Frequency Wine & Sound, Kitsch Wines, Indigenous World Winery, Grizzli Winery, The Chase (opening soon) and Martin’s Lane (opening soon) offer new experiences and products here at the birthplace of BC wine. Adding to the already diverse and flavourful beer, cider, and spirits offerings are Forbidden Spirits Distillery (opening soon), Kettle River Brewing and Boundary Brewing. New restaurant, montREALfood is paying homage to Montreal’s diner fare with Okanagan flair. The colourful and cultural Sncewips Heritage Museum showcases art and artifact exhibits that reflect the Syilx/Okanagan heritage. Spend the night (or a couple) in the highly instagrammable Hotel Zed just across the street from our downtown beach and park.
There’s always something to do in Kelowna. The popular Dîner en blanc will transport you to a mysterious location where the white linens and wines flow. The seasonal wine festivals will introduce you to wines you won’t forget about and the Great Okanagan Beer Festival will have you sampling new brews and ciders right on the lake. We can’t forget about food, Devour is a delectable sampling of Kelowna’s best and Feast of Fields lets the terroir shine. Chill out to the cool sounds at the jazz festival, turn your wheels at the Kelowna Gravel Gran Fondo, join in Okanagan Pride Week, or challenge your personal best time in the Wine Country Half Marathon. Want to turn up the volume – check out Rock the Lake, Kelowna’s newest music festival celebrates rock nostalgia.
Okanagan Lake is Kelowna’s ultimate playground. Parasailing allows you to take in valley views and soak up sun rays. Test your balance on a stand-up paddle board, challenge yourself and take a SUP yoga class. Glide serenely in a kayak. Want more power, Okanagan Flyboard will have you flying impressively above the lake. Feeling gutsy, scuba dive at Paul’s Tomb to find Ogopogo. Or simply dive in from the helm of a boat, end of a dock, or sandy shoreline. Rather stay dry? Order a glass of wine and bask in the lake views from Hotel Eldorado’s boardwalk patio.
Breweries are making themselves known in Kelowna. Covering all corners of the city, from Kelowna’s downtown core to industrial complexes and bowling alleys. Kelowna’s craft breweries have built a collaborative community full of fun local flavours and brewers with personalities to match. Swig adventurous flavor profiles at Kettle River Brewing, known to throw a parking lot party on Friday summer nights. Cheers mixed up IPA’s at BNA Brewing Co. where they love their live music and roll bocce balls nightly. Chug German style lagers with rugby loving new kids on the block Boundary Brewing. Knock back aptly named Lebowski Lager from Freddy’s Brew Pub, and knock down ten pins at their bowling alley. Toss back memorable favorites with pizza and board games from the godfathers of Kelowna’s craft scene Tree Brewing Co. at their Tree Brewing Beer Institute.
There may not be a more favoured flavour in the Okanagan Valley then apple. Scenic Road Cider Co. and Wards Hard Cider take the apples for their authentic ciders right from the orchards in their back yard; you can almost hear the apple crunch with each sip. Okanagan small batch spirit producers are smitten with apples, Forbidden Spirits Distillery and Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery both crush apples with pride to produce sensationally crisp vodkas. Do your best impression of an Okanagan producer by visiting their source yourself. Pick apples by the barrel at Gambell Farms or gather them up at one of the many fruit stands you’re sure to come across on your visit, like Gatzke’s Farm Market.
Declared the ‘Year of Sustainable Tourism,’ 2017 is the year to embrace eco experiences and responsible tourism efforts. Solar is the word at Best Western Kelowna Inn & Suites, Kelowna’s greenest hotel. Organic rules the Okanagan wine scene with industry leader Summerhill Pyramid Winery, innovative property, LEED certified, Tantalus Vineyards and numerous other wineries which showcase the organic principal. Not just honey at Arlo’s Honey Farm, learn from the bees themselves about the vital role they play in our eco system. 60 plus varieties of lavender have the bees to thank at Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm.
Visit Grey Monk Estate Winery and learn the story of George and Trudy Heiss, 50 years of marriage, 40 years of grape growing and 30 years of wine making, so many reasons to toast. Take in vistas, explore an antique tool shed, play lawn games and ask about their labels at untraditional winery the hatch. Stop in downtown at Sandhill Winery, the Okanagan Valley’s only urban winery and home to the history of Calona Vineyard Winery, BC’s first winery. Kelowna has more than 40 wineries and 5 wine trails and is the largest city on the 110 kilometre (68 mile) Okanagan Lake.
Over 40% of Kelowna’s land base is agricultural and for generations, farmers, ranchers, and orchardists have grown the best and freshest ingredients in North America. Visit dozens of markets, farms, and fruit stands with a story. And then savour it all at top-notch restaurants like Waterfront Wines, Sunset Organic Bistro, Krafty Kitchen + Bar, or RauDZ Regional Table, where the chefs not only know where they got their ingredients from, but know their farmer, rancher, or grower by name. Here, farming runs in the family; like the Bal’s of Hillcrest Farm Market whose forefather Bhagu Singh walked the near 400 km (250 mi) from Vancouver over 100 years ago, to find land to call his own.
The best way to see Kelowna is up close. Get outside and get moving. Hike Knox Mountain in downtown Kelowna or Christie Falls in West Kelowna. Jump with wildlife at Kangaroo Creek Farm in Lake country. Bike the historical Kettle Valley Rail Trail, Myra Canyon Trestles. Bounce on Wibit the inflatable water playground off the shores off City Park. Fly backwards, forwards and any which way at ZipZone in Peachland.
Okanagan golf courses are spectacular. Making them slightly better is the addition of regarded restaurants with cocktail and beer selections that make the end of a round easier to get excited about. Known for open fairways and orchard surroundings The Harvest Golf Club boasts The Harvest Grille and one of the city’s best burgers. 19 Okanagan Grill + Bar at Two Eagles Golf Course is the place for eggs benedict and a spicy caesar after a morning 9 holes overlooking Okanagan Lake. What’s better than a steak dinner at The Sunset Dining Room after a round on Sunset Ranch Golf & Country Club’s rolling greens, maybe a steak dinner and a pint of Tree Beer..