Welcome to Kelowna, where long, hot summer days are centered around the inviting Okanagan (oh-kah-NAW-gun) Lake. It is a recreational lakeside paradise for its bounty of water sports on offer, including paddleboarding, wake-surfing, para-sailing, jet-boating and more.

Kelowna vinyards
Driving through the Okanagan Valley vineyards.

The town lies between soft mountain ranges offering good hiking trails like Knox Mountain and Paul’s Tomb. Explore the vineyards easily on bike with a handful of open door wineries very close to downtown. The Okanagan is the hottest and driest part of British Columbia with the varied landscapes of beaches, lakes, forest, orchards, vineyards and farms.

But there is one must do for Kelowna – check out The Lake!

Paddle Boarding Practice
Don’t worry the lake has water! We’re just getting ready for our first paddle boarding session on Lake Okanagan.

Paddleboarding is fun way to get a unique perspective on the water and try out something new. A quick 15 minute lesson will show you the basics – and then you’re on your own. A lot of people say that trying to find your balance on a paddleboard is easier than you might think!

(TIP: imagine you are riding on a subway train or bumpy bus without holding on!)

Paddleboarding, Penticton
The calm waters near Penticton are perfect for trying out paddleboarding for the first time.

Backpackers on Kelowna Pier
Backpackers exploring the Kelowna Pier and waterfront

Spend the long evenings on the pier with new friends watching the active shoreline and the sun setting across the lake. Take a stroll along the seaside path from downtown and you’ll soon reach beautiful sandy white beaches filled with sunbathers, beach balls and sand castles. The waterfront City Park offers outdoor volleyball, basketball and tennis courts and a children’s water park.

Visiting Kelowna’s statue of the “mythical” sea-creature, the Ogopogo, that lives in the Lake.

Discover the mystery of the Ogopogo, a sea-creature that lives in Lake Okanagan (Kelowna’s Loch Ness Monster) – or search for this landmark to see what the creature looks like. Kelowna’s downtown and marinas are modern with a sprinkling of historic relics from its old logging days. Don’t underestimate the nightlife here, there’s live music every night, cheap college nights, local jams, and pumping nightclubs. A great night in Kelowna starts the party at Samesun Hostel’s private patio – then off for a couple rounds of bowling and then head out for music and dancing!

Highlights when visiting Kelowna

  • Cycle along the waterfront bike path and explore the beaches

  • Go zipping along in a jet boat on Lake Okanagan

  • Hit the water any way possible – swimming, boating, parasailing, paddleboarding and water skiing

  • Climb Knox Mountain for epic views along the lake and Okanagan wine region

  • Taste some local wines and sample from one of many of the tasty bakeries

  • Grab a pint at O’Flannigan’s, Skinny Duke’s or BNA Brewing Co.