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 110 kms (68 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 107,000 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.
About West Kelowna
West Kelowna and the surrounding area is often referred to as ‘the Westside’ and is located on the west side of Okanagan Lake opposite the City of Kelowna. Like most of the Okanagan, West Kelowna is a popular tourist destination as well as a popular location for those looking for a lifestyle change. The area has been experiencing tremendous growth in population as people from all over move here to enjoy the ‘quality of life”. Clean air, water, green space and a good climate makes West Kelowna a desirable place to live and work.
The official home of Lake Okanagan’s famous Ogopogo, Peachland is located on highway 97 midway between the cites of Kelowna and Penticton. Visitors to the village of Peachland will enjoy the boutique shopping, wonderful restaurants, winery tours, cafes, spas, craft and farmer markets, and much more. All situated on 8 kilometers (5 miles) of lake front beaches and supervised swimming areas. Annual local events offer a variety of family oriented entertainment and recreation. Existing community facilities in Peachland and access to the more developed amenities of nearby West Kelowna make Peachland an attractive home for families and businesses alike in the active, growing, beautiful Okanagan Valley.
About Lake Country
The District of Lake Country is located near the centre of the Okanagan Valley and is made up of four distinct neighbourhood communities: Oyama, Winfield, Carr’s Landing and Okanagan Centre. Lake Country is a beautiful, unique place rich in its own cultural history.
Perhaps the fastest growing sector of our economy is tourism, primarily due to the establishment of a “freeway” link to the lower mainland area of B.C. The Okanagan Connector and Coquihalla Highway have shortened the driving time to/from the Vancouver area to about 4 hours. Since the Okanagan offers year round recreation from skiing to golf and beaches, it is a natural alternative to the suppliers in the lower mainland because of prices, weather and natural beauty.
The West Kelowna area is a “four season” playground because of the year round facilities and attractions. People are drawn to the warm climate, good swimming and boating, beautiful scenery, and abundance of fresh fruit in season, and a wide range of tourist facilities. The hunting and fishing are also some of the best anywhere.
Crystal Mountain Ski Resort in Westbank offers a family style ski facility with a European flavour. For cross country skiers, Telemark offers an excellent setting.
The Westside offers some good beaches and sunbathing areas. Public boat launching and moorage are available. An extensive upgrading has been done to the Gellatly Bay area creating a linear lakefront recreation facility.
- RDCO Population 2006
- Regional District 162,276
- City of Kelowna 106,707
- District of West Kelowna 28,793
- District of Peachland 4,883
- District of Lake Country 9,606
- Central OK East 3,978
- Central OK West 8,018
- First Nations Reserve 7 1,923
- First Nations Reserve 9 & 10 6,207
The recipients of Canada’s Winery of the Year – Jackson-Triggs Okanagan (2008), Mission Hill Family Estate Winery (2001 & 2007), and Cedar Creek Estate Winery (2002 & 2005) are all located within the valley. Spend the afternoon touring our local wineries, bring home your favorite bottle and enjoy what our local community has to offer.
For a list of wineries located in Kelowna, Click Here.
For more information on B.C.’s wineries, Click Here.
With it’s rolling hills, wineries, semi-desert like terrain, not to mention the beautiful Okanagan Lake, it’s no surprise that Kelowna offers some of the best and most beautiful golfing conditions in Canada. Home to highly recognized courses like, Tower Ranch – 2009 Golf Digest Top 3 Best New Courses. Kelowna has something to offer the most easy-going to most avid golfers.
For a list of Golf Courses in Kelowna, Click Here.
Beaches and Parks
Kelowna is located on Lake Okanagan, where beaches, community parks, boardwalks and water parks become the focus of the community and an attraction for tourists.