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14 Best Beaches in Kelowna to Visit
Visiting the beautiful beaches in Kelowna is one of the best things to do in Kelowna. Regarded for its glorious summer weather, impressive views of the Okanagan Lake, and dog-friendly attitude, it’s unsurprising that Kelowna has become one of British Columbia’s top beach destinations.
Boasting over 30 public beaches, narrowing down which ones to visit can be overwhelming (to say the least!)
So, to save you the stress, we’ve hand-picked our favorite beaches in Kelowna that will have you sunbathing in no time. Whether you’re looking for a beach that’s minutes from the downtown area or something off the beaten track for a quieter experience, there’s bound to be something on this list that takes your fancy!
Do you have your sunscreen at the ready? Let’s go on a beach-hopping adventure.
Gyro – One of the Best Beaches in Kelowna (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Matt Ferguson Photography)
Beach access points: Boyce-Gyro Beach Park, 3400 Lakeshore Road
Dogs allowed: YES – on leash.
Swimming allowed: YES – in the designated recreation area.
Considered one of the best public beaches in Kelowna, Boyce-Gyro Beach is just under 4km from downtown. As one of the city’s most popular beaches, it’s typically packed with families, watersports enthusiasts, and dog walkers looking to make the most of the summer sun.
In addition to the balmy sands and glistening waters, you’ll also find several useful amenities that will make your visit more pleasant. If you’re looking to hit the water but don’t have the right gear, there’s a local watersports rental area nearby too! Offering everything from aqua cycles to canoes and kayaks, you’ll be able to explore the best of Kelowna’s coastline from the water.
If you’re sticking to the land area, you’ll also have access to a rope swing and playground for kiddos, volleyball courts, picnic areas, washrooms, and a zipline. In case you were wondering, the sand here is sturdy enough for sandcastles, and the place is perfectly suited for a round of frisbee or beach croquet.
Whether you’re simply looking to bask in the BC sun or want to get an adrenaline rush out on the water, there’s plenty to love about Boyce-Gyro Beach!
Hot Sands Beach – One of the Best Beaches in Kelowna (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Shawn Talbot Photography)
Beach access points: Via Kelowna City Park in the downtown area, 1600 Abbott Street.
Dogs allowed: YES – on a leash though!
Swimming allowed: YES.
Part urban park and part sandy beachfront, Hot Sands embodies the delightful duality of downtown Kelowna. Gambol barefooted in the stretching sands or unwind in the grass.
Summer brings bonuses, as the park comes to life with live musical performances.
Beachgoers can expect plentiful sporting opportunities, including a skate park, soccer games, lawn bowling, and basketball and volleyball courts.
Social butterflies will find a plethora of potential friends, while water babies will be spoilt for choice between swimming in the lake or sliding around in the waterpark.
Where to grab food nearby: It’s technically on the beach, but we highly recommend checking out the Okanavan. Not only is it totally cool (it’s a repurposed VW van!), but it serves up some of the best crepes in the city.
Sarsons – One of the Best Beaches in Kelowna (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Matt Ferguson Photography)
Beach access points: Sarsons Beach Park, 4398 Hobson Road
Dogs allowed: NO – sadly, this is a no-dog zone!
Swimming allowed: YES- at the designated swimming area marked clearly by buoys.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed afternoon in Kelowna, Sarsons Beach is a great spot to visit. Despite being less than 10km from the downtown area, the beach is rarely busy, making it ideal for couples or families with children who need a bit of TLC.
Located in the Mission area, this beach features grassy areas, picnic tables, washroom facilities, a playground, and stunning views of the Okanagan area.
Although sunbathing is one of the most popular activities at this beach, guests are welcome to head to the designated swimming area for a workout or join their little ones for sandcastle-building near the shoreline.
Offering plenty of shade and always perfectly clean, this family-friendly beach is worth a few extra minutes in the car from downtown.
