Known for fresh-water lakes, stunning mountain landscapes, and vibrant communities, the Okanagan Valley is a wonderful place to call home in British Columbia.

Boasting hot summers, mild winters, and picturesque vineyards, it's no wonder that the Okanagan Valley is a sought-after destination for vacation-goers and those seeking a high quality of life.

From bustling urban centers with strong economies like Kelowna & Vernon to quaint lakeside towns like Peachland & Summerland, this blog shows you the 8 best places to live in the Okanagan Valley.

The waterfront promenade and Tugboat beach in Kelowna, BC


Kelowna, BC is a vibrant city nestled in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, boasting a population of over 160,000 residents. As the largest city in the Okanagan, Kelowna boasts strong economic opportunities for new graduates, entrepreneurs, and people looking to expand their businesses. With a diverse mix of industries ranging from technology to tourism and agriculture, Kelowna's vibrant economic landscape is fueling remarkable population growth.

Perched on the shores of the picturesque Lake Okanagan, Kelowna offers residents unrivaled views and access to a plethora of outdoor recreation options. Whether it's a leisurely bike ride along the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, an exhilarating day of boating on Lake Okanagan, or a round of golf on a world-class course, Kelowna's outdoor offerings cater to enthusiasts of all stripes.

Meanwhile, family-friendly neighborhoods like Lower Mission and Kettle Valley dot the cityscape, providing a safe and nurturing environment for residents to thrive. For those raising a family, you have a variety of strong schools (including private schools) for your kids to receive a great education.

Downtown Kelowna pulsates with energy, offering a lively mix of nightlife, entertainment, dining, and cultural experiences. From quaint cafes to bustling craft breweries, the city's social scene is as diverse as it is dynamic.

In addition to its recreational and social offerings, Kelowna prioritizes the well-being of its residents with essential amenities close at hand. With Kelowna General Hospital nearby, residents can rest assured knowing that quality healthcare services are readily accessible whenever needed. Kelowna International Airport enables weekend and holiday getaways with direct flights to Vancouver, Calgary, Mexico, and the United States.

However, as the city grapples with rapid population growth, housing affordability remains a pressing concern for policymakers as average rents break record highs, leading to strong demand for new developments and rental properties.

Rosevalley Lake in West Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

West Kelowna

West Kelowna is a thriving community situated on the western shores of Okanagan Lake, with a population of 36,078 as per the 2021 Census.

Located just across the William R. Bennett Bridge from Kelowna, West Kelowna is a rapidly growing area known for stunning lakefront properties, beautiful outdoor areas, and breathtaking views.

Whether you’re considering a move or simply exploring this gem in the Okanagan Valley, here’s what you need to know about West Kelowna:

Lake Okanagan is the star of the show in West Kelowna. Residents wake up to shimmering waters and enjoy easy access to boating, swimming, and lakeside picnics. Lakefront properties offer unparalleled views and a serene lifestyle. Imagine sipping your morning coffee while gazing at the water – it’s a daily reality here.

Hiking enthusiasts will find their paradise in West Kelowna. Explore the Rose Valley Regional Park, where well-marked hiking trails lead you through lush forests and reveal stunning vistas. Biking trails wind through the hills, offering both leisurely rides and challenging routes for mountain biking enthusiasts.

West Kelowna is part of British Columbia’s renowned wine country. The rolling hills are adorned with vineyards, and wine tasting tours at Mission Hill and the Westside Wine Trail are must-do activities.

Despite its growth, West Kelowna maintains a strong sense of community with local events, farmers’ markets, and neighborhood gatherings. Families appreciate the excellent schools, including Shannon Lake Elementary, Hudson Road Elementary, Constable Neil Bruce Middle, and Mount Boucherie Secondary School.

West Kelowna boasts a variety of shopping centers, making errands a breeze. From grocery stores like Superstore to boutique shops and fish markets, everything you need is close by. Gyms and recreational facilities cater to all ages – whether you’re into sports, fitness, yoga, or cultural activities.

