Congratulations! You have decided to unlock the secrets that so many before you have discovered and explore the beauty and allure of the Okanagan valley with a visit to wonderful Kelowna. A perfect climate at any time of year (especially in summer) is enough for thousands to proudly call Kelowna home. Typically your visit may be inspired by the vast selection of wineries boasting some of the finest award winning wines in the world. Many are destinations unto themselves featuring breathtaking lake views, intriguing themes or small batch family run operations nestled into the picturesque orchard countryside. For the wine enthusiast at any level Kelowna is without question the catalyst for a wonderful visit. But like so many destinations the charm and attraction is the sum of many parts, with so many things to see and do. So with that in mind we have prepared the Top 5 (Not a Wine Tour) Things to Do In Kelowna!
1) The number 1 thing to do in Kelowna (Not a Wine Tour) … take a walking food tour! Join the globally trending tourist experience and immerse yourself in the tantalizing tastes, spicy aromas and local culture of walking food tours. With Okanagan Foodie Tours join your fun and friendly guide as you wind your way through Kelowna’s vibrant culinary scene. Experience the “farm to table” philosophy featuring locally grown and produced foods and beverages or explore authentic flavours from around the world presented by artisans who proudly call Kelowna home. Enjoy seated visits at 5 specially selected restaurants and eateries, each eager to share their story and showcase their signature dishes. Refreshing beverage pairings are available; carefully crafted to complement the foodie delights of the day. There is no better way to experience Kelowna’s best restaurants and hidden gems than a 3 hour walking food tour. Come hungry, there’s plenty to eat!
Established in 2015, Okanagan Foodie Tours has a number of tour itineraries to choose from, each bringing a unique theme, neighbourhood and specially curated restaurants and eateries. Bookings can be made online or arranged by phone. Private Tours and Gift Certificates are available. “Take Your Taste Buds For A Walk”
2) Breathtaking views and mountain connections take you to our number 2 things to do; a visit to Myra Canyon Trestles. A short 8km journey from McCulloch Road will transport you to the beautiful Myra Canyon Trestle Trail. This spectacular experience can be walked or cycled and is dog friendly. Bike rentals are available on site, however no motorized transport is allowed on the trail including eBikes. This essentially level 24 kilometre (out and back) trail follows the bed of the old Kettle Valley Railway. As you make your way across 18 trestles and through 2 tunnels you are treated to the inspiring beauty of mountain and canyon views that can only be experienced at 1430 metres (3000 feet)! Bring a picnic and your camera and plan to spend your day as one with nature creating memories of your own Okanagan adventure.
3) The Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm is number 3 on our list. Located just a few minutes from downtown Kelowna this unique attraction will sooth your senses and bring a calm connection to nature and the fields. Not to be outdone, nestled among vineyards and orchards you’ll find fields of purple delicately scented lavender swaying gently in the soft breezes. Take a guided or self directed tour through the winding garden paths inhaling the aromatic fragrances, watching bees on their daily pollen runs while taking advantage of the colourful backdrop for some great photo opps. Before leaving check out artisanal crafted products at the farms gift shop. You’ll be glad you visited this hidden gem.
4) Whether you prefer walking or cycling the Okanagan Rail Trail provides a fun and scenic solution for your recreational pleasure. Connecting downtown Kelowna to the southern outskirts of Vernon the ORT provides 50 kilometres of unparalleled scenic beauty away from traffic and connected to nature. Following what was the Canadian Pacific Railway route, the ORT is level and follows the curves of picturesque Kalamalka Lake. There are a number of places where you can join the trail with parking provided. With lots of bike and ebike rental options the ORT is yours to explore. Pack a picnic or stop in Oyama for a bite. Make a day of it; it’s an adventure well worth it.
5) Our number 5 selection is a visit to Carmelis Goat Cheese Farm. As a foodie you immediately recognize the familiarity of goat cheese in todays culinary culture. Carmelis has been producing goat cheese at their local farm since 2003. Many of the regions restaurants and eateries subscribe to the “farm to table” philosophy with Carmelis being a wonderful example of a local success story. As a recommended activity the journey to Carmelis is part of the fun; again only a few minutes from downtown Kelowna, the winding road provides great views and a country feel. Be warned, you will know you have arrived at a goat farm (it’s in the air). But the experience begins immediately, up close and personal with the goat residents, sampling the wonderful artisan goat cheeses or cooling off with goat milk gelato. All of their products are available on site. Enjoy.