Wine, beaches and bikes in Kelowna

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Cedar Creek Estate Winery (Rod Charles / has teamed with Choice Hotels Canada to create a series of articles highlighting the best bargain hotel travel experiences in the country. Today, we check out the bike trails, beaches and wineries that have made Kelowna famous.

Story by Rod Charles Deputy Editor

After a beautiful weekend in Kelowna I begin to wonder if maybe – just maybe – I have inadvertently left the country without realizing it. If I didn’t know better, I might think I was in California or some dreamy Caribbean island.

Worry not, no border has been inadvertently crossed. Lying in the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley on Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is an entertainment and culinary dream teeming with restaurants, breweries, wineries and a healthy nightlife.

Beaches abound in the area and like the countless wineries in this lush region there is something here for all tastes – even dogs are welcome at some of them. It’s also a healthy city, with a lovely shoreline and bike trails to keep locals and visitors active and happy.

A four hour drive from Vancouver, Kelowna isn’t a city you’re going to visit for a day – nor would you want to. Comfort Suites Kelowna (2656 Hwy 97 North – 1-250-861-1110) is a good place to begin your journey. Kelowna’s only All-Suites Hotel, Comfort Suites Kelowna is a 2014 Choice Gold award winner that’s only minutes away from the airport. This hotel offers an indoor heated pool, 40′ Cyclone Waterslide and hot tub, an on-site 24 hour business centre and free wireless high-speed Internet access. Comfort Suites Kelowna also offers free hot breakfast and a 24 hour exercise room. It’s a hotel with fitting amenities for a region like the Okanagan Valley.


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Comfort Suites Kelowna (Courtesy Choice Hotels Canada)

Beaches: More beaches than you will ever visit. My suggestion is to pack some swimming gear and simply check out one of Kelowna’s wine trails. You won’t be on those trails long before running into a beach.

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Gyro Beach (Rod Charles /

Wine: An awesome thing about Kelowna are all the different wineries in the region. Unless you are spending extended time in Kelowna you probably won’t be able to see them all, but you should try.

These include the Lake Country’s Scenic Sip route, the Kelowna Fab Five and Downtown Grapes and Grains trail, with each route featuring different wineries to be discovered. I opt for the Lakeshore Wine Route, which on top of the wineries also allows me to drive past several beaches and check out a fun and delicious place called Carmelis Goat Cheese.

I am able to make a stop at Tantalus VineyardsSt Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate WinerySummerhill Pyramid Winery and Cedar Creek Estate Winery.

Bikes: Trails to go for a bike ride in Kelowna are numerous, with trails that offer challenges for experts and beginners. Whether biking is your thing or not, one place you must check out is Myra Canyon.

After renting a bike from Myra Canyon Bike Rentals we head out on portion of the 11 kilometre Kettle Valley Runway (KVR), featuring two tunnels and 18 trestle bridges. With towering, jaw-dropping views I’m blown away by the beauty. This highly-scenic portion of the Kettle Valley Runway (KVR) runs along a steep-walled canyon. Originally built by hand at the turn of the last century, this impressive landmark is highlighted by 2 tunnels and 18 trestle bridges that are too spectacular for words. You can hike it or you can rent a bike through Myra Canyon Bike Rentals and cycle it.

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Tourism Kelowna:

Phone: 1-800-663-4345

Hello BC:

Click here to sign up for Choice Privileges Loyalty program for free nights!


Rod has previously worked for and is currently freelancing for Huffington Post Travel. He’s also written travel articles for the Toronto Star and Up! Magazine. Living in Toronto but raised in the small central Ontario village of Holstein, Rod is a country boy at heart who has never met a farmer’s market he didn’t like.

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