Kelowna is a city in the Okanagan region of British Columbia.


Kelowna is the largest inland city in British Columbia, located in the heart of BC's wine country. It has a metropolitan population of about 165,000. Okanagan Lake is the main draw in the summer. This 135 km long jewel is a big draw for boaters (power and sail), swimmers and kite-boarders. In winter thousands of tourists come from all parts of the world to ski at Big White resort, located 55 km from the city. Tourists also come in the fall (mostly) to experience and taste the Okanagan's world class wines from various wineries throughout the valley.

Get in

By car

Highway 97 is the major highway through Kelowna, with Vernon and Highway 1 to the north, Penticton and Highway 3 to the south, and Merritt (via the Okanagan Connector, a.k.a. Highway 97C) to the west. Highway 33 provides secondary access to points south and east. It's a 4-5 hour drive from Vancouver via the Okanagan Connector, and 8-9 hours from Calgary.

By plane

  Kelowna International Airport offers daily service to several major cities including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Kelowna International Airport also offers flights to Puerto Vallarta, Victoria and Prince George.

As of 2015, the Airlines serving Kelowna International Airport are:

By bus

Greyhound services Kelowna from Vancouver and Calgary and points in between. The   Kelowna Bus Depot is at 2366 Leckie Rd, +1 250 860-3036.

By train

There is currently no train service available to Kelowna however you can utilize the nearest train terminal in Kamloops (about 90 minutes north-west of Kelowna by car).

Get around

Traffic can be quite heavy on major roads in Kelowna during the summer months, especially at the approaches to the floating bridge. A lack of advance left turn traffic lights contributes to accidents at major intersections.

Vehicle Rentals


The Downtown Core is easily accessible with public transit as well as taxis and bicycles, once downtown you have two major Parkades to choose from if you decide to drive yourself one is of Pandosy Street (The Verve Restaurant is in the first level) or at the Library by the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Station, so parking shouldn't be a chore.

As in any city the Rush Hour (usually 4:30PM-6PM) can be a challenge in the downtown core as well as on the main transportation arteries: Highway 97C, Highway 33, Lakeshore Rd.


Bertram Beach


Wineries along the lakeshore in Kelowna

Wineries and wine tours have become popular things to do in Kelowna. There are over 20 wineries in Kelowna and the surrounding area, ranging from some of the biggest names in BC wine to small boutique wineries. The list below includes wineries that are in Kelowna only — several popular wineries associated with Kelowna, such as Mission Hill and Quail's Gate, are in neighbouring West Kelowna and covered there.


Biking the Kettle Valley Railway in Myra Canyon



The main industry in Kelowna is tourism, with its requisite offering of service industry jobs at or slightly above minimum wage. The local ski hill Big White offers winter employment for ski/board instructors, liftees, servers, and so on. With the recent boom in housing, there is a shortage of skilled tradespeople in the construction industry.



Public art in downtown Kelowna





Pubs close at 1AM and clubs at 2AM.


If you will be staying in Kelowna between May and September, book your accommodations well in advance, especially for weekends.




Stay safe

Kelowna is a growing city and therefore has its growing pains, with these come the following recommendations; avoid Leon & Lawrence Avenues between Water and Ellis during night time. City Park at night is patrolled, however can be somewhat dodgy after hours too. Be cautious when visiting the other local parks and beaches during the evening as well as they are known for transients and illegal activity.

As long as you keep yourself aware of your surroundings, you will be fine.

In summer, the city is also prone to forest fires, having suffered large fires in 2003 and 2009. Depending on the season, there may be campfire bans or parks may be closed.


Kelowna General Hospital

Go next

Routes through Kelowna

Kamloops / Sicamous (via ) Lake Country  N  S  West Kelowna Penticton

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 12, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.