“Why Kelowna?”, we where asked in an email. Other than my parents owning a house here, enabling us to cheekily live rent free while we “try Canada for size”? We had no idea. Honestly. But now we’re here, we’re learning more about the place, and gradually starting to like it more and more. Spectacular scenery, pristine lakes, blossom dusted hillsides, sandy beaches and sunshine. That’s to start with.
As the brochures suggest, Kelowna is largely an undiscovered gem, surrounded by orchards and vineyards (12 wineries in and around the city, 65 throughout the Okanagan Valley), and mountains of course, nestled in the Interior Plateau between the Rocky Mountains to the east, Coastal Mountains to the west and the Cascade Mountains to the south. It encompasses 101.2 square miles and is 1,129 feet above sea level.
It’s a city of 100,000 people, where as well as wine, the arts thrive. The Canadian Heritage Cultural Spaces program, recently named the cultural district as the best in Canada. With a vibrant scene covering a six block area in Downtown Kelowna, a concentration of museums, theatres and artist studios alongside a varieties of restaurants and places to eat out, opportunities for socialising aren’t going to be in short supply. In Prospera Place and other venues, blues, jazz, folk and rock bands are regularly gigging. We’ve recently had Def Lepard, (believe it or not!) and the Backstreet Boys!
Kelowna has miles of beautiful parklands, which we have only just begun to discover, luring us outdoors. A lot of this is located along sandy beaches. We have sampled a few in Ellison Park, on Lake Okanagan, which were beautiful, as well as one on Lake Kalamalka. Lake Okanagan itself and the surrounding mountains provide a scenic backdrop for a wide range of attractions and outdoor activities including skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, water skiing, hiking, camping, horseback riding, fishing and golf. (When golfing in Kelowna, I have been assured; I will be driving and putting through an orchard, rolling hills or past expansive lakes and canyons.)
To get here, Kelowna is a quick 60 minute flight from either Calgary or Vancouver, where we came from, or 70 mins from Seattle.
If you want any more info, get in touch. We’ll do what we can. We’re still learning after all. We haven’t been here a month yet!
We hope to see you here soon!