This morning I took the backroad to my office at Shelter Bay in West Kelowna, one of the best ways to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Okanagan is by taking a drive down Boucherie Road. Tucked away in a quaint old building I stumbled upon the Market at Quails Gate Winery. This Market is known for a wide selection of artisanal cheeses, breads, fresh brewed coffee, espresso, and classic desserts. I took a cappuccino and croissant to enjoy on the go. On my way home I may stop in for a charcuterie spread in their outdoor picnic area with a relaxed atmosphere, and of course, wine. If you are planning to visit our new Town Home Development at Shelter Bay in West Kelowna, I would suggest taking the scenic route.
Getting out of bed at the crack of dawn, or letting the light gradually ease you into the day… whichever your preference, mornings are always better with a little help from your friends coffee or tea.
While brewing your favourite at home may be the norm, it’s hard to beat holding a steaming cup of your personalized morning beverage, perfectly presented by a professional, talented barista and on the West Side of Kelowna, there are a number of great spots to rev up the start of your day.
Perhaps it’s a quick dash through the Timmy’s drive-through for a Dark Roast and a dozen Timbits, or a quick stop at a familiar Starbucks or Blenz Coffee. Whichever your’e used to, West Kelowna has several locations to choose from.
But if you awake on the “ adventurous” side of the bed and feel like something a little different to start your day, why not try one of a handful of hidden gems that the city has to offer. Here are a few worth a shot or, maybe even a double-shot.
To get that real Kelowna Westside feeling, we suggest you venture over to Annie’s Café and Lounge at 3725 Boucherie Rd. Located right on the beach inside Frind Estate Winery. Anne’s Beach Café and Hut has take-out, sit-in, or sit-out service on their patio and lakefront picnic area. A lakeside Latte sounds just about perfect!
Even though the patio section is closed during the off season, what makes Annie’s so unique is their Dining Domes! Regardless if its during the chilly winter months, you can experience their famous menu outside while protected from the elements in one of their see-through domes! Book your own dome reservation here or learn more about Annie’s on the winery website.
Another interesting spot we highly recommend is the Kekuli Café, located at #307-3550 Carrington Road, in West Kelowna; it’s the Okanagan’s only Aboriginal cuisine eatery. We love the Kekuli Café slogan, “Don’t Panic, We Have Bannock”, where aside from the traditional aboriginal ambience and food they have cultural art and jewelry. Make sure you give their Aboriginal cuisine a try and sample their signature Bannock, famous smoked salmon, and delicious Pow Wow Tacos!
Grab a Spirit Bear Organic coffee or step outside the usual and try one of their incredible Matcha Green Tea Lavender Lattes or their Tiger Spiced Chai Cinnamon Tea Latte, or a Maple Coquihalla Frog Tea Latte!
All fuelled up and ready to take on the afternoon as a Westsider your possibilities are endless! We’ve blogged about West Kelowna’s dog parks, hiking, sightseeing, winery tours etc., before, but we haven’t mentioned something most Westsiders consider just a part of life, and that’s the Westsider’s practice of living local by eating local.
So with your morning brew in hand it’s time to check out the area’s incredible farms and produce markets.
Fresh Finds Market Garden comes to mind, located at 4205 Gellatly Rd., near the waterfront by the Cove Resort. They feature a two acre garden with vegetables and flowers that you can purchase or pick yourself as you wander this peaceful garden.
Another great spot specifically for berries is Cherrywood Farm. They close for the off-season but this smaller hobby farm focuses on “agritourism” and offers u-pick cherries and a wonderful little raspberry patch. Located at 3169 Shelter Drive there’s lots of parking so drive right in.
While you’re out and about, why not try Griffin Farms at 3344 Elliott Rd? Established in 1918 and operating as a farm for nearly 100 years they provide cherries, apricots, four varieties of peaches, as well as plums, prunes, nectarines, pears and apples. They make their own juice right on site and it’s an experience for the entire family.
Another great family run operation is Ingram Farms at 2660 Lower Glenrosa Rd. Ingram added their own bees back in 2008 to pollinate their cherries, apricots and peaches and now they offer honey all year round!
We’ve blogged about the Gellately Nut Farm in the past as a great spot to spend the day, walk amongst the trees and splash in the lake, but did you know you can also buy nuts there? Their nut harvest takes place early September to mid November and is managed by the Gellatly Nut Farm Society with 100% of the proceeds used for improvements and restoration projects within the park.
If you really want the full “farm experience” check out Jackalope Farms at 2655 Rufli Rd. They open in the summer and run private farm tours that explain and demonstrate all aspects of farming and have partnered with the City to offer farm camps for kids 7-12.
To check out a husband and wife run farm, why not visit JM Farms at 907 Douglas Road. This great little farm is located beside the Volcanic Hills Family Estate Winery on the Westside Wine trail (one of our other favourite treks) and here you’ll find berries, fruits and veggies a plenty!
Another interesting food stop with history is Paynters Fruit Market which has operated as a family business for 60-years, all started by Henry Paynter who immigrated from England in 1919. Located at 3687 Paynter Rd., you can head over and pick the fruit yourself or browse the market indoors.
