Cities bordering the lake include Vernon in the north, Penticton in the south, Kelowna and Westside in the centre, as well as the smaller municipalities of Lake Country (north of Kelowna), Peachland (south of Westside), and Summerland (north-west of Penticton). Various lake features include: Rattlesnake Island, a small island east of Peachland; Squally Point, a popular cliff-diving area; Fintry Delta on the west side; and the three-lane Okanagan Lake Bridge, a floating bridge which connects Kelowna to the municipality of Westside and the community of Westbank. The bridge was replaced by a five-lane floating bridge on May 30, 2008; called the William R. Bennett Bridge, it handles increased traffic and eliminates the need for a lift span for passage of larger boats.
Many parks and beaches are found along the shores of the lake, which make boating and swimming very popular activities. The lake is home to several species of fish, including rainbow trout and kokanee. It is said by some to be home to its own sea monster - a giant serpent-like creature named Ogopogo.