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Visit Kelowna, BC with your Girlfriends

Culinary Getaway in Canada's "Napa North"

Ever thought of being a tourist in your own town? Cathryn Wellner, foodie, environmentalist and blogger extraordinaire, visits GoGirlfriend today to share her hometown with us - from a tourist perspective.

If you've never visited Kelowna BC, Cathryn's our go-to girl for the best places to eat, sleep and play. We're hoping this is the first of many stories Cathryn will share with GoGirlfriend!

Tugboat Beach

Tugboat beachTugboat beachWith award-winning wines, gourmet chefs, and scenery that rivals California's wine country, Kelowna, BC, is an ideal destination for a Girlfriend Getaway. The city lies at the midpoint of Lake Okanagan, roughly halfway between Vancouver and Jasper National Park.

Everything you might want for a pampered weekend is within walking distance or a 15-minute drive from downtown hotels. Tugboat Beach, is part of Kelowna's car-free waterfront.

Delta Grand

Delta Grand ResortDelta Grand ResortFor a weekend stay, the waterfront location of the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre is hard to beat. Every one of the 390 guest rooms promises lake, city or mountain views. Swim in the indoor or outdoor pools, bask in the sauna, or rent a boat or bicycle for a spin on the quiet lagoon or along the waterfront paths.

The Delta Grand is just north of the Kelowna Marina.

The Royal Anne Hotel is an alternative, less expensive, without the views, but still convenient in its downtown location. Travel Lodge and Prestige also have hotels in the heart of the city.

Farmers Market

Farmers MarketFarmers MarketEverything at the Kelowna Farmers and Crafters Market is locally grown or made. Every Saturday, throughout the year, British Columbia's largest farmers' market offers the fresh foods around. From April through October, begin your day at one of the concessions featuring local products prepared with flair. This is also the place to shop for locally made goods. Stock up on sauces and salsas, soaps and lotions, jewelry and even hand-made clothing.

After a leisurely morning, drive to the south end of Kelowna for lunch at the Summerhill Pyramid Winery. The Sunset Organic Bistro looks out over vineyards that slope down toward the lake. Gourmet fare is paired with some of Okanagan Valley's finest wines.

A little further down the same road, St. Hubertus and CedarCreek Estate Wineries offer wine tastings and stunning views. Before driving back into town, head a little further south and sample the artisanal cheeses at Carmelis Goat Cheese.

Rotary Centre

Rotary Center KelownaRotary Center KelownaSample more local fare with a dinner reservation at RauDZ, a favorite of visiting food critics. Four theatres and a movie house offer plenty of options for evening entertainment, and all are within the downtown core.

Next morning, enjoy breakfast with the locals at the Mad Mango Café. The fried Malaysian Pancake is a decadent, delicious way to start the day.

Spirit Bear

Spirit BearSpirit BearKelowna's newest icon represents the city's namesake, the grizzly bear. Rhapsody Fountain, just off Tugboat Beach, is one of Kelowna's icons and known locally as the dolphin fountain.

Walk off the pancake by strolling along Kelowna's waterfront. At the south end is City Park and the welcoming expanse of Hot Sands Beach. The walkway wanders north, past one of Kelowna's icons, the Sails Fountain. Beside the marina, walk to the top of the mound in Stuart Park for a view of the lake and a photo beside the sculpture created for the city's namesake, the grizzly bear. Continue along the lakeside of the Delta Grand and end in the wild beauty of Rotary Marsh, a magnet for migratory birds.

Quails Gate Gardens

Quails Gate Garden WineryQuails Gate Garden WineryBefore ending what's likely to be only the first of many visits to the Okanagan, lunch at Quails' Gate Winery in West Kelowna. Spectacular views of the lake and vineyards provide a backdrop to the exceptional food and wine in the Old Vines Restaurant. Here again, many of the ingredients come from surrounding farms.

Getting to Kelowna: WestJet, Horizon Air, and Air Canada offer direct flights from Toronto, Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary.

Get to know Cathryn Wellner better:

When not being a tourist in my own town, I like to head off with my partner Robin (a tour director) to destinations such as Alaska's Tracy Arm, Australia's Great Ocean Road, or Bora Bora in French Polynesia. Since my brain never wants to shut off, I keep it happy with three blogs, each with a different focus: Catching Courage (finding courage in shared experience), Story Route (the meaning and importance of stories and storytelling), and Crossroads (started as a travel blog but now also celebrates the beautiful, curious, humorous and quirky people, animals and ideas that cross my desk).

Share your BC Travel experiences with us by dropping a comment or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook.

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Looks like a great place to get away. Thanks for the idea!

Thanks Julia! I've added it to our blog. We will also post it to our Tourism Kelowna website. Great story!

Hi Catherine, We're so excited that Cathryn has joined the GG team - she did a stellar job of showcasing the beautiful city of Kelowna! We'd be thrilled if you'd link to us from the your Kelowna tourism website and blog - and I'll be sure to let Cathryn know! Julia

Hi Cathryn! Great post! Would it be possible to put a link to this post from our Tourism Kelowna website and blog? We like to feature stories on Kelowna so that our visitors can read about our destination for ideas of things to do while they are here. Please let me know if this works for you. Kind regards, Catherine

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