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Fun Kelowna Day Trips | 14 Okanagan Valley Activities & Driving Times

Kiri Sandana

Kiri is a Sales Consultant and Partner with Vantage West Realty...

Kiri is a Sales Consultant and Partner with Vantage West Realty...

Aug 9 16 minutes read

You won’t have to travel far from Kelowna, BC to find your next Okanagan Valley adventure.

This article features 14 family-friendly Kelowna day trips between 15 minutes to 2 hours driving time (each way).

From secluded beaches and jaw-dropping bike rides to world-class wineries and relaxing spas, the Okanagan Valley in Canada has something for everyone.
To help you plan a perfect Okanagan experience, we sorted each day trip by how much time you’ll spend driving each way from Kelowna, British Columbia.

Bear Creek Park in Kelowna BC

1. Bear Creek Provincial Park, West Kelowna (15m drive)

Bear Creek is a provincial park with a beach, challenging trails to hike, and beautiful scenery from the top. 

If you’re feeling energetic, you can hike next to the creek via the Canyon Rim Trail for great views of the Okanagan Valley & Lake Okanagan. In the summer, you can cool off with a swim in the pools beneath the waterfall at the top.

Afterwards, head to Bear Creek beach, a family-friendly park with well-maintained bathroom, shower, and change facilities.

Kids can play on two different playgrounds and you can round out your beach day with ice cream from the nearby concession stand.

The park is located just 10 to 15 minutes from Kelowna along Westside Rd, making for an easy Kelowna day trip. There’s free car parking and a separate area for dogs to play and swim off leash. 

In case you decide to come back, Bear Creek has an excellent family campground for tents, campers, and RVs.

The vineyards at Little Straw in West Kelowna

Photo: Little Straw Vineyards

2. Wine Tour: The Westside Wine Trail, West Kelowna (15 - 20m drive)

If Okanagan Valley wine touring is enough activity for you on a summer day trip, spend your afternoon on the Westside Wine Trail - one of the closest winery routes from the City of Kelowna, BC.

The Westside Wine Trail starts across the lake on Boucherie Road in West Kelowna - a convenient location to start your wine tour.

The first stops on the are Rollingdale Winery and Black Swift Vineyards, then Beaumont, Little Straw, and Mt. Boucherie Estate.

The Westside Wine Trail map

Go further down Boucherie Road to reach two of our favorites for a West Kelowna wine tour: the Hatch and Quails’ Gate Winery - a fantastic spot for lunch with beautiful scenery overlooking Green Bay.

Keep going to Frind Estate, or top your tour off at Mission Hill, a crown jewel amongst Kelowna wineries with postcard-perfect views and their fantastic Terrace Restaurant.

If you need a designated driver so you can relax on your summer trip, a number of tour companies can take your crew around in an air conditioned van or vehicle.

The view overlooking Kelowna from the McDougal Rim Trail

3. Hike: McDougal Rim Trail, West Kelowna (20m drive)

McDougal Rim Trail is a 17.5km scenic hiking trail that brings you over 800 meters above the Rose Valley reservoir. 

When you reach the lookout point, you’ll get panoramic views overlooking The City of Kelowna and the surrounding mountains. 

For most groups, the entire hike takes around 5 to 6 hours there and back.

Skilled mountain bikers will enjoy the challenge of the long uphill climbs and steep downhill switchbacks. As of June 2021, there are some fallen trees blocking the trail, so be careful on bikes. 

If you’re into snowshoeing, the McDougal Rim Trail is open year round.

Park your vehicle at the trailhead on Bartley Road.

Myra Canyon Adventure Park ropes course

4. Myra Canon (25 - 40m drive)

Myra Canyon Adventure Park (25m from Kelowna) is a ropes and challenge course park with multiple difficulties for ages 3 and up. With ziplining, climbing, and BBQs, Myra Canyon Adventure Park is a great place for birthdays and group events.

