Kettle Valley Railway
The Kettle Valley Railway, which winds around the back of Kelowna, may be protected as a national historic site, but unfortunately nothing could protect the 18 trestle bridges from 2003 wildfires. Plans are in place to have them rebuilt, but until then, opportunities for extended trips along the rail bed are somewhat limited. It’s still an interesting spot, and well worth the effort to reach.
To get there, take K.L.O. Road to McCulloch Road, turn south (right) and then south (right) again, following Myra Forest Service Road for 8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles). From the parking lot at this point, it’s less than one kilometer (0.6 miles) to the first of the burnt trestles.
Right downtown, beautiful City Park is the largest of Kelowna’s many parks. Its 14 hectares (35 acres) hold lots of flowers and large shady trees, expansive lawns, and a long sandy beach. A promenade leads north from the Ogopogo statue past a large marina and a prime waterfront site undergoing redevelopment.
Delta Grand Okanagan Resort
Beyond the construction is the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort (1310 Water St., 250/763-4500), the Okanagan’s most luxurious accommodation. Even if you can’t afford a lakefront suite, the resort holds a bar and restaurant with water views. Beyond the resort, the promenade crosses a small lock, which allows boaters to travel between the higher water level of an artificial lagoon and the lake itself. Here, you can rent watercraft from Sparky’s (250/862-2469).
Okanagan Heritage Museum
Okanagan Heritage Museum (470 Queensway Ave., 250/763-2417, Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., by donation) is opposite the post office; look for the brightly painted totem pole marking the entrance. The museum holds a mishmash of fascinating displays, including horse-drawn carriages; fossils found in the Princeton area; indigenous arts, crafts, clothing, jewelry, beads, and furs; children’s books and games; radio equipment; pioneer artifacts; re-creations of an 1861 Kelowna trading post and a Chinese store; and a display of the interior of a Salish winter dwelling. Behind the museum is Kasugai Gardens, a quiet retreat from the downtown business district.
Kelowna Art Gallery
Kelowna Art Gallery (1315 Water St., 250/762-2226, Tues.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 1–4 p.m., by donation) is a modern facility hosting touring exhibitions and maintaining a permanent collection of contemporary and historical works by artists from throughout the province.
In an old downtown packinghouse, complete with exposed red-brick walls and hand-hewn wooden beams, the Orchard Museum (1304 Ellis St., 250/763-0433, Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., donation) tells the story of the local orchard industry through rare photographs, displays, and a hands-on discovery corner. In the same building, the Wine Museum (250/868-0441, Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m., free) has information on local wineries and tours, and sells the finished product.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition