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January 9, 2024

Kelowna & Vernon Winter Guide: A Cactus Guide

Discover the Okanagan’s Best Things to Do from Dining to Outdoor Activities

As the leaves change their colors and the air gets crisp, the Okanagan Valley transforms into a natural wonderland. If you’re wondering what to do in Kelowna and Vernon, BC during the off-season when it gets (only a little) bit chilly, we’ve got you covered. 

In this guide, we’ll take you through two fantastic cities, Kelowna and Vernon, nestled in the Okanagan heart of British Columbia, and show you how to make the most of your winter or early spring visit.

1.Kelowna & Vernon’s Best Restaurants 

Kelowna and Vernon dining experiences are a culinary adventure waiting to happen. In Kelowna, you can soak up waterfront views at the Cactus Club Cafe Yacht Club in downtown Kelowna or enjoy a cozy hangout at Cactus Club Cafe Banks Road in the Kelowna neighbourhood of Rutland. For those exploring Vernon, check out Cactus Club Cafe Vernon on Anderson Way. You’ll savour undeniably delicious food in a vibrant, contemporary setting. Whichever location you visit, they’ll be serving up global cuisine with a modern twist and a curated selection of local Okanagan wines.

2. Kelowna Winter Magic

Kelowna, known for its stunning landscapes, offers a unique winter experience. Take a walk along the Okanagan Lake waterfront, where you can take in the beauty of the frost-capped mountains against the serene lake. Kelowna’s winter magic will leave you awe-struck.

When the snow flies, mild valley temperatures call for ice skating by the lake at Stuart Park, a free outdoor rink with a fire pit for warming up. Or head to Knox Mountain Park, just north of downtown, for a winter hike with rewarding views.

3.Vernon Winter Wonders

Vernon is a hidden gem in the Okanagan, and it truly shines during the off-season. Explore the quaint downtown area, visit local art galleries, or take a leisurely stroll around Kalamalka Lake to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Vernon’s charm is guaranteed to warm your heart on even the chilliest days.

4. Outdoor Adventures

Embrace the cold by engaging in thrilling outdoor activities. From skiing and snowboarding in Big White Ski Resort to snowshoeing in SilverStar Mountain Resort, Kelowna and Vernon offer exciting options for winter sports enthusiasts.

5. Wine Tasting in Kelowna & Vernon

Warm up your palate with a visit to one of Kelowna’s renowned wineries, where you can sip on exquisite wines while enjoying the picturesque vineyard views. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss during your winter escape. Read this list of some of the best Kelowna wineries and best Vernon wineries.

6. Cultural Exploration

Delve into the local culture by visiting museums and art galleries. In Kelowna, the Kelowna Art Gallery and Okanagan Heritage Museum offer fascinating insights into the region’s history and artistic heritage.

7. Shopping in Vernon

Treat yourself to some retail therapy in Vernon’s charming shops and boutiques. Find unique souvenirs and locally crafted treasures to remind you of your winter adventure.

8. Kelowna’s Art Scene

Immerse yourself in Kelowna’s vibrant art scene by attending live performances at the Kelowna Community Theatre or exploring the public art installations scattered throughout the city.

9. Adult Relaxation

Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa is your answer for a luxury escape in Vernon. This adult-focused oasis offers wellness and stunning architecture,so you can enjoy all-season serenity in a picturesque setting, no matter the weather. Sparkling Hill Resort guarantees an unforgettable retreat to relax and rejuvenate. 

10. Family-Friendly Fun

Planning a family getaway? Kelowna and Vernon have you covered with family-friendly attractions like the Okanagan Science Centre or, in the early spring, the Kangaroo Creek Farm. 

The Okanagan Valley is a magical destination even during the cooler off-season months, offering no shortage of activities and dining experiences. So, whether you’re sipping wine by the fireplace or venturing into the snowy outdoors, Kelowna and Vernon are ready to make your winter or early spring escape unforgettable. Don’t let the chill keep you away from experiencing the magic of the Okanagan Valley. 

P.S. Remember top of the list! Pop by a Cactus Club Cafe to taste what all the hype is about. 



What are the must-try dishes at Cactus Club Cafe in Kelowna or Vernon?  

Some favourite dishes at Cactus Club Cafe include our signature Butternut Squash Ravioli, popular Szechuan Lettuce Wraps and the decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bar for dessert. Try them all at your next visit!

Are there any special winter events in Kelowna and Vernon?  

Yes, both cities host various winter events, including Christmas markets, festivals, and outdoor ice skating rinks. 

Can I go wine tasting in Kelowna & Vernon during the winter months?  

Absolutely! Many wineries in the area remain open year-round, allowing you to enjoy wine tasting amidst the winter charm. 

Are there any indoor activities for kids in Kelowna and Vernon?  

Yes, both cities offer indoor activities for kids, including indoor trampoline parks, science centers, and interactive museums. Family-friendly fun covered!