Mike’s parents live in Kelowna, British Columbia, and we recently enjoyed a wonderful visit with them. The temperature was around 35C (95F) and sunny for much of our stay, so we spent a lot of time cooling off at the local beaches.
There is so much to do in Kelowna in the summer for outdoor adventurers and wine aficionados alike. In addition to a photo dump, here’s a recap of my Top Five in Kelowna, British Columbia: Summer Edition.
Top Five in Kelowna
1) Hiking. I’m a big fan of hiking and Kelowna has countless trails for all lengths of hikes and all levels of difficulty. We use HikingAddiction.ca to plan our Kelowna hikes. On this visit we hiked the Bear Creek Canyon, which has a beautiful waterfall, and Rose Valley, which was a more intense hike but rewarded us with the most stunning views. In addition to the great trails and amazing vistas, another thing I really appreciate is that many of the parks have well-maintained washrooms. No squatting in the bushes on these hikes!
2) Hanging at the beach. Swimming in the lake is so much more relaxing than getting pummeled by waves in the ocean. I’m a huge wimp when it comes to cold water, but it was hot enough out that I actually went swimming a couple times. There are a whole bunch of great Kelowna beaches whether you’re in the mood for a party atmosphere or just want to get away to somewhere nice and quiet. Many of the beaches rent equipment like kayaks, pedal boats and stand-up paddle boards, so there are lots of ways to have fun on the water even if you don’t want to get in. And of course, boating is a fun way to experience the beautiful surroundings.
3) Horseback riding in the mountains. Riding horses at the Kelowna Stables is one of my favourite memories. The ranch is gorgeous (there’s a B&B that would be a really nice place to stay), and the trail rides around the ranch offer some breathtaking views of Kelowna. The area around the ranch was burned in one of Kelowna’s major forest fires, so the burned trees give the landscape an eerie feel. The bare trees do allow for much better views from the mountain though!
4) Cycling across trestles. Cycling the old Kettle Valley Railway is a great way to take in the sights of the beautiful Myra Canyon, while getting a little exercise. We rented bikes and lucked out with a private tour with Ed from Monashee Adventure Tours. Ed was a little wacky, and made the ride extra fun. I’m a little scared of heights, and especially of bridges exactly like these, but after riding across the first couple trestles I was fine as long as I kept my eyes straight ahead!
5) Touring wine country. The Okanagan valley is Canada’s answer to Napa, and is home to some of the world’s most beautiful wineries. There are more than 100 wineries to choose from and many have stunning mountain and lake views. And the wine’s great, too! Mike’s parents live just down the road from Mission Hill and Quail’s Gate, which both have gorgeous views overlooking Lake Okanagan. On this visit we stopped in at 50th Parallel and then enjoyed a delicious lunch at Gray Monk.
More travel on the blog: