12 Kelowna Beaches to Visit this Summer
I grew up in Kelowna and have always loved going to the beach. In the hot summers, my sister and I would beg our parents to take us to the beaches because running through the backyard sprinklers just didn’t always cut it. We would go to different beaches every time and as I got older, I started exploring even more of the beautiful beaches in my city. All the beaches in this list are located on Okanagan Lake but there are definitely other beaches not too far from Kelowna that you can visit if you venture out to other lakes in the Okanagan Valley too.
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Boyce-Gyro Beach is home to multiple sandy beach volleyball courts and is kid-friendly too. It can get pretty crowded in the summer but that’s probably because of the two zip lines that make Gyro unique. Gyro has one zipline that kids can ride over the sand and one that they can ride right into the water! There’s also a place to rent paddle boats and a concession as well as picnic tables and grassy areas too. It’s also wheelchair accessible and there is a concrete path leading directly into the water for wheelchair access.
Rotary Beach is usually a bit less busy than Gyro but can also become crowded on hotter summer days. There’s a playground for children, a large stretch of sandy shoreline to relax on, and washroom facilities. You can also rent stand-up paddleboards as well as kayaks from on-site Okanagan Beach Rentals. My partner, Arturo, and I went paddleboarding for the first time there a few years back and it was super fun! Okanagan Beach Rentals also provides free wheelchair rentals if needed as well.
Strathcona Beach is a more tucked away, beachfront. There’s a playground on-site, as well as a large grassy area with lots of trees perfect for shaded picnics. Washrooms are also located at Strathcona. The beach is located right behind Kelowna General Hospital and is closer to downtown than some of the other beaches on this list.
Hot Sands Beach
Hot Sands Beach can be easily seen when visitors first enter Kelowna by way of the bridge connecting West Kelowna to Downtown Kelowna. It’s conveniently located right in Kelowna’s City Park. There are plenty of beach volleyball courts and the playground located behind the beach is quite large too. There’s even a waterpark for kids located nearby within City Park. In the summer months, visitors can also pay to jump, run and splash on an inflatable playground right on the water, called a Wibit. Because of its location, the beach is within walking distance to plenty of restaurants and ice cream shops downtown. There are also bathroom facilities on-site.
Tugboat Bay Beach is a small stretch of sandy shoreline conveniently located right downtown. There are washroom facilities, paddle-board rentals, and a boat launch as well. It’s also located right near plenty of restaurants and in the summer visitors can also walk to the nearby Waterfront Park Island Stage to enjoy live music.
Sarsons Beach is a smaller beach in the Mission area and is usually less crowded than beaches near Pandosy or Downtown. There is also a small playground at Sarsons, as well as picnic tables and on-site bathrooms too. You can also choose to lay your towel on the sand or grass.
Bertram Creek Regional Park
Bertram Creek Regional Park is located just past the Lower Mission area and usually isn’t as busy as other more centrally located beaches. It’s quite a large park with sizeable grassy areas and a few short trails to explore. There are bathrooms and picnic tables surrounded by a small forest of trees. There’s also a long stretch of beach with a long wooden dock that juts into the water, as well as a boat access point.
Sutherland Park Beach
Sutherland Park is a great beach to visit if you’re also planning a hike up Knox Mountain. It’s located right by the base of the mountain so you can easily visit the beach after hiking or cycling any of the mountain trails. There are washroom facilities on site as well as some tennis courts and a playground.
Paul’s Tomb is probably my favorite beach in Kelowna. You have to hike partway up Knox Mountain to get there. Follow the signs to Paul’s Tomb instead of going all the way to the top. The trail is about 4.7 km to get there and then get back again. The beach is tucked away into an outcropping of rocks and small cliffs. While it can get busy in the summer months, I still really love visiting. Be respectful of the tomb that is located to the right off the end of the trail when you visit. You can read more about the Paul family and their resting place here.
Abbott Park Beach
Abbott Park Beach is a small beach. It’s more like a beach access point, rather than a large park with lots of facilities. There are picnic tables to enjoy a meal at, though, and it’s often less crowded than some of the larger beaches.
Bear Creek Provincial Park
Bear Creek Provincial Park is located in West Kelowna, about 10km from Kelowna’s City Park. The park is quite large with plenty of hiking trails and over 400 meters of sandy beaches. You can even make reservations to camp in the park and spend full days basking by the lake. I actually took the photo above on a weekend camping trip there with some friends. We brought a canoe and had a great time there! There are washrooms, picnic areas, and a playground on-site as well.
Gellatly Bay Beaches
There are a variety of beach areas to choose from at Gellatly Bay, located in West Kelowna. These include Willow Beach, Rotary Park, and even the Gellatly Bay Dog Beach. There is also the CNR/Gellatly Aquatic Park which features a wharf, ziplines, and diving boards. Picnic tables and a boat launch are also located onsite. Visitors to the Gellatly Bay Beaches can also check out the nearby Gellatly Bay Nut Farm.
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