Hiking, Sipping, Sampling and the Quest for Small Town Serenity

Kelowna the Quest for Small Town Serenity

As life becomes busier every day, the pursuit of a more peaceful existence is on everyone’s mind.

While the rest of the country is waking up to the benefits of small-town serenity, it isn’t news for those living in West Kelowna…it’s why they moved here in the first place.

It’s also why Maclean’s Magazine, arguably Canada’s most famous publication, named West Kelowna as the second best place to live in British Columbia, and twelfth in Canada. Given that only a handful of BC cities even made it into the Top 100 (Kelowna ranked 39th) … that is quite an honour. https://www.macleans.ca/best-communities-canada-2019-full-ranking-tool/.

West Kelowna is best described by www.tourismkelowna.com, as boasting “rolling hills, orchards, vineyards and natural landscapes, all blossoming with new inviting experiences”, and www.westkelownacity.ca describes the area as “being a four-seasons playground.”

We couldn’t agree more! Surrounded by beaches, parks, forests and orchards, West Kelowna offers the composure of small-town living in a naturally beautiful setting amongst world resorts, wineries, hiking, skiing … activities for everyone … in every season.

And for those who will call Shelter Bay “home”, they’ll be perfectly placed in the centre of it all. Given our quiet lakeside location, away from the hustle and bustle of city life it’s easy to enjoy that peaceful existence and small-town serenity … but should you feel like picking up the pace, downtown Kelowna is only minutes away.

Kelowna Waterfront and Beachside Living

Or for something a little different, why not take a stroll through nearby Gellatly Bay waterfront. With its 2 km promenade and links to several beaches and parks, it’s a great place for walking and bike riding. There’s even a lakeside spot dedicated to pets. At Gellatly Dog Beach you can let Fido off leash to run and splash in a safe, fenced-in area.

Nature Adventures and Hiking

Or, if you want a break from the beach, Shelter Bay is close to several spectacular nature hike adventures, like the Boucherie Trails, a 5.57 km (round trip) hike. According to the website, www.alltrails.com, the hike is best used from May until October and is listed as moderate to difficult, but views from the top of this 50-million year old extinct volcano are worth the effort.

Or try near-by Carrot Mountain. The 4.6 km trail features rivers and waterfalls, and according to the www.kelownanow.com, is a serious challenge that offers a well-deserved view and a worthy workout!  A thought echoed on www.10adventures.com, the website says to prepare for an elevated heart rate, tricky route navigation, but hikers are rewarded with a phenomenal bird’s eye view of Kelowna!

World Class Wineries

Maybe an aggressive hike isn’t your cup of tea…or glass of wine… then you’re in luck, as the Westside Wine Trail almost runs through your back yard at Shelter Bay. Seeing as Kelowna is the original birthplace of British Columbia’s wine making and West Kelowna has more than a dozen established wineries, you are sure to find a front runner …or two…including some of our favourites here at Shelter Bay like …

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery Founded in 1966 and purchased in 1981 by Anthony von Mandl who turned the abandoned Mission Hill estate into an international award winning winery a year later. This made Mission Hill the first Okanagan winery to receive overseas recognition.

Quails’ Gate Winery  is one of Canada’s foremost family-owned estate wineries, shaping the development of the wine industry for more than six decades. The winery includes a tasting room with sweeping views of Okanagan Lake and its Old Vines Restaurant is one of the top restaurants in Canada, featuring locally sourced farm-to-table cuisine.

Indigenous World Winery merges modern culture with Indigenous history. Opened in 2016 as the first fully Indigenous, privately owned winery in BC it features world-class VQA wines and indigenous culture an amazing wine tasting room, native themed gift shop, picnic area and Red Fox Club offering modern, native cuisine.

The Hatch For something a little different, try out what has been called the finest tasting establishment in British Columbia. The Hatch’s unconventional approach to wine making is also reflected in the winery’s unique reputation as a place to enjoy wine and life where multiple forms of art come together to be celebrated.

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery features a Guest House and Restaurant, The Modest Butcher, for farm-to-table dishes complementing their own award winning wine portfolio with classics from around the world. The winery’s vineyard is located on the ancient volcano, Mount Boucherie where their grapes thrive in the sandy clay and limestone soils rich with mineral deposits and volcanic rock.

Whatever your taste for adventure, be it hiking or sipping and sampling, you’ll find it in West Kelowna, and the best part is that Shelter Bay Townhomes are right in the middle of it all.

Step Aside Lower Mainland, Kelowna Maybe the Newest Place to Look at Real Estate

kelowna real estate investment

We know the housing market is active all over the country, but the real question is where to look for future investment growth potential.

The answer could be Kelowna!

According to the online Real Estate Investment firm Fundscaper, who’s real estate portfolio covers Canada and the US, after analyzing key performance indicators, such as population changes, employment and income levels, Fundscaper named Kelowna as one of the best places to invest in Canadian real estate.

In a recent press release Fundscaper explained that even though discussions tend to focus on Toronto and Vancouver, these markets are becoming incredibly expensive for the growing segment of those looking to invest in real estate.

They go on to state that Canada has many smaller markets with promising growth potential, and Kelowna has emerged as one of the markets to watch due to its high employment rates in construction and healthcare sectors, strong retail sector and robust healthcare economy.

While any investment research should be taken cautiously and with the guidance of experienced industry professionals, given Canada’s inflation surging to a 30 year high at a reported 4.8%, searching for the right location to invest in has never been more important.

Wherever this real estate market goes, it is important to consider every side of the equation and to look through all the research before investing… and if you decided to consider presale, then make sure the developer has an impeccable reputation and a long-standing history of delivering excellence.

So, do your research, attain professional assistance, and only invest what you can afford … and consider Canada’s smaller real estate markets as they have the potential for growth.

Kelowna's Local Ski Hills

local Kelowna ski resorts

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.