In less than two weeks' time, Kelowna will welcome visitors from around the globe, including some of the world's top figure skaters, for the 2019 Skate Canada International, which will take place at Prospera Place from October 25 to 27.
With so many high-profile athletes, supportive families and coaches, and excited fans travelling to Kelowna, many for the first time, we wanted to offer some suggestions for things to see and do in the area.
Explore Kelowna’s Cultural District
Prospera Place, where 2019 Skate Canada International is taking place, is in Kelowna’s Cultural District, which is home to museums, art galleries, public art, and more. Before you head out to explore, be sure to grab a coffee (and maybe a sweet treat) from Bliss Bakery & Bistro, Giobean, or Sprout Bread, which are all just steps away from the arena.
Pay a visit to the Kelowna Art Gallery (free admission on Thursdays), discover Kelowna’s wine and agricultural history at the Laurel Packinghouse, or visit Kasugai Gardens, which celebrates the relationship between Kelowna and its sister city, Kasugai, Japan.
Head to the Okanagan Heritage Museum to learn about the culture of the syilx / Okanagan people, to discover Kelowna’s history, and to see the artifacts in the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.
Hike Knox Mountain Park
Knox Mountain Park sits on the edge of downtown, just north of Prospera Place at the end of Ellis Street. The moderately difficult Apex Trail will take you to the top of Knox Mountain; you can stop midway to admire the view. The easier Paul’s Tomb Trail winds alongside the mountain. Either way, you’ll have Instagram-worthy views of Okanagan Lake and downtown Kelowna. It will take you approximately 20 minutes to walk from Prospera Place to Knox Mountain. The 2-North End Shuttle will also get you there (catch the bus at the Queensway Transit Exchange). Those with a vehicle can park at the bottom of the mountain and hike up, or drive to the two lookout points if preferred.
Go on a Guided Wine Tour
Kelowna is the birthplace of B.C.’s wine industry and there are more than 40 wineries in the city and its surrounding communities. If you have a vehicle with you (and a designated driver), you can explore the area’s 5 Wine Trails on your own. If you’d prefer to let someone else take care of the driving, there are several guided wine tour operators to choose from, offering half- and full-day group tours, as well as private tours. Not only will you have your transportation taken care of, but you’ll get to learn a lot about the area’s history. the vineyards, and the wineries, thanks to the local guide.
Explore Kelowna’s Craft Breweries
Celebrate your favourite figure skaters’ win with a visit to one of Kelowna’s craft breweries. Just east of Prospera Place you’ll find BNA Brewing, which includes a tasting room and full-service eatery, as well as a bowling alley and bocce ball. A short walk south of the arena will have you at one of Kelowna’s original craft breweries, Tree Brewing Beer Institute, which offers craft beer and beer-inspired food. In downtown Kelowna’s north-end, just a 15-minute walk from the arena, you’ll find several craft breweries including Kettle River Brewing, Red Bird Brewing, Rustic Reel, and Vice & Virtue, all of which offer food options alongside their brews. In the area, you’ll also find Sandhill Wines and BC Tree Fruits Cider.
For more ideas of things to see and do, or for dining recommendations, chat with our Visitor Experience team, who will be set up in the concourse at Prospera Place throughout the event. The team will also be available at the Kelowna Visitor Centre, located along the waterfront boardwalk at 238 Queensway Avenue and open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can also connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and share your experiences using #exploreKelowna and #SCI19.
Frequently Asked Questions
What transportation options are available in Kelowna?
- Kelowna Concierge operates a shuttle from the Kelowna International Airport to/from local hotels; click here for more information.
- There are several cab companies in Kelowna, including Checkmate Cabs, Current Taxi, Kelowna Cabs, and West Cabs; however, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft do not currently operate in British Columbia.
- The Kelowna Regional Transit System offers public transportation in the region. Schedules can be viewed online; physical copies can be picked up at the Kelowna Visitor Centre or on the bus. Click here for fare information.
- Click here for more information on getting around Kelowna.
What is the weather like in October?
- Temperatures in October average a high of 13°C (56°F) and a low (generally overnight) of 1°C (34°F). The forecast is currently calling for mostly sunny days, with highs around 8°C (46°F), leading up to and during the event. Click here to monitor the forecast.
- Early morning and evenings can cool down, so you'll want to plan accordingly with outerwear. If you are planning on hiking, be aware that the temperatures will be cooler at the higher elevations.
What amenities are available nearby the venue?
- Groceries/Markets: BC Tree Fruits Market, Canada Safeway (including pharmacy), One Big Table
- Medical Clinic: Medi-Kel Family Practice & Walk-in Clinic
- Pharmacies: Pharmasave, Shoppers Drug Mart
- Post Office: Canada Post at Towne Centre Card Shop
- Souvenirs/Postcards: Kelowna Visitor Centre, Souvenirs Kelowna/Towne Centre Card Shop
Click here for more travel tips.