A city in the province of British Columbia, Canada, Kelowna is the largest city in the scenic Okanagan region. It lies on the edge of Okanagan Lake and is regularly visited by adrenaline junkies who come here to surf, trek and sail. Kelowna is also the local area’s cultural capital, playing host to festivals, concerts and parades. Aside from the nearby lake, Kelowna attracts people who want to walk through the Rockies, stop en route to other cities such as Vancouver and explore various setting for films and its proximity to British Columbia’s famous vineyards. Although in one of the warmer parts of Canada, Kelowna still experiences harsh winters but the city doesn’t come to a standstill and looks very scenic in the snow.
The city is car-friendly although in winter, it might be worthwhile having a more powerful car such as a family saloon to drive through the rural routes if needed due to black ice on the road.
Driving in Kelowna
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
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Important things to note
The evening rush hour in Kelowna takes place every weekday (except public holidays) from 4.30mp to 6pm, affecting the major arteries.
Highway 97 is the main route into and out of Kelowna. Highway 33 is another route of not, going southwards towards the border with the US.
Drivers should be aware of the wide network of cycle lanes. Fortunately, they at least offer cyclists somewhere to ride without the risk of entering car lanes.
Highlights & Hotspots
One of the best parts of Kelowna to go with the kids is the half-submerged playground at Gyro Beach on Lake Okanagan. Part of the playground has a rope which goes into the lake, but it’s best to go during the summer when it’s warmer.
Known as Hidden Beach, the beach near the Mission district of Kelowna is worth a look if you want to catch some rays or go for a dip in the lake. It’s also close to a number of places to have a drink, where you can also dry yourself off afterwards.
There are plenty of wineries throughout Kelowna and the surrounding area. Mission Hill Winery in the south of the city offers tours to visitors most days. Summerhill Winery is a little different as it produces organic wines.
Knox Mountain, which overlooks Kelowna, is a good place to go if you’re interested in mountain hiking. There is an annual climb of the mountain which attracts thousands of people looking to complete the challenge.
Kelowna International Airport is located seven miles northeast of the city centre. It has one passenger terminal and offers flights to and from major cities in Canada and the United States, as well as seasonal flights to Mexico and other parts of Central America.
The airport is located alongside Highway 97, which goes south then west to Downtown Kelowna. It is by far the easiest route to and from the city.