Things to Do in Penticton
Where do we start? Moreover, where do we end?
There’s always something calling your name in Penticton.
Sandwiched between two glacial lakes and beautiful Monashee mountains, Penticton is blessed with gorgeous beaches and endless outdoor activities. The high-desert climate offers hot, sunny summers and mild winters, which means perfect weather for biking, hiking, wine touring, skiing, boating, or even a relaxing float down our famous river channel. There’s a good reason that so many people want to experience a piece of this paradise all year round!
The KVR Trail
What a stunning vista! Perfect for walking, running, or biking, the old Kettle Valley Railway route is now a pet-friendly, crushed gravel path that winds its way to Naramata through vineyards and orchards, with an incredible view over Okanagan Lake. This is a popular way to tour the wineries of the Naramata Bench, and runs through a series of tunnels and trestles all the way up to Myra Canyon in Kelowna.
Penticton is also a beach town! There are countless lovely beaches to explore. It might take some time to find your favourite (it’s worth it to try each one!), but there are plenty of places to spend a sunny day on the sand.
Okanagan Lake Beach, at the north end of town, has one of the most beautiful beaches in Canada. It’s beloved by visitors and locals, alike, with soft sand, swimming areas, and plenty of shady spots. A nearby dog park and the famous “Peach” concession stand make this a perfect beach for the whole family.
On our other gorgeous lake, red-sanded Skaha Beach (in Skaha Lake Park) is a popular beauty, and is packed with people and activities all summer. It has a several imaginative and exciting playgrounds, exercise and walking trails, sport courts, picnic amenities, and a large pavilion for ceremonies and events.
Watercraft rentals of all kinds (boats, kayaks, paddleboards –whatever floats your…well, you get it) are available on both lakes.
An absolute must-do in the summer is a float down our famous river channel. Grab your friends and an inflatable raft, pack some snacks, and float the 7km real-life “lazy river” from Riverside Park to Skaha Lake –you won’t get an experience like this anywhere else.
Golfers delight in the many options around town. From Summerland to Kaleden, you’ll find almost a dozen golf courses and driving ranges, suitable for any skill level. Our excellent weather means we have a long golfing season and some really stunning greens!
An Outdoor Athlete’s Playground
This is an active town! Penticton has hosted world-class triathlons and races for the past 30 years. It’s a beloved destination for athletes, due to its gentle hills, safe roads and pristine waters. A multitude of excellent bike routes, heading in each direction, means there’s always a new challenge for cyclists. It’s not uncommon to share the roads with draft lines of riders and evening running groups, or to see a crew of wetsuited early-morning swimmers training in the lake loops.
Rock climbers take advantage of the renowned Skaha Bluffs, which offer excellent, challenging routes for all skill levels, and, of course, the reward of unmatched Valley views from the top. We have an awesome community of local climbers who are always willing to show off our Okanagan crags and boulders!
If it’s winter in Penticton, you’ll find snow-loving Pentictonites up at Apex Mountain Resort. Known for its uncrowded, challenging slopes and beautiful cross-country trails, the mountain also offers long, peaceful snowshoeing trails, and plenty of reason to just take in the winter wonderland near a crackling fire. How fortunate we are to have this stunning local mountain so close! We’re proud to showcase its affordable real estate (for anyone dreaming of a winter cabin).
All Around the Town
Not in the mood for outdoor adventures? Penticton has so many other elements to enjoy!
Arts and Entertainment
In the warmer months, Pentictonites flock to the farmers market. The stalls fill Main Street every Saturday morning, as downtown is transformed into a lovely, family-friendly marketplace with local farmers and artisans, entertainment, great food, and the best produce around. Our lovely downtown is buzzing all year long, with amazing one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants, and a warm and welcoming small-town appeal.
Penticton is also home to a large community of artists and supporters of the Arts. Impressive local talents are showcased in the many unique downtown galleries and public art displays (an annual contest celebrates the work of local sculptors throughout the city). The Penticton Art Gallery, and the Penticton Arts Council’s historic Leir House Gallery offer diverse rotating exhibits, local artists’ shows, and workshops, so that everyone can experience the Arts. The Penticton Museum has a thoughtfully-curated history of our region, and interesting temporary exhibitions. The original Penticton High School building now houses the Shatford Center and School of the Arts. Our several stages and theatres are always in use by our excellent community theatre groups, touring shows, and the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. The South Okanagan Events Centre hosts major concerts and events, as well as the champion Penticton Vees junior hockey games. For a quiet and contemplative outing, visit the Penticton-Ikeda Japanese Gardens, part of our Sister Cities Project.
Penticton has a thriving culinary scene! From white tablecloths, to popular chains, to quirky and casual downtown dining, you’ll find excellent fare for any taste. The culinary scene is sophisticated, but it’s still true to the personal and welcoming local spirit of Penticton. Long-established favourites serve up European-inspired cuisine. Several new, small bistros in the downtown core offer excellent fare with local ingredients. Familiar and satisfying, family-friendly franchises can be found throughout the city. Further afield, winery dining rooms showcase cutting edge dishes in refined surroundings. There are so many options! See our favourites for some excellent recommendations.
Oh! The wineries! We could have a page on these, alone. The South Okanagan is famous for its wine, which is now recognized on a global level. Wineries abound, from family-run, boutique operations to magnificent, full-service showpieces. Each one offers incredible wines and unique experiences; discovering your favourite is an ongoing (and ever-changing), beloved pastime.
This is just a partial list, but clearly, there are so many things to keep you busy in Penticton, you’ll need a lifetime to explore it! Affording residents the rare combination of big-city amenities and small-town charm, this is an ideal place for everyone. Families, retirees, and everyone in between, can find their slice of heaven in Penticton. Though it might be tempting to keep this gem of a town a secret, at Fox & Fox, we are eager to share it with you!
Let us help you make yourself at home here, too. Contact us to get started.