canada. The majority of grapes we use come from our own vineyards situated on the lower slopes of Mount Boucherie near Kelowna, British Columbia. We produce a complete range of wines with something to suit most every taste. Feel free to browse in our wine shop to find a wine that will satisfy you.
Nestled at the foot of Mount Boucherie in Lakeview Heights, just a few minutes from Kelowna’s downtown, Little Straw Vineyards offers a panoramic view of Okanagan Lake and the surrounding orchards.
Hours: April-October 10 am-5:30 pm. Daily; November-March: By appointment. Tours by appointment during regular season.
Mission Hill Winery
1730 Mission Hill Road,
Westbank, BC, V4T 2E4
(250) 768-7611 Fax: (250) 768-2044
Winemaker: John Simes
Located high on a stunning hillside across Okanagan Lake from Kelowna, visitors can take tours and taste the wines. Mission Hill Family Estate has vineyards in four main growing regions throughout the Okanagan Valley, beginning on the Canada-U.S. border. Each has its own combination of soils, micro-climate and suitability to specific grape varietals.
Hours: Winter 10 am-5 pm; Summer 9 am-7 pm
Mount Boucherie Estate Winery
829 Douglas Road
Kelowna(Westbank) BC V1Z 1N9
(250) 769-8803 fax: (250) 769-9330
Winemaker: Dr. Alan Marks
Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery is BC’s newest estate winery and has a 14,000 sq. ft. facility for processing, fermentation and bottling. A long time dream of owner and president Sarwan Giddan and family.
Hours: Summer daily 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; Winter daily: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Pinot Reach Cellars
1670 Dehart Road,
Kelowna, BC, V1W 4N6
(250) 764-0078 Fax: (250) 764-0771
Winemaker: Sue Dulik and Roger Wong
Pinot Reach Cellars is located on one of the Okanagan Valley’s oldest vineyards. The Vineyard has been owned and farmed by the Dulik family for over 60 years. We believe grape growing and winemaking is an art.
Quails’ Gate Estate Winery
Winemaker: Ashley Hooper
3303 Boucherie Road,
Westbank, BC V1Z 2H3
(250) 769-4451 fax: (250) 769-3451
In 1990, after years of planting and experimenting, longtime Okanagan Valley resident Dick Stewart and his son Ben opened Quails’ Gate Estate Winery to pursue a shared passion for pinot noir and other quality wines. Tour cost $5.00 per person (no charge for ages 18 and under). Tours take approximately 45 minutes and include a history of the Okanagan Valley, a stroll through our vineyards, a visit to production facilities and end with a tasting session. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more
Hours: Winter – 10 am-5 pm; May, June, Sept and Oct – 9 am-6 pm; July and August – 9 am-7 pm. Tours available during peak season
Raven Ridge Cidery Co. Ltd.
3002 Dunster Rd
East Kelowna, BC V1W 4A6
(250) 763-1091 fax: (250) 763-1080
1125 Richter Street
Kelowna, BC V1Y 2K6
(250) 762-9144 fax: (250) 762-2999
Hours: Spring Through Fall 9:00-6:; Fall only: Sundays 9; Winter: 9-5 daily; (Jan thru March). Tours: available daily (call for details)
Little Straw Vineyards (formerly: Slamka Cellars)
2742 Cordova Way, Lakeview Heights,
Kelowna, BC, V1Z 2N3
Winemaker: Peter Slamka
The Slamka family planted their first vineyard in 1969 with the intention of selling grapes to large commercial wineries. By 1996, the three Slamka sons had established their own winery. Wines vinted from the hot summer grapes of 1994 made up our first commercial releases.
St. Hubertus Estate Winery
5225 Lakeshore Road,
Kelowna, BC, V1Z 2H3
(250) 764-7888 or 1-800-989-WINE Fax: (250) 764-0499
Winemaker: Christine Leroux-Robert
The winery is located 11 Km south of downtown, in the heart of the Kelowna Mission. Situated on 77 acres and bordered by wilderness, with a commanding view of the lake, St. Hubertus is an excellent place to enjoy the views or picnic on one of the many tables scattered throughout the grounds.
