You’ll have no excuse to be bored with this comprehensive list of 101 things to do in Kelowna! Written for all ages, interests, locals and newbies alike.
One of the most asked questions from my readers is “What should I do while I’m in Kelowna?” If you’re a visitor or a local here are are 101 things to do in Kelowna that’ll get you out the door no matter the time of year!
Kelowna is that special combination of city and country. You can escape to the mountains or farms for a quick break then come back to the city to enjoy the food scene, cultural events or capture spanning views of Kelowna’s iconic bridge on Okanagan Lake.
In this post you’ll find a few categories that will guide you through popular and lesser known things to do within the city; History, Great Outdoors, Art & Entertainment, Food & Wine (Beer), Winter Resorts & Activities, Shopping, Give Back to Your Community & Kid Friendly. These are in no particular order. Enjoy this list of 101 things to do in Kelowna!
100. Walk Kelowna’s historical neighbourhoods – You can find a full list of all historic homes here but I like to walk on both Bernard Ave and Lawrence Ave. located parallel to each other. You can also walk down Abbott St in behind the hospital not far from City Park for some great architectural homes. Each historic home of note has a plaque with architectural details and history. To me it feels like little Savanah, Georgia with the trees, gardens and cared for old homes.
99. Learn about the Okanagan’s history at the Okanagan Heritage Museum – Considered Kelowna’s flagship museum, learn about the syilx/Okanagan people, settlers, traders and how Kelowna came to be.
98. Okanagan Military Museum – Founded by volunteers, you can find one of Canada’s best firearms collections as well as uniforms and insignia.
97. Okanagan Wine & Orchard Museum – The Okanagan’s wine and orchard history is revealed in this charming brick building popular for private events and weddings.
96. Sncewips Heritage Museum – This museum collects, interprets, preserves and restores artifacts of the sylix/Okanagan people. Located in West Kelowna next to the Xtreme Theatre and across from the Pints & Pins bowling alley, among other businesses.
95. Kettle Valley Rail Tunnels –Walk or bike to the tunnels at the historic KVR Trail. Stellar views of the valley and gorgeous in the fall. You can find snowshoe excursions following the trail in the winter as well.
94. Visit the Historic Guisachan House & Gardens – Explore this historic mansion and gardens then treat yourself to lunch. This is another popular wedding venue.
93. Visit the Benvoulin Heritage Church – Entry is by donation and public tours are available on select dates. Considering its history this might be the best location to enjoy Christmas mass or Easter.
92. Motorbike, cycle or drive the historic “Tail of the Ogopogo” – This windy road offers excellent views of Kelowna and Lake Country from the opposite side of the Okanagan Lake starting in West Kelowna. Top 100 drives of a lifetime and definitely on this list of 101 things to do in Kelowna.
91. Knox & Paul’s Tomb – Hike this trail (if I can do it you can too!) that leads to a real tomb and a pleasant pebble beach with clear water. Bring a picnic, your sweetie and your bathing suit.
90. Rock Climbing –There are some unique rock climbing locations within Kelowna city limits. You can hire a local guide or go it alone. There are also indoor rock climbing facilities to help you get in shape for more challenging bluffs.
89. Cliff Jumping – Squally Point offers some great cliff jumping if you have a boat to get you there (or a boat guide) but you can cliff jump at Paul’s Tomb in Knox Mt Park as well which is close to town.
88. Scuba to Find the Ogopogo – Get up close and personal with the mysterious Ogopogo lake monster. Scuba down to this statue, as featured on Amazing Race Canada. Two boat wrecks and many other relics can be found in the Okanagan lake!
86. Hot Air Balloon Rides – Napa Valley eat your heart out! Kelowna offers views of vineyards, orchards and lakes abound!
85. Meag’s BBQ Boat – Perhaps one of the most unique water experiences available on the Okanagan lake is a BBQ Boat rental. Bring your BBQing skills to the water or have them curate a cooler for you!
84. Okanagan Lake Boat Tour – Summer 2020 we chartered a boat tour from the Eldorado to the West Kelowna Yacht Club. It offered great views of the city and got us across the lake to our next activity…wine touring. Alternatively, you can rent a boat or Sea-Doo to captain on your own. Wake-boarding and waterskiing tours also available.
83. Take Sailing Lessons –Whenever the sails hit the water I love to run down and take photos. The colourful sails make for gorgeous Instagram fodder. Or you can learn to sail with the Central Okanagan Sailing Association (COSA).
82. Hike the Scenic Canyon – Hiking this unique trail leads you to some incredible geological formations like volcanic rock and Layer Cake Mountain along the creek. As a base for the Kettle Valley Railway there are hidden historic gems like carved shallow caves that acted as makeshift ovens for the Chinese labourers from 100 years ago.