Myra Canyon Trail, The Kettle Valley Railway (40m from Kelowna)

The Kettle Valley Railway was built between 1910 and 1916 to extend the Canadian Pacific Railway into southern BC. Myra Canyon Trestles is a walking and cycling path that goes through 2 historic train tunnels and crosses 18 trestle bridges with jaw-dropping views over the Okanagan Valley.

A bike ride is the best way to see the KVR and enjoy scenic views of the rocky landscape. You can now rent bikes in the on-site parking lot from Myra Canyon Bike Rentals.

If you’re up for a longer tour, you can take the KVR all the way to Penticton then get a ride back to Kelowna. The KVR goes all the way to the town of Greenwood near the Kettle and West Kettle Rivers.

The waterfront in Peachland, BC

5. Peachland and Hardy Falls (30m drive)

Peachland, with just over 5,000 residents, is located on the west side of Okanagan Lake between Kelowna and Penticton. Peachland is famous for fruit orchards and the long waterfront promenade with breezy beaches, playgrounds, and awesome restaurants.

Some of our favorite places to eat in Peachland are 1st & Beach, Ships-A-Hoy Fish & Chips, and Gasthaus On The Lake: a German restaurant with authentic schnitzel, Bavarian-style beer, & Okanagan wine.

If you're up for a wine tour, check out the Hainle Estate, First Estate, and Adora Estate Wineries.

Hardy Falls

Hardy Falls is a wheelchair-friendly 0.8km walking trail near Peachland with several viewpoints, bridges, and benches along the way, eventually leading to a small waterfall. If you go during the autumn, you get to see Kokanee salmon spawning up the creek. The path takes about 15 to 20 minutes each way.

Pincushion Mountain Hiking Trail

Pincushion Mountain is a moderate 3.4km hike that takes about 60 to 90 minutes to complete. 

The steep vertical climb and loose rocky terrain makes Pincushion Mountain a challenging leg workout, but you'll get rewarded by the beautiful scenery over Peachland and Lake Okanagan at the summit.

Swim Bay

Swim Bay is our favourite Okanagan beach for kids to play in the water or float around.

There’s a high diving board, a rope swing, and floating platforms to jump off. Swim Bay is a rocky beach, so bring appropriate footwear, sunscreen, and plenty of water. Grab an easy beach lunch at the Swim Bay concession. By July, the summer heat warms Okanagan Lake to a very comfortable swimming temperature.

If you need a break from the sun, check out the Peachland Museum or Heritage Park. 

A ski boat on Kalamalka Lake near Oyama

6. Oyama, Lake Country (35m drive)

Oyama, British Columbia is a rural community between Kalamalka and Wood Lake that’s rich with natural beauty and things to do.

Overall, Oyama is one of our favorite trips from Kelowna for being so close to town.

You can buy fresh cherries, peaches, and plums from local orchards, catch rainbow trout in Oyama Lake, or take in the sights on an adventurous zipline ride.

Oyama also a great area for an Okanagan Valley wine tour to places like Intrigue, Arrowleaf, & Blind Tiger.

Oyama Zipline Adventure Park

For an adrenaline-fueled afternoon, check out Oyama Zipline - the Okanagan’s top-ranked zipline and aerial jungle course with activities suitable for kids and adults ages 3 and up. Oyama Zipline is open from Thursday to Sunday.

Spion Kop

Spion Kop is a well-maintained hiking trail network with maps and markers to guide you. Along the way, you’ll get excellent views above Oyama and Wood Lake. Keep your eyes open for historic wagon trails that crisscross this area, keeping in mind that they are not part of the hiking trail network.

Kaloya Park

Kaloya, at the south end of Kalamalka Lake, is a rock & pebble beach with a kids’ playground and picnic tables. You can cool off in the shade beneath the large wood gazebo or the tall weeping willow trees that line Kaloya beach.

Gray Monk Winery

On your way back from Oyama, check out Gray Monk - a 25km vineyard overlooking Okanagan Lake that’s known internationally for their award-winning Pinot Gris and Odyssey White Brut wines. They’re located in Lake Country, 15 minutes south of Oyama via Highway 97.

If you want to keep sipping, there are a handful of great wineries in the Lake Country area like Arrowleaf, O’Rourke’s, and Blind Tiger.

