Winter in Kelowna is a combination of snowy landscapes and cozy local spots, creating the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation in the heart of the Okanagan. Whether you’re from here or just visiting, Kelowna’s winter wonderland has something for everyone. We’ve carefully curated a list of places to explore and things to do in our city so you can enjoy your time here as much as we do.
For those embracing the chill and on the hunt for some amazing winter views, here are some of our top outdoor recommendations.
Naturally, Knox Mountain being Kelowna’s largest natural area park, had to make the top of our list. Just a snowball’s throw from downtown Kelowna, Knox offers many trails with breathtaking views of the city and Okanagan Lake. The fresh air, snow-covered trees, and lake view make it a perfect winter hiking spot. These trails are best enjoyed with friends and family, but they’re also perfect for a solo hike with your fur baby, as they’re pet-friendly! After your hike, grab a hot cocoa from a local café. We love Marmalade Cat Cafe (the Richter location is close to Knox) for the freshly baked food, hot drinks, and local artist vibe.
*Pro tip: Bring hiking poles, as hiking this time of year may be slippery.*
Winter hiking at Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park is just a short 20-minute drive from downtown Kelowna and offers an enchanting experience amidst a snow-covered landscape. The park offers 155 km of multi-use trails up on the hills above Kelowna, which means some pretty awesome views of the city while being completely immersed in nature. The highlight of the park is the renowned Myra Canyon, where the Kettle Valley Railway trail goes through two tunnels and over 18 trestles. Given the park’s high elevation, the snow lingers throughout winter, creating an ideal setting for an unforgettable hike.
*Pro tip: bring snowshoes to make the most out of this experience.*
Knox Mountain in the winter – Photo by Dennis Semeniuk
If you’re really craving the snow and want the full winter experience, look no further than Big White.
Big White Ski Resort is a snowy paradise just 56km from Kelowna. With tons of skiing options, cozy lodges, and delightful food, Big White promises the ultimate winter escape. This ski resort is a family-friendly snowy paradise offering lots of activities and events. Explore the 118 marked trails catering to all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned skiers. After a day on the slopes, relax in the village, surrounded by twinkling lights and a festive atmosphere. Don’t forget to check out the wide array of food and drink options on the mountain while you’re staying there! For accommodation options, visit our Big White page.
*Pro tip: Plan a night skiing session to fully experience Big White.*
As Kelowna is growing, so is its reputation as a craft beer and cider hotspot.
Warm up from the inside out by exploring Kelowna’s craft beverage scene. Visit local breweries, cideries, and distilleries to savour unique winter brews and spirits. Places like BNA Brewing Co. and Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery offer a cozy atmosphere to lift your spirits. Dive into the winter-themed brews and cocktails crafted with local ingredients, creating a true taste of the season.
*Pro tip: Try seasonal brews and cocktails for a taste of winter in a glass.*
Barn Owl Brewing, nestled in the heart of the Mission district in Kelowna, is a local gem that offers a unique and inviting craft beer experience. The brewery’s cozy atmosphere and rustic charm make it a favourite hangout spot for both locals and visitors. Barn Owl Brewing crafts a diverse range of artisanal beers, each with its distinct flavour profile. Whether you’re a seasoned beer enthusiast or a casual drinker, the brewery’s friendly staff is always ready to guide you through their selection, ensuring a delightful tasting journey.
*Pro tip: check out their website for the rotating food truck schedule!*
On the West Kelowna side, Lakesider Brewing Co., offers a charming and laid-back atmosphere. Visit them to explore the rustic interior and try out their diverse selection of crafted beers. Lakesider Brewing captures the essence of the region’s craft beer culture, providing a refreshing and enjoyable setting for beer enthusiasts to gather and savour local brews.
*Pro tip: they have live music every Saturday – you know what to do.*
Winter is an excellent time to explore wineries in West Kelowna. Visit our local wineries and savour fine wines against the backdrop of winter. Many wineries feature indoor tasting rooms, allowing you to stay warm while enjoying local vintages.
Quails’ Gate Winery is a cozy wonderland surrounded by vineyards covered in snow. The air is crisp, and the winery’s warm tasting rooms invite you to sip on delicious wines while enjoying breathtaking views of the Okanagan Lake. It’s a perfect spot to experience the beauty of winter while savouring the rich flavours of local wines. Bundle up and explore the snowy winery grounds!