The nearby William R. Bennett Bridge connects West Kelowna to Kelowna’s vibrant downtown, which can take anywhere from 15m to 45m, depending on the traffic (highest in summer when tourists flock to the area).

From West Kelowna, the Kelowna International Airport is a 30m+ drive, providing you with convenient access to domestic and international destinations like Mexico.

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, an outdoor adventurer, or simply seeking a lakeside retreat, West Kelowna offers a lifestyle that blends natural beauty with community warmth.

A swimming pool in Naramata BC, near Penticton


Penticton, nestled between Okanagan and Skaha Lakes, is a picturesque city with a population of 36,885 and a median age of 49.3 years, according to the 2021 Census.

Penticton emerges as a charming city celebrated for its breathtaking natural beauty and laid-back ambiance. Anchored by a robust economy driven by tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing, Penticton offers a myriad of employment opportunities to its residents.

Penticton's climate, characterized by warm summers and mild winters, sets the stage for an outdoor paradise year-round. Residents revel in the abundance of recreational activities available just moments from their doorstep. From leisurely swims in the pristine waters of the lakes to exhilarating hikes along scenic trails, Penticton caters to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and interests. Come winter, skiing enthusiasts can hit the slopes in nearby resorts, further enhancing the city's appeal as an outdoor haven.

Beyond its natural offerings, Penticton boasts a thriving local economy, ensuring a strong job market and economic stability for its residents. Short commute times within the city enable residents to strike a harmonious balance between work and leisure, maximizing their time spent enjoying the great outdoors.

Penticton's allure extends beyond its recreational offerings and economic opportunities. The city exudes a welcoming community spirit, fostered by local events, farmers' markets, and neighborhood gatherings. Families appreciate the excellent schools and educational institutions, ensuring a nurturing environment for children to thrive.

Convenience is key in Penticton, with a range of amenities and services easily accessible to residents. From shopping centers to recreational facilities, Penticton caters to the diverse needs and interests of its populace.

Penticton Schools

  • Columbia Elementary (Public K to 5)

  • Carmi Elementary (Public K to 5)

  • Naramata Elementary (Public K to 5)

  • Parkway Elementary (Public K to 5)

  • Queen's Park Elementary (Public K to 5)

  • Uplands Elementary School (Public K to 5)

  • West Bench Elementary School (Public K to 5)

  • Wiltse Elementary School (Public K to 5)

  • KVR Middle (Public 6 to 8)

  • Skaha Lake Middle School (Public 6 to 8)

  • Penticton Secondary School (Public 9 to 12)

  • Princess Margaret Secondary School (Public 9 to 12)

  • Penticton Christian School (Private K to 12)

The view of Okanagan Lake from Vernon, BC


Vernon, a charming city surrounded by lakes and mountains, is home to a population of 40,116 (now estimated over 43,280) with an average age of 47.2 years.

Located at the northern tip of Okanagan Lake, Vernon captivates residents with its seamless blend of small-town charm, affordable houses, and urban amenities. Anchored by a robust economy fueled by agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism, Vernon offers a stable job market and economic prosperity to its inhabitants.

The city's scenic beauty, characterized by rolling hills and pristine lakes, serves as a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Residents revel in the abundance of recreational opportunities at their doorstep, from leisurely walks along tranquil trails to exhilarating water sports on the shimmering waters of Okanagan Lake. With minimal commute times within the city, residents can maximize their time spent enjoying Vernon's natural splendor.

Beyond its natural offerings, Vernon boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene, adding depth and richness to the city's cultural fabric. Numerous galleries, theaters, and festivals dot the cityscape, offering residents a myriad of opportunities to immerse themselves in the arts. Whether it's perusing local artwork at galleries, attending captivating performances at theaters, or participating in lively festivals throughout the year, Vernon exudes a creative energy that resonates with its residents.

