Insights to help plan your getaway to Kelowna.
Kelowna is perfect for an active holiday whether for an extra long weekend or longer if you enjoy lake life. If you plan your trip around heavy traffic times and keep the number of stops for charging and food to a minimum, it’s a nice drive from Vancouver. The scenery is really pretty.
1/ Where to stay
The Grand Okanagan Resort by Marriott is a full service hotel and the most centrally located on the waterfront. Staying at it or close to it is a good choice especially if you want to maximize your time relaxing or maximize your time on the water. Everything you need is within walking distance or a short drive if wine tasting is in your plans.
2/ Where to eat
There are a lot of good restaurants within walking distance from the waterfront. It really depends on what you’re in the mood for at the time but these are worth adding to your list.
1/ Oak & Cru Social Kitchen & Wine Bar
Oak & Cru is located in the Grand Okanagan. It has consistently good food and good service. If you’re a sports fan or enjoy sitting by the water, it has a nice bar and outdoor dining area.
2/ Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar
The Waterfront is an award wining wine bar and restaurant. The founders are helping to craft the most perfect cocktails, select delicious wine pairings and cook the freshest food. The Chef grows some of the seasonal vegetables offered.
3/ Roma Nord Bistro
Roma Nord is a family run restaurant offering authentic Italian food. The bistro is located in the cultural center which is a beautiful light filled space that hosts different artists. You may be treated to a concert while you dine.
3/ Where to go for good wine
Best advise is to put some thought into which wineries you want to visit so that you’re not zigzagging all over the region and get the full experience that each has to offer. If you choose the Lake Country Scenic Sip Trail, these wineries are worth visiting.
1/ Arrowleaf Cellars
Arrowleaf is best known for their Pinot Noir wines but the wines may not be available to taste given the limited production. However, the view alone makes the winery worth the stop. Take in the lake view from the deck or picnic area with picnic treats from the shop.
2/ Gray Monk
Gray Monk is best known for Pinot Gris and Port wines but all of the wines on the tasting are good. Book one of their exclusive tasting experiences for food pairings and views.
3/ 50th Parallel Estate Winery
50th Parallel is known for their white wines which are also available in cans. A handy option if you are planning to picnic or lounge around the lake and pool. The Farm to Table restaurant is worth the stop even if you’re not a wine drinker. Reserve in advance for views of the vineyard.
Plan your day carefully if you’re a wine lover because there other wineries on the trail: O’Roark’s Peak Sellers, Intrigue Wines, ExNihilo Vineyards, Blind Tiger Vineyards, Ancient Hill Estate Winery.
All of the established wineries have gorgeous grounds and tasting rooms that are worth visiting if you have more than one day. The smaller wineries are located around them.
4/ What to do on the water
There are so many different ways to enjoy the water. The public beaches are beautiful and several companies located on Water Street offer rentals for every water activity.
The Holy Doodle Sailing Charters company offers short tours of the lake and is a lovely way to experience sailing. If you plan your charter around the Snowbird Airshow, you’ll have the perfect seats on the lake.
5/ Other things to do
If you like craft beer, spirits or fresh produce, book a tasting at the Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery and visit the Farmers Market on Saturdays. You may also be able to pick up some good food road side from the farmers while you’re driving between wineries. Watch for signs.
6/ What to pack
Pack half as much stuff and take twice as much money is a good travel rule. However, it doesn’t hurt to have some workout clothes for morning walks on the waterfront and for other activities, bathing suit for swimming and lounging poolside and a few nice short outfits for winery visits and dinners. Lake life is pretty casual so keep your wardrobe and makeup simple and remember to take sunscreen.
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