Mission Hill Winery in winter is a bit like a fairytale scene, with its elegant architecture and snow-covered vineyards. The winery’s inviting atmosphere welcomes you to enjoy wine tastings in their cozy indoor spaces. Sip on award-winning wines while overlooking the frosty beauty of the Okanagan Valley. The winery’s winter charm extends to its on-site restaurant, offering a warm and delightful culinary experience.
A friendly and welcoming spot, Frind Estate Winery is where you can escape the cold and enjoy the warmth of their inviting tasting rooms. It’s a laid-back and comfortable setting, perfect for those looking to relax and unwind during the winter months. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or just curious, Frind Winery offers a delightful winter retreat with the bonus of delicious wines to lift your spirits.
If you’re looking to explore Kelowna’s culture and history, be sure to visit the local museums and art galleries. Here are a few of our favourites!
If you’re a history buff, the Kelowna Society of Museums is the place for you. It’s an organization that preserves and promotes the cultural and historical heritage of Kelowna and surrounding areas. Collaborating with several museums, they offer a rich tapestry of exhibits and experiences that cater to a wide range of interests.
One of the most intriguing under the society’s umbrella is the Okanagan Heritage Museum, a hub of local history featuring exhibits that dive into the region’s Indigenous cultures, early settlers, and the evolution of Kelowna over the years.
The Wine & Orchard Museum, is another gem within the Kelowna Museums Society. Want to learn about the fascinating story of the Okanagan Valley’s renowned wine industry? This may be the place for you. Warning: visiting this museum might make you fall even deeper in love with our wines.
Adding to the lineup is the Okanagan Military Museum, which explores the military history of the area, featuring artifacts, personal stories, and exhibits that tell the story of the bravery and sacrifices of those who served.
*Pro tip: visit their website for new events every week.*
Kelowna’s art scene is full of creativity. A cornerstone of the city’s artistic personality, the Kelowna Art Gallery showcases a collection of both local and contemporary art, providing a platform for local artists to express their unique visions.
Right behind the Kelowna Art Gallery, you can find the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, a dynamic space where emerging Canadian artists’ talents are featured.
If you’re interested in exploring historical art, the Hambleton Galleries is the oldest art gallery in the Okanagan Valley and one of the oldest in Western Canada!
*Pro tip: attend gallery events to meet local artists.*
Even in winter, downtown Kelowna is a foodie haven. Warm up at cozy spots and try diverse dining options. From comfort foodto inventive dishes, downtown serves a feast for every palate.
Bean Scene is a coffee lover’s paradise. It’s a cozy spot in Downtown Kelowna where they make the most delightful cups of coffee. Go visit either one of their three locations and enjoy the wonderful local atmosphere.
Salt & Brick is a special place in Kelowna where you can really indulge. The chefs create dishes that are both amazingly delicious and look like pieces of art. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere, and whether you’re trying their famous burgers or something new, you’re in for a treat. If you want to explore exquisite food that’s both comforting and fancy, Salt & Brick is the place to be.
The Curious Cafe is the place for people who love good food and a cozy atmosphere. The chefs create delicious dishes using fresh and local ingredients. It’s a spot where you can enjoy not only scrumptious meals but also delightful baked treats and refreshing drinks. Whether you’re there for breakfast, lunch, or a sweet treat, The Curious Cafe is a perfect spot to satisfy your cravings and experience a taste of Kelowna’s welcoming food scene.
Being in Kelowna during the winter months might not sound very appealing, but we promise it’s worth it.
For a peaceful winter retreat, head to City Park along the shores of Okanagan Lake. The waterfront promenade transforms into a serene strolling experience. Whether you’re alone or with family, City Park invites you to enjoy the tranquillity of winter by the lake.
*Pro tip: bring your furry companion for an even more enjoyable walk.*
Bring some friends, do up your skates, and glide at Stuart Park Skating Rink. Surrounded by lights, this is a family-friendly destination where people come together to skate in the open air by the promenade.
*Pro tip: Check the schedule for themed skating nights.*
Stuart Park Skating Rink – Photo by Brenda Gooder