This article was published on June 25th, 2022
One of the most gorgeous destinations in Canada, Kelowna is where you can visit and get your glam on. The growing city in the southern interior of British Columbia has established itself as a gay-friendly destination, celebrating Pride, diversity, love, and equality. Kelowna has been described as “the quintessential queer traveller’s dream.” It offers a mix of outdoor activities like hiking and biking, as well as indoor activities like art galleries, music venues, and cultural centers that regularly host LGBTQ-friendly events.
The city is known for its thriving arts scene and plenty of LGBT-owned businesses throughout the area—from restaurants to retail stores—all offering unique products and services catering to the LGBTQ community.
Get ready for a gaycation filled with adventure, recreation, and relaxation – where urban fun and outdoor adventure meet fabulous memories.
HomoCulture is spilling the tea to help you plan your ultimate vacation and add a bit of gay culture to one of the hottest destinations in Canada:
Gay it Up at Friends of Dorothy Lounge
With a grand opening just weeks prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 global health pandemic, Friends of Dorothy Lounge fought hard, just like the gay community has for equal rights, to survive the pandemic. It quickly established itself as the hottest place to be and be seen.
They serve up signature cocktails, delicious fare, and fabulous live entertainment, including drag shows, trivia, and bingo. Lovingly known by the locals as FOD, this LGBTQ+ lounge straddles a classy VIP experience and a zany, be-yourself atmosphere.
Drag Wine Tours and Boat Cruises
One of the best ways to experience the Kelowna area is on a tour, and this year, the LGBTQ+ community is lucky to have the choice of both boat cruises and wine tours hosted by legendary local drag queen, Freida Whales.
Freida is a co-owner and operator of SITN Tours, part of Staycation In The Nation, making her the first drag queen in North America to own a tour company. Staycation In The Nation is a Kelowna-based tour company offering wine tours and boat cruises in the Thompson-Okanagan region, from Penticton to Kamloops.
Read more about these exciting tours.
Beer and Bowling at BNA Craft Brewery
Get your mind out of the gutter – instead of striking out, grab your friends and have a memorable night of fun. BNA Brewing is a full craft brewery, with six lanes of 10-pin bowling, and a silver liner trailer with cold beer on tap, all tucked inside a heritage building in downtown Kelowna.
It’s unique, vibrant, welcoming, and a ton of fun. The preferred spot to end the day of Kelowna adventures, or to get the party started for a late night out on the city. You can also get beer to go!
Dinner at The Modest Butcher
There are dozens of fantastic wineries in the Kelowna area, many with award-winning wines. Take a trip across the iconic Okanagan Lake floating bridge to Kelowna’s west side to discover Mount Boucherie winery. The recently expanded, multi-million-dollar winery has a wonderful assortment of wines.
Stop by for a tasting, and plan to stay for a beautiful farm-to-table dinner at The Modest Butcher. From charcuterie and fresh baked bread to perfectly grilled steak, the menu is designed to pair with the wide range of wines produced by Mount Boucherie winery. The views of Okanagan Lake are spectacular!
Kelowna Pride is a celebration of the LGBTQ community in Kelowna, British Columbia. It’s a great time to come out and show your support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or two-spirit people in our community.
This year, the Kelowna Pride festival was marked on June 11 with thousands gathering at Stuart Park, on the traditional, unceded territory of the syilx/Okanagan people, for a rally with local dignitaries and First Nations leaders in the quest to highlight the need for equality for all Canadians. It was followed by a march down along the waterfront promenade to City Park for a celebration of the festival with music and entertainment.
See more photos from Kelowna Pride March and Kelowna Pride Festival 2022.
Stay at The Hotel Zed Kelowna
The Hotel Zed Kelowna prides itself on being the ‘sassiest hotel on Earth’ and they understand the importance of safety and comfort for LGBTQ+ travelers. Make the most of your stay in Kelowna by staying at Hotel Zed and have a totally unique experience.
At Hotel Zed, you’ll find rooms that are funky, cool, playful, and completely extraordinary. Brace yourself for some of the most unordinary rooms anywhere. The property includes an outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna, sun deck and rooftop patio.
Make your reservation today at Hotel Zed Kelowna, today.
Plan Your Trip to Kelowna
A warm welcome awaits in Kelowna. Visit the energetic downtown and beautiful waterfront boardwalk. There are wineries, patio and rooftop restaurants, craft breweries, cideries, and distilleries. There is hiking and mountain biking, beaches, and boating.
You’ll find farms, orchards, markets, and seasonal products grown in the area. Kelowna’s cultural district includes galleries, concerts, a museum, and shows. And downtown Kelowna proudly has a rainbow crosswalk, which is a must-do photo opportunity.
Start planning your LGBTQ+ visit to Kelowna now, with the help of Tourism Kelowna.