Penticton is one of my favourite places to visit in the beautiful and pristine Okanagan. Being in the southern part of the region it is one of the hotter and drier places in the valley. It is the perfect place to book a summer vacation or consider moving to. Whether you are a retiree or a young family looking for a place to call home for a couple of weeks or for the long-term this funky city has something to offer everyone.
With a population of just over 30,000 it still has the charm of a smaller centre but offers many urban amenities. With summer temperatures into the 30’s and 40’sdegrees Celsius and numerous places to swim Penticton is a true summer playground. While colder in the winter this is a relatively short season. We asked a top Penticton realtor about things to do in the city.
Penticton is a rare gem in that it sits between two lakes. Skaha Lake is one of them. Located on the south side of the city this lake tends to be a little bit less windy. The water is clean and the sand is soft and perfect for building sand castles. Check out the paddle board rental shop, the ice cream stand and the two parks for kids to play in. If you like beach volleyball there is a net set up. It is a perfect place to pass a summer day.
This is the second of Penticton’s two lakes. It has the largest beach with a kilometre(more than half a mile) of beautiful sand creating an extensive swimming area complete with shade trees. There are public washrooms and communal fire pits for those who stay into the evening. For the ultimate fun there is an epic water playground for kids. Playing on the Penticton Wibit is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Penticton Farmers Market
Based at Gyro Park on Penticton’s Main Street this farmers market is one of the best. Closing in on its 30th season it is a good spot to taste the bounty the Okanagan Valley offers. With lots of local fruits and vegetables and other wares such as honey, preserves, homemade baking and eggs. Check out what the artisans from the area are selling. Feel proud buying things that are all produced or grown in the valley.
Penticton is known for its good eats. Whether you are looking for a simple cafe lunch, a relaxed local brewery meal or a fine dining experience this vibrant city has them all. If you are craving Greek food there are a couple of great establishments to choose from. The Artisan Bench Market serves healthy food with locally sourced ingredients. Of course there are the many winery restaurants in the region as well.
Surrounded by wineries Penticton is the perfect place to start a wine tour. If you are not up for a full day of wine chose a winery that speaks to you and book a tasting and make a reservation at their restaurant. Okanagan Wineries are renowned not only for their wines sourced from local grapes but also for the tasty dishes with ingredients traditionally brought in from Okanagan growers and ranchers.
Float the River
The Okanagan River Channel is a well-known and well-loved way to spend a day with friends or family. Pack the sunscreen, a picnic lunch, find the kids life jackets and bring your floaties. If you do not have your own you can rent them from the launch site. It’s up to you whether you want to spend an hour or three on the river. If you choose to float the whole channel a four hour float of cool tranquility awaits you.
Penticton Jazz Festival
If you like a good festival and jazz music is your thing do not miss out on the Penticton Jazz Festival running for three days in the beginning of September. Over twenty years of entertaining both locals and visitors alike this three day party boasts five venues, four dance floors and many world-class jazz bands. Book for one day or take in all three. Boogey the night away.
The above list is only a handful of what the diverse and dynamic city of Penticton has for those who call it home or home away from home. It is an amazing place to spend the summer or to live year round. This friendly oasis in the beautiful Okanagan Valley is always worth a visit.