Kelowna is located about midway along the Okanagan Valley, south of the city of Vernon and north of the city of Penticton. It is set along the shores of Okanagan Lake, and many of the things to do in Kelowna revolve around this body of water, which provides a great deal of recreation for the entire region.
Other things to do in Kelowna include golfing at one of the couple dozen courses within the immediate vicinity of the city, self-guided driving tours of the more than 100 wineries spread throughout the valley, hiking, horseback riding, and just about any other outdoor activity you can think of, including amazing skiing in the winter. There are more than 200 lakes in this region, and one of the big Kelowna attractions is fishing. Angling enthusiasts come here looking for rainbow and brook trout, bass and walleye. There are also plenty of special events in the region, including the Canada Ironman Triathlon, several wine festivals, the wonderful Vernon Winter Carnival, and the Penticton Peach Festival.
The Okanagan Valley is the driest and warmest part of British Columbia, with semi-arid pockets and the only true desert in all of Canada. This provides superb summer weather for one of the most popular things to do in Kelowna—lounge on lovely beaches and go swimming. Thus, it is a extremely popular place for family vacations. Also popular with visiting families are the many Kelowna vacation rentals available.
Some of the Kelowna vacation rentals are one-, two-, and three-bedroom condos within luxury complexes that are actually resorts. Discovery Bay and Sunset Waterfront are right in central Kelowna right along the lakeshore. In addition to the luxury condos, the resorts offer facilities like indoor and outdoor swimming pools, fitness centers, hot tubs and saunas, and even marinas for boat parking. Because of their central locations, you will find plenty of fine dining, shopping, and entertainment within walking distance. There are numerous Kelowna vacation rentals like this that provide wonderful alternatives to Kelowna hotels. They include less upscale resorts that primarily provide space for those with recreational vehicles and campers, and you can also obtain more secluded lakeshore cottages and cabins directly from private owners. For unusual accommodations, there are houseboat rentals that can sleep as many as fifteen people. Some even come equipped with hot tubs and a jet ski. No previous skipper experience is required, and all operators will provide lessons on arrival.
In addition to vacation rentals, Kelowna also offers a number of charming bed and breakfasts. Try the lovely lakeside Ogopogo (named for the lake's legendary and elusive monster). Here you can enjoy private yoga classes, relax with massage services, and enjoy a full home-cooked breakfast each morning. There are only two luxurious suites here. The peak season for the lake is from June through September. In spite of the large number and wide variety of accommodations available, it is best to make your reservations as far in advance as possible if you want to ensure you get the property of your choice.
About ten miles from town is the Kelowna International Airport, a small but modern facility with frequent flights from Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Prince George in British Columbia, as well as Seattle in Washington State. In the winter, there are flights to Las Vegas, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta. If you're driving, there are excellent highways.
Image: Tourism British Columbia