In the heart of the beautiful Okanagan, Kelowna is a top destination for adventure seekers. Thanks to BC Transit, my friends and I got to explore old favourites and try new experiences in my hometown, without the hassle of having to drive. Between flying sky high by helicopter, sipping your favourites in wine country, and taking in the beauty of the Okanagan on mountaintops, adventure can be found anywhere by bus in Kelowna!
Hiking Mount Boucherie
My adventure began by hopping on local transit at Westbank Exchange for a trip to Mount Boucherie. This mountain is a popular hiking destination for locals and outdoor enthusiasts on the Westside. Here, you have a perfect eagle-eye view of the city and Okanagan Lake. There are multiple trails on this extinct volcano that can bring you to different ends of the mountain. I recommend going to the forested end of the mountain, which gives you a perfect view of the lake going down to Peachland. You can also spot Mission Hill Winery located at the base of the mountain!
We definitely worked up an appetite, so my friends and I decided to take a bus to downtown Kelowna to have lunch at Moxie’s Grill & Bar. After all the hiking, we were happy that it was very accessible when walking off transit. We sat on the patio to take advantage of the early summer weather. They even mixed the ingredients for the guacamole right in front of us, which made it one of my favourites! The service was friendly, upbeat, and I’ll definitely be back for more.
Helicopter Hour, Happy Hour, and Golden Hour
After lunch, we continued our adventure by taking a quick bus back to West Kelowna, because it was time for the one of the most anticipated parts of the weekend: a helicopter ride with Valhalla Helicopers! It was both of our first times on a helicopter, and it was something we will never forget! I still remember the butterfly feeling I had in my stomach as we began to take flight. We started our flight over Okanagan Lake and continued up to Myra Canyon where the Kettle Valley Railway trestles are located. There are 16 historic trestles that were in the day used to transport silver from the Kootenays. However, today they are now used for pedestrian walking and biking. We were hoping the resident bald eagle, nicknamed Pete, would come out to say hello during our flight, but we weren’t able to spot him. We took this as a sign that we would have to come back at some point to try again! After Myra Canyon, we flew back to West Kelowna to land on top of Mount Hayman. We stopped here to take photos of the beautiful scenery of the lake and view of the Okanagan Valley.
We caught the bus to the downtown core of Kelowna and got off for a brief walk to check-in at the Prestige Hotel. Luckily for our rumbling stomachs, the West Coast Bar & Grill was right next door and we were just in time for happy hour! Soon after, it was sunset. Watching the sunset in city park is always a treat and a must-see for everyone.
Hiking, Kayaking, and Wine – Oh My!
After a relaxing evening and a refreshing wakeup, day 2 began at the Curious Café for breakfast. We were excited to get a taste of this local favourite and were not disappointed – the food was fabulous! I had the eggs benny, which I would highly recommend for any foodie. After breakfast, we decided to go for a walk along Kelowna’s boardwalk. The last time I came here was for my high school graduation, so it was nice to take a stroll down memory lane. The path from the boardwalk goes through a bird sanctuary, where it’s very common to see ducks, song birds, herons, and bald eagles. Following along the path, we eventually made our way to Knox Mountain.
Knox Mountain is one of most well-known hiking locations in Kelowna, and of course, it’s accessible by transit. There are multiple trails on Knox that you can choose from, ranking from moderate to easy. Biking is also an option if you prefer that instead, with bike racks available on the front of the bus! There is a paved road for a smooth trip to the top of the mountain, as well as dirt trails if you are feeling a little more adventurous. I highly recommend to place this spot on your to-do list, whether you are on vacation or living in the Valley.
After Knox Mountain, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoy the lake. We hopped on the bus to Gellatly Road in West Kelowna and took a brief walk down the beach trail to Okanagan Water Sports. We rented kayaks for a couple hours and paddled along the beachfront. Taking in the sights at sea-level is something you don’t want to miss!
Of course, we couldn’t end the weekend without visiting some of the local wineries that Kelowna is known for! After kayaking, we took the bus up Boucherie Road and met up with a couple of friends to sample some of the Okanagan’s best wines. We had the opportunity to check out The Little Straw, The Hatch, and finished at Mission Hill Winery. If you want to go on your own wine tasting adventure, try using the bus for a safe trip home!
I highly recommend that you #ExploreBCbyBus! It’s a safe, affordable, and environmentally friendly means of transportation that can help you experience the wonderful sights and opportunities Kelowna has to offer.
Want to plan your own #ExploreBCbyBus trip? Click on the links at the top of this page to get inspired by suggested day trips in communities across BC. Plus, if you share how you’re using BC Transit for your adventures this spring on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #ExploreBCbyBus, you’ll be entered to win weekly prizes of month-long bus passes, and a Grand Prize of two year-long bus passes and an adventure getaway for 2 or 4! All details can be found at explorebcbybus.com/contest.