Kelowna is located 68 km (42 miles) north of Penticton
and 46 km (29 miles) south of Vernon on
Hwy 97 in the Okanagan Valley.
Valley's Largest City
Situated at approximately the halfway point on Okanagan Lake, Kelowna
is the Okanagan Valley's largest city with a population of over
100,000 people. With a vibrant downtown and a location on the shores
of beautiful Okanagan Lake, Kelowna offers a relaxed lifestyle with
all of the various amenities and services that a large city can
The main part of the city runs along a very historic park along
the shores of Okanagan Lake. The scene of many attractions and events
throughout the history of Kelowna, City Park still serves the residents
and travelers faithfully. You can view City Park as you drive through
the city starting at the floating bridge located on the west side
of Kelowna on Hwy 97.
At the park you will find a fabulous white sandy beach locally known
as 'Hot Sands Beach.' The swimming, sun tanning and people watching
during the summer are outstanding.
Kelowna has other parks on Okanagan Lake close to the downtown core.
Waterfront Park is located just walking distance north of Kelowna
City Park. A little farther north from Waterfront Park are Sutherland
Park and Knox Mountain Park. Then, on the south side of the Okanagan
Lake floating bridge, there are Strathcona Beach, Kinsmen Park and
Beach, Boyce Gyro Park and Beach and Rotary Park Beach.
If you enjoy hiking, Knox Mountain has a great hike to an excellent
panoramic viewpoint of Okanagan Lake and the west side. Take Ellis
Street and travel north, all the way to the end of the road. Here
you will find access to one trail up Knox Mountain. Once you're
at the top, watch for the hawks soaring as they catch the thermal
winds of the mountainside.
Kelowna has the best selection of shopping stores in the Okanagan
Valley. Most of the stores and services are located on Harvey St.
(Hwy 97) as you drive through Kelowna. Here you will find various
shopping malls, hotels and fast food outlets including a few Starbucks.
For big box stores, Kelowna is home to Costco, Home Depot, Canadian
Tire and Wal-Mart. If you're looking for entertainment, there is
the Capri Hotel - a long-time fixture on the Kelowna scene.
Kelowna has lots of other things for you to see and do when you're
visiting. The large landmark located just north of City Park on
the shores of Lake Okanagan is the Grand Okanagan Resort. Here you
will find a fabulous hotel, marina services and, if you enjoy gaming,
a Lake City
For historical attractions check out Benvoulin Church and Guisachan
House - two pioneer settlements founded in the late 1800's that
were the start of present-day Kelowna.
Canada Trail-Kettle Valley Railway
Kelowna is also home to the Myra Canyon Trestles that were part
of the historic Kettle Valley Railway. These trestles were lost
during British Columbia's wildfire season of 2003. Now part of the
Trans-Canada Trail, the Myra Canyon Trestles are slowly being restored
and this part of the trail is to be reopened in the summer of 2007.
If you are going to visit City Park in the summertime, arrive early
to ensure yourself a parking spot. It does get quite busy. Also,
if you're driving through Kelowna on Hwy 97, make sure you avoid
all rush-hour times.
The traffic can get quite heavy at the floating bridge, especially
in the summer. Also Hwy 97 through the city has quite a few lights
on it and the traffic tends to snarl. A nice alternative in going
to Vernon is to drive on the west side of Okanagan Lake through
Mountain Hill Climb
For motor sport fans, one event that you will really enjoy is the
annual Knox Mountain Hill Climb. This car race happens every year
during the long weekend in May.