Hours: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm daily; Winter: Nov-Apr – call for opening times.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery
4870 Chute Lake Road,
Kelowna, BC, V1Y 7R3
(250) 764-8000 or 1-800-667-3538 Fax: (250) 764-2598
Winemaker: Bruce Ewert
The Summerhill Pyramid Vineyard comprises over 65 acres of which approximately 45 are planted. Summerhill is a Certified Organic Vineyard using no herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers in the soil. The organically grown grape varieties include; Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Ehrenfelser and Pinot Meunier. They are flourishing here in the northernmost desert viticulture region of the world.
Hours: winter hours: 10 am to 6 pm; summer hours: 10 am to 9 pm. Tours: 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, & 4:00 pm
Wild Horse Canyon
1730 Mission Hill Road
Westbank, BC V4T 2E4
(250) 768-6448 fax: (250) 768-2267
Hours: Winter 10am-5pm; Summer 9am-7pm
Kelowna Events & Festivals
Here is a listing for this community:
|Snowfest||early January||The weekend is chock full of wild and wacky events guaranteed to take some of the chill out of winter. (Unless of course you’re a participant in the polar bear dip!) Starting at 7:15 p.m. the annual Snowfest Light-Up Parade will take place downtown. Since 1979. various locations 763-5427 or 763-7656|
|International Midget AAA Hockey Tournament||realy Jan||various locations 250–861-5358|
|Ski to Sea Race||late April||From the slopes of Big White to the shores of City Park in Kelowna, teams of two to seven athletes and soloists race each other and the stopwatch in a six legged race spanning 95 kilometers. These dedicated athletes and fun seekers spend three hours or more relaying from alpine skiing to nordic skiing to mountain biking to road cycling to running to canoeing/kayaking. Big White Resort to City Park|
|Kelowna Kiwanis Music Festival||April||One of the largest performing art festivals in BC, enjoy performances in dance, music and speech arts. various locations 250–860-5033|
|Okanagan Film Festival||late April||Celebrating cinema in the Okanagan Valley since 1999, this event showcases films from creators local & beyond. Paramount Theatre 250-769-1603|
|Okanagan Spring Wine Festival||early May||The Spring Wine Festival has wine, food & entertainment for all during grape budbreak in the Okanagan. Education, touring, fabulous accommodation & dining are all part of the fun. various locations 250-861-6654|
|Black Mountain Rodeo||mid May||Variety of rodeo events. Admission fee. Black Mountain Rodeo Grounds 764-0896|
|Rutland May Days||late May||3 days of family fun & activities from a parade to Tai Chi exhibitions for all to enjoy. Centenial Park 250-765-7220|
|Knox Mountain Hill Climb||late May||The longest annual running paved hillclimb event in North America; 3.5 km (2.2 mi) of paved public roadway, climbing approximately 244 m (800 ft), through 9 major corners. All classes from go-kart & 4×4 to Formula Ford, Formula Atlantic & even Indy cars. Knox Mountain Park 250-862-4997|
|Okanagan Classic Show & Shine Thunderbird Show||late May||Car show of vintage & classic thunderbirds. Free admission The Grand Okanagan Lakefront Resort. 762-0602|
|Fintry’s Festival of the Falls||early May||Celebrate the excitement of spring & the exuberance of the 9.2 m (100 ft) waterfall. Events are planned to entertain the entire family & include music & guided nature tours. Concession available, admission includes barn & Manor House tours. Fintry Provincial Park 250-766-2081|
|Historica Regional Heritage Fair||mid May||An educational initiative of the Historica Foundation, the Historica Fair is an exhibition of student work on a Canadian theme, sharing information on Canadian people, places & events. Laurel Packinghouse 250-868-4836|
