The Okanagan Vally in British Columbia is a fantastic place to enjoy some fun-in-the-sun in Western Canada. This arid valley is filled with picturesque lakes, beaches, mountains, bike trails and endless sunshine, and is famous as one of Canada’s top wine producing area with over 200 wineries. Penticton itself is a small town of around 40,000, nestled between Lake Okanagan and Lake Skaha with some of the nicest beaches in the Okanagan, and loads of fun things to see and do. It’s a great place to visit for all ages and if you manage to get out here this summer, here is what I recommend you do to have a great trip to Penticton.
5 Awesome things to see & do in Penticton:
Hike the Skaha Bluffs
Located to the south-east of Penticton, the Skaha Bluffs is a mountainous Provincial park with numerous hiking trails and rock climbing walls. It’s an outdoor lovers mecca and a great place to explore the natural side of the Okanagan and get some epic photo opportunities over the valley. The rock climbing in the Skaha Bluffs also great, with a variety of routes and difficulty levels. Download an area map here and don’t forget your water bottle!
Lounge on the Beach
Penticton is sandwiched between two beautiful lakes – Lake Skaha and Okanagan Lake meaning there is no shortage of amazing beaches here. Both are great to sunbathe, enjoy a picnic lunch, and play in the water. Okanagan Lake Provincial Park is located on Lakeshore Drive on the North end of Penticton and features nearly a kilometre of sandy/pebbly beach. There is a swimming area, slides, shaded picnic areas, washrooms, firepits, and free parking. It’s also close to the town centre where there are lots of dining and shopping.
On the South side of town, is Skaha Lake and 20 acres of park and beach, with a beautiful sandy beach with red sand that is great for sunbathing and swimming in the warm water. Skaha Lake also has a variety of water-sport rentals such as sea-dos and boats.
Shop the Farmers’ Market
Every Saturday from May to October, you can shop at the Penticton Farmers Market for local goods like farm fresh eggs, fruits and veggies, honey, preserves and handmade crafts. The outdoor market takes over several blocks on Main Street each week and is a great way to explore the downtown of Penticton, meet locals and buy some local goods. There are even wineries that have booths here so you can sample some local wine even if you aren’t able to get out wine touring.
Wine Tour in Naramata
Possibly one of the best stretches of the wine region in the whole Okanagan Valley, the Naramata Bench is located just northeast of Penticton and is easy to access for some wine touring. Starting near the edge of town, and stretching an hour up the lakeshore, the Naramata has some incredible local vino and stunning views. There are over 40 different vineyards in this sunny stretch, so take your time and explore several. Follow the signs as you drive northeast out of Penticton, or take a look at the WineBC map to help you chose your route.
If you don’t want to drive, check out the OK Wine Shuttle, a reasonably priced wine bus that also leaves from Penticton.
Bike the KVR
A spectacular way to spend the day in Penticton is biking the old Kettle Valley Railway, also called the KVR. This old railway was refurbished into an extensive biking, jogging, and walking path, that links several areas of the Okanagan. The KVR winds through tunnels, over bridges, beside vineyards and has some of the most incredible views over lake and valley. There are several bike rental stores in Penticton where you can rent what you need, and even arrange a 1-way drop-off. Spend the day exploring the trails and taking in the incredible landscape.