Read our 20 Reasons on why you should move to Kelowna.
Kelowna has long been known as a hidden gem of Canada, offering a lovely location in Central Okanagan, high quality of life, four distinct seasons, and a wonderful environment in which to raise a family. Popular with residents, tourists, and retirees alike, this active city balances the benefits of British Columbia's sixth-largest metro area with the peaceful nature of lakeside living. Here are 20 reasons why Kelowna is the best place to call home – in Canada and beyond.
1. Incredible Real Estate Prices
Real estate prices have been on the rise across British Columbia, making it challenging for families to purchase homes and settle down – except in Kelowna. While the average home price in Vancouver is a lofty $1,605,800, rates in Kelowna are 43% lower at just $696,000. For those seeking a budget-friendly yet beautiful place without leaving BC, this charming community is an ideal choice.
2. The Beauty
Kelowna's beauty is renowned, boasting a stunning natural landscape for both work and play. Located on the shore of a gorgeous lake and surrounded by rolling hills and mountain peaks, Kelowna residents can enjoy a blend of both urban and rural scenery. From wineries and orchards to beaches perfect for sunbathing in the summer, the Okanagan Valley offers breathtaking views in every direction.
3. The Weather
Unlike the snowier regions up north and the cooler, rainier areas near the coast, Kelowna enjoys a humid climate and four distinct seasons. Summers are warm and dry with average temperatures around 27 degrees, while winters are cool and crisp with highs ranging from 1 to 6 degrees. From hiking, biking, and sunbathing in the summer to skiing in the winter, Kelowna's unique weather patterns offer a little something for everyone.
4. The Wine and Wineries
The city of Kelowna is a wine-drinkers paradise with 40 wineries within 20 minutes of the city centre, offering a perfect place to sit back, sip, and enjoy. Visitors can drink award-winning bottles of wine and sample local eats at their leisure, or spend a few days exploring the guided tours of area wineries.
5. Okanagan Lake
As one of the most beautiful waterways in Canada, there's a lot to love about Okanagan Lake. At 135 kilometres long and five kilometres wide, this beloved destination plays a vital role in local summer fun. With water temperatures in the summer averaging around 19 to 23 degrees, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy stand-up paddleboarding, wake boating, sailing, charter boating, flyboarding, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, or even snorkelling.
6. Kelowna Art and Cultural District
Art and culture are alive in Kelowna Cultural District. Located in the centre of the historical Fruit Packing Industry, local artists are able to display their work in this funky six-block area. In addition to gallery and workshop space, 18 pieces of community art are placed throughout the neighbourhood, demonstrating Kelowna's love for painting, ceramics, and sculpture.
7. Kelowna General Hospital
Kelowna serves as home to the nationally-renowned Kelowna General Hospital, one of the largest medical centres in Canada and an affiliate of UBC Faculty of Medicine. As the only hospital outside of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland that offers angioplasty and cardiac surgery, residents and visitors are always in good hands.
8. Gorgeous Parks
The parks across Kelowna are ideal for outdoor recreation, boasting walking paths, dog parks, sports facilities, skateboard parks, community gardens, swimming areas, and so much more. From improving your mile splits to family picnics on the lawn, Kelowna's pristine parks provide a beautiful destination for athletics and leisure alike.
9. Stunning Beaches
Kelowna's climate is perfect for sunbathing and swimming, providing six to eight months of sun and fun each year. Greater Kelowna has over 30 beaches to choose from, many of which feature playgrounds, picnic areas, and beautiful white sand. On summer nights, the beaches come alive with live music, festivals, and entertainment, with parties and festivities lasting late into the evening.
10. Lush Golf Courses
Youth leagues and business bonding sessions alike are welcome to test their strokes in Kelowna. Home to the finest golfing in BC, Kelowna's beautiful courses will keep even avid golfers engaged. From the rolling hills of Tower Ranch Golf Club to the vineyard views at Harvest Golf Club, there's always time for nine holes – or more!
11. Mountain Biking and Cycling
As an eco-friendly community, biking is a great way to get around in Kelowna. For those who want a bigger challenge, however, the hilly terrain can provide a high-intensity experience, forcing you to put your skills to the test. From cycling on the nearly 300 kilometres of bicycle lanes around town to the mountain courses in the surrounding hills, Kelowna is a great place for a ride.
12. Farms, Orchards, and Markets
In Kelowna and across greater Okanagan Valley, locally-grown agriculture drives the economy; the micro-climate in the region is perfectly suited for a long season, providing wonderful weather for homegrown fruits and veggies. From Arlo's Honey Farm to U-Pick Orchards, the area farms, orchards, and markets give you access to almost everything.
13. Myra Canyon Trestles
The walls of Myra Canyon make up a significant portion of the Kettle Valley Railway, providing a scenic destination for a day trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors can hike the cavernous landscape, rent a bike and explore on the go, or even take a guided tour to learn all about this historical location.
14. Fast and Easy Travel
Despite a seemingly secluded lakeside location, Kelowna is anything but isolated. Kelowna International Airport is just kilometres from the city itself, serving 1.6 million passengers annually with daily flights leaving to all major Canadian cities as well as the Northwestern United States. Vancouver International Airport is just 30 minutes by plane, while trips to Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta are just over an hour.
15. Boutique Shopping
World-class shopping in British Columbia isn't limited to Vancouver; boutique shops and national retail names alike can be found in downtown Kelowna. Start your day on the trendy streets of Bernard Avenue and enjoy collections from area designers before heading over to the speciality shops on Ellis, Pandosy, and Tutt Streets.
16. Big White
Winter is a special time in British Columbia, providing plenty of snow for outdoor activities. Big White's ski resort can be the ideal opportunity for a local winter wonderland, offering skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Kelowna is also home to two other resorts – Silver Star and Apex – providing plenty of ways to hit the slopes. With homes just moments away, it's possible to both live and play in Kelowna's cold weather paradise.
17. The Kelowna Rockets
Hockey is a beloved pastime across Canada, and the Kelowna Rockets give local fans plenty of reasons to cheer. A major junior ice hockey team in the Western Hockey League, Rockets matches at Prospera Place are packed with fans of all ages, wearing jerseys and rooting for the home team. As the 2016 BC Hockey League and RBC Cup Champions, games are always fast-paced and tons of fun.
For those seeking a life of relaxation and enjoyment, Kelowna is a welcome respite for post-retirement living. As a community open to retirees and visitors of all ages, there are plenty of family-friendly and adult-friendly spaces across the city. From gated communities to independent living and retirement homes, there are options available for everyone along the shores of Okanagan Lake.
20. A Sense of Community
Kelowna offers plenty of activity, action, and excitement for visitors and retirees, but it's also just a great place to live. Despite the size – a population of approximately 125,000 residents – Kelowna is a tight-knit community. People take care of their neighbours, participate in local events, and support area businesses, and are always happy to greet you with a smile. Kelowna is a family, providing a beautiful, vibrant, and welcoming place to live in British Columbia.
With so much to love about this one-of-a-kind community, there's no better place to jump-start your future, build your family, or settle down at the end of a satisfying career. In Kelowna, anything is possible.
Want to learn even more? Get in touch today to see how life in Kelowna can benefit you!