81. Find the Waterfalls at Canyon Falls Park – Located in the Crawford neighbourhood area you can hike to the Canyon Falls and lovely views of the valley.
80. Hike to Bear Creek Falls –A lovely waterfall excursion! Do not visit during high water!
79. Rent a SUP Board – Now a popular pass time in Kelowna all year round (for the experienced), I look forward to a sunny day when I can take my board out to Bertram Park. Although, many people prefer beaches like Gyro and Rotary as there are rentals on the beach.
78. Fly on Water – Experience the Hydrofly jet pack flight on water.
76. Try a Float Plane – See the Okanagan from the windows of a float plane ask you take off and land on water.
74. Kite Surfing in Kelowna is a three season sport – All you need is a bit of wind and these surfers take the beaches. It is as thrilling to watch as it is to do!
73. U-Pick your own fruit – One of my favourite farms to pick pears is Paynters Fruit Market. If you’re looking for a fun farm experience in the Fall then try McMillan Farms. In the winter? You gotta go with Gellatly Nut Farm.
Arts, Culture & Entertainment
72. Kelowna Actor’s Studio – Dinner and a show is typically offered (although the pandemic may have changed that). This local theatre company recreates the classics. Go early to grab a glass of wine and mingle.
71. Take in a hockey game with the Kelowna Rockets – Prospera Place offers an onsite restaurant, various concession, local wine and beers and plenty of fun for all ages. Cheer on our boys!
70. Virtual Reality Arcade – 70 different virtual reality games to try your luck at from zombies to climbing Mt. Everest, Arcadia is every gamer’s dream.
69. Exit Escape Room – Popular for birthdays or corporate team building, Exit is a real life escape room challenge. You’ll need to put your heads together to get out!
68. Bowling Night at BNA, McCurdy or Pints & Pins – One of my favourite date night outings is to any of these three bowling lanes. BNA requires reservations otherwise you might be in for a long wait. McCurdy is family friendly and offers both 5 pin and 10 pin, reservations also required. Whiski-Jack’s Pints & Pins is located in West Kelowna and is the newest addition to the city’s bowling scene.
67. Kelowna Art Gallery – Your classic gallery experience located in the heart of downtown Kelowna with Family Sunday’s that allow for hands on creation.
66. Friends of Dorothy Drag – Kelowna’s first LGBTQ+ lounge offering drag brunch, performances, jazz and weekly events along with killer cocktails and delicious bites.
65. Rutland Murals – Go mural hunting with your camera or iphone ready to snap Instagrammable shots of the most stunning murals hidden throughout Rutland. One of my favourite free things to do in Kelowna!
64. UBC Okanagan Events – As a UBC Okanagan graduate I would be remiss not to mention some of the cultural and artistic events hosted by the university. Past visitors have included artist Judy Chicago and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield!
63. Rotary Centre for the Arts – Local film festivals, art exhibits, Sylix language lessons, and cultural events are all held here, located in behind the Kelowna Art Gallery. Yours truly has even read her own poetry at a creative writing event.
62. Kelowna Community Theatre – Another venue for live music and theatrical productions in the heart of downtown Kelowna.
61. DIY Photo Tour of Kelowna – Doing it for the gram? Or maybe you love photography? Then you should check out Kelowna’s best Instagrammable photo stops.
60. Diner en Blanc Okanagan – An annual tradition that began in Paris has spread the world over including the Okanagan. Held in a secret location within the valley each year, it is a bucket list event!
59. Get Zen at the Kasugai Gardens – Located behind Kelowna City Hall is a hidden Japanese garden. It’s a great place to sip some coffee and catch up with a friend or be still.
Food, Wine & Beer
59. Food Tours Kelowna – This female-led food tour company offers locally owned and operated gems in Kelowna’s culinary neighbourhoods! This year for 2021 they’re adding the Kelowna Foodie Card so you can try the best of Kelowna on your own time with exclusive offers!
58. Top 8 Best Brunch Locations in Kelowna – You’ll thank me after you try these amazing brunch spots within the city!
57. Best Coffee Shops in Kelowna – 6 of my favourite coffee shops in Kelowna.
56. Best High End Date Night Restaurants – 15 of the best local restaurants to impress your date.
55. 5 Best Dessert Spots in Kelowna – Treat yourself or you guests any time of day at these excellent dessert spots.
54. Top 7 Vegan Offerings in Kelowna – These restaurants are suitable for both your carnivorous and vegan friends!
53. Take a French Baking Class with Sandrine Pastry and Chocolate – Learn how to make authentic macarons, opera cakes and temper chocolate with Sandrine who hails from France.
52. Top 9 European delis and specialty shops in Kelowna – I love to peruse these shops during the holidays or go for lunch at these delis! Many are mom n’ pop institutions and a few are brand new to Kelowna.
51. QB Gelato Events – From supper clubs to a peak behind the scenes learning how they make their gelato, Victor and Kevin are churning out some of Canada’s best gelato!
50. Visit all of Kelowna’s Wineries – Check out all of Kelowna’s local wineries. Some offer restaurants, others host unique events!
49. Paisley Notebook’s Pop Up Dinners – Pop up dinners, sometimes hosted at secret locations,
48. The Best Breweries with Food to Match – These local breweries are food focused offering delicious bites to be paired with their craft brews.
47. Visit Cheese Heaven – Perseval & Young is Kelowna’s only cheesemonger. A shop solely dedicated to cheese! Phil and Desiree can help you curate your own cheeseboard. They’ll tell you what goes great with specific beers, wine or occasions.
46. Carmelis Goat Cheese – Visit this working goat farm for its delicious cheeses and gelato!
45. My DIY Food Tour of Downtown Kelowna – Perfect if you are short on time or just want to experience more of Kelowna’s food scene.
44. Put These Local Foodie Events on Your Calendar – Mark your calendars with these awesome events, classes and workshops!
43. Top 5 Food Trucks in Kelowna – Eat your way across the city from these delicious food vendors.
42. Experience Wine Tasting via Helicopter – This was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever been treated to!
41. Book a Luxury Picnic! – For my sister’s birthday during the pandemic we booked Gypsy Chics Picnics and they did not disappoint. Local charcuterie is an additional cost but very delicious and worth it!
40. Tour the West Kelowna Wineries With a Wine Tour – There are so many West Kelowna wineries to check out. You may need help in the form of a tour group to prioritize which wineries you visit in a short amount of time.
39. Experience a Culinary Class at Mission Hill Winery – The Mission Hill restaurant The Terrace is a season restaurant. But when it closes the chefs start to work on their winter menus for the culinary classes with theatre seating. All dishes and paired wines are included plus you learn a thing or two.
38. Get a Big Board at Provisions – Provisions kitchen is located inside the Kettle River Brewery and makes the most incredible menus. They switch up weekly! Get a Brunch Big Board fit for 2 really hungry people or 6. If you’re more of a dinner person you can get Big Boards with steaks, whole roasted ducks, and more. Keep an eye out on their social media for updates. Small plates are also available!
37. Visit these Kelowna Distilleries – Kelowna has some excellent vodka and gin distilleries throughout town.
1. Wiseacre Distillery & Farm is worth checking out for gin and vodka lovers, located in the rural South East Kelowna area.
2. Forbidden Spirits is also in the rural South East Kelowna area and serves apple vodka tastings as well as unique mini cocktails to sample.
3. Okanagan Spirits and Craft Distillery in downtown Kelowna with cocktails served.
Winter Resorts & Activities
36. Big White Ski Resort – One of the Okanagan’s most popular resorts and famed for its Champagne powder, you’ll want to make sure you book accommodations as early as possible if you want to stay the night. In addition the Adventure Park and Sleigh rides make it ideal for families!
35. Silver Star Resort – Further afield near Vernon is this resort where Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban have stayed to get away from the crowds. I love the colourful A frame cabins!
34. Nordic Skiing – Find groups, trails and tips with Kelowna Nordic skiing!
33. Snowshoeing – Hiking and snowshoeing with a group is one of the best ways to get outside in the winter.
32. Winter SUP boarding – The Okanagan Lake provides gorgeous views in the winter!
31. Ben Stuart Ice Rink – This waterfront ice rink is so picturesque during the holidays.
Shopping (other than Orchard Park)
30. Mosaic Books – Kelowna’s go-to book shop, locally owned and operated on Bernard Ave. Take your kids as their children’s book selection is unparalleled.
29. Pandosy Village – This quaint little area of Kelowna is growing. You can find locally owned cafes, clothing shops, a brewery and beaches along Lakeshore Rd.
28. Urban Fare – If you haven’t been before, this Vancouver based grocery outlet is worth a visit. Their selection of Canadian items are great for tourists looking for unique takeaways. I like it for its mini restaurant with local wine and beer as well as being the only spot in the mission to snag some of Sandrine’s macarons and chocolates.
27. Kelowna Craft Markets – We have a great selection of seasonal markets. You find an evolving list of markets at this link.
25. Guisachan Village – A one stop shopping centre for fresh breads and cakes, meats, oliev oils, produce, chocolate and flowers.
