Cradled within a glorious range of mountains, is a sanctuary filled with pristine lakes, pine forests, abundant gardens, orchards and vineyards, sandy beaches and superb amenities. Stretching from north to south for approximately 135 kms (84 miles) is beautiful Okanagan Lake. The lake sustains several diverse communities along this corridor known as the Okanagan Valley. The Okanagan Valley is located at the northern most end of the Sonora Desert and hence has a semi-arid climate, boasting long warm summers and short mild winters. The city of Kelowna, is the largest community and is located midway through the valley. It has a population of 122,000 and is the transportation, business and service hub of the valley.
Relatively undiscovered, Kelowna is never too crowded despite playing host to visitors the world over. The Kelowna International Airport, the 10th busiest in Canada, easily connects to major North American cities. With daily flights, it’s just a 60-minute flight from Calgary or Vancouver and 70 minutes from Seattle. Daily direct flights to Toronto are also available. A variety of accommodations offer choices ranging from lakeside resorts to cozy B & B’s.
Kelowna has miles of beautiful parkland, and several sandy beaches which provide wonderful opportunities for boating, swimming, water-skiing, windsurfing and fishing. As well, you can hit the links at one of our many golf courses nine months out of the year. In cooler months, our snow-capped mountains and pine filled forests are a haven for skiers, boarders, snowmobilers and outdoor adventurists of all types and levels.
Orchards and vineyards thrive within a 10-minute drive from the downtown core and provide seasonal delights year round. You can pluck ripe cherries or juicy peaches from trees, or spend a delightful day sampling the award-winning wares of our internationally acclaimed wineries. The Spring, Summer and Fall Wine Festivals offer hundreds of activities focused on wine making, tasting and touring.
That’s not all. 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. Prospera Place, a 6,000-seat multi-purpose facility that’s home to the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, attracts major entertainers and events, and is also located in the heart of the city.
A trip to Kelowna would not be complete without taking the time to search for Ogopogo, the legendary lake monster that reputedly resides in Okanagan Lake. The myth dates back to the Interior Salish Native people who exchanged stories of a lake creature, or “N’ha-a-itk”, over 100 years ago. The creature later became known as Ogopogo and purported sightings over the years continue to strengthen the legend. To “see” Ogopogo for yourself, be sure to visit the statue of the creature found on Bernard Avenue near Kelowna’s City Park.