Where to grab food nearby: We recommend indulging in a picnic while you’re here, but if you’d prefer to dine offsite, the Lakeside Dining Room at the Hotel Eldorado is just a stone’s throw away. If you’re craving a more casual atmosphere, DunnEnzies has some of the best pizza in town and is just down the road.
Bear Creek Provincial Park
Bear Creek – One of the Best Beaches in Kelowna (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Matt Ferguson Photography)
Dogs allowed: YES – there’s a section on the north side of the beach that accommodates off-leash dogs.
Swimming: YES – there’s a designated swimming zone.
If you’re willing to head slightly outside of the downtown area, Bear Creek Provincial Park Beach is worth adding to your itinerary.
Frequented by Kelowna hiking and nature enthusiasts, you can easily spend the morning exploring the famous Canyon Loop Trail and Bear Creek Falls before cooling off with a dip in the crystalline waters. Thanks to the impressive tree coverage at Bear Creek Beach, you can easily avoid the worst of the scorching summer temperatures in the mid-afternoons – phew!
If you’d like to go swimming, slip into your swimsuit at the beachside changing rooms before heading to the designated swim zone. Offering plenty of room to get your feet wet, you can easily splash around with the kids in the shallow end or head slightly further afield for an intense training session.
For more water-based fun, hire a boat or kayak to enjoy the beautiful Okanagan Lake area. To make the most of your visit, consider booking in at one of the many public campgrounds in the surrounding area. Boasting near-instant access to the beach and killer views of Kelowna’s gorgeous sunset, we feel that the provincial park camping rates are a total bargain.
Where to grab food nearby: If you’re partial to panoramic views, artisanal dishes, and incredible wines, then you should head to OAK + CRU. Just on the other side of the bridge, downtown, it’s an unbeatable pitstop for a delicious meal in Kelowna! Or, check out our chapter on Kelowna Restaurants Downtown to tempt your taste buds.
Strathcona Beach Park
Strathcona – One of the Best Beaches in Kelowna (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Matt Ferguson Photography)
Beach access points: Via Strathcona Beach Park, 2290 Abbott Street.
Dogs allowed: NO.
Swimming allowed: YES – there is a designated swimming area that is pleasantly warm during the summer.
This local favorite will allow you to escape the crowds during the peak summer season – but you didn’t hear that from us! Far quieter than other beaches along the Kelowna Paddle Trail, Strathcona Park Beach is an excellent choice for families that need to recharge.
Why is it so excellent for families, do you ask? Well, not only is it peaceful and easy to reach but there’s a shallow water area on the beachfront that extends far out into the lake. This means that tiny toes can get wet while staying completely safe! However, this isn’t just beneficial for kiddos – shallow waters are ideal for less confident open-water swimmers too.
The beach’s shade-giving trees mean you don’t need to pack your parasol, and an adjacent playground will keep the kids entertained while you lounge on the grassy knoll.
Talk about blissful.
Where to grab food nearby: There are several excellent restaurants nearby – you’ll be spoiled for choice! Bring your own picnic or visit some fabulous Kelowna Restaurants Downtown.
Beach access points: Via Sutherland Bay Park, 700 Ellis Street.
Dogs allowed: YES! Dogs are allowed to visit this beach on and off-leash.
Swimming allowed: YES – the beach is very swim-friendly.
Boasting pet-friendly sands, hiking trail access to Knox Mountain, a children’s play area, restrooms, and a boat launch, Sutherland Park Beach is the ideal place to set up basecamp for the day.
Take advantage of the boat launch by hiring a kayak or canoe to explore the area. This beach offers panoramic views of Knox Mountain Park and is a great alternative to covering the area by trail. If you’d prefer to take a dip, simply head over to the swimming area and doggy paddle to your heart’s content!
The crystal waters here are deep enough to accommodate an enthusiastic dive, while the large grassy space and gorgeous views make it a favorite for picnickers. You’ll often spot yoga enthusiasts pulling their poses during the summer months, and many will be kind enough to let you in on the fun. Hey, you’re in Canada now, folks! We’re practically famous for our friendliness.
Are you traveling with a pup? Well, you’re in luck as Sutherland Park is one of Kelowna’s most gorgeous dog-friendly beaches. Giving owners the option to let dogs roam on or off-leash, this beach is a veritable panacea for four-legged friends.
Where to grab food nearby: If you’re looking for some of the best eats in Kelowna, you can’t beat Central Kelowna. Located just down the road from the beachfront and serving up some of the best burgers in Kelowna, it’s unlikely to disappoint!
Rotary Beach – One of the Best Beaches in Kelowna (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Matt Ferguson Photography)
Beach access points: Via Rotary Beach Park, 3726 Lakeshore Road.
Dogs allowed: NO.
Swimming allowed: YES – what’s more, you won’t find motorized watercraft here, so you’ll have free reign over much of the water.
Earlier we mentioned the unique spectacle of swooping kite surfers as a reason to visit Rotary Beach, but the list doesn’t end there! Sparkling waters, pristine sands, and a popular children’s play area ensure the whole family can have fun.
If you are tempted by water sports but aren’t quite up to kite surfing, the rental store here offers paddleboards and kayaks for a slightly lower octane lake experience
Where to grab food nearby: We adore the nearby Basil & Mint restaurant tucked inside In Playa Del Sol Resort. Located just up the street from Rotary Beach, it’s perfect for tired families that need to get fed pronto.
Tugboat Bay Beach & Kelowna Wibit (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Shawn Talbot Photography)
Beach access points: Via Waterfront Park next to the Grand Hotel, 1200 Water Street.
Dogs allowed: SORT OF – you can bring your pup to the boardwalk and walkways on-leash, but they’re not permitted on the beach.
Swimming allowed: YES – across most of the beach.
Also known as Waterfront Park, this is the place to be if your beach must-have list includes a tranquil atmosphere. Relaxation is the name of the game at Waterfront Park, and it boasts plenty of food concessions and restrooms to see you through your beach bum bliss.
Those in search of an adrenaline rush will appreciate the flyboarding experience available at this beach. Operating right on the waterfront between the Cactus Club and the Delta Grand Resort, Okanagan Flyboard offers daredevils the chance to soar into the air on what is essentially a foot-based jetpack! Unique and so much fun, it’s an activity that we highly recommend trying out while you’re here.
Families that adore the water but are equally partial to an obstacle course should stop by the Kelowna Wibit. Hosting challenging courses for individuals 5 and up (as well as a kiddie park for those under 5!), it’s the perfect way to schedule some lighthearted family bonding into your vacation!
If you’re in search of something slightly more laid-back, water polo is also popular on this beach! So, get involved or cheer on the competition – the choice is yours! The neighboring park also features gorgeous gardens, a lagoon, and public art displays.
Just before the sun begins to set, meander along the incredible boardwalk that connects to the Rotary Marshes wildlife park. Spanning just 2km, the boardwalk shouldn’t prove challenging for even the tiniest tykes. While you admire the expansive vistas and coastal bluffs, keep an eye out for herons and eagles that are often seen cruising around these parts!
Where to grab food nearby: For excellent views of the beachside, head to Waterfront Wines Restaurant on Sunset Drive. Located just a short walk from the Waterfront Promenade, it’s the perfect evening base for tapas and cocktail lovers.
For something more family-friendly, head to the Match Eatery and Public House for classic pub meals and incredible desserts! Or, check out more amazing Kelowna Patio views to enjoy while you grab a bite to eat.
Dog Friendly Beaches in Kelowna
Lake Avenue Beach
Beach access points: Lake Avenue Beach Access, 117 Lake Avenue
Dogs allowed: YES – off-leash too!
Swimming allowed: YES – in designated areas only.
Loved by locals for its expansive views and signature weeping willow trees, Lake Avenue Beach is one of the most dog-friendly beaches in Kelowna. Located right by Kelowna City Park and a mere stone’s throw from the William Bennett Bridge, the Lake Avenue area is an excellent alternative for owners who’d like to keep their dogs off-leash for the afternoon.
