Kelowna Tourist Attractions
On the eastern shore of the narrowing Okanagan Lake, Kelowna, a town with an ever expanding population (344 m (1129 ft)), is the center of the Okanagan Valley, and has developed into a popular resort, thanks to its sandy beaches and more than 2000 hours of sunshine a year.
There is good fishing in the surrounding mountains in the many lakes, most of them used to irrigate the valley, and the town also serves as an important marketing and processing center for the fruit and vegetables produced around the valley. Other major industries are timber and manufacturing.Kelowna is also popular with retired people on account of the mild climate and lovely setting, plus its good social facilities and a large number of golf courses.Before the arrival of the first fur trappers in the early 19th c. this was the site of one of the ten main Salish villages of the interior. Around 1859/60 Father Charles Pandosy, a Catholic missionary, with two theological students, built a mission station here where Mission Creek runs into the lake. Persuaded by the Father's farming success the first European settlers soon began moving into the valley, and in the 1890s a town started to grow up on the lakeshore. A number of the larger farms were split up into fruit orchards. Around the turn of the century Kelowna became the landing for the sternwheel steamers of the Canadian Pacific Railway which operated on Okanagan Lake, steadily bringing in new settlers. By about 1909 the thrusting new town already had a population of 1800, and it received a further boost at the end of the Second World War with the opening of the Hope-Princeton Highway in 1949 and the building of the Okanagan Lake Bridge in 1958. This replaced the ferry that was the only link between Kelowna and Westbank, and is still, at a length of 650 m (2133 ft) and carried on 60 m (196 ft) high pontoons, Canada's longest floating bridge.Kelowna also attracts skiers in the winter who come here to experience the nearby ski resorts.
Big White Ski Resort
The Big White Mountain (2319 m (7611 ft)) in the Monashee Mountains just 60 km (40 mi.) east of Kelowna, is the location of one of Canada's most spectacular ski resorts opened in recent years, called Big White Ski Resort. The mountain is known for its snow, an average of 5.63 m (19 ft) of the glorious white stuff falling in winter. Situated at 1510 m (4956 ft), the particularly family-friendly Big White Ski Resort offers a range of resorts, apartment complexes and sports facilities (including an ice-rink and cross country ski runs).Big White has also gained the nickname "Big White Out", a reference to the fog and cloud that sometimes blankets the mountain making conditions very difficult for skiing.
BC Orchard Industry Museum
The BC Orchard Industry Museum in Kelowna tells the story of the Okanagan Valley's transformation from cattle range to the beautifully manicured orchards that exist today. Exhibits include artifacts and information on packing, processing, home preserving, picking, and orchards in general. Some of the sights at the BC Orchard Industry Museum include a 50 foot working model railway to represent the role of the rail industry in the history and development of the orchard and agricultural industries in British Columbia, and the Applie Tree Activites Centre, sure to entertain children.
Kelowna is famous today for its annual international regatta, held every year since 1906 at the end of July, with sailing and water-skiing, plus tree-felling contests and the "Across-the-Lake Swim".The town comes alive for this four day event with a parade and other entertainment in addition to the actual sailing. During the Kelowna Internationa Regatta there are a variety of events targeted towards both children and adults. Check with the Kelowna Visitor Information Center for a list of happenings during this time period.
Geert Maas Sculpture Gardens and Gallery
Geert Maas is a world renown artist who works in a variety of media including sculpture, painting, reliefs and medallic art. The Geert Maas Sculpture Gardens and Gallery in Kelowna feature one of the largest collections of bronze sculptures in Canada. The collection is constantly expanding with new exhibits presented throughout the year. Check in advance to find out what is new or going on at the gallery.The Geert Maas Sculpture Gardens and Gallery makes for a pleasant out for both locals and visitors to the Kelowna area.
Kelowna Land and Orchard Company
The Kelowna Land and Orchard Company is a working orchard that allows visitors to see growing techniques of the past and present, farm animals and take part in wagon tours. The Teahouse Restaurant and Farm Store are located on the grounds as well. The Kelowna Land and Orchard Company offers insight into this industry in the Okanagan Valley as well as the history of the industry in general. Compared to others in the area Kelowna Land and Orchard Company is a large orchard with modern techniques and this is a worthwhile tour.
Okanagan Heritage Museum
The Kelowna Museum is regional history museum that vividly recreates scenes from the Okanagan Valley's past, including a reconstructed kekuli, the winter home of the Salish, a typical street around 1910 and a trading post from 1861.Also on display at the Okanagan Heritage Museum are fossils and natural history displays on the wildlife in the Okanagan Valley. Other cultures from around the world are also presented in an exploration of human history.The Okanagan Heritage Museum also offers a rotating schedule of special exhibitions.
The Historic Laurel Packinghouse
The historic Laurel Packinghouse is the oldest and largest standing packinghouse in British Columbia. The Laurel Packinghouse is located in the heart of Kelowna's Cultural District, and is home to the BC Orchard Industry Museum, among others.The Packinghouse was built during the winter of 1917/1918 with locally made bricks. It was slated for demolition in 1982, but the efforts of the Kelowna Museums Society, saved the building and it became Kelowna's first designated heritage building.
M.V. Fintry Queen Ferry (Closed)
THE M.V. FINTRY QUEEN FERRY Ferry IS NO LONGER OPERATING.