If you are an interested visitor who has already begun your research, you have most likely heard about Kelowna’s Cultural District. Our city’s downtown core is absolutely bursting with artistic colour and history, but the culture of the Central Okanagan extends far beyond that innermost hub!

Kelowna and the surrounding areas are rich with art, history, and culture- all you need to know is where to look. Luckily, I’m here to help! From Lake Country to Peachland, this handy guide will explain to you all of the best places to experience the Central Okanagan’s vast and vibrant culture and history.


Pandosy Village

Marmalade Cafe on South Pandosy Street
Pandosy Village. Photo: Meghan Reading

Pandosy Village, located in the southern portion of popular Pandosy Street, is a center of activity for visual arts and culture, containing three separate art galleries all within walking distance from one another!

Gallery 421 is a sweet little stop featuring fine art of the painting and sculpture variety. With works developed by artists both within Kelowna itself and across Canada, every piece in this gallery is available for sale, including free framing over a certain price point!

SOPA Fine Arts can be found directly on Pandosy street, boasting a collecting of unique pieces with a more modern vibe. Monthly rotating exhibits ensure an ever-changing selection of contemporary art from artists both Canadian and international.

Back to the classics, Tutt Street Gallery offers a focus on original oil and acrylic paintings. Selling the pieces of nearly 50 artists, both local and heralding from elsewhere within Canada, this little gallery is an exceptional example of the visual art that our region has to offer.


Heritage Sites

Father Pandosy Mission Heritage Site
Father Pandosy Statue. Photo: Hanna Lowe

Kelowna is also home to some gorgeous heritage sites, including several streets worth of historic homes and preserved settler sites.

The Father Pandosy Mission, located along Benvoulin Road, is home to the first pioneer buildings and land claims. Alongside these historic pieces of architecture are various other artifacts that have been preserved from Kelowna’s first days as a settler colony. The 4-acre plot is open daily for anyone to roam and catch a glimpse of Kelowna’s past.

Guisachan Heritage Park was first owned by Lord and Lady Aberdeen, and later the garden was upgraded by the Camerons in the 1920s Edwardian style. The park remains a popular destination, scattered with plaques containing information about the site amongst the lush garden beds. Guisachan Heritage Park is best visited in the Spring or early Summer, when flowers are in full bloom, or during the later summer months for catching some of Kelowna’s Parks Alive! Outdoor concerts.

Right near Kelowna’s downtown core are several heritage streets as well. These neighbourhoods have been preserved to retain their historical architecture and significance, leaving us with some beautiful streets to wander and take in Kelowna’s past.

In the block between Richter St and Ethel St, Bernard Ave is home to many gorgeous historic homes, most of which have plaques outside to read up on each building’s unique history. One heritage home, located at 763 Bernard Ave, has since been converted into Peddler’s Cottage Interiors, a sweet little gift shop!

Just across the highway, you’ll find Abbott St and Marshall St, two more beautifully maintained neighbourhoods- with Abbott right beside the lake! A perfect street to stroll down in the summertime before taking a quick dip to cool off.


Peachland Museum

The building housing the Peachland Museum is a piece of history itself, with the two-storey, octagonal building originally containing the old baptist church, built in 1910 by volunteers.

The interior of the museum’s ground floor is chock full of the village’s history, with artifacts, photographs, documents, miniatures and more detailing not just Peachland, but the whole of the Okanagan.

The second floor is a marvel, with the whole storey having been converted into a miniature train set replicating the Kettle Valley Railway during its days of glory. A button can be pressed for a brief audio recording and to send the trains around the room while you take in the various other artifacts preserved up there.

The Peachland Museum truly is a unique experience, and definitely worth a visit to the small town.


Rutland Mural Project

Rutland Mural. Photo: Nathaniel Atakora Martin (@nathanielatakora)

Five years ago, Rutland introduced its first mural in an ongoing series titled the “Uptown Mural Project”; an initiative to encourage public art and beautify the area. Central Rutland is currently home to over 20 murals, spread over the walls of restaurants, office buildings, fences, small businesses, and more.

Check their website to book a guided tour, or download the mural map for a casual stroll through central Rutland, checking out some local businesses and viewing the murals at your own pace.

These bright and beautiful additions to the Rutland area of Kelowna bring an artful air to the neighbourhood, and are a must-see for locals and visitors alike. While you’re at it, make sure to download the #exploreKelowna Uptown Rutland Murals pass to record your visits and work towards earning cool prizes!


Lake Country Art Gallery

Lake Country Art GalleryPhoto: Rebecca Laboe

The Lake Country Art Gallery, initially opened in 2010, is a one-exhibition space gallery with a rotating schedule of eight exhibits per year. Right next door is the Arthouse, used for classes and community art programs.

A small but well-loved place, the Lake Country Art Gallery frequently hosts events as well, so be sure to check out their website before your visit to see if anything is happening while you’re in town!


Sncewips Heritage Museum

Directly across the William R. Bennett bridge, you’ll find yourself in Westbank First Nation, home of the Sncewips Heritage Museum.

This building is a curation of physical objects and culmination of longstanding oral history, creating a hub of syilx culture that is open for the public to learn and explore. Arguably the best place to learn about the Okanagan’s indigenous history, Sncewips Heritage Museum is an indigenous-owned and operated non-profit business, dedicated to the teaching and preservation of syilx artifacts and culture.

A self-guided walk through is available by donation, while $15 will get you a guided tour and an in-depth exploration of the Syilx people as provided by an expert.

The downtown Cultural District is a fantastic amalgamation of the art and culture that Kelowna has to offer, but don’t forget about the rest of the region too! These hidden gems can easily transform your great vacation into an amazing one.



Also remember to pop into the Kelowna Visitor Centre, where their expert community specialists will help you find even more great locations to stop in at during your time in the Okanagan!