Aerial photo of green trees and snow in Okanagan Mountain Park during winter.

7. Okanagan Mountain Park (35m drive)

Okanagan Mountain Park is a 11,038 hectare park space located southwest of Kelowna and directly across the lake from Peachland.

There are 7 different hiking trails at the park ranging from moderate 7.4km nature walks to grueling 44.1km hikes. 

The top-ranked hike in Okanagan Mountain Park is Wildhorse Canyon, a 9.7km out and back trail with an early climb that rewards you with postcard views the rest of the way. The hike takes about 3.5 hours to complete each way, and since there are almost no shaded areas, you might want to go in spring or fall when temperatures are more mild compared to summer.

To get there from Kelowa, travel to the end of Lakeshore Rd via the Upper Mission neighbourhood. Once you’re inside the park, you can get around by bike, horseback, or on foot. 

For a more fun day trip in summer, you can also get there by boat on Okanagan Lake and check out the cliffs in Commando Bay and Rattlesnake Island.

On your way back, stop by Bertram Creek Regional Park for a swim, or sip your way through a wine tour at Cedar Creek or Summerhill wineries.

The swimming pool at Sparkling Hills Resort with views above Kalamalka Lake and the Okanagan Valley

8. Sparkling Hill Resort, Vernon (55m)

Sparkling Hill Resort is a luxury hotel, spa, and resort built with over 3.5 million sparkling Swarovski crystals atop a granite hill that overlooks Vernon and Lake Okanagan.

Sparkling Hills is known across Canada as a place to relax, rejuvenate, and experience a luxury getaway less than an hour from Kelowna.

The KurSpa offers everything from facials and massage to complete multi-day wellness packages, so you might want to stay longer than one day. 

The PeakFine, their on-site restaurant, is one of the best fine dining restaurants in the Okanagan Valley and possibly anywhere in the country.

A beach at Kalamalka Park

9. Kalamalka Park (55m drive)

Kalamalka Park is a 978 hectare provincial park north of Kelowna in Coldstream in the Okanagan Valley.

Kalamalka Lake was named one of the top 10 most beautiful lakes in the world by National Geographic for its alluring turquoise waters and beautiful scenery. Every spring when Kalamalka Lake warms up, dissolved limestone particles left behind by glacial deposits start to crystalize, reflecting sunlight into a gorgeous blue-green color.

You can explore the park on trails (walk or cycle), or to see the sights from a different angle during summer, paddle your canoe or kayak along the shoreline. The park terrain is a blend of wooded and dry grassland areas that extend along a rocky peninsula.

Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park map

The gneiss rock formations in Kalamalka Park make it a popular area to spend time rock climbing, bouldering, and scrambling.

Kalamalka Park is home to an abundance of wildlife including birds, reptiles, and mammals like deer, marmot, & red fox. Due to the region’s biodiversity, dogs are not allowed in Kalamalka Park.

Head to Juniper Bay Beach, Jade Bay Beach, or all the way to Cosens Beach for a swim or beachside picnic. The Kalamalka Park main car parking lot is 53 minutes from Kelowna.

Skaha Lake beach in Penticton

10. Skaha Lake & Penticton (1hr drive)

Skaha Lake and Penticton - and the rest of the South Okanagan - is a temperate desert region, characterized by extremely hot summers with low precipitation (less than 100mm annually) and long-lasting frosts in winter. If you’re lucky, you can see bighorn sheep, deer, and possibly black bears, depending on the time of year.

If you’re from Kelowna, tubing down the channel between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake is a classic Okanagan summer day trip and almost a right of passage for high schoolers. Operators like Float Penticton will drop you off at the start of the “lazy river” then pick you when you’ve finished your float.

For summer beach fun, check out Skaha Lake Park, one of the longest sand beaches in the Okanagan with fine sand and warm, shallow water.

Skaha Lake Park is a great place for families; it has public washrooms, RV and campsites, and a food concession with ice cream. You can grab some lunch on the waterfront at the Yahoo BBQ or the Nautical Dog Cafe.

