Kelowna and Okanagan Lake: Interesting places, tourist attractions

Canada Road Trip #3: Kelowna and Okanagan Lake

Okanagan Lake in British Columbia, Canada

After visiting Vancouver, we've come to the city of Kelowna, located just next to the Okanagan Lake. It's a great tourist city with many tourist attractions and interesting places, especially connected to the wine, but there are also awesome parks an even a beach.

In this Canada travel blog, I will describe the best tourist attractions and interesting places located near the city of Kelowna, British Columbia, and the Okanagan Lake. Both places are fantastic not only because of it's natural beauty but also because it's a Canadian land of wine. We will visit Myra Canyon Park, Kelowna's Wineries, Boyce-Gyro Beach, Knox Mountain Park, Kasugai Japanese Garden, Kangaroo Creek Farm, and Okanagan Lake. Enjoy!

City of Kelowna

Kelowna is the third largest city in British Columbia, Canada and it took us about 5 hours to drive here from Vancouver. Kelowna is famous mostly from award-winning wineries, awesome Okanagan Lake, and beautiful national parks. Kelowna with no doubts is focused on tourism, so you will find here a lot of great things to do and see.

City of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Source: Darren Kirby / Wikipedia.

Myra Canyon Park

Myra Canyon Park is a high-scenic part of the Kettle Valley Railway, which I've described in my last article about the Othello Tunnels and it runs along a step-walled canyon. The park road was originally built in the previous century as a part of the railway system, but now it was changed into the tourist trekking trail with two tunnels and eighteen spectacular bridges. All between beautiful Canadian forests and wildlife.

Myra Canyon Park, British Columbia, Canada

You can visit Myra Canyon Park on foot or, if you want, you can rent a bike in Myra Canyon Bike Rentals. How to get here? You must drive into the Myra Station, which is located about 40 minutes drive from the Kelowna downtown (24 kilometers). When you will get there, you should notice a large parking area. Just be warned that the road to the Myra Canyon Park is a gravel road, but almost every vehicle should be able to make this climb (especially during the summer). 

Kelowna's Wineries

Kelowna and its surroundings are called Canada's land of wine. You will notice it very shortly, as there are more than 40 wineries everywhere near the roads, some of them are award-winning. This makes a great surprise when just minutes drive from a modern Kelowna city you can find farms, orchards, and vineyards, where you can sit, drink some great wine and just relax. Below I will describe, in my opinion, two best wineries that I've visited during my travel to Kelowna.

Oh, and if you will enjoy Kelowna's Wineries, also make sure to visit the British Columbia Wine Museum, to learn about the local wine production.

Mission Hill Winery in Kelowna. Source: Jack Borno / Wikipedia.

Mission Hill Winery

Mission Hill Winery is my favorite winery in Kelowna and if you will have time to visit only one winery during your stay here, this one should be on the top of your list. The design on the Mission Hill Winery reminds European-style wineries, especially with an awesome view of Lake Okanagan. While being here, you can also taste some of the Canadian cuisines on the Terrace Restaurant, which was really great!

The ingredients of the food are from local farmers (and even some of them are from the restaurant's garden), so you can expect a healthy local food here. Also, please notice that the spot in the Mission Hill Winery restaurant books up very fast, so better reserve it earlier.

Quails Gate Winery in Kelowna

Quails' Gate Winery

If you will just go down the road from Mission Hill Winery you will find another one, called Quails' Gate Winery. This is another great winery and it's not because they are close to each other :) You will find here a restaurant and an inviting warm wine tasting room, where you can always find a lot of people talking about the wine. I've tasted here many great wines and I even bought a bottle of wine that I've enjoyed the most on my way out.

If you want to eat something, there is a restaurant here called the Old Vines, which offers a great view of the grapevines that runs down the hill. You can find here some strange dishes to try, like trout salad or crab cake - if you like experimenting, you can always try one of these.

Boyce-Gyro Beach

I'm always surprised when I hear that such a cold country as Canada has its own beaches. But during the summer, the temperatures in Kelowna can be up to 28 degrees, so there are absolutely no problems to go to the beach. The most popular beach in Kelowna is Boyce-Gyro Beach, which can be found in the south part of the city, close to the Pandosy shopping area and the Mission Park.

Boyce-Gyro Beach in Kelowna. Source: gyrobeach.ca

Boyce-Gyro Beach Park has a lot f green areas and trees, so you can choose if you want to be in the sun or not. You can find here many snack venues, volleyball courts, picnic areas, washroom facilities, a playground, and even an inflatable water park. There are also no problems with renting canoes, kayaks or paddle boats. If you have some money, you can stay in hotels or motels just near the Gyro Beach Park.

So, how to get to the Boyce-Gyro Beach Park? Drive Harvey Avenue (called also Highway 97), and follow Lakeshore Road. You will pass Mission Park Shopping Center and you will find a small parking here. Warning: There is a lot of problems with parking spots in Boyce-Gyro Beach Park, and you probably won't find any free places on that parking. There are two others, bigger, here and here, but you will have to pay for them to leave a car.

Knox Mountain Park in Kelowna. Source: Adam Jones, Wikipedia.

