Hwy 3/33 is a good road but mainly timber and scattered small farms and small communities, not tons of distant views. Make sure you fuel up at Rock Creek as no fuel stops till you get near Kelowna. I would suggest driving north through the Okanagan valley to West Kelowna and then along the west side of Okanagan Lake on Westside road where you will come out near Spallumcheen golf course and then travel to Vernon. It is a slow winding paved road but lots of viewscapes of Okanagan Lake.
and I'd actually go an even slower route which is up Eastside Road to Penticton then either through Kelowna if you want to see the town and make a stop or go on Westside Road as mentioned by Mooseboy. Westside Road is very narrow and slow but fabulous views and lately (last summer) we've seen mountain sheep on the road twice.
here's a map using Eastside Road and going into Kelowna
and here's the one via Eastside Road and Westside Road. It says 3 hours but I' think this is far too fast..probably more like 4 hours total drive time
if you have never been to the Okanagan my suggestion is to take #97 all the way.
I have only used #3 and #33 when the 97 was closed due to landslide when they were building the highway a few years ago and it was not a nicer drive than the 97.
If you have 2 or 3 nights to make this trip I can suggest some interesting detours along the way and some overnight stays.
So obviously there's no one favoured route LOL..I've driven all of them 33 has much less traffic but also much less scenic IMO.
97 is the major hwy.
no matter which you choose if you go through Okanagan Falls stop at Tickleberry's for great ice cream
Probably too late for you, but this may help someone else with the same question.
Oh gosh, do not drive highway 33. That is such a boring road! I really hate when we have to drive that way. I can not imagine someone recommending that route over highway 97 which is a very pretty route.
Thanks all! We took 97 and it was a fabulously pretty drive. So glad I asked and got your advice.