1. Visit the Farmers Market.
I love a good Farmers Market and this one was up there with the best. It’s on twice weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays 8am – 1pm) which I love, because it basically means a day for locals and a day for tourists. We went on Wednesday, because we could, and made our first stop at the first station: $2 takeaway coffee. Hot brew in hand, we started perusing the aisles, down the one way system enacted this year. There is a huge range of local produce, which is definitely something to get excited about when in the Okanagan, artisan goods and fresh food to go. Think corn, berries, pork, perogies, bread, art prints, knitted clothing and so much more. It was a great way to start our day!
2. Coffee shops
There are so many cute coffee shops in Kelowna that we barely put a dent in my list of places I wanted to go. Bright Jenny Coffee Roasters was probably the coolest, and makes for a great stop before or after visiting Knox Mountain. It has a funky courtyard out back with food trucks and a cool local kitchen that serves yummo food. The nicest coffee we had came from Third Space. While slightly more out of the way and on the bottom floor of an office building, it was well designed, had tasty food and as already mentioned, the best coffee. We went on a work day when lots of people were working from laptops, but I can imagine it would be much less busy on the weekend. The last place I want to mention is 350 Bakehouse. We went here for doughnuts and obviously consumed coffee while we were at it. Their doughnut selection is huge, as well as a range of other baked goodies (apparently the apple fritters are fabulous). It was pretty spacious inside; definitely enough room to get a table away from others.
3. Explore the waterfront
The Kelowna waterfront is entirely not what I expected. It felt like we were walking through an extremely well kept resort. The lawns and garden are perfectly manicured, there is a little canal and boats moored outside various apartments. From start to finish it was about 2km long, which made for a great return walk as the sun set and a perfect opportunity for me to get out my new camera and take some snaps. Of course, hunger called by the end of the walk and we stopped in at Wasabi Ramen and Izakaya for some delicious porky broth and gyoza.
4. Day trip to Peachland
Only about 45 minutes away from Kelowna lies Peachland, a small township nestled alongside Okanagan Lake. After grabbing some coffee and pastries from Bliss Bakery, we strolled right along the waterfront, with the water lapping at the shores. There are some beautiful properties there; what a place to have a holiday house! There are two great wineries in the vicinity, Fitzpatrick Winery and Hainle Wine, however on this occasion we headed to Hardy Falls for the salmon run. We need not have worried about a lack of fish: there were literally hundreds. There were also stacks of people (probably not hundreds, but it felt like it) spread along the trail that led to the falls. There were a number of small waterfalls along the way, where we waited unsuccessfully for salmon to jump. We saw plenty in the water treading water though!
5. Knox Mountain
One of my all time favourite activities in the Okanagan. Knox Mountain is a short but steep hike with lots of different trails branching off it. It reminded me a lot of walking Te Mata Peak at home, except this time there was a lake right there. The summit gives amazing views of the city and lake in both directions. We extended our hike by walking to Paul’s Tomb, a delightful little swimming spot about 40 minutes down from Knox Mountain summit.
At the Knox Mountain trail-head there is a disc golf course, which Andy and I played on several times throughout the week. It was a lovely course, with lots of autumnal trees and the lake alongside. There are also tennis courts and a lovely picnic area there as well. We just couldn’t get enough!