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Newcomers and seasoned visitors alike will find delicious offerings for dining “Okanagan alfresco”


The View WineryTourism Kelowna / The View Winery

Warmer days have us dreaming of a springtime getaway — and what better way to usher in the season than with some much-needed time outside? Unrolling your picnic blanket and digging into a basket filled with local wine, decadent cheeses, fresh-baked bread and produce picked at its peak sounds like the ideal way to kick off the vacation season.

Enter Kelowna: a vibrant city nestled in British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley, which surrounds the 135-kilometre-long Okanagan Lake with wineries, fresh produce and sandy beaches— all of which invites a little alfresco dining experience. Here’s your curated guide to picnicking in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia.

 

Something to sip

Courtesy of Tourism Kelowna / Jose Antonio Lopez
Credit: Courtesy of Tourism Kelowna/Jose Antonio Lopez 

Stopping by the breathtaking Mission Hill Family Estate (wine to try: Reserve Limited Edition Viognier) is a must if this is your first time visiting Kelowna. For more perfect picnic wineries, there’s Quails’ Gate (wine to try: Lucy's Block Rosé), which has a lovely picnic spot and sells amazing cheeses onsite, or Summerhill Pyramid Winery (wine to try: Ehrenfelser), with their picnic-friendly pickups at the gift shop and breathtaking views. For a lively and one-of-a-kind experience, check out House of Rose Winery (wine to try: Hot Flash), which is housed in a grape picker’s rustic cabin.

The newest additions to Lake Country’s winery roster are Blind Tiger Vineyards (wine to try: Pinot Gris) and The Chase (wine to try: Gewürztraminer), so be sure to pick up a bottle if you haven’t tried them already. Of course, visiting the wineries in person also means being able to sample everything on offer before making your choice — so sip away!

If wine isn’t your thing, Kelowna is also home to breweries, distilleries and cideries. BC Tree Fruits Cider Company, for instance, uses apples handpicked from their own orchards to make their refreshing hard cider.

 

Something to savour

Something to savour
Credit: Courtesy of Tourism Kelowna / Carmelis Goat Cheese

A great picnic isn’t complete without a little cheese, especially if you’ve brought along some local wine to enjoy. Take a trip to Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan Inc., a boutique dairy farm that offers several cheeses as well as gelato made with their fresh goat’s milk. Say hello to the goats before tasting the cheese on offer and finding the right one to pair with your meal. 

For additional eats, there’s Quality Greens, a proudly Okanagan owned and operated grocery store with loads of local produce, as well as fantastic grab-and-go options from the deli to fill your picnic basket. Or pop into Waterfront Café and snag some epic sandwiches and baked goods (especially on Donut Thursdays).

Another great option for savoury food is the diverse lineup of food trucks around Kelowna. From tasty tacos to spicy Indian street food favourites, these food trucks offer something for everyone — including the kids! Deep fried pickles, burritos and (even gluten-free) tacos abound at the CrAsian food truck, which often parks at downtown breweries like Kettle River. Want a little more kick? Try the Jhal Muri from Poppadoms, whose schedule can be found via Instagram.

 

Something fresh

Something fresh
Credit: Courtesy of Tourism Kelowna / Salt Food Photography

In addition to being a hotspot for wineries, the Okanagan is a purveyor of fresh orchard fruit. Cherries, apples, peaches and more are grown everywhere and can be found at fruit stands all over the area. If a one-stop-shop is what you’re after, head to the Kelowna Farmers & Crafters Market where you’ll find organic produce, meats, locally made preserves and more for your perfect picnic.

Want to pick a peck yourself? Visit any of Kelowna’s many U-Pick operations, like Arndt Orchards or Kempf Orchard for cherries or Duggan Farms for strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

 

Something sweet

Something sweet
Credit: Courtesy of Tourism Kelowna / Alexa Creelman

No meal would be complete without dessert — and Kelowna delivers in this category, too. Grab a half-litre (or even a litre) of QB Gelato to share post-meal. Or if your sweet tooth prefers something a little less cold, stock up on goodies from Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolates, which dishes up mountains of delicate macarons and more.

 

Somewhere to sit

Somewhere to sit
Credit: Courtesy of Tourism Kelowna / Matt Ferguson Photography

Last, but certainly not least, your perfect Kelowna picnic needs a scenic locale. Head to family-friendly Bertram Creek Regional Park, or try beautiful Waterfront Park in the heart of downtown Kelowna. If you’d like to feel the sand between your toes, head to Gyro Beach for some fun in the sun. For those who prefer to stay close to a fresh supply of wine, try spreading out your picnic blanket on the grounds of SpearHead Winery to enjoy a uniquely Okanagan experience.

Easily accessible from near or far, Kelowna is a great choice as your next getaway. With over 40 renowned wineries a short drive from town, one of the longest, driest golf seasons in the country (with 19 golf courses for all skill levels), endless foodie-friendly temptations and so much natural beauty, this destination offers countless options to pack into your itinerary — and your picnic basket.

 

 

 

ETW

 

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