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Cool weather, comfy sweaters, and the sound of leaves creaking under our boots are some of our favorite things about fall.
After a long summer spent exploring locally in Vancouver, we are ready to embrace the fall transition and the prospects of traveling further to British Columbia – to provide us with a rewarding experience – once it is safe to do so.
Full of farm-to-table restaurants, famous wineries, and an abundance of outdoor activities, Kelowna offers the essentials for a wonderful fall retreat.
Try tastings in the thriving wine country of British Columbia
Kelowna has long been considered the birthplace of winemaking in British Columbia. The unique climate of the Okanagan Valley has a huge role to play in the varietals produced with hot, dry summers and moderate winters. As there are over 40 wineries within a 20-minute drive, wine lovers will be spoiled for choice.
On Lakeshore Road, those wishing to savor the flavors of fall with a memorable meal prepared from local ingredients can reserve a table at Home Bloc Restaurant To CedarCreek Estate Winery. Order a wood-fired grill and a glass of wine while taking in views of South Kelowna. After that, find out the CedarCreek History Experience and organize your own private tasting under the silver lime trees.
To taste the fruits of several wineries in the area, follow one of the Kelowna wines five wine routes – accessible a few minutes from the city. Along the way, you will discover red or white wine in your glass directly from the winemakers and hosts. Take in the sights and sounds around you safely and responsibly as you pass through scenic vineyards and orchards. Are you really looking to treat yourself? Rent a Touristic guide to take you to the vineyards so you can sit back and enjoy the experience.
And, if you’re planning on bringing your furry friend to Kelowna with you, there are plenty of dog-friendly vineyards where you can sample local wines while keeping an eye on your puppy. Simply call the wine destinations you want to visit in advance to check availability for walk-in tastings.
Delight in farm-to-table cuisine
Kelowna is not only known for its award-winning wines; the lakeside town is full of restaurants run by some of the country’s most famous chefs. With Home Block already on your culinary bucket list, Krafty Kitchen + Bar is another peaceful (albeit more laid back) haven to consider.
On weekends, this sustainable farm-to-table restaurant prepares a hip-hop brunch, allowing diners to have fun with their favorite ’80s. and pieces from the 90s while tasting exceptional dishes and sipping handcrafted cocktails. Fun Fact: Krafty Kitchen is also home to Kelowna’s only duck fat fryer.
On Water Street, RauDZ regional table has been working directly with local farmers and wineries since it opened in 2001 (then named Fresco Restaurant). Reservations for this farm-to-table restaurant are encouraged, and with one, visitors can sample some of the Okanagan’s most acclaimed organic fare. The ultimate treat? By ordering the baked white brie from the dessert menu, you won’t regret it.
For lake views and to browse a menu with over 150 labels, Eldorado Restaurant – housed in a complex dating from 1926 – offers a perfect setting. Whether you’re stopping for dinner or brunch, complete the experience with a stroll along the private boardwalk overlooking the marina.
Discover the roots of local treasures
Merging nature immersion with discovering some of Kelowna’s hidden gems is easy by taking the West Farm Loop. This self-guided tour through orchards, farms, and markets is unlike anything you’ll find in British Columbia, especially in the fall.
Taste the peaches, plums and apricots at Griffon Farms, which has been serving locals for over a century. Pass by Ingram Farms to see (and taste) the newly harvested honey and Paynter Fruit Market for picking up fresh fruits and veg if you plan to cook your own farm-to-table feast.
To find more local vendors selling everything from produce to crafts and baked goods, the Westbank Farmers Market could well worth a visit during your fall getaway if the weather permits. Depending on where you are staying, you may be able to visit the market from one of the main lakeside trails in the city.
In downtown Kelowna, there is the promenade that stretches for over two kilometers and takes you past the Yacht Club. Meanwhile, in Peachland there is the popular Beach Avenue Lakeside Walk adjacent to glittering Lake Okanagan, and in Lake Country there is the Pelmewash Parkway and the Okanagan Rail Trail.
Enliven your mind with adventure
For those who seek adventure, Myra Canyon Trestles features a 12-kilometer route through two caves on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, during which scenes of larch trees turning golden yellow can be observed.
Get a little up close to nature at Mission Creek Park, where you might spot orange Kokanee Salmon laying their eggs in the spawning channel. The Mission Creek Green Lane will get you there, whether you cycle or walk there.