|Life & Arts Festival||early May||A fun, family oriented festival that offers an eclectic mix of visual & performing arts, music, live theatre, street performances & experiences that will appeal to a wide audience from young children to old. Cultural District (Downtown 250-762-3991|
|Old Time Fiddlers Contest||June||Competition, entertainment & dance. .Since 1997. St. Joseph Elementary School 604-763-4406|
|National Aboriginal Day Celebration||late June||Come enjoy a multicultural festival celebrating Canada’s Aboriginal peopl The Ki-low-na Friendship Society.|
|Annual Fat Cat Children’s Festival presented by Interior Savings Credit Union||early June||A children’s event with fun, games, roving performances & stage performances for all to enjoy. Since 1991. Waterfront Park 250-861-1515|
|Kelowna Pride Festival||late June||Out in the Okanagan; 10 days of activities from a dog show, picnic, bowling & talent show to a comedy festival, a chorus night & a cruise on the lake. Special Pride dance, Sunday afternoon party & Evolution Club Night. Various Locations 250-860-8555|
|National Aboriginal Day Celebrations||late June||Come enjoy a multicultural festival celebrating Canada’s Aboriginal people hosted by The Ki-low-na Friendship Society. Kelowna City Park & Leon St 250-763-4905|
|Canada Day Celebrations in Lake Country||Jul 1||Features a pancake breakfast by the Rotary Club & Root Beer Garden by the Lions. Entertainment includes the Lake Country Big Band, a variety of local talented musicians, games & rides for the youth, including demonstrations by the Fire Department. Beasley Park, Lake Country 250-766-5650|
|Kelowna Canada Day Celebrations||Jul 1||Located along Kelowna’s beautiful waterfront, the Canada Day celebrations feature live music, family entertainment, multicultural food fair & displays, childrens activity area, arts & crafts. Citizenship ceremony & fireworks at 10:30 pm in front of Tug Boat Bay. Waterfront Park 250-862-3515|
|Canada Day Pops Orchestra & Folk Fest||Jul 1||Join in an eventful day celebrated by thousands with live entertainment, children’s activities, food booths, patriotic displays, and fireworks held at Waterfront Park. Also take in Canada Day Pops Orchestra at the Prospera Place . Admission Prospera Place 764-0220|
|Annual Folk Festival||Jul 1||Rejoice in Canada’s ethnic diversity with a multicultural festival of music, entertainment, dancing and food. Ethnic Groups, dancing, singing, foods. Memorial Arena. Admission fee. Since 1974. Prospera Place 250-717-5797|
|Cherry Fair||Mid July||Celebrate the harvest of the cherry with the BC Orchard Industry Museum’s annual Cherry Fair.. Live entertainment, cherry tastings, hands-on activities for the whole family. This is your opportunity to sample a selection of over two dozen local cherry varieties. Visit displays and events for the whole family BC Orchard Industry Museum. 250-763-0433|
|Fat Cat Children’s Festival||late July||It’s a day just for kids! Beginning with a fun-filled parade, followed by loads of hands-on children’s activities and live entertainment. No fee. City Park 763-3212 or 860-1479|
|Kelowna Regatta||mid July||On water and on land, an impressive variety of outdoor events for the whole family. Community street festival including entertainment and concessions. Free to attend. Since 1905. 862-3515|
|Mozart Festival||late July||A gala event of national and international guests, as well as The Mozart Festival Orchestra performing various locations around Kelowna. 764-0220|
|Kelowna Across the Lake Swim||mid July||Participate in this annual tradition & the only opportunity to swim all the way across in a safe & fun event. The course will be from the Old Ferry Docks on the Westside to Hot Sands Beach in City Park. Old Ferry Docks 250-860-7020|
|Mardi Gras Summer Festival Kelowna||early Aug||Join downtown merchants for a day of festivities, free admission for the whole family. Kerry Park bursts with fantastic entertainment, there is a childrens activity zone. The fun at the Mardi Gras Street Festival goes all day & all night. Downtown Kelowna & Kerry Park Downtown Kelowna & Kerry Park|