Convenience is paramount in Vernon, with a range of amenities and services easily accessible to residents. From shopping centers to recreational facilities, Vernon caters to the diverse needs and interests of its populace. Families appreciate the excellent schools and educational institutions, ensuring a nurturing environment for children to thrive.

Vernon Schools

  • Kidston Elementary School (Public K to 7)

  • Silver Star Elementary School (Public K to 7)

  • Clarence Fulton Secondary School (Public 8 to 12)

  • Okanagan Christian School (Private K to 12)

Peachland BC's view of Lake Okanagan


With a population of 6,382, Peachland is a tranquil lakeside community with a Mediterranean-like climate characterized by warm summers and mild winters. Peachland's average daytime temperature in July is around 21°C (70°F), while in January, it’s approximately -0.9°C (30°F).

Peachland beckons with its idyllic charm, beautiful homes, and breathtaking vistas. This picturesque community, renowned for its stunning views and laid-back lifestyle, offers residents a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Peachland's economy thrives on tourism and agriculture, with the landscape adorned by lush orchards and verdant vineyards. Residents take pride in the town's agricultural heritage, with local produce and wines contributing to the region's culinary delights. This connection to the land fosters a sense of community pride and unity among Peachland's inhabitants.

At the heart of Peachland lies a tight-knit community atmosphere, where neighbors become friends and local gatherings abound. Residents relish in the abundance of amenities that enhance their quality of life, from verdant parks and inviting beaches to well-appointed recreational facilities like the Peachland Community Centre and Peachland Yacht Club. For those raising childen, Peachland Elementary School serves students from K to 5, with nearby middle and high schools in West Kelowna or Summerland.

Whether it's a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade or a day of picnicking in one of the town's charming parks, Peachland offers endless opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Peachland's mild climate and scenic beauty make it an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. With a backdrop of rolling hills and sparkling waters, the town invites residents to explore its natural wonders at every turn. Hiking trails wind through lush forests, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, while water sports enthusiasts can indulge in kayaking, paddleboarding, or simply soaking up the sun on Lake Okanagan's pristine shores.


Summerland, a serene lakeside retreat situated between Penticton and Peachland, has a population of 9,860 according to the 2021 Census, with an average age of 49.2. This idyllic town, renowned for its sandy beaches and scenic beauty, offers residents a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Summerland's economy revolves around agriculture, with lush fruit orchards and sprawling vineyards adorning the landscape. Residents take pride in the town's agricultural heritage, with locally grown produce and award-winning wines gracing tables and glasses across the region. This connection to the land fosters a deep sense of community pride and stewardship among Summerland's inhabitants.

At the heart of Summerland lies a relaxed lifestyle, where days are spent basking in the warmth of the sun and evenings are reserved for leisurely strolls along the waterfront. Sandy beaches beckon residents and visitors alike, offering the perfect setting for swimming, boating, or simply soaking up the serene surroundings. With easy access to outdoor recreational activities such as fishing and hiking, Summerland invites residents to embrace an active and fulfilling lifestyle.

Summerland's mild climate and stunning scenery make it an ideal destination for retirees seeking a peaceful retreat and families in search of a nurturing environment to raise children.

In Summerland, education is provided through a blend of public and private institutions including Summerland Secondary School for grades 9 to 12, Giant’s Head Elementary and Trout Creek Elementary for grades K to 5, Unisus School offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) program from kindergarten to 12th grade, and Summerland Middle School (SMS) which provides education in both English and French Immersion for grades 6 to 8.

Picturesque landscapes, characterized by rolling hills and shimmering waters, provide the backdrop for cherished memories and cherished moments spent in the company of loved ones.


Oliver, known as the "Wine Capital of Canada," is a quaint town with a population of 5,094 according to the 2021 Census, boasting an average age of 51.8 years.

This vibrant community exudes an undeniable charm, drawing visitors and residents alike with its world-class vineyards and award-winning wines.

