The Okanagan Valley is the hub for western Canada’s growing wine industry, with nearly 200 vineyards and wineries. Kelowna, the region’s largest city, sprawls along the shores of Okanagan Lake and offers all you need for a wine-touring holiday. The town also makes a great jumping off point for outdoor adventures in the region. The Basics
Downtown Kelowna is a good place to start your explorations. Check out the Laurel Packinghouse Building, which houses two museums. The British Columbia Wine Museum is part exhibition space and part wine store. The Okanagan has long been British Columbia’s main fruit-growing region, too; learn the history of this enterprise at the British Columbia Orchard Industry Museum.
Kelowna’s wineries surround the city on both sides of Okanagan Lake. Mission Hill and Quails’ Gate are among the largest winemakers on the west side, while Cedar Creek, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, and Tantalus Vineyards draw visitors to the eastern bank. The Kelowna area is home to craft brewers and micro-distilleries that welcome visitors as well; tours allow you to taste many offerings without worrying about driving. There are year-round outdoor pursuits here, too, including exploring Okanagan Lake, cycling, horseback riding, fishing, and skiing at nearby Big White Ski Resort. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Kelowna attracts all types of visitors, but it’s most popular with outdoor adventure seekers and wine connoisseurs.
- Summer is the busiest time to visit, so book summer tours well in advance.
- This region offers outdoor activities for everyone, from beginners to advanced adventurers.
Kelowna is 245 miles (390 kilometers) northeast of Vancouver in the Okanagan Valley. By car, allow about four and a half hours; you can also fly from Vancouver in less than an hour. When to Get There
Kelowna is a year-round destination, whether you’re planning to drink wine or explore the outdoors. Summer is a great time for warm-weather activities, but it’s quieter in late fall, early spring, and winter. Kelowna Restaurants
Along with its thriving wine culture, Kelowna’s restaurants hold their own. There are numerous farm-to-table options that draw from local producers and imbue their dishes with a sense of place. Best bets include Basil & Mint Restaurant and Bar, Krafty Kitchen & Bar, and Gulfstream.