Category   Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, BC
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Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Amid summer sunshine, sparkling waters and warm Okanagan smiles, the city of Kelowna is the Okanagan's largest and liveliest population centre, and one of Canada's most popular vacation destinations. It's such a perfect lakeshore community that it's known to some as the Summer City.

If you enjoy water sports - sailing, houseboating, kayaking, windsurfing, and fishing - you may never want to leave Kelowna.

Located on the east side of Lake Okanagan, mid-way between Penticton in the south and Vernon in the north, downtown Kelowna offers a spectacular landscape of lake, mountains and parks. There's a wide range of cafés, continental and ethnic restaurants, and noisy nightclubs to choose from, as well as unique shops and boutiques, heritage buildings and modern architecture, art galleries and museums, music and live theatre, and even a symphony and ballet.

The original inhabitants of this Central Okanagan region were the Interior Salish people, who harnessed the area's natural resources and followed seasonal cycles of food gathering, hunting and ceremonial life. Father Pandosy settled in this area in the early 1860s, pre-empting land near Mission Creek, which was to become one of the Valley's largest farming operations. The settlement was later to be called Kelowna, meaning Grizzly Bear in Indian dialect.

Early pioneers focused on cattle ranching, an industry that fed the Cariboo gold miners and other early settlers. With a new rail line reaching Okanagan Landing at the head of Okanagan Lake, the CPR sternwheeler included scheduled calls at Kelowna, a brand new townsite laid out in 1892, spurring immediate growth in the region.

Kelowna was incorporated as a city in 1905, and continued to experience moderate growth through both the First and Second World Wars. The opening of the floating bridge by premier W.A.C. Bennet and Princess Margaret in 1958 paved the way for unlimited expansion of Kelowna, which still continues until today.

The lake is the home of the legendary Ogopogo, the Okanagan's own version of the Loch Ness Monster. N'ha-a-itk, as the Indians called him, is said to live in an underwater cave beneath Okanagan Lake. It remains a mystery to this day, open for anyone to solve, and if you're travelling in the Okanagan this summer, keep you eyes open - you could be the one to solve the legend ... and claim the $2 million reward for doing so!

With its moderate climate and year-long calendar of regattas, rodeos, triathlons and festivals, Kelowna has virtually no off-season. Whatever the season, whatever the reason, it's always a good time to visit Kelowna, where a world-class destination for business and pleasure awaits you in the heart of the Okanagan.

Population: 112,775

Location: Kelowna is located at the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 33 on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake in the Okanagan Valley, 29 miles (46 km) south of Vernon and 43 miles (68 km) north of Penticton. The Kelowna International Airport is the 3rd busiest in British Columbia and the 11th largest in Canada. Kelowna is serviced by Air Canada Regional Airlines, Westjet and Horizon Air, with non-stop flights from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, and Victoria.

View maps of the area:
Map of Kelowna Town
Map of Kelowna north to Shuswap Lake
Map of Kelowna south to Osoyoos

  • The Okanagan Valley, stretching from Osoyoos at the US border north to Vernon, is laden with orchards, making it especially appealing in spring when the fruit trees are in full bloom. The best time to pick up some of the valley's bounty is mid-August through early September.
  • Fruit aside, winemaking is the hot ticket in the Okanagan, and British Columbians have long taken inordinate pride in their wines. Ever since the province authorized estate and smaller farmgate wineries, many excellent small wineries have popped up. Nearly three dozen quaint wineries set in lush vineyards operate in the Okanagan Valley, welcoming visitors to sample world class wines while enjoying the scenery of nearby lakes and mountains. Take a self-guided wine tour, and experience the magic first hand.

    All aboard the wine train - experience fabulous Okanagan wines on a restored vintage CN Supercontinental train from Kelowna to Vernon. At Vernon, disembark for a musical review before reboarding for the trip back. Day and evening trips take about severn hours. Dinner is served on board.

