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iStock 000004327498XSmall edit404When it comes to regions of the province which can truly be termed “British Columbia’s playground”, the Okanagan is the most prominent contender for the crown. This region of the southern interior is known for the many large lakes which dot the landscape and the often luxurious lakefront real estate for sale in the Okanagan. The very hot summers (expect regular temperatures in July and August to climb above 35 degrees Celsius) make for an environment perfect for all sorts of waterfront recreational activities. Although the lakes are the main draw, the Okanagan has a full range of recreational activities developed for use all year long; skiing, golf, wine tours, and so on are particularly attractive to the wealthy. 

As you might expect, the many amenities of the Okanagan tend to attract a lot of upper class residents as well as developers. Over the last two decades in particular, Okanagan cities have seen an explosion of luxury real estate. Waterfront properties and other types of Okanagan recreational real estate abound throughout the region. We’ll take a look at some of the most important areas in this article.


Kelowna is the largest city in the Okanagan, and in fact it is also the largest in the interior of the province. It also holds the title of having the most millionaires, per capita, of any city in the country.

Accordingly, luxury real estate in Kelowna includes a vast range of choices for anyone looking for such property. The most popular, and expensive, areas continue to be those which border Okanagan Lake. Generally these houses are large, multi-storied affairs with outdoor or indoor swimming pools and all the little luxuries one could ask for. Upscale living in Kelowna is also found in the Village of Kettle Valley, slightly outside of the busy life of the city.

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Fans of winter fun might also want to check out Kelowna real estate opportunities available at the local ski resorts. Kelowna boasts proximity to three internationally renowned resorts; Big White, Silver Star, and Apex/Alpine. All three of these ski hills include some of the most beautiful chalets, condominiums, and stand alone homes to be found anywhere in the interior and indeed anywhere in the province; many rival the finest homes in Whistler in terms of sheer magnificence.

As for recreational attractions, Kelowna includes a wide variety. Tourism is the main economic sector of the city (although technology and health services run a close second) and as you may expect this means the options the city offers are vast. High class golf courses include Predator Ridge, Kelowna Springs, Sunset Ranch, and several others. All of these courses have condos available on course and most include surrounding upscale neighbourhoods as well. Within the city are a handful of five star restaurants; the clubhouse at Harvest Golf Course has one of these. The Fixx Cafe is also noted for its fine food and atmosphere; Bouchon’s on Sunset Drive has a touch of Parisian style as well.

And of course, the big attraction for many as far as Kelowna living are the many lakes that dot the region. We mentioned Okanagan Lake above, and there are several other lakes that host upscale neighbourhoods within city limits. Some of these waterfront neighbourhoods include the aptly named Lakeshore, Crawford Estates, and Uplands.


Although only half the size of Kelowna, the city of Vernon to the north and west is often synonymous with the metropolis of the Interior. In large part this is due to a shared geography, as well as to the fact that Vernon has become known as a bedroom community of the Kelowna area. In fact, Vernon has been called one of the top six communities on the continent for seniors during their retirement.

One of the most appealing facts about Vernon is that when it comes to waterfront luxury real estate, this town has a literal bounty. The limits of the city include not one, or even two, but three recreational lakes. These include Swan Lake, Okanagan Lake, and Kalamalka Lake.

Although all three lakes are popular spots for luxury development, it is the aquamarine shine of Kalamalka that draws the most attention. This is one of the most beautiful lakes in the country, without question. It has all the shimmering appeal of an alpine lake but with the temperature of the desert, making it a perfect summer getaway. Consequently, the shores of “Kal” are lined with some of the most impressive luxury properties in the interior.

Upscale neighbourhoods in Vernon include the two oldest regions, Coldstream and Mission ridge. Both neighbourhoods boast an above average number of six and seven figure homes, complete with swimming pools, hot tubs, and several stories. Both subdivisions are located close to both the town and Okanagan lake (incidentally, the home of the Ogopogo).

Of course, the many miles of lakefront also offer the perfect opportunity for some of the province’s most scenic golf courses. The Vernon and Spallumcheen golf and country clubs are among the most upscale developments in this line. Both incorporate condos right along the fairways as well as surrounding neighbourhoods with luxury homes for purchase.


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Spectacular Lake Swimming

Penticton is the southernmost of the Okanagan’s larger cities. With a population of just over 30,000 it does not have the diversity of Kelowna as far as amenities, but for those who prefer a rural feel to their luxury homes it is perfect. As with the rest of the Okanagan Penticton enjoys hot summers and warm winters and easy access to several lakes. The most popular of these lakes are also the locations of the majority of Penticton luxury real estate developments. Both Skaha and Okanagan Lakes attract upscale buyers from around the globe to their shores for both full time and vacation housing opportunities.

Penticton is also situated within a half hours’ drive of the United States border. The crossing will not get you directly into any major cities, but the many amenities of the States are just a few hours away through a very relaxed crossing.

Another appeal for those attracted to luxury real estate as far as Penticton goes is the fact that this city is considered to be the wine hub of the Okanagan. As the region rivals Niagara for the finest wine producing regions in the country, this title is not to be taken lightly. Penticton is home no less than 88 different vineyards, which means tours and plentiful supplies of the age-old vintage for the well to do.

Other areas

As the Okanagan’s largest centres, Penticton, Vernon, and Kelowna have the greatest concentration of luxury real estate opportunities in the region. However, there are beautiful homes to be found throughout the region. Winfield, Oyama,, Osoyoos and Lake Country all include some luxury waterfront real estate along the Okanagan Lake. Other communities such as Enderby, Armstrong, and Lumby are mainly agriculture based but still provide some opportunity for the rural luxury buyer.


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