Kelowna Quick Facts

  • Settled: 1879
  • Population: Approx. 180 000 (Metro)
  • Nickname: The Orchard city
  • The word Kelowna means Grizzly Bear in Native/First Nations dialect.

Located along the shores of the Okanagan Lake, the city of Kelowna boasts some stunning places to visit and a myriad of activities to delight everyone. You can take a boat cruise, swim, or fish on the Okanagan Lake and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as this city’s name derives from the local native word for ‘grizzly bear’! The largest inland city in British Columbia, there is plenty of options for all walks of life here. You can relax on the gorgeous sandy beaches, explore the outdoors on a nature trail, go on a vineyard tour and enjoy wine tasting, or if you’re a golf enthusiast Kelowna is the perfect destination for you with its spectacular golf courses.

Because Kelowna is located between the lake and the mountains, its temperatures are somewhat milder and more humid than other areas. Occasionally though, artic air does settle on the city during the middle of winter. Clouds are often surrounding the valley but a short drive to the mountains nearby will usually solve this and restore the bright sunny day. Skiing is fully catered for at the nearby Big White and Silver Star ski resorts. Check out our travel directory for Kelowna at the top of this page for more info to help with your stay.

Biking at the Myra Canyon is a popular activity, not only with visitors but also with the locals. When you reach the peaks, you will be amazed with the breathtaking views of the mountain, the lake, and the city. A truly awesome experience for people of all ages! The Lake itself is also not to be missed, offering jet skiing and so many water-based activities the whole family is sure to satisfy their need for outdoor adventure. There are plenty of smaller resort towns along the edge of Okanagan Lake as well.

Downtown Kelowna is situated beside the Lake and has several boardwalks, parks and trails for people to enjoy – the most notable park is Stuart Park, being a civic and cultural focal point of the city. Most tourists are found near here which has many hotels, restaurants and attractions like art galleries, museums and also sporting arenas. Some high-rises have been built in this area for residences, hotels or government offices. Malls and supermarkets are found further toward the centre of the city including the Capri Centre.

If food is more your thing, sampling the locally produced wines, more than 20 vineyards, craft beer, jams, honey, cheeses and so much more is a great way to spend the days. The fertile ground surrounding the city means that restaurants often source their produce not very far from your table! We recommend taking a guided tour of Kelowna to see more of what it has to offer.

Kelowna is one lakeside travel destination you shouldn’t miss visiting!


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