The ultimate Kelowna activity guide! Welcome to our list of the 5 Must Do experiences in Kelowna for 2024! It’s no wonder Kelowna has made its name as one of the top vacation destinations in Canada. With everything from wine tours and hiking, to boat days on Okanagan Lake and ziplining, there is no shortage of things to do. Families, couples and solo travellers alike will find that Kelowna is best enjoyed by soaking up the sun and taking in the sights.
Whether by boat, by foot, by bike, or up among the trees, Kelowna boasts some of the best lake and mountain views in Canada. Truly, you’ll be hard pressed to find another city that offers such a variety of activities in close proximity to the city centre!
As time is precious, especially for travellers, here is our guide to the 5 must do experiences in Kelowna for 2024.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do! First on our list of the 5 must do experiences in Kelowna, the ever popular Kelowna Wine Tour In the Okanagan Valley. As British Columbia’s ultimate wine destination, there is no more quintessential an activity to partake in than a day of wine tasting!
There are several ways to take in the multitude of wineries in Kelowna, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference. One option is to plan out a self guided exploration of the region. For those looking to do so, here is a great resource of Kelowna winery maps for a day of self guided wine tasting. Alternatively, one might favour booking an all inclusive wine tour package with a tour company.
If you opt to plan out your own day of wine touring, several considerations should be made.
First, you and your group may want to weigh your own wine preferences against the types of wines each winery specializes in. Some wineries specialize in big bold reds, while others focus on rosé, whites, and lighter reds.
Exploring wineries at one’s own pace affords the traveler some flexibility and freedom. However, travellers to Kelowna would be wise to consider making reservations at wineries ahead of time, particularly during high season when lineups are often out the door! This is one of the primary reasons why opting to book with a reputable Kelowna wine tour company might be the more favourable approach. If you do choose to go it alone, here are some Kelowna wineries we highly recommend you visit!
With a multitude of wine tour companies in the city, navigating through them to find the best fit for your group may seem daunting. Luckily for you, we’ve got a great article explaining how to choose the best Kelowna wine tour company.
Any notable wine tour company will include all tasting fees in their pricing, and will have prearranged reservations set up for your group throughout the day. This means no hidden costs and no waiting in lines! Another obvious perk to booking a tour is not having to sort out a designated driver. On a wine tour everyone can join in on the fun guilt-free, and get home safely at the end of the day!
With wineries in such close proximity to the city, whether on your own or guided, wine tasting in Kelowna is something you’ll need to make happen on our list of the 5 must do experiences in Kelowna.
Once at the actual winery itself, don’t be shy to ask questions of the winery staff! They are there to share their story and impart as much knowledge about the wines and winemaking process as they can.
No matter how you spend your day of wine tasting, Kelowna won’t disappoint! With three acclaimed regions just a stone’s throw from Kelowna’s downtown core, including Lake Country, East Kelowna, and West Kelowna, plus the sensational Naramata Bench only a 50 minute breathtaking drive south, the options are endless! Experiencing the wineries in the area is always at the top of our list of the 5 must do experiences in Kelowna.
What better way to enjoy the great Canadian outdoors than to head out for a hike! Not the adventurous type? Well, great news! It was once said that a hike is really just a walk outside. Next up on our list of the 5 must do experiences in Kelowna, the amazing local hiking opportunities offered!
With an abundance of stellar “outdoor walks” in the greater Kelowna area, your next great hike is just around the corner! Whether you are looking for an arduous, challenging solo climb, or a casual pass through nature with your family, Kelowna will have a hike to fit the bill.
One of the primary considerations when selecting a hike is the difficulty level you are seeking. Naturally, one’s own fitness level must be considered here as well. Kelowna hiking trails can range from beginner to advanced, with the most difficult hikes including significant and steep elevation changes. Other hikes are difficult due to the sheer length of time they take to complete. Hiking always makes our list of the top 5 must do experiences in Kelowna due to how many trails there are at your fingertips!
Of course, another determinant will be how long you desire to be out on the trails! Are you looking for a quick morning pick-me-up or an all day affair? Hikes can range from 45 minute jaunts to 5 hour round trip treks. Depending on how long you plan to be out, it will be important to pack the necessary items to be setup for success. Hydration, snacks, headgear, sunscreen and layered clothing are all things to consider, with appropriate footwear being of paramount importance.
If you would prefer not to go it alone, or would simply like to be accompanied by a local expert, consider joining a Kelowna Guided Hiking Tour! Our top bets for local Kelowna hiking trails are the following:
No matter what style of hike you’re after, hitting the trails around our amazing city is a staple on our list of the 5 must do experiences in Kelowna!
