Regions > Central Okanagan BC

Central Okanagan BC

Follow the Lake — in the Heart of the Central Okanagan

Click to access Google maps

Sometimes it’s the journey. Sometimes it’s the destination. In the case of British Columbia’s Central Okanagan, it’s most definitely both! Take a road trip along Route 97 as it hugs the banks of Okanagan Lake. The Okanagan Corridor is a road trip that was made for adventure. The northern tip of the Similkameen Valley Loop starts here, as does the southern most portion of the Gold Country Loop.

Take in the Central Okanagan

Enjoy a constant backdrop of the Cascade and Coastal Mountains to the west and the Monashee Mountains to the east. The Central Okanagan and its communities of Peachland, West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, Kelowna, and Lake Country are ripe for exploring.

Throughout the Central Okanagan, you’ll find a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. In Kelowna, take your time and walk our downtown core. There’s also a cultural district centred around Kelowna’s waterfront. Keep your eyes on the lake. You may see the legendary Ogopogo (n’ha-a-itk) beneath the shimmering surface of the water. There’s also boundless outdoor recreation here. One of BC’s finest family ski resorts is within an hour’s drive of Kelowna. You may have to pull over, check in and stay a while to take all of it in.

Taste our Terroir

The Central Okanagan, long known as Canada’s fruit basket, has orchards and vineyards and now includes craft distilleries, breweries, cideries, meaderies, cheese makers and more. When you stop here, make sure you bring an appetite! There are five unique wine trails and a cornucopia of farm-to-table agri-tourism experiences. Enjoy an Okanagan Wine Festival, and meet local growers at farmer’s markets, roadside stands or in their own fields and orchards. Sample your way from Peachland to Lake Country. You’ll taste the Central Okanagan with every sip and bite.

On the Waterfront

Pack your bathing suit because summer is a full-immersion season in the Central Okanagan. In addition to great weather, there are three lakes and more than 30 beaches here. They range from pebbled shores to broad expanses of golden sand. You’ll find plenty of room to stretch out and work on your tan.

Go fishing from tranquil shores of Wood or Kalamalka Lake in Lake Country. You can also hop in a boat and find that sweet fishing hole. Paraglide above Okanagan Lake at sunset or enjoy a relaxing wander in downtown Kelowna’s parkland water-front and boardwalk. You’ll find plenty of ways to unwind by a sun-soaked shore.

Bright Lights and Nightlife

Kelowna is the largest urban centre in the Central Okanagan and it has all you’d expect from a city. There are choice restaurants, a vibrant nightlife, and a rich cultural scene. You’ll probably need more than a few days to take in all the museums, art galleries, live theatres and live entertainment. Check out the complete line-up of festivals and events taking place throughout the year.

Explore the Great Outdoors

Get outside and play! The Central Okanagan gets over 2,000 hours of sun every year. The rolling terrain is great for hiking, cycling, and exploring. Scale Knox Mountain in downtown Kelowna. While you’re here, get in a round or two of golf at one of our 20 courses. Escape summer’s heat at Hardy Falls or on the Mission Greenway.

Take a tour or go on your own as you cycle or hike the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.  Take the time for some photo ops as you pass over 18 trestle bridges and go through two tunnels. Start at Myra Canyon and if you’re adventurous, go all the way to Penticton in the South Okanagan Region. For a better view, soar among the trees, zip lining in Oyama or Peachland. In the winter, head up Hwy 33 to Big White for champagne powder skiing for the whole family.

Discover Our Mountains

The Central Okanagan is the jumping off point for exploring several of the mountains in our area. Big White is a one hour drive from Kelowna and open year round for all season enjoyment. Drive south on Route 97 to the South Okanagan and from Penticton, it’s a short 40-minute drive up to Apex Mountain. From Oliver, it’s a 45-minute drive to Mount Baldy. Drive north from Kelowna to Vernon and you’ll be in the North Okanagan and a half hour away from SilverStar. Most of our mountains are open to the public in the warmer months for great hiking and biking adventures. And in the winter. . . it’s pure champagne powder heaven.

 

Need to Know:

97 Distance – Summerland to Lake Country: 72km/45mi
Duration to drive: Minimum one to two hours
Best time to drive: Year round
   
97C Distance — West Kelowna to Cache Creek: 220km/137mi 220km/137mi
Duration to drive: Minimum three to four hours
Best time to drive: Spring, Summer, Fall

Destination Websites:

Click to access Google maps

Kelowna
Lake Country
Logan Lake
Merritt
Peachland
West Kelowna
Thompson-Okanagan
Big White Ski Resort

Visitor Centres:

British Columbia Visitor Centre at Merritt

Junction Of Hwys 5 & 97C (exit 286)
Merritt, British Columbia
V1K 1B8
Phone: 250-315-1342
visit@totabc.com
www.hellobc.com/tota

Kelowna International Airport Information Booth

1 – 5533 Airport Way
Kelowna, British Columbia
Phone: 250-861-1515
info@tourismkelowna.com
www.tourismkelowna.com

Kelowna Visitor Centre

544 Harvey Avenue (Route 97)
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 6C9
Phone: 250-861-1515
Toll-free: 1-800-663-4345
info@tourismkelowna.com
www.tourismkelowna.com

Lake Country Visitor Information at Gatzke Orchards

15975 Old Mission Road
Lake Country, British Columbia
V4V 2J2
Phone: 250-548-3444
www.okanaganway.ca/visit/

Logan Lake Visitor Centre

31 Chartrand Avenue
Logan Lake, British Columbia
V0K 1W0
Phone: 250-523-6322
Toll Free: 1-800-331-6495
tourism@loganlake.ca
http://exploregoldcountry.com/

Merritt Visitor Centre Information Booth (Baillie House)

2250 Voght Street
Merritt, British Columbia
V1K 1B8
Phone: 250-378-0349
bailliehouse@shaw.ca
www.tourismmerritt.ca/

Peachland Visitor Centre

5684 Beach Avenue
Peachland, British Columbia
V0H 1X7
Phone: 250-767-2455
Fax: 250-767-2420
info@visitpeachland.ca
www.visitpeachland.ca/

West Kelowna Visitor Centre

2376 Dobbin Road
West Kelowna, British Columbia
V4T 1K7
Phone: 250-768-2712
wkvisitorcentre@gmail.com
http://visitwestside.com/

Destinations & Communities