24. Recycle, Reuse, Restyle – Consignment clothing and gently used home decor can be found at these two excellent shops:
1. Home Again Consignment Boutique on Tutt in the Pandosy Village.
2. Frock & Fellow downtown Kelowna and the best curated clothing store in the city.
23. Zero Waste Shopping – You can find three excellent stores in Kelowna that focus on zero waste and reusable containers for shampoo, spices and more.
1. Chickpeace Zero Waste Refillery in the Landmark area.
2. Our Footprints Eco Store & Refillery downtown Kelowna.
3. Sustainable Passion: Kelowna Zero Waste Store & Spiritual Readings just off Pandosy.
4. Fill Kelowna Refill Store, a new store in the Mission/Pandosy.
Give Back To The Community
22. Volunteer with Mamas for Mamas – Since becoming a mother charities like this is on the top of my donation list, as is Kelowna’s Child Advocacy Centre. Help women and children escape abuse by donating anything you can afford or your time.
21. Volunteer with the CMHA – The Canadian Mental Health organization has some incredible stories from volunteers.
20. Food Bank – In 2020 the increase in families and people who need help have overwhelmed many charities and services. The food bank is certainly one of these. Consider donating food or your time!
19. Clean up the local beaches – Armed with a SUP board and garbage bags you too can help clean up the local beaches!
18. Do Some Good – Use this service to find any and all local charities and businesses that are in need of volunteers.
Kid-Friendly Locations & Activities
17. Stroll the boardwalk – This walking path is popular with tourists and locals alike because it is right downtown with picturesque views of the Okanagan Lake. It leads to the preserved wetlands in behind the Delta hotel and is great for bird watching or wedding photos.
16. Kangaroo Farm – Newly relocated from Lake Country to Kelowna (by the airport) is the ever popular kangaroo farm. Capybaras, exotic birds and reptiles, goats and plenty of kangaroos for the kids to view and pet.
15. Waterparks – Unfortunately the very fun waterslides in West Kelowna are long gone but we have a few of small water spout parks for the little ones to cool off at in the hot summer months.
1. City Park water park nearby the Parlour Ice Cream!
2. Kettle Valley water park equipped with a large playground.
3. Ben Lee water park in Rutland area.
14. Myra Canyon Adventure Park – Kids from 3 and up can have fun at this adventure park through the trees!
13. McMillan Farms – Families flock to McMillan farms during the fall as it is one of the best locations for pumpkin picking, hot cocoa, and hay rides. Don’t forget to try a delicious waffle from the Wafelicious Food Truck!
12. Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm – If you’re looking for a picturesque place for family photos consider this gorgeous lavender farm just prior to harvest (Julyish). Workshops also can be found for older kids who want to make lavender wands.
11. Kelowna Stables – Giddy up! 25 minutes from downtown Kelowna you can get your kids into the wilderness on horseback.
10. Wild Play – Obstacles, a primal swing, zip lines…this will get the adults’ hearts beating too!
9. Scandia – Arcade games, pool tables, mini golf both indoors and out, batting cages, go karts, this is one of the funnest stops for kids in Kelowna!
7. Hoofprints Barnyard Petting Zoo – Get the kids learning new things and interacting with these cuddly farm animals.
6. Safari Ridge Adventure Park – Don’t let the kids tell you that you don’t need protective layers! Paintball and lazer tag at this West Kelowna outdoor play space brings warfare to life – can you tell I got creamed?. Planet Lazer – One of my favourite places to as a twenty-something year old but then again I am a bit of a nerd. Kids and adults will have a blast!
5. Axe Monkeys – Indoor axe throwing. Your daughter might be able to kick your ass so you might want to limber up daddio!
4. H20 Adventure and Fitness Centre – Indoor wave pool, fitness centre and even daycare available.
3. 19 Greens Put and Play – Located in West Kelowna with gorgeous views of Kelowna and a putting course fit for all levels.
2. Holiday drive in Kettle Valley – Yes it is contrived but kids and visitors love to see the old style homes in Kettle Valley. It’s one of my favourite places to go during the holidays for a walk or drive around as the Christmas lights gleam. Grab dinner at the local neighbourhood restaurant on Main St.
1. Don-O-Ray Petting Zoo & Farm – One of my favourite places to go for local produce and butter chicken, it also has a small petting zoo experience for kids which turns haunted during Halloween. Get your shopping in and then head to the zoo for goats, chickens, bunnies and a maze.
Unique Kelowna Itineraries
Kelowna for Royals – Inspired by the Royals’ visit in 2016.
Eat, Sip, Swim, Repeat – A Brief guide to the Okanagan