Kelowna

Winter hikes
Dec04

Wintertime in Kelowna tends to be mild and sunny—perfect for winter hikes. That’s because the region is a semi-arid desert! Sure, you will always get a bit of snow but the temperature rarely drops uncomfortably low. Plan to work up a bit of a sweat and you won’t even notice the chill.

That’s why we’ve compiled this great list of winter hikes for you in the Kelowna area.

  1. Cedar Mountain Regional Park

Cedar Mountain Regional Park (AKA the Kelowna Crags) was renamed the Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park after a substantial land donation after the 2003 wildfire that devastated the area. Now, hikers can enjoy over 403 hectares of natural land, an easy and short walk, and a stunning view of the Okanagan Valley at the top.

  1. Spion Kopje Hiking Trails 

Sometimes written as Spion Kop Hiking Trails, this central Okanagan trail system takes hikers to the peak of the Spion Kopje mountain. You’ll find these trails closer to Winfield, about a 33-minute drive North from Downtown Kelowna. Follow the markers for a clear view of Lake Kalamalka and parts of Oyama.

  1. Mill Creek Regional Park

Mill Creek Regional Park is a family-friendly hike that is highly rated by experts and novices alike. The trail is moderately flat and all forks in the path take you to the same destination so you don’t have to worry much about getting lost. The area tends to be a haven for mosquitoes in warmer months, making it a refreshing winter walk even if you have done this trail before!

  1. Rose Valley Regional Park

Enjoy 250-hectares of parkland in the West Kelowna Rose Valley neighbourhood. The Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir-filled forest land has winding natural trails, a conservation area and pond, and views of Okanagan Lake. Dogs are also welcome on-leash and Rose Valley Regional Park is open to visitors year-round.

BONUS: If you are looking for a day trip, E. C. Manning Park is about a 3-hour drive from Kelowna and is one of the most popular parks in the province. Located in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, the climate and geography make it a perfect natural location for year-round visits. The park has hiking trails for all levels, from 15-minutes walks to a 6-day excursion!

Just because there is snow on the ground, doesn’t mean you hiking enthusiasts need to be stuck indoors. The Okanagan is known for its scenery and wintertime is no exception. So bundle up, pack a snack, and take a relaxing winter hike amongst the trees.

Looking to book a spot for hiking, skiing, or other winter sports? Ask us about La Casa Mirador, our large group vacation rental property in West Kelowna. Open year-round! 

Snow activities
Nov27

Don’t have a ski hill in your backyard? No problem! There are plenty of things to do when your yard gets a fresh layer of snow. Your neighborhood is probably rich with parks and nature areas, too, which can work if you don’t have your own yard. Coming up with some fun snow activities can keep the wintertime blues at bay.

  1. Build a Snowman

If you have enough snow on the ground, this is an obvious go-to winter activity. Instead of a regular old snowman, add ears or a tail or a beak and build a snow animal of your choice. See what odds and ends you can collect up off the ground—sticks and twigs, small rocks, pinecones and pine needles, whatever is around!

  1. Build an Igloo

This activity is perfect for families with small children, as yard-build igloos will be a perfect wintertime fort for them. There are also plenty of jobs to do, so everyone can participate: gather snow, shape bricks, stack bricks, and pack together the snow. Make the first “brick” slanted on one side in order to get a proper dome shape as you pile them up.

  1. Make Snow Angels

Everyone in the family can make an angel from eldest to youngest lined up in the snow. You can use twigs and rocks to draw on faces and even make crowns or halos using pine needles. Don’t forget to take pictures once you’re done!

  1. Go Sledding

Find a safe hill nearby and bring along a plastic sled or sled alternative (some people even just use plastic garbage bags, etc.). You’ll get some exercise carrying the sleds back up the hill each time, too. This is a great way to generate some body-warmth on chilly days.

  1. Paint with (non-toxic) Food Coloring

Add food coloring to cold water in spray bottles jars and use them to decorate the snow in the yard. Snow activities don’t get any easier than this (best done when there is freshly fallen powder). You can build models of flowers or animals and then use the “paint” to color them in.

Decide you need a ski hill “in your backyard” after all? Come stay at La Casa Mirador with your friends and family…it’s just a short drive from Big White Ski Resort

Picture spots kelowna
Nov20

Freshly fallen snow makes for a perfect photo backdrop to any Instagram or photo album contender. Kelowna boasts stunning parks and nature sites that stand out even when covered in frost. Here are some picture-perfect Kelowna photo spots for you to snap the perfect shot.

  1. Knox Mountain

This is Kelowna’s largest natural area park, meaning that you can hike around and find the absolute best scenery to get the perfect shot. Search the hashtag #KnoxMountainKelowna on Instagram to get some ideas!

  1. Mission Hill Winery

Open year-round, Mission Hill Winery offers a ton of great spaces for photo opportunities even in the wintertime. Check out the courtyard, terrace, barrel cellars, or their grand entryway of curved arches held together by a single Keystone.

  1. Waterfront Park

There are plenty of places along Waterfront to stop and take a picture with the choppy winter waves of the lake in the background. You won’t want to swim when it gets this chilly out but that doesn’t mean the sand and surf won’t work for a photo op.

