The most epic things to do in the Okanagan! Tell me if you’ve tried any of these activities in the comments at the bottom of this post.
The Okanagan Valley contains some very unique and high intensity activities for thrill-seekers or those looking for a small taste of adrenalin. If you’re looking to spread your wings and get that rush, especially after 2020, then this guide is for you!
Spring, Summer & Fall
Heli Wine Touring
In 2020 I was treated to an epic birthday treat, wine touring with Valhalla Helicopters. I’ve never seen the Okanagan wine region from above (other than in an airplane of course), especially Lake Country and Knox Mt. Definitely worth the splurge when split between 4 people!Story + Video
Hot Air Balloon
Is there any better way to see a wine valley than floating sleepily yet high above the vineyards with wine in hand? This is on my to-do list in 2021! It’s probably the only sport or activity on the list that allows you to get liquid courage and get your adrenalin at the same time.
I have to build up the courage just to look at images of people jumping out of planes! It is the ultimate thrill-seeking activity no matter where you are in the world. The Okanagan is one of the most gorgeous landscapes from the ground and above with its lakes, vineyards, orchards and mountains. Have you ever tried skydiving? Tell me in the comments!
Okanagan Sky Dive
Did you know there are some very cool places beneath the surface of Okanagan lake only accessible by scuba divers? There’s a statue of the Ogopogo, submerged boats and vehicles and if that doesn’t get your heart rate up…you might just spot the Ogopogo himself!
Parasailing has blown up in the last few years and has become the thing to do if you’re looking for a quick jolt of adrenalin while getting out on the water. Taking in the views of the surrounding vineyard hills, the downtown skyline and mountains is well worth getting over any fear of heights.
One of my favourite free activities is to head down to the beach on windy day and watch these acrobats on the water. Some of the surfers get some impressive air! If you want to dive in and experience it for yourself then check out this (admittedly rudimentary) website for lessons or better yet ask the locals awaiting their turn on the beach.
For those who aren’t afraid of making a complete fool of themselves as they try to control a water jet pack on their feet as beach goers watch from afar. This is not only conquering your fear of heights but also performing in front of a crowd lol. I’ll be somewhere in the crowd cheering you on!
There’s no doubt you’ve seen the viral videos of primal swings around the world. Switzerland and New Zealand come to mind immediately! Welp, the Okanagan has one of its own just outside of Kelowna at Wild Play Adventure Park.
Drive the Tail of The Ogopogo
If you enjoy winding roads and views of Okanagan Lake then you might want to take the drive between West Kelowna and Vernon. You pass two regional parks and can even spot the occasional bighorn sheep. This drive is considered the Canadian version of the Tail of the Dragon in the Appalachian Mountains of the USA.
There are some very cool spots here in the Okanagan to rock climb. If you’re an aficionado you can check out Mountain Project.com for a rated list of climbs curated by locals. You can also go on a guided tour with Skaha Rock Adventures in Penticton. If you’re a newbie looking to get into the sport then head to one of these climbing locations below:
Beyond the Crux
This is another activity I want to conquer this summer after I recover from baby #2! The Okanagan has a few ziplines to choose from nowadays. You can head to Oyama, Kelowna at Myra Canyon Adventure Park or ZipZone in Peachland to name a few.
There are no shortage of hiking trails in the Okanagan. These free and natural weight loss treks helped me get into my wedding dress! But if you’re looking for something epic and more challenging like hiking to a summit, then you have to check out BearLives.ca which lists hikes and their typical duration among other highlights of each location.
Our winters are typically very mild here in the Okanagan. Our lake hasn’t froze over for at least 30 years which makes it ideal for SUP boarding year round. In the winter the lake can become stunning calm and with no other boaters out there it can be the most serene spot in the city.
Skiing & Snowboarding
The Okanagan is famed for its Champagne powder which can bring tourists from all corners of the world to experience their favourite winter sport on our mountain hills and trails. Big White and Silver Star are two premier ski resorts that allow you to escape into the mountains while surrounded by vibrant village culture.