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Thread: Attention Canucks: What Can You Tell Me About Kelowna?

  1. #1
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    Attention Canucks: What Can You Tell Me About Kelowna?

    I'm headed to the Okanagan region of British Columbia - specifically Kelowna. While I've been to Vancouver several times and also to the Canadian Rockies, this will be my first time in Canada's desert. I already have a lot of outdoor activities planned, but I want to know if there is anything that is a "must see" or "must do" in the area.

    ps - I'll be there the last week of June

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    [QUOTE=simijet;4455569]I'm headed to the Okanagan region of British Columbia - specifically Kelowna. While I've been to Vancouver several times and also to the Canadian Rockies, this will be my first time in Canada's desert. I already have a lot of outdoor activities planned, but I want to know if there is anything that is a "must see" or "must do" in the area.

    ps - I'll be there the last week of June[/QUOTE]

    Are you flying in direct, or are you flying to Vancouver? If Vancouver, I would first off make suggestions about the drive. It is a beautiful drive, and I mean beautiful, but when you are traveling between Hope BC and Merritt BC (Merritt is where you will get off Trans Canada 1/highway 5(?) and continue onto Kelowna), you will be traveling the Coquihalla highway. It is a MUST that you find out what the weather conditions are on this stretch. Do not be fooled by the weather even in June...I cannot remember where the peak of the highway is, or whether you will be traveling through it, but what is happening at the bottom of the mountain is not necessarily what is happening at the top. Snow/rain/fog can be deadly up there. Also remember, that in many stretches of the highway between Vancouver and Kelowna, the roads literally go mountain, two lanes of highway, 800 feet down, with little/no guard rails.

    If you have the means, I might suggest, if you are flying into Vancouver, taking the train. the scenery is breathtaking, as you wind through the valley and many times between all the mountains. There is even a VIA rail glass top train you can take, but it is EXPENSIVE.

    EDIT: Actually, I just checked...you can't take the train directly. Use this link for information and call to find out more about where the train goes if desired:
    [url]http://www.viarail.ca/en[/url]

    Kelowna is on Okanagan Lake. There will be PLENTY to do if you are an outdoorsman. Biking, hiking, climbing, walking, golf etc...you name it. Just remember three things: Cougars, Bears, Elk. If I had a dollar for every tourist who tried to pet, touch, get pictures with, these animals when I lived in Banff. I am not saying you would do this, but you can get awe-struck when you see these animals in their natural habitat, and sometimes, common sense goes out the window. DON'T LET IT! :D

    One thing to do while you are there is go and visit Mission Hill Wineries. It is located in the West area. This winery basically put the Canadian West on the map for wines. When they started producing wines back in the 1990's, the first chardonnay they made one Gold at the 1994 International Wine and Spirit Competition (I was lucky enough to get some of that wine!). The guy who opened it as a winery (its in an old estate) also owns Mike's Hard Lemonade. The tour is great, and try and eat there. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant they opened in the late 2000's, but it has been ranked by Travel and Leisure as one of the top restaurants in a winery in the world.

    If you are a wine person, Burrowing Owl is one of the better wines in all of B.C. Tough to get here in Ontario....

    Also, at the top of the lake is a city named Vernon. There, you will find Okanagan Springs Brewery. If you can't make it up there, at least drink their beers. Great products. Indulge in many of the beers from that area!

    One other thing to DEFINITELY indulge in is the food. Other than Southwestern Ontario (because of our vast agricultural [re: rich soil] landscape), the Okanagan region produces some of the best fruits and vegetables in Canada. Not sure where you live Sim, but there is a vast difference when you can either a) pick it yourself or b) buy it from someone when the fruit travels only 10 miles, not 10,000. You should be able to find a heavy dose of Alberta beef....again, worth indulging, even if you are vegetarian.

    That is all I have off the top of my head. Here is the link to tourism Kelowna below. Let me know if you have any questions about any thing else:

    Tourism Kelowna
    [url]http://www.tourismkelowna.com/[/url]

    City of Kelowna
    [url]http://www.kelowna.ca/cm/site3.aspx[/url]

    Wine Tours
    [url]http://www.winevalleytours.ca/[/url]

    Kelowna Golf
    [url]http://www.kelownagolf.com/index.cfm[/url]

    [url]http://www.golfkelowna.com/golf-courses[/url]

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    Why not go see the Stanley Cup? Oh, wait, it won't be in Canada...