  • Explore Kelowna's history at the Kelowna Museum. Exhibition themes include natural history, Native history and local history, plus the only Ethnography Gallery in the interior of the province.
  • Learn the story of the Okanagan Valley's transformation from wide open cattle range to beautifully manicured, symmetric orchards at the British Columbia Orchard Industry Museum. Displays include exhibits on packing, processing, home preserving, picking, hands-on artifacts, rare photographs, and a 50-foot model railroad set. The museum is located in the historic Laurel Packinghouse at the corner of Ellis Street and Cawston Avenue. Built in 1917-1918, it is the city's first designated heritage building.

  • Heritage Park, Kelowna, BC
    Two wonderful heritage parks are managed by the Central Okanagan Heritage Society. Guisachan Heritage Park features Guisachan House, which was built for the Earl and Countess of Aberdeen in 1891, and named after the family estate in Inverness-shire in Scotland. Designed in the Indian colonial bungalow style, Guisachan became the focal point of a 480-acre ranch. Now a City Park, Guisachan features the Cameron Gardens, The Milk Shed Shop, and McDougall House. Benvoulin Heritage Park features the 1892 Benvoulin Church, the first Protestant Church south of Vernon. The Gothic Revival style, with high ceilings, vaulted arches and steeple was based on the Crathie Kirk, the Aberdeenshire, Scotland home of Lord and Lady Aberdeen.
  • Visit an interesting historical preserve at the Father Pandosy Mission, the site of the first vineyard and orchard in the Okanagan Valley, dating back to 1859. In 1860, Father Pandosy started his mission in order to convert natives, traders and new settlers.
  • Whether you enjoy contemporary or historical paintings, sculpture or crafts, photography or printmaking, the Kelowna Art Gallery displays a wide range of art from around the world.
  • The Kelowna Community Theatre, located in the heart of downtown Kelowna, is proud to be home to the Sunshine Theatre Company and the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. These two professional organizations delight audiences year round with plays and music.
  • Parks Alive! presents and produces over 52 events and activities from June to September each year. Events range from children’s activities, to a weekly theme concert series, to all-day music festivals, arts & crafts shows, and youth activity programs.
  • Prospera Place, a 6,000 seat multi-purpose facility that’s home to the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. Prospera Place provides a state-of-the-art entertainment facility to the B.C. Interior, and a focal point for sports, business, culture, and community activities. Kelowna’s growing Cultural District covers a six-block downtown area and features a concentration of galleries, museums, theatres, a casino, artists’ studios, fine dining, unique shops and a vibrant cultural life all year long.
  • Created by Kelowna farmer Roy Tanaka, the splendid Japanese Kasugai Gardens is a serene harbour of peace for visitors to enjoy, a re-creation of nature in miniature. North of Queensway behind the City Hall.
  • Take a cruise on the MV Fintry Queen, the pride of the Okanagan Lake since 1949. Docked at the foot of Bernard Avenue on Okanagan Lake, the Fintry Queen operated as a passenger and vehicle ferry connecting Highway 97 until the floating bridge was built in 1958, after which she became a floating restaurant.
  • Experience the nostalgia of passenger rail travel as you enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Okanagan Valley aboard the Okanagan Valley Wine Train. Travel in the vintage cars that toured across Canada in the 1950s and 1960s, past pristine lakes, rolling hillsides and beautiful orchards between Armstrong and Kelowna, with a visit to Vernon's 1911 railway station en route.

