Our Best 9 Okanagan Beaches

The Okanagan is known for having the hottest summer in Canada, and what better way is there to enjoy the heat than a day at the beach?  The lakes of the Okanagan Valley are lined with beautiful beaches of all varieties.  Your biggest decision on a sunny day may be which of our great beaches to enjoy!  Are you looking for a busy public beach with lots of action and activity, a quiet family park, or a secluded spot enjoyed only by a few locals?  Everyone has a favorite beach.  Do you keep yours to yourself so that it stays quiet and you can read your book, or do you tell everyone so that there are more friends for beach volleyball and watersports?  Whatever you are looking for you can find it at one of the Okanagan’s great beaches!

Some things to keep in mind before you grab your sunglasses and head out. Most public beaches do not have lifeguards, keep children in sight, and out of danger. Many are not pet-friendly, and always practice safe sun habits and slap on the sunscreen as the Okanagan sun can burn quickly.

Here is a look at our top picks for summer fun – is your favorite beach on the list?

Boyce-Gyro Beach (Kelowna)

This may be the best-known beach in the Valley for both tourists and locals.  Located in the Pandosy Mission area of Kelowna, it is a large park with sand, grass, beach volleyball, picnic areas, and a playground.  This popular beach also has a concession stand and rental facilities for paddle boards.  The beach is in close walking distance to the shops, amenities, and motels of this interesting part of the city.  Busy on any hot day, Boyce-Gyro is a favorite of both families and young people.

Canoe Beach (Salmon Arm)

Located on Shuswap Lake in Salmon Arm, this large sandy beach is a favorite in the North Okanagan.  The park has a large shady area, a boat launch and a grassy picnic area.  Canoe also features a roped off swimming area and washrooms, making it a family favorite.

Gyro Beach (Osoyoos)

Venturing to the far south of the Valley will take you to Gyro Beach on Lake Osoyoos, the warmest lake in Canada.  This large beach features many amenities such as watersport rentals and a safe swimming area for kids.  Gyro also has plenty of shade trees, essential in the extreme Osoyoos heat!

Paul’s Tomb (Kelowna)

This local favorite takes some work to get to but is well worth it.  Known as the worst kept secret beach in Kelowna, getting to Paul’s Tomb requires a 2km hike from Knox Mountain, near the city’s downtown.  While the walk is not overly strenuous, it can be a challenge in the heat carrying your blanket, towels, water and lunch.  The secluded beach has no amenities but is a perfect spot for a quiet picnic or an afternoon with a good book.

Kal Beach (Vernon)

Located on the shores of the beautiful Kalamalka Lake, this large park features swimming docks, beach volleyball, kayak rentals and many other amenities.  With a restaurant on site and quick access to the shops and restaurants of Vernon it is a very popular family and tourist beach.  Kalamalka Lake is much cooler than Lake Osoyoos so it can be a refreshing place for a swim during the summer heat.

Sicamous Sands Beach (Sicamous)

Heading back north to the Shuswap, Sicamous Sands is an amenity rich beach on this lake known for its active houseboat holiday culture.  The park has a great playground and water park for the children and beach volleyball courts.  Sicamous Sands also has a boat launch if you are wanting to get out on the water of this famous lake.

Kalamoir Regional Park (West Kelowna)

This regional park has two small beaches across Lake Okanagan from the City of Kelowna.  The beaches are quiet and favorites of locals and swimmers.  The park is in close proximity to many of the wineries of West Kelowna, so you can combine a day on the beach and in the water with an afternoon of wine tasting or dinner at one of the many winery restaurants in the area.

Okanagan Beach (Penticton)

If you continue south down Lake Okanagan and into Penticton you will come to Okanagan Beach, another large beach frequented by tourists and also a favorite of locals.  The beach stretches more than a kilometer along the waterfront of Pentiction and features everything from beach volleyball, a skateboard park, and watersport rentals to shady picnic areas.  The beach is a short walk to restaurants, motels and downtown Penticton.

Hot Sands Beach (Kelowna)

No list of top Okanagan beaches would be complete without including Hot Sands Beach, even though many locals have never heard of it!  This is because almost everyone refers to it as “City Park”, the large beach and outdoor recreation area right in downtown Kelowna.  The park has all of the amenities – beach volleyball, a skateboard park, washrooms, basketball courts and is the site of many festivals and events.  There are often vendors set up in the park and it is located near the restaurants and shops of downtown Kelowna.

That is our roundup of the top nine beaches in the Okanagan?  Did we leave off your favorite beach?  What would you add?

Before you go, take some time to ensure you are set for the summer heat.  Clean out your car and pack a beach blanket, towels, toys, chairs, a picnic, sunscreen and lots of water.  Line your trunk with an extra blanket to catch the sand when you are packing up to make vehicle clean up easier when you get home

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