  1. Chichester Wetland Park in Rutland

This gem is a local treasure that not many tourists catch on to. In the summer, it’s a flourishing wetland packed with important wildlife. In the winter, you’ll find icicle-decorated trees and frosted ponds galore.

  1. City Marina

Pose in front of rows of boats moored for the winter with zigzagging docks laced with frost. Not only is it a photogenic spot, but it really captures the beach bum vibe of the city. Walk around the area and you’ll find plenty of statues and landmarks that also make great Kelowna photo ops (yes—including the iconic Ogopogo statue!).

  1. La Casa Mirador Guest House

Our vacation properties boast cozy kitchens, dreamy reading nooks, and lakefront views. If you stay with us, you will have many photo-ready opportunities to capture the magic of your vacation in the Okanagan. The La Casa Mirador guest house has room for the whole family, so ask us about planning group trips or events.

Need help picking where you want to stay when you visit the Okanagan? Reach out to us and we can set up your whole party in our luxury guest house.

Halloween events Kelowna
Oct23

Are you visiting the Kelowna in October? Luckily, there are Halloween events all month long. Visitors can enjoy a spooky date night or a family-friendly event. Read on, here are just a few yearly events you can look forward to.

  1. Halloween Nightwings

Don’t miss this all-ages adventure! Learn and discover who is flying around the Okanagan at night. This is a not-very-scary event, so bring the whole family. The Okanagan Heritage Museum staff introduces guests to local nocturnal fauna.

Location: Okanagan Heritage Museum, 470 Queensway Avenue.

  1. When Death Comes Calling: A Cemetery Tour

Take a spooky tour through a cemetery. Learn true stories about Kelowna’s “dead.” Lovers of history and true crime will enjoy this unique event. This is quite a popular tour. As a result, registration is required for this event.

Location: Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery, 1991 Bernard Avenue.

  1. Field of Screams

This cornfield maze is filled with ghoulish play-actors and chilling backdrops. Also, every year is based on a theme! For instance, they have done Alice in Wonderland in the past. Check out sprawling set pieces, horror movie clichés, and everything else we love about the season. Note, this event is not suitable for young children.

Location: O’Keefe Ranch, Vernon.

  1. Kettle Valley Halloween Terror Train

All aboard the Halloween train for 2020! The Kettle Valley Steam Railway showcases a unique part of the Okanagan’s history. They do plenty of holiday-themed events throughout the year. The Halloween train trip tours the preserved section of this historic railway! The duration is 60 minutes. Lastly, reservations are a MUST.

Location: Kettle Valley Steam Railway, 18404 Bathville Road.

Contact us if you need somewhere to stay in the Kelowna area in order to attend any of these events. We have multi-bedroom cottages, lakeside views, full kitchen suites, and more.  Plus, we often offer last minutes deals. Subscribe to our newsletter to keep an eye out for them.

wine pairing lineup
Oct16

Everyone knows that British Columbia is Canada’s wine region. Vineyards may not be open this late into the year but you can expect any local venues to be stocked up with wine from around Kelowna. Here are just a few ideas of what types of wine and food pairings to try.

Savory Squash + Pinot Gris

Squash is in season so you will probably be able to find it on many-a-menu these days. Any savory squash meal should pair well with Pinot Gris. Pinot Gris is rich and spicy and quite popular in B.C. so you’ll find it everywhere. It pairs well with the rich creaminess of squash-based meals (think: pasta, warm salad, or soups).

Meat and Potatoes + Rioja

Steak and potatoes. Sausage and potatoes. Red meat stew. These are perfect cold weather meals because they fill you up and make you feel warm and cozy as the nights get chilly. Try pairing these meals with a Rioja, which is a deep, leathery red with hints of cherry. Want it sweeter? Open a newer bottle. For more savory, pick a Rioja that has been aged.

Apple Cinnamon + Riesling

Cinnamon will be making a grand appearance in a big way in many desserts and even breakfast/bunches. You might find it with apple or pumpkin, which are in season. But what wine goes best with apple cinnamon tarts after a long day? Try Riesling, which is equal parts sweet and acidic—a perfect counterpart.

Turkey Leftovers + Grenache Rosé

If you’ve already celebrated (Canadian) Thanksgiving, you most likely have a fridge packed full of delicious turkey leftovers. You might be finding yourself adding it to everything: soups, salads, sandwiches. How about accenting the inevitable turkey overdose with some nice Grenache Rosé? The ruby rose colour and heightened acidity make it a great fall pairing.

Vegetable Stew + Pinot Noir

Vegetable stew is great to make in bulk and freeze or refrigerate for easy fall meals. Pack it full of lentils, mushrooms, carrots, potato, corn, and anything else you desire. Vegetarian stew lasts longer in the fridge than meat-based counterparts so you don’t have to worry about rushing through it. Pinot Noir is so food friendly it goes with nearly anything but it will keep this particular meal company with it’s rich fruity character.

Lamb + Zinfandel

Thinking about ordering rack of lamb for a luscious, fall meal? Try pairing lamb-based recipes with Zinfandel, which is a perfect fall wine that also goes great with sweet potatoes. Zinfandel has hints of dark fruit and a smoky zest but you can also find earthier varieties.

Looking for a fantastic Fall getaway? Contact us and ask about our vacation properties here in beautiful British Columbia.