Grand Tour of Kelowna
These self-guided tours are ideal for couples and families alike. This is the best Kelowna Grand Tour that take you through stunning city settings and idyllic orchards to some of the Okanagan’s most renowned wineries. Even if you aren’t a wine enthusiast, this is the best way to explore our beautiful region. Bring your camera—there will be plenty of photo opportunities. For maps, use the GPS function on your smartphone to find your way.
Our Grand Tour begins in the Cultural District, located downtown near lake Okanagan. BC Wine and Orchard Museum, the Kelowna Art Gallery, and Rotary Centre for the Arts are all located here. A number of other galleries and museums are there to. Calona Vineyards, Kelowna’s oldest winery, is at 1125 Richter Street, just north of the cultural district. It is home to: Peller Estates, Calona Vineyards, and Sandhill. There are no vineyards at this urban winery, but the winery does offer tastings and food and wine pairings. BC Tree Fruits is just around the corner, where you can sample their apple cider and purchase fresh Okanagan fruit.
Knox Mountain, located at the northern end of downtown, just past Calona Vineyards, offers a spectacular view of the city. You can hike or drive all the way to the top. Walk down Water Street to return to the city centre. Take a break at the Tree Brewing Tasting Institute and get some “Thirsty Beaver,” which is also available in most pubs. Stop by the Kasugai Japanese Gardens behind City Hall for a blissful, peaceful respite before hitting Bernard Avenue for some retail therapy.
On your Grand tour, the best way to get around Kelowna is by car. To get to the Mission wine routes, take Pandosy Street south. At HWY 97, Water Street becomes Pandosy, which eventually becomes Lakeshore Road. Several excellent restaurants, parks, and beaches can be found along Lakeshore Road in the South Pandosy district. Gyro Beach is a local favourite with beach volleyball, a kids playground right in the lake, and plenty of beachfront. Rotary Beach Park is just past here, where you can rent stand up paddleboards and kayaks. On a windy day, this is an excellent location to watch the kite surfers.
Continue on Lakeshore Road until it veers right at a set of lights. Continue straight onto Chute Lake Road. Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s entrance is about 500 metres past the intersection. They have a wine shop, a restaurant, and offer tours. They are part of the Lakeshore Wine Route, which is marked on the Kelowna Visitors Map in the Okanagan Wineries section. There are four wineries in this area, all with stunning views of Okanagan Lake.
Kelownas’ Lakeshore Road
To continue your Grand tour return to Lakeshore and head west along Okanagan Lake from Summerhill. There are two more wineries nearby: St. Hubertus Winery and Cedar Creek Estate Winery. Lakeshore Road dead ends a few kilometers down the road and does not continue on to Penticton.
Just past Cedar Creek is Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan, where you can buy a little goat cheese or goat’s milk ice cream to go with your wine. This is really the end of the road, but close by is both access to some great walking trails and a dog park right on the beach if your pouch needs a swim.
Backtrack along Lakeshore and turn right onto Dehart road for your last Lakeshore Wine Route winery – Tantalus Vineyards. On your way back towards town you can take a walk along the Mission Creek Parkway. If you choose to see some more wineries, turn right (east) on KLO Road, to visit the FabFive wineries on the South East Bench of Kelowna.
East Kelowna is located on the city’s Southeast Bench. Begin your Grand tour on KLO road. Turn right onto Benvoulin and stop by the Father Pandosy Mission (a glimpse into Kelowna’s past) and Sperling Vineyards. The Mission was founded in 1859 and was the first non-native settlement in all of central British Columbia. This is where Mission Creek, which runs through this area, gets its name.
Return to KLO and proceed to Spiers Road (just across the bridge over Mission Creek). Take a right here. This is another access point and parking area for the Mission Creek Parkway, or you can continue driving to The View and Spierhead Wineries, both of which are located on the FabFive Wine Trail. The wineries in this area are all small and family-owned, making them charming, intimate, and enjoyable. The Fab Five are The View, Spierhead, Camelot, and Vibrant Vine. Sperling Winery is located on Bennvoulin Rd, close to the Pandosy Mission village. Make sure to visit them all; not only are they all unique, but the views as you drive are spectacular.
East Kelowna Orchards
Several U-Pick cherry farms can be found in this area during cherry season. Stop at the Mission Creek Greenway on the way back. There are some excellent easy hiking trails nearby, as well as the Mission Creek Mountain Bike Skills Park. East Kelowna’s bench is a lovely plateau with paved country roads and plenty of orchards and agriculture. As you drive, keep an eye out for tractors!