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    [QUOTE=Big L;4455702]Why not go see the Stanley Cup? Oh, wait, it won't be in Canada...[/QUOTE]

    :rofl:

    Big L....rising up the Hampur LOLz list each and every day.

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    [QUOTE=CanadaSteve;4455699]Are you flying in direct, or are you flying to Vancouver? If Vancouver, I would first off make suggestions about the drive. It is a beautiful drive, and I mean beautiful, but when you are traveling between Hope BC and Merritt BC (Merritt is where you will get off Trans Canada 1/highway 5(?) and continue onto Kelowna), you will be traveling the Coquihalla highway. It is a MUST that you find out what the weather conditions are on this stretch. Do not be fooled by the weather even in June...I cannot remember where the peak of the highway is, or whether you will be traveling through it, but what is happening at the bottom of the mountain is not necessarily what is happening at the top. Snow/rain/fog can be deadly up there. Also remember, that in many stretches of the highway between Vancouver and Kelowna, the roads literally go mountain, two lanes of highway, 800 feet down, with little/no guard rails.

    If you have the means, I might suggest, if you are flying into Vancouver, taking the train. the scenery is breathtaking, as you wind through the valley and many times between all the mountains. There is even a VIA rail glass top train you can take, but it is EXPENSIVE.

    EDIT: Actually, I just checked...you can't take the train directly. Use this link for information and call to find out more about where the train goes if desired:
    [url]http://www.viarail.ca/en[/url]

    Kelowna is on Okanagan Lake. There will be PLENTY to do if you are an outdoorsman. Biking, hiking, climbing, walking, golf etc...you name it. Just remember three things: Cougars, Bears, Elk. If I had a dollar for every tourist who tried to pet, touch, get pictures with, these animals when I lived in Banff. I am not saying you would do this, but you can get awe-struck when you see these animals in their natural habitat, and sometimes, common sense goes out the window. DON'T LET IT! :D

    One thing to do while you are there is go and visit Mission Hill Wineries. It is located in the West area. This winery basically put the Canadian West on the map for wines. When they started producing wines back in the 1990's, the first chardonnay they made one Gold at the 1994 International Wine and Spirit Competition (I was lucky enough to get some of that wine!). The guy who opened it as a winery (its in an old estate) also owns Mike's Hard Lemonade. The tour is great, and try and eat there. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant they opened in the late 2000's, but it has been ranked by Travel and Leisure as one of the top restaurants in a winery in the world.

    If you are a wine person, Burrowing Owl is one of the better wines in all of B.C. Tough to get here in Ontario....

    Also, at the top of the lake is a city named Vernon. There, you will find Okanagan Springs Brewery. If you can't make it up there, at least drink their beers. Great products. Indulge in many of the beers from that area!

    One other thing to DEFINITELY indulge in is the food. Other than Southwestern Ontario (because of our vast agricultural [re: rich soil] landscape), the Okanagan region produces some of the best fruits and vegetables in Canada. Not sure where you live Sim, but there is a vast difference when you can either a) pick it yourself or b) buy it from someone when the fruit travels only 10 miles, not 10,000. You should be able to find a heavy dose of Alberta beef....again, worth indulging, even if you are vegetarian.

    That is all I have off the top of my head. Here is the link to tourism Kelowna below. Let me know if you have any questions about any thing else:

    Tourism Kelowna
    [url]http://www.tourismkelowna.com/[/url]

    City of Kelowna
    [url]http://www.kelowna.ca/cm/site3.aspx[/url]

    Wine Tours
    [url]http://www.winevalleytours.ca/[/url]

    Kelowna Golf
    [url]http://www.kelownagolf.com/index.cfm[/url]

    [url]http://www.golfkelowna.com/golf-courses[/url][/QUOTE]

    Steve - are you sure you don't know anything about the area?:D

    Thanks for the extremely comprehensive review! I'll be staying up north of Kelowna Airport near Lake Country, so I believe Okanagan Springs Brewery already has a spot for me. Vineyards, of course, are also on the agenda. But I really had no idea which ones were noteworthy. Mission Hill, here we come!

