Spion Kop Trail View
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Unearthing The Hidden Gems Of Kelowna: Part I

This is a series where I uncover some of Kelowna’s hidden gems that in my opinion, are 100% necessary to check out. Make sure to let me know if you get the chance to visit any of these. They really are my faves 💕!

Kelowna… the city that literally doubles in population every summer, sending tourists to popular spots like Kangaroo Creek Farm, Raudz Regional Table, and Moo-Lix Ice Cream. While, these are all fantastic choices (and for good reason!), there are plenty of lesser known places to visit, that in my opinion, are better than the “best”. Without further ado… my favorite must-see, hidden gems in Kelowna! Here’s what made the cut.

Eat

Date with @above_oz and @noellekogan #sushi 🍙🍱🍣

A post shared by Ricki-Lynn Achilles (@rickilynnachilles) on

I never used to be into Japanese food, but ever since I tried Dozo in Glenmore, I seriously crave it non- stop (but only from this place). Dozo is a cute little restaurant that has a comforting environment, friendly staff who are passionate about their food, and a kitchen where you can see the chef whipping up your meal. THE FOOD, THOUGH! It’s so damn tasty. They have this maki sushi roll called the “Crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll” and you guys, I don’t even LIKE tuna, but this roll is one of the best dishes I’ve ever had. It’s drizzled with this spicy sauce and I can’t even begin to tell you how flavourful it is. I like to pair what I’ve deemed to be the best roll ever with a comforting bowl of Shio Ramen which has corn, green onions, and pork. They serve it with this homemade chili sauce that gives the ramen an extra kick and is an absolute must if you like spice. Once I’m all finished up, I always leave really full and really satisfied, to the point where I’m already making plans to go back. Maybe I’ll go today because after writing this, I’m craving it again. A never ending cycle.

Just go try it. Seriously. Tell them I sent you!

Drink

Every local knows that our wine is the best. And, every tourist knows that Mission Hill is the ultimate attraction in terms of Kelowna wineries. Their vino is good, but if I’m being honest, I do think there’s better wineries to visit while in the Okanagan (sorry MH!). Recently, I made my way up to Intrigue Wines in Lake Country and was completely floored when some of the best wine I’ve ever had was also some of the most affordable I’ve seen while in the Okanagan Valley. At Intrigue, you’ll have a hard time finding a bottle over $25. Seriously. When I went, I bought the Intrigue 2016 Gewurztraminer (just $16!!!) and a bottle of Merlot 2015, some of the tastiest red wine I’ve tried, ringing in at only $21.90. Unheard of and worth it. Intrigue is truly my favorite winery in the Kelowna area and I’d just love it if you popped in and gave them some love.

Shop

One of my favorite things about Kelowna is how local shopping boutiques are never hard to find. Every time I visit Lavish Design downtown, I get super giddy by all the gorgeous products they carry. I could spend hours browsing around in this cute little place, smelling the candles, and dreaming of one day owning a beach themed home decorated with all of their pretty products. Lavish carries everything from candles and soaps to furniture and wall décor, suitable for any interior theme you want. If you’re looking to make your home look amazing and contemporary, yet still warm, you’ll find what you need from this great downtown shopping location. As beautiful as the products themselves are, what really sets Lavish Design apart from the rest is their offering of interior design services right here in Kelowna. While I haven’t used them for my own home personally (still dreaming!), I’ve heard really great things. And, judging by the look of their interior design showroom, I have a hunch they would do exceptional work.

Visit

Okay, so this one requires a little bit of effort to really take in the full experience. Spion Kop summit is a must-do hiking trail in the Okanagan. Again, this hidden gem is technically in Lake Country, but its close enough to Kelowna that I felt it was deserving to make the list. So, why bother hiking this trail? You get to see ALL THREE lakes when you make it to the top; Okanagan Lake, Wood Lake, and a little bit of Kalamalka Lake, plus extraordinary city views that literally make you feel so small (but in a good way). Spion Kop is literally the definition of a 360 degree view hike.

As a side note, when I hiked this trail, I’ll be honest and say it was a time when I was going through some serious anxiety. The peace and quiet this trail brought to me once I made it to the top felt like a natural form of anxiety therapy that I won’t soon forget. So, spiritually and visually, Spion Kop Summit certainly delivers and you should make it your next big hike in the Okanagan.

Have an awesome place you wish more people knew about? Are you a small business owner and want to be featured? Send us a message and we’ll check it out. Who knows? Your idea or business might get written about next!

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