In the last few years, we’ve seen a world wide increase in those looking for E-bike opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Kelowna is no different and next on our list of the 5 must do experiences in Kelowna is a day along the Kettle Valley Rail trail and Myra Canyon!
If a set of wheels puts you at ease, then an e-bike tour of Myra Canyon might be just the activity for you! With the wind blowing through your hair, we can’t imagine a better way to take in the stunning lake and mountain views than from the comfort of your own E-bike!
For those unfamiliar with Myra Canyon, it is one of the most popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts near Kelowna. Just a short drive from downtown, the most scenic portion of the Kettle Valley Railway passes through the Myra Canyon.
Having originally been built by hand in the early 1900s, the Kettle Valley Railway was built out of necessity to service the growing mining demands in the Southern Interior region of British Columbia. Nowadays, much of it has been converted to a multi-use recreational trail, lovingly known by locals as the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
What makes the Myra Canyon portion of the railway particularly impressive is the two magnificent tunnels and 18 jaw-dropping trestle bridges that will surely take your breath away. A sight unlike anything you’ve ever seen, this excursion makes for about an 11km walk or an easy bike ride, and is suitable for families with children, history fanatics, civil engineers, architects and fitness buffs alike. The sheer scale of the trestles makes a trip to Myra Canyon a shoe-in for our list of the 5 must do experiences in Kelowna.
Fortunately, visitors to the area don’t have to worry about renting their own E-bikes to enjoy this outdoor adventure! The Myra Canyon E-Bike Tour includes pickup and drop off from your Kelowna accommodations, plus a guided experience and e-bike rental. The trestles are calling your name!
Next on our list of the 5 must do experiences in Kelowna it’s Zipline time! Located in Lake Country, just north of Kelowna is the Oyama Zipline Adventure Park. Offering a variety of ziplines that traverse over the scenic Wood Lake, their course includes multiple platforms and suspension bridges, providing the ultimate treetop adventure experience!
Rope bridges, half-pipe slack lines, three side-by-side racing lines and 5300 feet of cable over 70 forested acres will be sure to excite even the greatest of adrenaline seekers.
Spend a couple of hours or the better part of the day, this is one of the top zipline experiences offered in British Columbia! Better yet, after you’re done exploring the forest, unwind with some sips and wine tastings along the Lake Country Scenic Sip Wine Trail!
No matter how you incorporate the Oyama Zipline into your day, you’ll be laughing at the good times and memories of this iconic activity on our list of the 5 must do experiences in Kelowna.
A list o the 5 must do experiences in Kelowna would not be complete without a little “lake life” living! With Okanagan Lake at our fingertips and a myriad of other stunning lakes nearby (Wood Lake and Kalamalka Lake to name a few), Kelowna truly is the perfect destination for a boat day!
Easily the largest and most well-known lake in the region, Okanagan Lake is an idyllic location for just about any water activity. Power boating, wake boarding, sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding are just a few of the ways to enjoy a refreshing day out on the lake.
Several businesses in and around Kelowna offer boat rentals, as well as equipment for water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, and other water-based activities. From the marina downtown, plenty of adventure awaits whether you head north or south.
If your cruise takes you up north, you will pass right by Paul’s Tomb, the resting place of the historic settler, and marking a beautiful hiking area to explore when you’re back on dry land. Next up, sun, sand, and sights makes Raymer Bay the perfect cove to nestle in for a little “boat-nic” before setting sail once more. Up further you’ll discover Bear Creek Provincial Park, a popular campground with ample green space, firepits, and a concession stand.
Just south of downtown Kelowna is Kelowna City Park, where visitors can enjoy water sports, beach activities, a water park, and lovely green space. Continuing down south, you’ll find the Hotel El Dorado and Manteo Resort, boasting a beautiful restaurant with lakeside and boardwalk dining. Offering one dock for public use, this is a great spot to dock and grab a bite to eat.
Lastly, boaters will want to set their sights on Rattlesnake Island, located due east of Peachland. Story has it that this small island is home to the Okanagan’s infamous Ogopogo. As long as you can get past the rattlesnakes, this island is definitely worth the visit!
Abounding with beautiful lakes, mountains, wineries, hikes, and trails, Kelowna really is a sensational destination to enjoy a well deserved vacation. We hope this list of the top 5 must do experiences in Kelowna helps guide you during your time in the sunny Okanagan! Stay safe, have fun and enjoy Kelowna!