Search Premier Listings
  Holiday Park Resort, Kelowna Listing Details 
Nature provides the perfect setting for our four seasons RV & Condo Resort. Located in the heart of the Okanagan Valley on 67 acres. The resort features a wide array of accommodation options ranging from vacation condominiums to fully serviced, landscaped RV sites. Reserve now and enjoy the "Sweet Life". Specials available for first time visitors.
  Okanagan Vacation Chalet Rentals, Kelowna Listing Details 
OKChalets features the Okanagan’s finest selection of ski-in/ski out accommodation. We specialize in Ski Villas, Resorts, Condos and Chalets for your family holiday or business needs. Imagine yourself, your family and friends cozying up, après ski, in a fabulous chalet on your favorite mountain. Offering luxurious executive properties in The Okanagan, Whistler, Sun Peaks, and Fernie.
  Owner Direct Vacation Rentals, Kelowna Listing Details 
Looking for a Vacation Rental? Why spend more and get less with a hotel? We offer privately-owned, condos, apartments, bed and breakfasts, chalets, cottages and cabins throughout British Columbia for rent - nightly, weekly or monthly. Owners set their own competitive rates. Great value and selection.
  Ricardo's Mediterranean Kitchen, Kelowna Listing Details 
Serving exquisite dinners by Chef Ricardo. Full Bar service available. Come in and relax in our adult oriented, air conditioned lounge. Located at the Holiday Park Resort, a four season vacation destination for a wide range of travellers.
  Strand Lakeside Resort, Vernon Listing Details 
Nestled right on the shores of Lake Okanagan in beautiful Vernon, at Strand Lakeside Resort you'll have the opportunity to enjoy this four-season Okanagan playground and destination resort whenever the mood strikes. There's literally something year round for everyone in and around Vernon: sandy beaches, picturesque vistas, and your own private retreat. You'll be close to the energy and bustle of Kelowna, but far enough away to simply unwind, relax and experience the true meaning of vacation.
  The Lodging Company, Kelowna Listing Details 
Ski Vacation Rentals: Ski-in/ski-out chalets, condos, and vacation homes at BC’s top ski resorts. The Lodging Company has the perfect condo for your next getaway and can arrange discount lift tickets and airport transfers! View our complete listing of properties online or call us Toll Free at 1-888-676-9977 for personal assistance in planning your vacation.
  Waterfront West Real Estate, Courtenay Listing Details 
Waterfront West is the first and only marketplace dedicated exclusively to buyers and sellers of waterfront and water view real estate in British Columbia. Advertising Realtors' listings, private sales and developments, we are pioneering the market for this prime real estate. Featuring private and brokered sales, waterfront developments and a complimentary Buyers' Club.
  Wescan Charter Bus Lines, Delta Listing Details 
Our charter buses are fully insured, licensed and certified from 11 seats up to 58 seats and are ready to go anywhere in Western Canada and the U.S. The bilingual drivers and tour guides are available in English and Chinese. Our owner operators are always prepared to deliver outstanding service, ensuring complete customer satisfaction. We have several luxurious buses with some of the most experienced drivers in the industry. At Wescan we provide exceptional service transporting large or small groups of people out for a day of relaxation or several days of sightseeing. Our drivers are very experienced, courteous, and safety trained so that we may get you to your destination relaxed and refreshed, hoping that you may remember your trip with Wescan as a once-in-a lifetime event. Call for an immediate quote 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.
  Accent Inns Kelowna, Kelowna Listing Details 
Kelowna's Accent Inn is right in the middle of the sunny Okanagan, a year-round recreation paradise, ideal for family vacations and ski or golf getaways. Sparkling Okanagan Lake is rimmed by sandy beaches, acres of orchards, famous golf courses and charming estate wineries. In winter, exhilarating downhill and cross-country skiing are nearby. Pet Friendly. Free wireless. Free parking.
  Careers and Jobs at, Burnaby Listing Details enables job seekers and employers to connect with each other. Search for employment opportunities throughout BC or apply for and post BC jobs and resumes. Use the internet as a resource to find that dream job, including accounting jobs, administration jobs, construction, manufacturing, customer service, sales, marketing, financial, technical, technology, health care, tourism, retail and more .... all in British Columbia.
  EMR Vacation Rentals, Vancouver Listing Details 
EMR is a fully licensed Travel Agency offering fully furnished vacation homes, condos, suites, and estates in Victoria, Vancouver, Tofino, Whistler, the Okanagan, and on Vancouver Island. We have a large inventory of unique properties to select from. This includes properties that feature oceanfront, beach front, breathtaking views, private hot tubs, luxurious settings and more. Toll Free: 0-800-520-0932 UK.
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