|Annual Kelowna Apple Triathlon||late Aug||Annual Pushor Mitchell Apple Triathlon; swim, bike & run through the city of Kelowna. Also categories for kids, youth & novice. Please see website for registration information. Spectators welcome. Since1983. City Park 250-763-5287|
|Kelowna Clay Festival||early August||International event with participants & presenters coming from across North America & Great Britain. Our presenting artists join an illustrious group of master potters who have delighted us with their demonstrations & workshops. Rotary Centre For The Arts 250-717-5304|
|Ki-low-na Salmon Festival & Annual Friendship BBQ||mid Sept||Native drumming, dance, arts, crafts, theatre, & BBQ. Fee. 250-763-4905|
|International Dragon Boat Festival||mid Sept||Colorful and menacing boats are cheered on by spectators, while the whole family enjoys a festival of entertainment, food and crafts. Waterfront Park. 250–765-4536|
|Annual Peak to Peak Race||late Sept.||Run from Knox Mountain to Mission Hill Winery. Fee. Knox Mountain 764-4989.|
|Lake Country Art Walk||eary Sep||This arts festival offers a stunning art show featuring paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, quilts & jewelry from Okanagan Valley artists. This huge & varied exhibition is accompanied by non-stop music on 4 stages, workshops, theatre performances & more. Lake Country Community Complex, Lake Country 250-766-4406 or250-766-5670|
|Apple Fair||mid Oct||Children of all ages will enjoy the variety of activities & live entertainment taking place throughout the day. The festivities centre on the Apple Tasting Booth & watch for the Apple Fairy as she makes her annual guest appearance. Also, the Boo Biathlon at the Athans Aquatic Center is a Swim/Run event. Fee. Call Louise Hyatte at 765-4191 Orchard Industry Museum & Laurel Packinghouse 250-763-0433|
|Okanagan Wine Festival||mid Oct||Consistently ranked as one of the top wine festivals around, the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival is sure to leave a lasting impression on wine lovers. With over 100 events on-hand to help celebrate the fall harvest during this 10-day celebration, you’re sure to be impressed. various locations 250–861-6654 Fax:250–861-3942|
|Fall Wine Festival||start Oct||The annual Okanagan Fall Wine Festival takes place over a 10-day period leading up to the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, early in October. This event has been listed on the American Business Associaton’s Top 100 Events in North America for several years. The Festival has over 100 events that take place throughout the Okanagan. Various Locations 250 861-6654|
|BMO Okanagan International Marathon||early Oct||The BMO Okanagan Marthon begins in downtown Kelowna & heads south into the hills before looping back along the lake. various locations 780-905-5577|
|Christmas Light-up||early Dec||Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. Join Towne Centre Mall for the beginning festivities then walk to Kerry Park for the light up. Towne Centre Mall & Kerry Park 250-860-3515|
|Oyama Fun Days||June||An active community family fun day. Kick-off with a parade followed by a full day of feasting, games, music & much more. Village Of Oyama, Lake Country 250-548-3776|
|Summer Jam||mid Aug||Considered to be one of the big events in the community. A day long event featuring many bands & musicians, a variety of food vendors, as well as games & events to suit the taste of all age groups. Swalwell Park, Lake Country 250-766-5670|
|Westside Daze & Celebrate Canada –||end June||Come & enjoy 4 days of free family fun. Pancake breakfasts, barbecue, fireworks, kids fair, parade, Canada Day cake, park dance, crafters, vendors, hot air balloon rides, car/motorcycle show & shine, tub racing & a concert. Johnson Bentley Memorial Park & Gallatly Ba, West Kelowna 250-768-3378|