Kelowna is a growing city with plenty of urban conveniences, but it holds a vibrant natural history that’s impossible to miss. Known for its scenic beauty, locals and tourists alike enjoy connecting with nature and exploring its mountains, lakes and sunny shores. While summer and winter sports are a great way to get active outdoors, Kelowna also has a lot to offer for reconnecting with nature at a slower pace. There are many family-friendly activities that nature and animal lovers can enjoy.
In this article, we’ll cover a few of our preferred outings. Let’s get started!
1. Rotary Marsh Park
Centrally located nearby Kelowna’s Cultural District, Rotary Marsh Park offers exquisite views of the mountains and ample opportunities for birdwatching. From the boardwalk, be on the lookout for a platform above the water where a pair of Ospreys nest each year. During the summer you’ll often see them soaring overhead, hunting fish and caring for their babies in the nest. You can also look to the water to find hooded mergansers, ring-necked ducks, gadwall, American wigeons, mallards, and more. The Rotary Marsh Trail, available to pedestrians and cyclists, makes its way through the one-of-a-kind wildlife sanctuary that encourages nature to thrive in an urban setting. Don’t forget your binoculars—there’s a whole lot of wildlife to discover!
Location: 1050 Sunset Dr
11 min (5.1 km) drive from The Shore
2. Allan Brooks Nature Centre
Once a weather station, this interpretive nature centre allows visitors to discover the wide range of the Okanagan’s rich natural history. Enjoy an artifact-filled display space, indoor and outdoor classrooms, picnic and play areas, a pond, native plant gardens, viewpoint sitting areas, and a grasslands trail that circles the grounds. The trail is a great way to get in a scenic walk while learning about and observing nature firsthand. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for bluebird nests, put there to help the endangered species thrive. Check out the events calendar for camps, workshops, and other special activities.
Location: 250 Allan Brooks Way (Vernon)
48 min (52.0 km) drive from The Shore
3. Meadow Vista Honey Wines
Meadow Vista Honey Wines has developed a favourable reputation for its flavoured meads, including cherry, apple, and blueberry, as well as its award-winning honey wines. In the spring, you’ll find bee-friendly flower seeds wrapped around your bottle so you too can make your home a haven for the little guys. Visit the colourful bee homes while touring the property, and ask for an activity play-sheet if you brought the kids along. Meadow Vista hosts events throughout the summer such as weddings and its annual Bee to Bottle Luncheon which includes seven-courses of food and honey wine tastings. Space is limited, so be sure to book in advance!
Location: 3975 June Springs Rd
12 min (9.0 km) drive from The Shore
4. Don-O-Ray Farm Adventure
Don-O-Ray Farm Adventure is a family favourite in the Kelowna area. Visitors are welcome to feed and pet the animals, including ponies, goats, ducks, bunnies, and chickens. There’s also a maze, an ice cream stand, and an airbrush tattoo booth. Reviewers describe the owners as people with great family values, who’ve created an environment where families can spend time together and enjoy the company of animals. When you’re done with the furry ones, make sure to check out Don-O-Ray Farms retail store for fresh produce, herbs, and locally made snacks.
Location: 3443 Benvoulin Rd
6 min (3.3 km) drive from The Shore
5. Okanagan Science Centre
Just outside Kelowna you’ll find the Okanagan Science Centre, home to a remarkable animatronic Ankylosaurus dinosaur. Its design was inspired by a real fossil discovered in Red Deer, Alberta in the early 1900s. You’ll also find plenty of other dinosaur fossils and interesting science displays. Other exhibits include robotics, a giant interactive Lite-Brite display, and adorable axolotl salamanders, which are critically endangered.
Location: 2704 Highway 6 (Vernon)
45 min (54.4 km) drive from The Shore
6. Okanagan Stables
Located in Lake Country in a wild-west setting, Okanagan Stables offers horseback riding tours on its scenic property. All ages are welcome—no rider is too young to enjoy the freeing feeling of riding a horse among vistas, meadows, and wildflowers. The popular classic trail ride program runs for two hours. Riders get to warm up before and enjoy a guided tour on one of the owner’s favourite trails.
Location: 12862 Talbot Rd (Oyama)
37 min (34.3 km) from The Shore
Return to urban life at The Shore
There’s a whole natural world to be found in and around Kelowna, and we hope you get a chance to explore some of our favourites! Once you’re done for the day, you might be eager to return to your comfortable urban abode to wash up and relax.
The Shore Kelowna is located in Kelowna’s central Lower Mission neighbourhood, within driving distance from these incredible activities. Each suite is fully equipped with modern amenities including a state-of-the-art kitchen, an in-suite washer and dryer, and high-speed internet. After a fun-filled day, your private balcony makes a great spot to relax and enjoy your sweet honey wine from Meadow Vista.