Kelowna gets its name from the indigenous people’s word for “grizzly bear.” Located in the southern interior of British Columbia, Kelowna is nestled in the Okanagan Valley on the shores of Lake Okanagan. It’s the third-largest metropolis in the province.
The Delta Grand Okanagan Resort & Conference Center is situated in the heart of downtown Kelowna, making walking to dinner and shopping a breeze. Though it’s loaded with the typical amenities (think pools, fitness room, sauna, shops and restaurants), what you’ll long remember is the show-stopping view. The resort sits on the lake and offers up mountain vistas of blue and grey that will take your breath away. Make sure to book a lakeside room.
For an authentic taste of the Okanagan, head over to the Sunset Organic Bistro at Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Here, you’ll find fresh ingredients plucked from the winery’s own biodynamic gardens and nearby organic farms. Start with the Tomato Salad, but save room for the Steak and Frites, a 10-ounce rib-eye with blue cheese butter and bone marrow.
Going for Cocktails
A trip to Kelowna would be incomplete without a stop at RauDZ Regional Table – pronounced “rods” – for a sip (or three) from their cocktail menu. Try the Lavender Bees Knees, made with Okanagan Spirits Gin, lavender honey, lemon, grapefruit and hops bitters, or the popular At The Drive-In, a mix of buttered-popcorn-washed Bacardi Superior, Old Sam rum, lapin cherry and cola reduction, orgeat (like liquid marzipan) and lime.
Best Wine Tours
If you’ve come to Kelowna for the wine, you won’t be disappointed by the tastings available. From crisp young Chardonnays to old-vine Pinot Noirs, there’s a varietal or blend for every bias. Where to start? Tourism Kelowna has created several trails, including Lake Country’s Scenic Sip Trail, Westside Wine Trail, Lakeshore Wine Route and the Kelowna FabFive. Some will take you into the barrel room, some will let you explore the vineyards and others offer lunch opportunities. Start planning your oenophile experience here.
Best Adventure Tour
Burn a few calories – and give your liver a break – with a bike ride along the Kettle Valley Steam Railway line, where you can travel over the old train trestles of Myra Canyon. Sign up for guided tours created for various fitness levels at Monashee Adventure Tours. Bike rentals are included, but don’t forget to bring your camera.
Both WestJet and Air Canada offer direct flights to Kelowna International Airport. From there, it’s a short cab ride into the heart of the city.