Lifestyle West Blog

Kelowna Historic Sites Near Dog-Friendly Hotels in the Okanagan

February 28, 2015

Sure, spring break will be filled with sleepovers, street hockey and forts, but in between those afternoons of pure fun and destruction, you’ll probably hear the kids say, “But Mom I’m Bored. What can we do?” Here’s an idea: Do something just slightly educational to keep their brains from moulding over break with a tour of the Kelowna’s famed historic sites, and end the day at one of the many dog-friendly hotels in the Okanagan.

Here’s the tour of the top Kelowna historic sites near dog-friendly hotels Okanagan families love.


Stop 1: Myra Canyon Trestles

The facts: If your troupe hasn’t visited the Myra Canyon section of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, spring break is the time to do it. Not only is it a great way to get kids out of doors and away from screens, there’s an easily disguised history lesson here.

Built during the early 1900s, the 18 trestles that surround the canyon were a nearly unimaginable engineering feat at the time, and a marvel still in the world of railway construction.

The Fun: Today, thanks to reconstruction of trestles burned in the 2003 fire, you can ride bikes along these tracks, now part of the Trans Canada Trail.

The Follow-up Educational Activity: Keep a log of all the wildlife you spot in the canyon and when you get home, make an infographic with images and facts about your favourite creatures.


Stop 2: Guisachan Heritage Park

The Facts: The property surrounding Guisachan House was the Okanagan’s first large-scale orchard. Hops were grown here too. At the centre of the property was an East Indian style colonial bungalow built in 1891 as place for the Earl and Countess of Aberdeen to summer. Today the house serves as a restaurant, the perfect place to eat an ‘un-fast food’ meal with your teenagers.  

The Fun: When the Aberdeens bought the property, it came with the McDougall House, a large log cabin once home to the First Nations family of John McDougall. Apparently, they were a bit of a wild lot, but you might see that for yourself when you notice the pistol bullet shots in the roof and walls.

The Follow-up Educational Activity: Write a story about being one of the McDougall kids, Aberdeen children, or both!


Stop 3: The Laurel Packinghouse

The Facts: For a little more than 50 years, the Laurel Packinghouse was the place where Okanagan orchardists’ Macs and galas, peaches and cherries, were packed and stored. Today, it’s home to the BC Orchard Industry Museum and the Wine Museum, both ‘packed’ with engaging and educational displays charting BC’s unique agricultural path.

The Fun: During the winter of 1917 and 1918, clay was brought down from Knox Mountain and turned into the bricks that make up the packinhouse’s walls. Those walls were about to meet the wrecking ball in 1982. Then the Kelowna Museums Society stepped in, saved the building and helped it become the first designated heritage building in Canada.

The Follow-up Educational Activity: Draw a picture of the packinghouse in the 1920’s of workers sorting your favourite fruits.


Looking for other activities to suit each of your little historians? Check out our post Kids, I Got This: March Break & Dog-Friendly Hotels in the Okanagan.


When you’re tired from a day of being tour guide for the kids, relax in the hot tub while they splash around in the pool at one of the most popular dog-friendly hotels Okanagan families return to. The KELOWNA BEST WESTERN Hotel & Suites also offers a central location near shopping and restaurants, pet-friendly rooms, free hot buffet breakfast, fitness centre, spa and more.

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