Although letting dogs off-leash was initially a two-year trial spearheaded by the Kelowna City Council, local pups proved well-behaved enough for this to become a permanent feature! Spend the afternoon picnicking on the gorgeous sands or head to the nearby Knox Mountain Park for nature trails. When things heat up, dive into the azure waters!
Whether you’re looking for a relaxed beach that offers excellent views of the Okanagan area or simply need somewhere for your pup (and, perhaps yourself?) to roam free, Lake Avenue Beach promises to fit the bill.
(Editor’s note: This might not be the most family-friendly beach in the city. Oftentimes when we visit as locals, there is some activity I might not have wanted my littles sensing.)
Beach access points: At Cedar Creek Park, 5200 Lakeshore Road
Dogs allowed: YES – as the biggest off-leash dog beaches in Kelowna, this place gives two thumbs up to four-legged friends.
Swimming allowed: YES – there are several swimming areas at this large park that are perfectly safe.
With its long waterfront and large off-leash area, Cedar Creek Park is touted as the best dog beach in Kelowna. Although the pup socialization spots and expansive roaming areas are major selling points, there’s plenty to love about Cedar Creek from a human perspective too!
The beach is frequented by canoeists and kayakers year-round, as the views of Okanagan Lake are truly spectacular from the shoreline. What’s more, the picnic tables set up along the edge of the lake are just made for people-watching!
Rotary Beach – One of the Best Beaches in Kelowna (Courtesy of tourismkelowna.com – Matt Ferguson Photography)
Beach access points: Via Gellatly Bay Park, 4030 Gellatly Road
Dogs allowed: YES – there is an area for pups to come off-leash. You can also use the picnic tables to have a water and food break with your dog.
Swimming allowed: YES – there are many access points for lake swimming at Gellatly Bay that are marked.
If you’re looking to cover as many beaches as possible in a single outing, then we highly recommend exploring the Gellatly Bay area. Located 15km from downtown Kelowna, this impressive 2km stretch of public beaches is a haven for hikers, bikers, and swimmers.
The sprawling walkway can be a bit of a tourist trap, but it’s worth persevering with if you’d like optimal views of the bay. In addition to being a pleasant walk, the path offers a series of top-notch viewing spots that make wildlife-spotting and bird-watching a breeze.
Once you’ve crossed the walkway, you’ll find Gellatly Bay Aquatic Park. Here, you’ll have access to a diving jetty, a zipline, and a floating platform that gives guests an excellent photo opportunity. If you’re here with kids, take turns snapping pictures of them jumping from the platform – trust us, they make awesome Christmas cards!
If you’re traveling with your pup, don’t leave without visiting the Gellatly Dog Beach right by Rotary Park. Not only will you be able to grab an ice cream cone to cool down with, but this off-leash area is perfect for dogs that need to release pent-up energy (without bothering other beachgoers!). What more could you ask for?
Beach access points: Via Kinsmen Park, 2600 Abbott Street.
Dogs allowed: NO.
Swimming allowed: YES – there’s a designated swimming area on the beach.
Conveniently located minutes from Kelowna’s downtown area, Kinsmen Park Beach is a quieter alternative to the bustling Hot Sands Beach. Boasting glorious views of Okanagan Lake, plenty of shading trees, a tennis court, and a dedicated children’s playground, this well-equipped park provides an ideal nature break for city explorers.
Although the park is certainly large enough to justify an entire day of picnicking or hitting the water, we recommend using this place as an itinerary pitstop instead. Unlike Hot Sands Beach which offers several activities and a rather aesthetic boardwalk, Kinsmen Park is more about taking a breather from the hustle and bustle of the downtown attractions.
This doesn’t mean that you should be afraid to take a dip and clean up in the washrooms, but we’d say you’d struggle to get a full day out of a visit here.
For a relaxed morning walk or afternoon picnic, (or wedding!) though? Just perfect.