Situated amidst a backdrop of rolling hills and bathed in abundant sunshine, Oliver enjoys an enviable climate that is conducive to grape cultivation. The town's fertile soils and warm temperatures create the perfect conditions for producing exceptional wines, earning Oliver its esteemed reputation as a premier wine destination.

Oliver's economy thrives on a diverse range of industries including grape and fruit production, agri-tourism, wine production, ranching, golfing and recreation, as well as retail and service trades. These establishments not only drive tourism but also provide employment opportunities, supporting the livelihoods of many residents. Visitors flock to Oliver to sample its renowned wines, tour its picturesque vineyards, and immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of the local wine culture.

In Oliver, educational opportunities include Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School for grades K to 7, Sen'Pok'Chin School, certified by the First Nations School Association, serving grades K to 7, and Southern Okanagan Secondary School offering education for grades 8 to 12.

Despite its wine-centric focus, Oliver offers residents a relaxed lifestyle that embraces the great outdoors. Surrounded by stunning natural beauty, outdoor enthusiasts can explore a myriad of recreational activities, including hiking along scenic trails, cycling through picturesque vineyards, and teeing off at world-class golf courses like Fairview Mountain and Nk'Mip Canyon.

Osoyoos BC


Osoyoos, a picturesque town with a population of 5,556 according to the 2021 Census, boasts the warmest average temperatures in Canada, with summertime temperatures around 28°C (82.4°F) and mild winters, all nestled within its compact area of 10 km².

Located at the southernmost tip of the Okanagan Valley, Osoyoos basks in the glow of Canada's warmest climate, offering a haven of sunshine and stunning desert landscapes. This picturesque town, renowned for its idyllic setting, beckons visitors and residents alike to experience its unique blend of natural beauty and laid-back charm.

Osoyoos's economy thrives on the pillars of tourism, agriculture, and viticulture, with orchards and vineyards punctuating the arid landscape. Visitors are drawn to the town's lush vineyards, where they can sample award-winning wines and immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of the local wine culture. Meanwhile, the town's agricultural bounty provides a vibrant backdrop for farmers' markets and local festivals, showcasing the region's abundance.

In Osoyoos, educational options include Osoyoos Elementary School, catering to grades K to 7 within the public system, Good Shepherd Christian School, offering education from kindergarten to grade 7 privately, and Osoyoos Secondary School, providing education for grades 8 to 12 in the public sector.

Residents of Osoyoos revel in a laid-back lifestyle that celebrates the great outdoors. With easy access to Canada's warmest lake, outdoor activities abound, from leisurely swims and boating excursions to lakeside picnics and sunset cruises. Golf enthusiasts can tee off at world-class courses, while hiking trails offer breathtaking vistas of the surrounding desert landscape.

Osoyoos's warm, sunny weather and breathtaking scenery make it an ideal destination for snowbirds seeking refuge from colder climates and outdoor enthusiasts eager to explore nature's wonders. Whether it's basking in the sun-drenched shores of Canada's warmest lake or exploring the rugged beauty of the desert landscape, Osoyoos offers a lifestyle that embraces the essence of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Best Place to Live in Okanagan Valley?

In conclusion, the Okanagan Valley offers a diverse range of communities, each with its own unique charm and attractions.

Whether you're drawn to the bustling urban center of Kelowna, the serene lakeside town of Peachland, or the wine country charm of Oliver, there's something for everyone in this picturesque region of British Columbia.

With its thriving economy, stunning natural beauty, and abundance of recreational opportunities, the Okanagan Valley truly is a paradise worth calling home.

Vantage West Realty | The Okanagan Valley's Real Estate Agency

Ready to find your dream home in the beautiful Okanagan Valley?

At Vantage West Realty, we prioritize your needs and strive to provide personalized service that exceeds your expectations. From conducting comprehensive property searches to negotiating the best deals and guiding you through every step of the buying process, we are with you every step of the way.

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