Just a short jaunt away at 3607 Paynter Road you’ll find Rabbit Hollow where Martine and Kristin guide you through a very hands on garden experience and educate you on the process of bringing food from farm-to-table. They offer meals and classes and everything is an interactive experience!
And if you want more of a “one stop shop” we suggest you visit the Westbank Farmers’ Market. It is open every Saturday from early July to mid September and located at 2484 Main Street in West Kelowna. They offer everything local from fruits and vegetables to berries and baked goods.
There are many more interesting farm stops and markets worthy of your time throughout West Kelowna. For a full PDF list and map just click on this great link from VisitWestSide.com
Dogs maybe humans’ best friends… but they also help to increase our longevity, health and happiness… Who knew!
Get up, let dog out. Get up, let dog in. Repeat. All. Day.
But what are you going do? Those big eyes, wagging tail, slightly tilted head. It’s hard to say no to your pooch. Especially when they want to go for a walk.
Our dog is named Louie. The lovely outcome of a random cross-breeding accident between a Poodle and a German pointer. Born with an unruly grey and brown furry mane. He’s 90 pounds of happy, and more human in character than K9.
Louie, like most furry four leggers, possess the power to motivate. Their ability to make us drop the remote and lace-up our walking shoes is second to none.
At our home we avoid saying the “W” word in his presence or pulling the leash from its hook too early for fear of his tail clearing a coffee table or denting our drywall. How can you say no to that level of happiness?
If your home is blessed with this type of furry folk, well, for all the getting up and letting the dog in and out you’ll be happy to know the health benefits of having human’s best friend are endless.
Who knew, Louie is helping us live longer!
According to a recent study published in the USA Today, the American Heart Association completed 10 studies with more than 3-million participants. Scientists found dog owners to live longer than those who don’t have a pup. More than that, they found that dog owners had a 24% risk reduction for death from any cause!
And life at Shelter Bay is smack dab in the middle of Kelowna dog walking beaches and basically a dog’s sniffing paradise in West Kelowna.
One spot we have mentioned before is Gellatly Dog Beach. A short jaunt from Shelter Bay. This is a great place for you to unhook the leash and let your four-legger run and splash in the lake! There are benches and picnic tables for you to relax and just watch the fun unfold. It is a dog and human only area and there is lots of room to burn off that K9 energy.
Kalamoir Regional Park is located at 3041 Collens Hill Rd, in West Kelowna. The reviews all agree that it’s a wonderful walk and a great place to stretch your legs with your pup. Kalamoir has two designated dog beaches and part of the trail runs along a gravel beach, there is a swimming dock and plenty of spots to go jump in the lake.
Connemara Park, located at 1419 Gregory Rd, West Kelowna, is another undeveloped park area perfect for leashed walks with your pup. A local website that reviews and rates local services and spots in B.C., Connemara Park offers locals the possibility to take a break for a while and get in touch with nature.
Eain Lamont Park, located at 3088 Lakeview Cove Rd, West Kelowna, that according to visitwestside.com, is situated on Mt Boucherie, a dormant volcano that erupted over 50 million years ago. The park offers dog friendly hiking trails and stunning panoramas of the West Kelowna and Kelowna area from two different summits, a great hike for the adventurous where dogs are allowed on leash.
Westbank Centre Park, located at 2569 May St. in West Kelowna and is home to the Kids Care Spray/Water Park, a Community Garden and an off-leash dog area. The park has benches and picnic tables for you to enjoy a lunch in the park along with a large grass play area beside the spray/water park.
Shannon Woods Park, located at 2490 Shannon Woods Dr. is an off-leash dog area that’s open year-round. This area also has a community garden with plots for rent as well as a field for soccer or football. Bring a ball or your dog’s favourite toy and enjoy a game of fetch.
For a different experience you can take your furry friend along on leash to Memorial Park, located on 3737 Old Okanagan Hwy in West Kelowna. It is adjacent to the Johnson Bentley Aquatic Centre and is home to the Annette Beaudreau Amphitheatre where you can walk your pup while enjoying the free Music in the Park concert series Friday nights during the summer.
You can visit this link for more information on Kelowna’s many dog friendly parks and beaches.
And even if you don’t own your own furry four legger, or don’t have one you can borrow from a friend, it’s worth the exercise, health and the happiness you’ll receive to go for a walk and take in the views, vistas and witness the pure joy of these pups as they sniff around the trails, bounce on the beaches and splash in the lake at these designated dog spots, and all of them close to Shelter Bay Townhomes.
No blog about the Okanagan winter lifestyle would be complete if it didn’t give the local Kelowna Ski hills their due.
The top two mountains within a short drive from Shelter Bay are Big White Ski Resort and SilverStar Mountain Resort. While both are a relatively short drive, Big White is known by most Kelowna residents as their “local mountain”, so that’s where we’ll start.