This place has a very special spot in our hearts because it is where we got married. I just loved getting married under that big, beautiful tree with the water steps away. And, because we really love this spot (and each other), here are some more photos from this special Kelowna Beach Wedding.
Dogs allowed: NO – sadly, you can’t bring your dog to Bertram Creek!
Swimming allowed: YES – not only is swimming allowed but it’s actively encouraged.
Tucked away on the outskirts of Kelowna lies the magnificent Bertram Creek Regional Park. Despite being just 20 minutes away from the downtown area, you’ll feel worlds away as you revel in the serene atmosphere and sit beneath towering shading trees.
In terms of amenities, you can expect washrooms, a boat launch and dock, unique pebble beaches, a relaxing pavilion, a playground, picnic areas, and obviously – the beachfront itself!
During the summer, Bertram Creek is packed with locals engaging in everything from swimming and boating to hiking and birdwatching. Thanks to the wonderful trails and impressive wildlife, you can spend hours squinting through your binoculars and attempting to spot BC’s local fauna.
Sparrows and warblers are regularly spotted, but you may be lucky enough to spot a kinglet if you’re particularly eagle-eyed! Oh, and just as a heads up – keep an eye out for Pincushion Mountain while you’re here. Kelowna’s summer weather is typically clear enough for visitors to get an excellent view from the beach.
Whether you’re looking to cool off during the summer months by hitting the water or are an avid birdwatcher who’s looking to boost their spotting profile, there’s something for everyone at beautiful Bertram.
Other Playgrounds Around Kelowna
Families with children lucky enough to be brought along traveling can breathe a sigh of relief. Kelowna is absolutely packed with parks and playgrounds where the kids can burn some energy and you can (hopefully) catch a quick break amongst the grass.
Almost every area in the city has its own park, but here are some of the best.
Mission Creek Regional Park
Location: 2363 Springfield Road.
Another local favourite, you can find this park conveniently placed smack in the middle of central Kelowna. It’s the perfect place to reward your children after an afternoon of shopping.
A massive playground featuring extensive rope climbing structures is the main attraction here, as well as a mixture of easy-breezy walking trails and steeper hikes, should anyone get restless.
Ben Lee Park
Location: 900 Houghton Road.
At the heart of Rutland’s rich community of young families is this amenity-rich park.
Your children will be spoilt for choice between a skate park, water park, basketball courts, and playground facilities. Adults will be happy to console themselves with a beautiful green, scattered with picnic tables strategically placed for parental supervision. There are also walking trails for families on the move.
Parkinson Recreation Centre
Location: 1800 Parkinson Way.
Those bringing small children to the Landmark district of Kelowna will enjoy this place to let them run wild. The forgiving rubber flooring even eases the pain of those inevitable bumps and scrapes.
As well as the large playground, there are plenty of outdoor fitness activities to be found here, including a soccer field, tennis courts, pickleball court, running track, and outdoor workout equipment. For a more relaxing approach to exercise, try the nearby tranquil walking trails of Mill Creek.
Quilchena Water Park
Location: 347 Quilchena Drive.
If you’re looking for safe community vibes, look no further. This neighbourhood is teeming with young families who bring their children to socialize and play here. Who knows, you might just make some new friends too.
The park itself is kitted out with numerous play structures, a slide, and a splash park.
A Quick Note on Beach Behavior
It probably goes without saying, but make sure you are respectful when visiting any of these incredible beaches. The local councils and the community work hard to keep these areas pristine, let’s practice Leave No Trace principles when visiting our beaches.
To keep all beaches in excellent condition, be respectful of parking, follow signs and stick to marked paths.
If you’re worried about having access to garbage cans (you shouldn’t, as there are always plenty around), then it may be worth bringing bags along for your trash. Not only will this help you get rid of your garbage, but you can encourage fellow beachgoers to throw their stuff away too.
After all, every little helps when it comes to environmental awareness.
Best Ever Lifestyle Guide Inc. is an independent lifestyle guide for British Columbia based in Kelowna, BC.
We recognize and acknowledge that we live, learn, play and work on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan people.