Ahhh, autumn. The most wonderful time of the year IMHO, when the weather cools (how about that summer, eh?), the leaves turn the prettiest of colours, and pumpkin spice pretty much rules the northern hemisphere.
In celebration of this wonderful season, we’ve put together a little info on the different districts of Downtown Kelowna in hopes you’ll get outside and explore all these wonderful 44 blocks have to offer.
So, grab a PSL, put on your boots, grab that sweater, and head out the door to uncover the many wonderful hidden and not-so-hidden gems of Downtown Kelowna.
Approximate time: Spend as little or as much time as you want in this lovely park in Downtown Kelowna! If you’re just walking through it takes about 5 minutes but if you’re taking in the views, chilling under a tree, or using any of the facilities like basketball courts or the beach you can spend all day here.
Walking path suggestion: If you’re taking a stroll, we suggest either starting at Harvey, there’s an entrance right under the bridge, or from Bernard where you’ll find the Promenade.
Suggestions on what to do or see: Take in the fall colours, the crisp cool air, and people going about their day. You can sit under a tree and read a book or have a picnic in the park. If you’re feeling active there’s basketball courts and a running path through the park as well.
Hidden gems: Pay your respects to the soldiers of past wars at the Veendam Gardens.
No. of blocks: 6 blocks packed full of things to do!
Approximate time: 1 hour or more
Walking path suggestion: Amble along from the Queensway to Clement, the Lakefront to St.Paul.
Suggestions on what to do or see: What can’t you do in the cultural district? Full of museums and galleries, eclectic shops, and unique eats this is a part of downtown you can spend all day in and still have plenty left to see! Take a walk through the “Fruit Stand”, visit the Kelowna Art Gallery or Rotary Centre for the Arts, stop in at a café or shop, or sit and read at the Kelowna Public Library.
If you’re up for a challenge as you’re walking along, try finding all 18 pieces of Public Art on display!
No. of blocks: 13 blocks to explore.
Approximate time: 30 – 40 minutes
Walking path suggestion: Take your pick! Park at Chaplin Parkade and start from there or grab a coffee from one of the many cafes and take a stroll.
Suggestions on what to do or see: While these may not be the first streets you think about when you think about strolling through Downtown, they’ve got a lot to offer. From murals to cafes, spas, hairdressers, nail salons, barbers, custom framing and galleries, gyms, pubs, clubs, and delicious eats there’s a lot or unique find in this part of downtown. Many of the businesses also happen to be family owned and operated (as many of the downtown businesses are) so you’ll be supporting local every time you pop into one of these places!
Hidden Gems: The murals behind Hotel Zed are always a must.
Approximate time: 30 minutes or more.
Walking path suggestion: Wake the boardwalk, visit the marsh, double-back to see The Dolphins Statue, and then head up Sunset to grab a bite to eat or some bubble tea to drink.
Suggestions on what to do or see: What’s not to see? Lake view, beautiful parks filled with Okanagan wildlife, the Delta Grand, Tugboat Beach … there’s so much to do. Filming often happens down here as well so you might even spot someone famous! Live concerts and spin classes have been known to happen at the stage as well and in the summer you’ll often spot boaters cruising on by.
Hidden Gems: Permanent vacationers on the beach.
No. of blocks: 18 blocks in the heart of downtown
Walking path suggestion: Up Bernard from the sails and down the alley.
Suggestions on what to do or see: Shop till you drop, eat till itis sets in, grab a drink or three, dogwatch or people-watch, visit the Sails, find the hidden murals. The options are endless.
Hidden Gems: Okay, okay, if you know Downtown at all you’ll know about the Ogopogo, but have you gone by lately to say hello?
No. of blocks: 5 blocks that we bet you didn’t know were a part of Downtown Kelowna.
Approximate time: 30 minutes or more
Walking path suggestion: Across Harvey and down Richter or take the side street and head to Richter.
Suggestions on what to do or see: There’s a lot of services on offer here from real estate agents (how about that housing market, eh?), to ESL courses and immigration services, lawyers, and accountants, along with restaurants, nail salons, and the now developed Rowcliffe Park.
Hidden Gems: Have you been to Rowcliffe park? It’s a far cry from the empty lot it once was and now boasts and off-leash dog park and playground!