Knox Mountain Park

Knox Mountain Park is another great place filled with beautiful landscapes and nature. It's huge and spreads across almost 600 acres of grassland and forests. There are many animals here, such as birds, deer, or even grizzly bears. Also, famous Kokanee salmons can be found in the Knox Mountain Park lakes.

The park is perfect for trekking, as you can find here ten different trails with the variety of difficulty and length, that will give you some awesome views of Okanagan Lake and Kelowna city. If you are lazy, have no time or you are just in a bad shape, there are also 2 lookout points (one is the mountain's summit), that can be reached by car. The park is also perfect for mountain bikes.

Knox Mountain Park near Kelowna is opened from 09:30 to 21:00 mostly, but if the weather is really bad, it can be temporarily closed during the winter.

Kasugai Japanese Garden

If you have enough people while being in the downtown of Kelowna, Kasugai Japanese Garden is a quiet space to step away from the hustle and bustle. For me, these were the most unique gardens in the whole city.

Kasugai Japanese Garden was built in 1987 to show the friendship between Kelowna and its sister city from Japan called Kasugai. You can find here many elements that can be found in traditional Japanese gardens, which include waterfalls, pine trees, and stone lanterns. Kasugai Japanese Garden in Kelowna is a perfect place for a contemplation and to spend some time in silence.

Kasugai Japanese Garden in Kelowna. Source: Accuruss / Wikipedia.

Kasugai Japanese Garden in Kelowna city is normally opened from 09:00 to 17:00, but during the summer it is usually opened till 20:00. From the other side, the gardens are closed during the winter. To get to the Kasugai Japanese Garden, you must go east from the City Hall, just near the Queensway Transit Exchange.

Kangaroo Creek Farm in Winfield

Kangaroo Creek Farm in Winfield

Kangaroo Creek Farm is located outside the Kelowna, in a small village called Winfield, just 20 kilometers north. If you haven't seen live not only kangaroos but also wallaroos, bennett wallabies, albino wallabies, sugar gliders, pot-bellied pigs or emus, Kangaroo Creek Farm is a must-see tourist attraction while visiting Kelowna. A few words from the owners, that describe the Kangaroo Creek Farm:

We are trying to keep our farm as non-commercial and "un-Disney-fied" as possible. [...] It is not a sterile environment, and animals are not machines. [...] You can rest assured that the animals have always been well cared for and always will be, regardless.

The adult ticket costs just 10$, and the Kangaroo Creek Farm in Winfield is opened daily (including holidays) from 10:00 to 15:00. You will probably spend here from 1 to 2 hours, but some people even can stay here for a whole day.

Okanagan Lake

Probably the best place in the Kelowna surroundings and Okanagan Valley of British Columbia is the Okanagan Lake, a very deep and huge lake that is 135 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide, with a total area of 348 square kilometers. Like the loch ness monster, the Okanagan Lake has its own monster with a funny name Ogopogo.

In Canadian folklore, Ogopogo or Naitaka is a lake monster reported to live in Okanagan Lake, in British Columbia, Canada. Ogopogo has been allegedly seen by First Nations people since the 19th century.

Okanagan Lake in Okanagan Valley, Canada.

There are many great places across the Okanagan Lake, like Rattlesnake Island or Okanagan Mission Beach. Just get into a car and drive near the lake and you will find many restaurants, wineries and other interesting places and tourist attractions.

Conclusion

In this Kelowna travel guide and Okanagan travel blog, I described my third Canada Road Trip stop, this time in the Okanagan Valley. We discovered the best tourist attractions and interesting places in Kelowna city, like Kelowna's Wineries, Kasugai Japanese Garden and Boyce-Gyro Beach. We drove to Myra Canyon Park, Knox Mountain Park, Kangaroo Creek Farm in Winfield, and across the Okanagan Lake.

I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions about Kelowna or Okanagan Lake, feel free to write me in the comment section below.

Wojciech Kuźma

Hey there! My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my travel blog. I've been traveling the world for a few good years now and I still want more.

On my website I describe the adventures that have happened to me, you will also find here a collection of valuable tips for tourists and travelers. If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!


4.67 | 3 votes
Comments: 4
  •   16th July 2018, 16:21

    For a long time now we are going to see the city of Kelowna and the Okanagan Lake. I think that your travel blog will help us get there faster, in the end it is not that far from anywhere in Canada. This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Od dłuższego już czasu wybieramy się zobaczyć miasto Kelowna oraz jezioro Okanagan. Myślę, że Twój blog podróżniczy pomoże nam szybciej się tam wyprawić, w końcu nie jest tam aż tak daleko z któregokolwiek zakątka Kanady.

  •   17th July 2018, 13:46

    I did not expect such views from Canada. This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Takich widoków nie spodziewałam się po Kanadzie.

  •   14th September 2018, 15:38

    I've lived in Canada for a few years and I have not gone to this area, I think it's about time :-) Lake Okanagan looks fantastic, and the city of Kelowna is not too bad either. This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Mieszkam w Kanadzie już od kilku lat a ciągle nie wybrałem się w te rejony, chyba najwyższy czas :-) Jezioro Okanagan wygląda fantastycznie, a miasto Kelowna też jest niczego sobie.

    •   20th September 2018, 19:43

      Hello , can you get in touch ? With respect This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Witam , można się z panem jakoś skontaktować ? Pozdrawiam

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