McCulloch Station Pub, located on the corner of East Kelowna Road and McCulloch Rd, is a great place for lunch or dinner overlooking orchards and golf courses. Orchard Greens Golf Club, located next to the Pub, also has a restaurant called The Bunkhouse Restaurant. If you continue down McCulloch Road, you will come across a Meadery (honey wine) and a cidery. One of the access points for the Kettle Valley Rail Trail is also located higher up. The road is rough near the top – not suitable for a sports car if that is what you are driving!
If this all sounds like a beautiful way to spend an afternoon without driving, consider a Kelowna afternoon sightseeing wine tour that goes through the Lakeshore and East Kelowna region.
The majority of North Kelowna’s wineries are actually in the Lake Country District. From downtown, take Highway 97 north out of Kelowna, past UBC Okanagan and the Kelowna Airport. You can take a quick tour of the UBC – Okanagan campus if you are interested. Turn right just past the airport and follow the signs to Ancient Hills Winery. Return to the Highway and continue past Woods Lake into Lake Country. Lake Country is a sprawling area that extends from the valley to Okanagan Lake on the west, where three more wineries can be found. To get to Berry, take a left off HWY 97.
Your Grand tour will extend up into the community of Lake Country. Gray Monk Estate Winery features the Grapevine Restaurant as well as a large wine shop. Pick up a bottle of Latitude 50, their well-known white wine: it’s delicious and reasonably priced! These vineyards are close to Latitude 50. Following this beautiful vineyard and orchard area with great views of Okanagan Lake, there are three more wineries to explore. While you’re out there, explore the surrounding area; it’s lovely.
If all of this sounds like a lovely way to spend an afternoon without driving, consider taking a private Kelowna afternoon sightseeing wine tour through this wine region.
West Kelowna has some stunning views and is only a 10-minute drive from downtown Kelowna via the bridge. The first winery you’ll come across is the new Indigenous Winery, which is owned by a First Nation and is located on your right just before Boucherie Road. After that, take Boucherie Road and follow it up and over the hill to the majority of the wineries. There are several wineries along this road, including Volcanic Hills, which has the blu SAFFRON Bistro and Mt. Boucherie Winery right next to it with the Modest Butcher restaurant.
Both wineries have wine shops and tours available. Mt. Boucherie (the mountain) is a small extinct volcano that looms over the wineries. The volcanic soil is ideal for growing wine grapes. Hatch Winery is located further down Boucherie Road. The following winery is the largest in the region. Mission Hill Family Estate is situated on the crest of a hill, just up Mission Hill Road from Boucherie Road. It has a spectacular view from its high vantage point, as well as impressive architecture, a large wine shop, tours and tastings, and the Terrace Restaurant. Back on Boucherie Road, the final winery in this area is Quali’s Gate, which has stunning views and a restaurant. Frind Estate Winery is a little further down the road and is the only winery in Canada located on the beach. It has a dock, beach and large picnic area as well as a patio restaurant.
Just keep driving on Gellatly Road if you think it’s time to go to the beach. West Kelowna Waterfront features the newly built Gellatly Bay Water Park, which includes a zip line over the water, a nice walkway, Willow Beach, and the Gellatly Nut Farm. For those interested in geology, this area shows how Okanagan Lake bends, indicating a major bedrock cross fault. Many vineyards in this area are built on Eocene sedimentary and volcanic bedrock.
Off the Grid and Kalala Organic Winery are located on Glencoe Road, just past downtown West Kelowna off Highway 97. Both are organic wineries, and Off the Grid is actually off the grid, with goats and other farm animals roaming the grounds. Along the way, you’ll pass by orchards and fruit stands.
If all of this sounds like a lovely way to spend an afternoon without driving, consider taking a West Kelowna afternoon sightseeing wine tour through this wine region.
WESTBANK FIRST NATION
Westbank First Nation (WFN), located between Kelowna and West Kelowna, offers a variety of recreational and cultural activities suitable for the entire family. An afternoon spent at Two Eagles Golf Course, a state-of-the-art golf facility overlooking Okanagan Lake, is the ideal complement to a weekend of winery tours. Following a round (or two) of golf, head to 19 Okanagan Grill & Bar, the course’s adjoining fine dining restaurant and one of the most popular on the Westside.
Also see: The most delightful charm of Kelowna’s Fab Five Wine Trail