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3-2315-Wakeboarder-Okanagan-Lake-RM

Wakeboarding on Okanagan Lake, Kelowna

(Darren Hull photo)

Trip Ideas

Summer on BC Lakes

With more than 386,000 lakes, is it any wonder British Columbia is a perfect destination for a lakeside getaway? Stake out your favourite slice of beach and cool off in some of Canada's warmest lakes or carve some turns on a wakeboard or waterski. Paddle along a pristine shoreline or take in a sunset from a sandy beach. Hot summer days are even better by the lake, and with fruit stands, wineries and outdoor recreation at every turn, BC lakes offer a summer of endless fun.

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Tourism Kelowna

Boating, Sailing & Paddling

The best way to beat the summer heat is to take to the water. Family fun is the order of the day when you take to one of the Okanagan’s famous lakes. Go tubing, wakeboarding, wake-surfing, or rent a Sea-doo or pontoon boat. For a more leisurely day on the water try kayaking or stand-up paddling. Don’t own a boat? No problem - boat rentals are available is almost every lakeside community, and many shops offer paddling or wakeboard lessons with licensed instructors. 

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Tourism Kelowna

Okanagan Lake

Stretching more than 100 kilometers along the Okanagan Valley, Okanagan Lake is the region's defining feature. Orchards and vineyards line the fertile benchlands above the lake, providing a postcard-perfect backdrop to lakefront activities. With population centres like Kelowna, Penticton, Summerland, Peachland and Naramata dotting the lakeshore, hotels, campsites and beaches are never far away. Fancy a lakeside resort? There are plenty of those, too, along with marinas, waterfront promenades, playgrounds, picnic areas and parks.

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Okanagan Beaches

TripAdvisor readers rated the Okanagan beaches #2 “Best Beaches in Canada” in their Readers Choice Awards, and with good reason. Sandy beaches are found in every community, water sports are a way of life and lakefront picnicking is practically mandatory. Throw in boat rentals of every kind and some of the warmest lakes in Canada, all within easy walking distance of most amenities, and it’s easy to see why the Okanagan is a perfect place to celebrate summer. Favourite beaches include Sun-Oka Beach in Summerland, Haynes Point in Osoyoos, and Okanagan and Skaha beaches in Penticton.

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Tourism Kelowna

Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park

Spend the day at beautiful turquoise-green Kalamalka Lake, just minutes from the City of Vernon. Part of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, the lake boasts three swimming bays and several pocket beaches. In winter, 14km/ 9 mi of hiking trails morph into cross country ski trails and, in spring, the meadows erupt with wildflowers.

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Osoyoos Lake

Canada’s hottest destination is the home of Canada’s warmest lake. This sun-drenched lake is fringed by beautiful sandy beaches and water so warm that getting out - not in- is often the hardest part. Resorts and public beaches are plentiful, so finding your own sliver of sand is never a problem. After a day on the beach, hit one of the local fruit stands for some famous Okanagan cherries, peaches or apples, or sign up for a guided wine tour to some the 20-plus wineries in the area. 

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Kelowna Beaches

Kelowna, one of the Okanagan’s largest cities, lies on the shores of Okanagan Lake and with nine beaches and miles of lakefront to choose from it's an ideal getaway for some cool summer fun. Check out Rotary Park, popular for kiteboarding and windsuring, or Gyro Beach, one of Kelowna’s liveliest beach hangouts. Many beaches are within walking distance of the downtown core.  Looking for a day on the water? Rent a houseboat, jet ski, powerboat, paddleboard or canoe. 

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Shuswap Lake

With more than 1,000 kms of shoreline to explore, Shuswap Lake is an outdoor paradise just waiting be explored. Lounge on the beach or take to the water on a houseboat – the area is known as the ‘houseboat capital of Canada’, and with good reason. Shuswap Lake Marine Park provides access to almost every water activity, and the modern houseboat rentals come with all the modern conveniences. The lake has many areas to accommodate canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddling. The area is noted for excellent birdwatching and the Adams River salmon run.

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(Chris Harrison photo)

Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit

Paddling through the picturesque Bowron Lakes in the Cariboo Mountains is a classic wilderness experience. Hike, paddle and camp along this 116-km/72-mi series of lakes, rivers and portages. Dramatic and varied scenery, thick forests, wilderness camping and plenty of wildlife are all part of the adventure - it’s no wonder that Outside Magazine named this “one of the top 10 canoe trips in the world”. The number of paddlers allowed into the circuit is limited, so be sure to book campsites and a launch date with BC Parks’ Discover Camping Reservation service.
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Ten Mile Lake

Located near Quesnel, just off Highway 97, Ten Mile Lake Provincial Park's large picnic area and three sandy beaches are perfect for a summer getaway. Extending your stay? The lake is a perfect base to explore the surrounding area, including the historic gold rush town of Barkerville, one of the Cariboo's top attractions. Take a self-guided nature hike and watch for wildlife, including a beaver pond and dam, or explore the many hiking trails around the lake.

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Green Lake Provincial Park

Located in a beautiful canyon with the Chilcotin River flowing past the campground. Day-use area, drinking water, pit toilets, fire rings, hiking, fishing, biking.
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Kokanee Creek Provincial Park

Kokanee Creek is the perfect destination campground, with a little something for everyone. The park boasts a number of great activities including a network of nature trails, wildlife viewing platforms and interpretive programs that run over the s...
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Christina Lake

Christina Lake is a welcoming summer destination. More than 350 meters of sandy beach and plenty of shade trees make Christina Lake ideal for a family holiday. Kids will enjoy the shallow swimming area and there are plenty of picnic tables and barbeque pits for the perfect summer evening. The lake is perfect for kayaking, canoeing or paddling, and a boat launch provides access for other watersports. 

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Lake Koocanusa

Stretching across the Canada/US border, Lake Koocanusa offers a great getaway for RVs and campers. For some luxury ‘camping’ on the lake, rent a houseboat and watch a gorgeous sunset from your own private beach. For a day on the lake, rent a wake boat or sea doo and explore the many hidden bays and beaches. To enjoy the serene natural surroundings, be sure to check out Kikomun Creek Provincial Park.

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Wasa Lake Provincial Park

A vacation destination with one of the warmest swimming lakes in the Kootenays. This park offers camping, swimming, hiking, cycling, boating & nature viewing. There is an 8 km wheelchair & bike trail around the lakeshore & a self-guided interpreti...
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Windermere Lake

Located in a valley between the Rockies and the Purcells, the quaint town of Windermere on the Lake, and its neighbour Panorama Mountain Village offer a tantalizing combination of lakeside amenities coupled with all the outdoor recreation that a mountain resort town has to offer. Explore the lake by canoe, then head from the beach to the slopes for some mountaintop sightseeing, biking or hiking on the extensive trail system.

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Lakelse Lake Provincial Park

Popular area for salmon fishing. Group camping, day-use area, wheelchair access, drinking water, flush & pit toilets, showers, sani-station, fire rings, interpretive programs, hiking, playground, beach, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, boat launch, f...
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