The ultimate guide to a fall weekend getaway in Kelowna
Please note: British Columbia is in Step 3 of its COVID-19 restart plan. Please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including physical distancing and frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask or face-covering in public indoor and retail spaces. If you are sick, please stay home.
Cool weather, cozy sweaters, and the sound of leaves crunching beneath our boots are among our favourite things about fall.
After a long summer spent exploring locally in Vancouver, we’re ready to embrace the autumnal transition and prospects of travelling further in BC — to treat ourselves to an enriching experience — once it’s safe to do so.
Teeming with farm-to-table restaurants, famed wineries, and an abundance of outdoor activities, Kelowna offers the essentials for a wondrous fall retreat.
Try tastings in BC’s thriving wine region
Kelowna has long been regarded as the birthplace of winemaking in BC. The unique climate of the Okanagan Valley has a massive role to play in the varietals produced with hot, dry summers and moderate winters. Since there are over 40 wineries within a 20-minute drive, wine enthusiasts will be spoiled for choice.
On Lakeshore Road, those who wish to savour the flavours of fall with a memorable meal prepared using locally sourced ingredients can book a table at Home Block Restaurant at CedarCreek Estate Winery. Order a dish cooked over the wood-fired grill and a glass of wine as you take in views of South Kelowna. After that, discover the CedarCreek Story Experience and have your own private tasting under silver linden trees.
To taste the fruits of multiple wineries in the area, pursue one of Kelowna’s five wine trails — accessible just minutes from the city. Along the way, you’ll learn about the red or white wine in your glass directly from winemakers and hosts. Take in the sights and sounds around you safely and responsibly as you pass through picturesque vineyards and orchards. Really looking to treat yourself? Hire a tour guide to take you to the wineries so you can sit back and enjoy the experience.
And, if you plan to bring your four-legged friend to Kelowna with you, there are plenty of dog-friendly wineries where you can discover local wines while keeping an eye on your pup. Simply call the wine destinations you wish to visit ahead of time to check availability for drop-in tastings.
Delight in farm-to-table cuisine
It’s not just award-winning wines that Kelowna is known for; the lakeside city is brimming with restaurants led by some of the most celebrated chefs in the country. With Home Block already on your culinary bucket list, Krafty Kitchen + Bar is another (albeit more casual) dining haven to consider.
On the weekend, this farm-to-table sustainably-focused eatery dishes up hip-hop brunch, allowing diners to bop along to their favourite 80s’ and 90s’ tracks while digging into exceptional eats and sipping on craft cocktails. Fun fact: Krafty Kitchen is also home to the only duck fat fryer in Kelowna.
On Water Street, RauDZ Regional Table has been working directly with local farmers and wineries since it opened its doors in 2001 (then named Fresco Restaurant). Reservations for this farm-to-table restaurant are encouraged, and with one, visitors can taste some of the most acclaimed organic fares the Okanagan has to offer. The ultimate treat? Ordering the baked white drop brie from the dessert menu — you won’t regret it.
For lakeside views and to peruse a menu with more than 150 labels, Eldorado Restaurant — housed in a resort that dates back to 1926 — offers a perfect setting. Whether stopping by for dinner or brunch, complete the experience with a stroll along the private boardwalk overlooking the marina.
Discover the roots of local treasures
Merging immersion in nature with discovering some of Kelowna’s hidden gems is easy by taking the Westside Farm Loop. This self-guided tour through orchards, farms, and markets is unlike anything else you’ll find in BC — especially in the fall.
Taste peaches, plums, and apricots at Griffin Farms, which has been serving locals for more than a century. Drop by Ingram Farms to see (and sample) newly-harvested honey and Paynter’s Fruit Market to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables if you plan to prepare your own farm-to-table feast.
To find more local vendors selling everything from produce to crafts and baked goods, the Westbank Farmers’ Market could be worth visiting during your fall getaway if time permits. Depending on where you’re staying, you might be able to visit the market from one of the notable lakeside trails in the city.
In downtown Kelowna, there’s the boardwalk stretching over two kilometres, which brings you past the Yacht Club. Meanwhile, in Peachland, there’s the popular Beach Avenue Lakeside Walk adjacent to the shimmering Okanagan Lake, and in Lake Country, there’s the Pelmewash Parkway and Okanagan Rail Trail.
Enliven your spirit with adventure
For those seeking adventure, the Myra Canyon trestles present a 12-kilometre ride that runs through two caves on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, during which scenes of larch trees turning to a golden-yellow can be observed.
Get a little closer to nature at Mission Creek Park, where you might just catch a glimpse of orange Kokanee salmon laying their eggs in the spawning channel. The Mission Creek Greenway will take you there, whether you go by bike or on foot.
However you craft your fall itinerary getaway to Kelowna, be sure to make safe and responsible decisions and check COVID-19 updates before you travel. You can learn more at tourismkelowna.com.