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Kelowna

Travel Guide North America Canada British Columbia Kelowna

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Introduction

Kelowna, BC

Kelowna, BC

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Kelowna is a city in British Columbia, western Canada, and has about 120,000 inhabitants in the city (185,000 in the metropolitan area).

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Sights and Activities

During the summer, visitors and locals alike congregate around Okanagan Lake. The lake is large, warm in the summer and surrounded by beaches - and even has its own lake monster, the Ogopogo.

During the winter, nearby Big White Ski Resort is a major attraction, being the largest ski resort in the interior of BC.

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Weather

Summers are hot and dry, winters are cold, with snowfalls being common. The hottest days of summer approach 40 °C, but 25-30 °C is more common. When it rains, it rains hard, but that only happens a few times a year. Very cold winters might get to -20 °C, but around zero is much more common. Snow isn't ever present during the winter, but it can last for weeks at a time.

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Getting There

By Plane

Kelowna International Airport (YLW) offers flights to/from Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Prince George, Seattle, Edmonton, Victoria, and seasonal to/from Cancun, Las Vegas, Puerto Vallarta and San José del Cabo.

By Car

From Vancouver, take highway 5 (Coquihalla) to Merrit, then switch to highway 97C (Okanagan Connector). From Calgary, take Highway 1 (Trans-Canada) to Sicamous then switch to 97A.

From the interior of Washington State, cross the boarder at Oroville, then take highway 97 north to Kelowna.

By Bus

Greyhound servies Kelowna from all major destinations.

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Getting Around

By Car

Car is by far the preferred way to get around Kelowna. Most attractions are spread out and hard to get to otherwise.

By Public Transport

Bus service is pretty good in Kelowna, but it is far from ideal. You can get from downtown to the shopping mall, to the beaches fine with public transit, but many attractions are hard (or impossible) to get to by transit.

By Foot

If you're staying downtown, and don't want to stray too far, by foot is fine. Other than downtown, however, Kelowna is spread out, so it is hard to get around by foot.

By Bike

There are plenty of bikes in Kelowna, but they are more for recreation than transit. Bike lanes are rare, and motorists have little respect for bikes, make it dangerous to rely on them too much for transport. Remember than wearing a helmet is mandatory for biking in British Columbia.

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Eat

Kelowna is big on chain restaurants, so the common BC restaurants - Cactus Club, Earl's, Joey's, etc. are ever present. If you want something unique, stick to downtown or Lakeshore drive.

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Drink

There are plenty of pubs spread all over town. Most pubs are sports bar style, and often locate in or near hotels. Like with eating out, downtown and Lakeshore drive have better choices for pubs with character. Nightclubs are concentrated downtown, mostly on Leon and Lawrence Avenues. Popular Flashbacks is on Ellis street.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Kelowna - SameSun Backpacker Lodge245 Harvey Ave Kelowna, BCHostel81
Kelowna Okanagan Lake Hostel730 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 6P5, CanadaHOSTEL62
Kelowna International Hostel#2343 Pandosy StreetHOSTEL82

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Learn

  • The University of British Columbia has a campus on the northern end of town, offering full degree programs.
  • Okanagan College, on KLO road, provides trades, technical and business courses.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet usage is wide-spread in Canada. Wi-fi is available in many locations in larger cities, sometimes free and sometimes at a cost. You will find Wi-Fi in coffee stores, some restaurants and also hotels and motels more and more offer this service for free, but with a code usually. Internet cafes are common along major streets, and and in larger cities, charge between $3 and $4 for an hour, usually in 20-minute increments.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Canada is: 1. To make an international call from Canada, the code is: 011. Emergency services can be reached by dialling 911. This number will give you free access to Police, Fire and Ambulance services and can be used from landlines, phone booths and cell phones.

The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never fair from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Depending on the mobile phone provider, coverage could be either CDMA and GSM coverage. Travellers wishing to purchase SIM cards for GSM phones should look for Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility, which all offer nationwide availability.

Post

Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business. Most post offices keep hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm though in bigger places longer hourse might be available.

To format the envelope of a letter sent within Canada, put the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.

The lettermail service allows the mailing of a letter. The basic rate is currently set at $0.63 for one standard letter (30 grams or less). The rates for lettermail are based or weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one. The rate is the same for a postcard. Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost. It can only contain paper documents. The rate for a standard letter is of $1.10 if sent to the United States, and $1.85 if sent to any other destination. Oversize or overweight letters may be charged a higher fee. Larger parcels can be shipped via Canada post both domestically and internationally, the rate is dependent on the weight and destination. [1]

Federal Express, TNT, UPS or DHL also provide interntional shipping from Canada and are usually very quick and reliable though might cost a little more compared to Canada Post.

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This is version 10. Last edited at 10:38 on Jul 19, 13 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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