Rock climbers should check out the Skaha Bluffs with over 1000 climbs in 3 main canyons.

Birdwatchers and kayakers should visit Vaseux Lake, a provincial park and nature preserve with trumpeter swans, migratory warblers, and a wide range of waterfowl.

Skaha Lake Park is located on the south edge of Penticton, 1 hour away from Kelowna.

A vineyard on the Naramata Bench in British Columbia

11. Wine Tour: The Naramata Bench, South Okanagan (1hr 15m drive)

The Naramata Bench is the area of land between Penticton to the south and Okanagan Mountain Park to the north that’s known for world-class vineyards, steep escarpment scenery, and quiet waterfront living.

Naramata’s well-paved roads, quiet orchards, and gorgeous scenery make it very popular with cyclists and Okanagan wine enthusiasts.

Some of the best wineries & tasting rooms in Naramata are Lake Breeze Vineyards, Lang Vineyards, Marichel, and Deep Roots Winery. Our favorite restaurants are The Patio at Lake Breeze, Rocky’s Real Things Pizza, and Grape Leaf Cafe.

To plan your wine tasting route, check the Naramata Bench wineries map (and get a DD for your vehicle). The trip from Kelowna to Naramata takes about one hour each way.

The Enderby Cliffs Trail

12. Enderby Cliffs Trail (1hr 25m drive)

Energy Cliffs Trail is a 7km out and back route (14km round trip) with a challenging vertical climb that rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views above the Shuswap River. Lookout points on the way up give you a prelude of the absolutely breathtaking views above the cliffs from the summit. The route takes between 3.5 to 4.5 hours round trip, so bring food, water, and good shoes.

Enderby Cliffs is a great location for bird and wildlife enthusiasts. You can spot mule deer, moose, swifts, eagles, and migratory songbirds from spring to fall. On occasion, cougars and grizzly bears are spotted in the area, so bear spray is advised.

The Enderby Cliffs Trail is located in the namesake Enderby Cliffs Provincial Park, just  outside of Grindrod, BC. Dogs are allowed in Enderby Cliffs on leash.

On your way back through Enderby, stop at Sutherland’s Bakery, one of the best bakeries and lunch stops anywhere in the North Okanagan. Further down the road you’ll pass through the town of Armstrong, just 1 hour from Kelowna.

Shuswap Lake

13. Shuswap Lake & Salmon Arm, BC (1hr 35m drive)

Salmon Arm is a town with 18,000 residents that’s about 90 minutes by vehicle from Kelowna.

The most popular activity for visitors to Salmon Arm is going houseboating on Shuswap Lake, a large 5km wide lake with over 1,430km of shoreline. You can rent a houseboat to explore Shuswap Lake from Sea Dog Rentals or Captain’s Cove Marina in Salmon Arm.

Landlubbers can head to Canoe Beach, Larch Hills Winery, or the historic R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum.

If you’re into dancing or even just toe-tapping, The Roots & Blues Festival is a 3 day music event held in Salmon Arm every August and well worth the drive. Check the Roots & Blues Festival website for this year’s events.

Mara Lake

14. Mara Lake & Sicamous (1hr 45m drive)

Mara Lake is a lake in the Shuswap region that’s great for boating, fishing, and swimming at its white sand beaches.

The nearby town of Sicamous has just 1,000 residents and lies adjacent to Mara Lake. The top 3 activities in Sicamous, BC on TripAdvisor are getting ice cream at Dutchmen Dairy, buying fruits, preserves, & local goods at Fruit World, and visiting the After Dark Distillery for local moonshines, vodkas, & whiskeys.

For a day of adventure, check out the Crazy Creek Suspension Bridge or relax at the Crazy Creek Hot Pools Resort, just 20 minutes by car from Sicamous along Highway 1.

Need Wheels for Day Trips?

If you don’t own a car, you can rent a road-worthy vehicle in Kelowna from Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, or Budget.

If you're going on a sippy wine tour, contact an Okanagan Valley tour company as your designated driver.

Want to Read More About Kelowna?

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