Car Travel

To get to the Okanagan by car from Vancouver, head east on Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway). Just east of Hope, several routes diverge. For Oliver or Osoyoos in the South Okanagan, take Highway 3 east through the winding roads of Manning Park. For the Kelowna area, the fastest route is Highway 5 (the magnificent Coquihalla Highway) north to Merritt, then follow Highway 97C (the Okanagan Connector) toward Kelowna. To reach Penticton and Naramata, you can either take the Coquihalla to 97C, then turn south on Highway 97, or take Highway 3 to Keremeos, where you pick up Highway 3A north, which merges into 97 north. Allow about five hours of driving time from Vancouver to the Okanagan region.

If you’re traveling from Whistler, consider the back route. Highway 99 travels through Pemberton to Lillooet. From here, take Highway 12 to Cache Creek, where you’ll join Highway 1 traveling east to Kamloops. Take the Highway 97 exit to Vernon, the northernmost town of the Okanagan Valley. This is not a road to drive in winter, and whenever you go remember that gas stations are few and far between. In summer, the 561-km (350-mile) drive can take about seven to eight hours.

Several major agencies, including Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National, have offices in Kelowna.

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