By: Susan Gerle
Kelowna is situated in the Okanagan Valley of BC, 6 hours north of Spokane, Washington. It’s a vibrant vacation city with lots to do during the summer. Whether you are looking for beach time or tasting wines at the many cottage wineries, or going golfing, there is a lot to take in.
One of the nicest walks along the shores of Okanagan Lake is Kelowna’s Boardwalk. It starts at the bridge, goes through Kelowna City Park, then past the Yacht Club and the Grand Hotel and Casino. On summer weekends there is often music in the park. Continue on past the boat locks and into the beautiful marshland area. There are places to sit and just enjoy the view along the way.
2. Mission Creek Walkway
One of the easiest access points for Mission Creek walkway is on Springfirld road just north of Orchard Park Mall. The walkway meanders for a number of kilometers beside the creek. It is a great place to walk dogs (on leash, of course) or just to get some exercise in.
3. Lakeshore Wineries
There are many wineries located throughout Kelowna but one of the most populous is Lakeshore Rd., just east of Kelowna. Follow the road out along the lake for a few kilometers and stay to the right at the fork. Take time for lunch and sightseeing as well.
4.Bear Creek Park
Bear Creek Park is located across the lake from Kelowna. It’s about a 15-minute drive from downtown but worth the journey. You can walk up the trails above the park and get into some stunning scenery away from the bustle of the city.
The park is a great place to take the kids. There is a large water play area situated in the center of the park, with lots of open space for picnicking. There is also a great beach area and swimming zones are marked. A short distance away you can rent ski-boats but you must have a valid boater’s certificate.
6.Knox Mountain Regional Park
For those tourists who enjoy mountain biking, Knox Mountain has some challenging hills. It is definitely a medium to advanced level climb. The mountain is also crisscrossed with good hiking trails. Access is restricted one weekend in May for the annual Knox Mountain Hill Climb.
7. Scandia Golf and Games
Scandia is another great place to take the kids. It has a mini golf course and a number of other things to do including a batting cage. Big kids enjoy it too! There is also a model formula car racetrack across the highway from Scandia and is open to all ages. Adults must accompany children. Both sites are located just north of Kelowna on Hwy 97.
8. Golf Courses
Ready to play 9 or 18 holes? Kelowna has some of the best golf courses around. Black Mountain, located on the way to Big White Ski Resort just outside of Kelowna and is one of the newest courses in BC. It’s a finalist for the Best New Course in Canada 2010. It is also the only golf course in the Okanagan Valley that has an island green.
9. Kettle Valley Railway
Myra Creek Trail on the historical Kettle Valley Railway is an ideal place to bike or walk. Take a picnic lunch with you and enjoy the view. The old railway trail extends 455 kms although some of it is still closed after the 2003 wildfires. It is well worth checking out.
10. Lake Cruises
One of the nicest ways to spend a summer day in Kelowna is to take a cruises. Executive Houseboats dock near the Grand Hotel and are available for private or public use. There is also a sailboat or motorboat tour available to visitors. For the more adventuresome consider taking a ride in a floatplane over the lake. Information is available on the boardwalk in front of the Grand.
Kelowna is a fantastic summer playground for children and adults. A number of festivals take place during July and August. Check out Kelowna’s website at www.tourismkelowna.com
About the author:
Susan Gerle lives in the Okanagan Valley and enjoys writing about the many local places.