    Thank you also for the driving advice. I've never been east of Abbotsford and had no idea what the elevation was for the drive. Having family in Washington, I'm very familiar with how quickly conditions can change with even a small change in elevation. I would have hated to go into this situation unprepared. I'm getting visions right now of being stranded in a snowstorm in shorts and a t-shirt with everyone pointing and saying, "look at the dumb Americans!" :eek:

    As for the outdoor warnings, we are familiar with having cougars and bears within close proximity of our home in southern California. However, that was not always the case. Having grown up on eastern Long Island in NY, the only wildlife my wife and I were familiar with were deer and racoons. Fifteen years ago, my wife and I went to the Canadian Rockies for the first time. After visiting Lake Louise, we headed back onto Icefields Parkway towards Jasper. A few clicks up the highway we encountered a few cars pulled over to the side of the road looking at a baby bear up a tree. Of course, my wife needed a picture too - so I stopped the car. Within seconds, a ranger came up and severely reprimanded everyone for our stupidity. "Wherever there's a baby, there's a mama not far away!!! Get back in your vehicles now!!!" Lesson learned.

    Finally, thank you for the links! You have gone way beyond any response I anticipated receiving. Your time and effort is greatly appreciated!:toast:
    Last edited by simijet; 05-05-2012 at 08:26 PM.

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    [QUOTE=Big L;4455702]Why not go see the Stanley Cup? Oh, wait, it won't be in Canada...[/QUOTE]

    Ouch :D

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    Whatever you do, don't go to the Bullfights, or if you do, don't talk about it here.

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    [QUOTE=Big L;4455702]Why not go see the Stanley Cup? Oh, wait, it won't be in Canada...[/QUOTE]

    Too bad there will be more Canadians making up every team that is left in the playoffs...;)

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    [QUOTE=simijet;4455828]Steve - are you sure you don't know anything about the area?:D

    Thanks for the extremely comprehensive review! I'll be staying up north of Kelowna Airport near Lake Country, so I believe Okanagan Springs Brewery already has a spot for me. Vineyards, of course, are also on the agenda. But I really had no idea which ones were noteworthy. Mission Hill, here we come!

    Thank you also for the driving advice. I've never been east of Abbotsford and had no idea what the elevation was for the drive. Having family in Washington, I'm very familiar with how quickly conditions can change with even a small change in elevation. I would have hated to go into this situation unprepared. I'm getting visions right now of being stranded in a snowstorm in shorts and a t-shirt with everyone pointing and saying, "look at the dumb Americans!" :eek:

    As for the outdoor warnings, we are familiar with having cougars and bears within close proximity of our home in southern California. However, that was not always the case. Having grown up on eastern Long Island in NY, the only wildlife my wife and I were familiar with were deer and racoons. Fifteen years ago, my wife and I went to the Canadian Rockies for the first time. After visiting Lake Louise, we headed back onto Icefields Parkway towards Jasper. A clicks up the highway we encountered a few cars pulled over to the side of the road looking at a baby bear up a tree. Of course, my wife needed a picture too - so I stopped the car. Within seconds, a ranger came up and severely reprimanded everyone for our stupidity. "Wherever there's a baby, there's a mama not far away!!! Get back in your vehicles now!!!" Lesson learned.

    Finally, thank you for the links! You have gone way beyond any response I anticipated receiving. Your time and effort is greatly appreciated!:toast:[/QUOTE]

    No worries....Canadian hospitality at its finest!

    Yeah, I lived in Lake Louise for one year, and Banff for five. The number of tourists that would try and put there kids on the back of a bull elk in rutting season to get a picture:eek:

    When you get hired, Canadian Park rangers come in and give you a full orientation of the wildlife and what to do/not do if you encounter one. His favorite personal example was an American tourist who was trying to get a picture of a porcupine with its quills up, so he poked it with a stick. When he got 'shot,' he had to go to the hospital to have the quills removed. When this ranger showed up at the hospital, the man was quite angry and waved the ranger off saying "Don't worry, I have no intention on suing the National Park, so you don't need me to sign anything!" Upon which the Ranger politely smiled (he said anyway!) and assured him that was not his concern, but he was being presented with a hefty fine for disturbing the wildlife....and to have an enjoyable trip while in Canada.....:D

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    it's where Clowney hails from

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    SimiJet
    How was Kelowna?

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    Kelowna is a retirement town.

    Shuffleboard and Wed Night Bingo at the Legion FTW.

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