Big White is listed as being Canada’s largest totally ski-in and ski-out villages. This alone is enough to make the ski-resort world class…but add in their spectacular backdrops and endless kilometers of groomed and powder runs, and the mountain reported 750cm of dry powder snow every year and Big White boasts international attraction.
Voted the number two ski resort in all of Canada by readers of Conde Nast’s Traveler Magazine, Big White is only one in a handful of Canadian family owned and operated resorts in Canada. (See the full list here in the CN traveler top ski resorts in Canada). That’s quite an accomplishment given Conde Nast’s print readership of over 5-million and 16-million unique digital users, who in the past also recognized Big White as having the best snow in all of North America!
While Big White may be considered the “local’s mountain”, SilverStar is right up there for top spot with its 3,200 plus acres of skiable terrain spread over four mountain faces and 132 runs! Started in 1958, SilverStar is one of Canadas oldest ski resorts with a rich history that has seen the hill evolve into a world class resort without losing its hometown appeal.
The biggest little difference at SilverStar is their small-town feel. If you’re after the perfect family ski trip or just need to get away from the hustle and bustle, SilverStar offers room to breathe and uncrowded lift-lines, but the biggest attraction is still their downhome attitude where they believe everyone, no matter where you’re from, should be made to feel “like a local.”
So whether you are after that hometown-local familiarity or the international resort experience, you have options, and they are just a short drive from Shelter Bay, the perfect place for your home base Okanagan winter lifestyle.
It’s been said that Kelowna is the perfect place to spend your summer, but while summer living beside the lake may be a preference of many, Kelowna’s dry winter conditions make it a close second choice.
While the seasonal debate continues, we think that Kelowna’s mild winter months are perfect for those who enjoy getting out into the surrounding snowy mountain wonderlands.
If skiing or boarding are among your favourites, the local Kelowna mountains offer a wide range of challenging runs. From beginner to advanced, Kelowna’s ski hills are world famous, but one of the area’s best kept secrets is the growing number of people experiencing the peaceful and energetic exercise, snowshoeing, as it is quickly growing into a favourite pastime.
Much like their counterparts the cross-country skiers, snowshoers have discovered this is the perfect way to connect the great outdoors with keeping fit over the winter months.
Whether its cross-country, snowshoeing or speeding down the slopes that has you enjoying the fresh air this winter, Shelter Bay is perfectly situated within a short drive to the best Kelowna has to offer. And for those interested in snowshoeing, Shelter Bay is close to some great options.
Snowshoe Trails https://telemarknordic.com
Just a 24-minute drive from Shelter Bay is one of Kelowna’s premier snowshoe and cross- country ski areas.
The Telemark Nordic Club offers nearly 50 KM of snowshoe trails! They have seasonal passes, day passes and equipment rentals for you to come and experience their five main area trails designed for all abilities. Trails are 2, 4, 8, 10 & 15 km long so you can pick your time, trek or challenge…and what we love best is Telemark’s exclusive 7km of snowshoe trails that are K9 dog friendly… now you can bring out your best friend (and some other humans as well). Their newest trail “Ridgeview” features spectacular views of the lake and West Kelowna, so it’s worth doing on a clear day but they’re open for night snowshoeing…just bring along your headlamp!
Click the link to download their trail map here: All Ski Trails except K9 (Printable PDF) but you can also stop at the lodge and grab a printout.
If you’re interested in learning more about snowshoeing, here’s an article worth reading by JP Squire on preparation and where to find great tours and trails in the Okanagan Valley Snowshoeing 101.
Click the link to connect right to Telemark Nordic’s “Maps” and download their free digital maps (cross-country and snowshoeing)
There are a lot of great snowshoeing spots throughout Kelowna but another one of our favorites is Big White Ski Resort. Home to light fluffy snow and a worldwide family favorite, the mountain is only an hour drive from Shelter Bay.
With more than 2,700 acres, Big White offers incredible winter activities, a picturesque ski-in ski-out village that has everything you need within a short walk. And, if snowshoeing is your thing, they have over 25 KM of Nordic trails to explore plus day passes and snowshoe rentals available. Check out their Nordic Map link to see Big White’s snowshoe wilderness trails, you’ll be glad you did!
If you’re looking for more of a wild-on-your-own-getaway-from-it-all sort of snowshoe experience, then check out the Myra Canyon trestles on the Kettle Valley Railway. It is a fairly easy example of a beautiful, unmaintained and quiet, untouched snowshoe trail. If you want to do more research on this amazing trek, check out https://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/myra/ on BC Parks website and https://www.tourismkelowna.com/listing/myra-bellevue-provincial-park/1601/ on Tourism Kelowna’s website.
While the historic trail may get busy in the summer months, you can often have it all to yourself in the winter. One note is that even though this relatively flat , with a reported 2% grade, it is a long one-way trip at 12 KMs, so it’s recommended to organize a ride at the end.
Wherever you decide to snowshoe on groomed runs or go off the beaten path Kelowna’s winter wonderland has incredible snowshoeing to offer, Shelter Bay makes for the perfect home base, close to everything you need and just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of downtown to feel like you’re living a full time vacation.