Set among lakes, mountains and forests, Kelowna is the perfect base for some wilderness adventures. The city sits in the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley: Canada’s thriving wine region. Above its urban centre and wide-reaching lake, you’ll find hills full of vineyards and orchards basking in the area’s sunny climate. Back in town there’s a popular food and drink scene where the fruits of its labour are for all to try.
You can stay in a Kelowna hostel a few minutes’ walk from the lakeside. Expect to find stays with a friendly vibe where you can hang out in art-filled communal spaces or get to know other travellers over organised events like trivia nights and mountain hikes. Some Kelowna hostels have an outdoor terrace, while others have entertainment such as pool, foosball and a TV room. Look out for hostels in Kelowna with freebies such as pancake breakfasts and pasta nights, as well as fun themed parties.
Downtown Kelowna is the best place to sample some of the city’s renowned food and wine. It’s also here that you’ll find some of the Kelowna’s events, like local farmers’ markets or evening concerts. A 25-minute walk south is Pandosy Village, a quaint lakeside area with boutique shops. Venture over to the other side of the lake to West Kelowna for its hill-top wineries, tranquil parks and hiking trails.
You don’t need to go to Canada’s coast to lie on a beach, as Kelowna has plenty of sandy shores along its lake. Head to City Park and Tugboat beaches in the downtown area, or Kalamoir Regional Park for more of a rural setting. You’ll also find lots of hiking trails and a waterfall in this lakeside park too. A 30-minute drive from the city centre is Knox Mountain Park, which has some of the best panoramic views across the lake. Don’t miss the region’s wineries: there are over 40 of them! Book a wine tasting tour, or if you prefer cider, visit a local brewery.
Kelowna International Airport is a 20-minute drive outside the city centre. From here you can get a shuttle service or hop on the bus. Coming from another city? The Greyhound Bus of Canada connects Kelowna to other cities across Canada and the United States. Get around town with the city’s local bus service.