A couple weeks ago, the Beau and I made a trip to visit my hometown. I got to play tourist and found my little city in the Okanagan quite charming. My friends from the Vancouver area always ask me why I left; it’s “so beautiful there.” Ask a handful of my friends who have moved from Kelowna and their answer will always be the same, “It’s different when you grow up there.” But I was delightfully surprised by this last trip at how much my little hometown has grown. I might even say that it’s gotten pretty cool.
Here’s a few highlights from the week we spent there.
One of my favourite things to do with my dad is to hit up the Rutland Flea Market. It is one of the junkiest and best flea markets in the Okanagan if you’re into thrifting fabulous vintage items. On this particular day, these were the two items that stood out and gave me a laugh.
We popped into Milkcrate Records momentarily as I’ve been on the hunt for a particular record for a friend. No such luck, but what a fun store! I read some great reviews about the Grateful Fed online but we didn’t get a chance to eat there. I absolutely love the vintage inspired signs that downtown Kelowna has popping up here and there. (Why wasn’t Kelowna this cool when I grew up?)
One of my favourite new bakeries that’s popped up is Sandrine Pastry. Located right in the heart of Kelowna close to the Farmer’s Market, Sandrine is an exquisite treat of Paris in the Okanagan. Not only do they carry macarons, cakes and pastries, I noticed that they also have specialty items such as duck confit!
I try my best to stay away from hot dogs, but I couldn’t say no to a place that headlines gourmet dogs – Swankies. The first time we went, we tried the Baja Bacon Tomato and the Yo Quiero Taco Pero. We were both so pleased with the explosion of the different flavours! Each hot dog is hand crafted to perfection; you can see the detail that they put into each of the different dogs. With over 20 different kinds, we had to come back another day and this time, we settled with the Dr. Greenlove and the Master Perog. Swankies is seriously worth saving your calories (for the week) to have one of their dogs! If you head there, tell Ben and Tyler we said hi.
I had to include this photo of Ma and me. This was me teaching her what a #selphie was. Ha!
One of the most serene things we did was go for a walk in Mission Creek Park. I have so many memories of my childhood here. I had to showcase some of the cool trees that we came across in the time we spent there.
I’ve been dying to have a cronut for the past couple of months and to my surprise, my first was in Kelowna! I found these beauties at the Specialty Bakery… Another item to save your calories for… they are deelish!
I cheated a little; the Hope Drive-In is far from Kelowna, but this is one of our favourite stopovers any time we make this road trip. The service is amazing and the food is always good. The Beau ordered their schnitzel burger and I ordered the special of the day: pesto chicken burger. If you’re a light eater, definitely share with a friend or be prepared to take leftovers home! They’ll likely ask if you want dessert, but you’ll more than likely be full from your meal! That’s okay, they’re more than happy to pack it away and take it from me, their assortment of desserts are worth taking home!
If you ever head to the Okanagan and specifically Kelowna yourself, I hope that you check out some of the places I’ve mentioned above. I’ll list a handful of some shops we visited (during this trip) as well down below. Are you an Okanagan resident or frequent visitor? Anything you’d like to recommend, please drop your comments below. I have other recommendations as well, but I’ll reserve them for the next trip. Thanks for visiting.
Boutique Shops and Bookstores:
The Book Bin