Okanagan-Shuswap Visitor and Vacation Tips
Here are some quick suggestions for visitors with limited time in the area:
The schedule is only a suggestion -- you may have more fun, or wish to take more time than mentioned below.
One Day Stay
To capture the essence of this city, here are suggestions for your first day (especially if its your only day) in the Okanagan. Starting at the northern end, here are the things you should make an effort to see:
- Sicamous, the narrows that join Shuswap and Mara Lake, home to hundreds of houseboats
- Kalamalka Lake Lookout, just south of Vernon has a great view of this beautiful lake
- Without picking favourites, stop at any of the 20 wineries in the valley. All offer free samples (to those over 19) and many offer tours. The first is Grey Monk, beetween Vernon and Kelowna, and you'll see them every few miles down to the US border.
- Kelowna's City Park, downtown just east of the Floating Bridge offers great waterfront views and a pretty downtown shopping district on Bernard Street.
- Knox Mountain Park, north of downtown on Ellis Street, offers great views up and down the Lake.
- Giant's Head Mountain, just above the town of Summerland, looks like a Giant's Head, and has a road and then a short hiking trail to the top
- Penticton's Okanagan Beach, Main Street shopping district, and Skaha Beach on the south of town are a tight visual feast for visitors. (There are several wineries north of Penticton on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake.)
- If you have time left, be sure to head down to Osoyoos, just north of the USA border, to see the only true desert in Canada, and a banana tree orchard!
- From here you would catch the Number 3 highway, either heading east through the Crowsnest Pass into Alberta or west through Manning Park into the Lower Mainland.
A Longer Stay
If you are able to spend more time in the area, there are many things to see and do, depending on your interests. Check out all the Okanagan Area Attractions, organized by category or each of the communities.