The coveted Okanagan region of the province includes Penticton, British Columbia. Large, lovely lakes, stunning wineries, and perfect weather are all features of the region.
Although there is a lot of tourism here year-round, the summer months from May to September are when most visitors come.
Due to its strategic location between the well-known Okanagan Lake to the north and Skaha Lake to the south, this small town of approximately 33,000 people serves as a major tourist destination.
The city boasts a tone of land- and water-based activities because it is bordered on two sides by water and on two sides by mountains covered with orchards.
With so many affordable, family-run hotels, this place is perfect for families. You will always have a terrific time visiting Penticton’s various attractions, despite its diminutive size.
Here Are the Best 10 Things to Do in Penticton:
1. Kettle Valley Railway and Rail Trail
It takes 20 minutes to get to the Kettle Valley Steam Railway from Penticton, but the trek is totally worthwhile. Climbing aboard the 1912 steam locomotive, affectionately known as the 3716, will transport you back in time 100 years, whether you’re just going for a trip or participating in the Great Train Robbery and barbeque.
Check out the Kettle Valley Rail path if you’re looking for some exercise after spending the day on the beach. The breathtaking vistas along this largely level, well-graded former railway line will appeal to hikers, walkers, joggers, and cyclists.
The majority of your work will be spent taking in the breathtaking surroundings and vistas over Lake Okanagan because inclines never get higher than 2.2 percent.
The walk along the valley wall near Penticton is worthwhile even though the Myra Canyon stretch farther north has the most breathtaking scenery. Starting at the tunnel and biking downward while passing orchards, farms, and small eateries is a common route to complete the course.
The neighbourhood bike stores offer bike rentals. They can supply you with bikes, all the necessary riding equipment, and transportation to the starting and finishing points.
The Kettle Valley Steam Railway’s 90-minute, ten-mile excursion passes through stunning vineyards, sizable fruit orchards, and spectacular landscapes before you cross Trout Creek Bridge and get a great view of the lake 238 feet above the canyon floor. Live music is played along the route, and a tour guide narrates the entire journey.
From mid-May until mid-September, the train primarily runs on Saturday through Monday. The train also runs on Thursdays during the height of the summer.
A Halloween Terror Train and special Christmas Express trains both run in December. This train excursion shouldn’t be missed, regardless of whether you enjoy travelling in comfort and seeing the picturesque Kettle Valley landscape or not.
2. LocoLanding Adventure Park
For local families, LocoLanding becomes their all-time favourite summer getaway. On Penticton’s east side, close to the SS Sicamous, LocoLanding is situated just off the shore.
LocoLanding has something for everyone with a variety of fast go-karts, highly entertaining little wet bumper boats, a mini-golf course, a climbing wall, an Aeroball course, and high-level ropes.
Go Karts, monkey motion, rock climbing, and a Big Baller course are among the other activities available. The adventure park at LocoLanding is every child’s wish to come true.
You can choose to pay as you go for each activity at this family-run business, or you can choose a one-time, unlimited pass that can be used by a number of individuals.
You need the entire day to complete each zone in the park. If you’re bringing teenagers who like more daring activities, take them to the outdoor climbing wall or the blow-up American Ninja course to sharpen their skills. When your core becomes fatigued, take a break and refresh at its canteen.
The place keeps getting better every day by adding new adventures. You and your children will have a blast here and it is one of the best things to do in Penticton.
3. Munson Mountain
The huge letters spelling out Penticton can be seen on Munson Mountain, which is visible from almost any place in the city.
Munson Mountain, which is close to the city center and offers some stunning views of the lakes and mountains, was named one of Canada’s Historic Places in 2016.
Driving in the direction of Naramata will bring you to Munson Mountain. Take the left fork in the road and keep an eye out for the sign on the side of the road.
Off Middle Bench Road North is where you’ll find the entrance to Munson Mountain. To get to the parking lot, turn onto Munson Mountain Road.
Beginning at the mountain’s base parking lot, take the trek up to the summit for expansive views across Penticton, Okanagan Lake, and beyond. The trail is accessible to people of all ages and is only a short distance away (1 km round trip) and is one of the best things to do in Penticton.
The park’s Pen-Henge is among its more intriguing locations. The public park, which is situated atop Vancouver Hill, offers wide-ranging views of the city, the lake below, and the Okanagan Valley.
There are many paved and dirt walking pathways in the park, which are open to the public without charge. Although some of the trails, particularly the one leading to the top, are steep, benches are placed at key intersections along the routes.
The markers, which are at the very top, perfectly coincide with the summer and winter equinox sunset and dawn. The magnificent views and photo sessions on Munson Mountain make it a popular climb.
4. Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park
The Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park is situated 6.2 miles or 10 kilometres south of downtown Penticton. Its 489 hectares of land were designated as a provincial park in 2010.
The parking lot gate is locked from dawn to dusk and from November to March, although the facility is always open. Keep in mind that there are many residences and small roads in the vicinity that might be quickly obstructed while choosing your parking spot.
Climbers flock to the park’s sheer rock walls like moths to a flame. On 66 granite faces, there are over 1000 climbing routes worth trying. There are more than 1,200 climbs of all difficulty levels in the three main canyons of Shady Valley, Sun Valley, and The Grand Canyon.
The climbing season lasts from March to October, though it can get quite hot in the summer. Long weekends are typically the busiest times, which may result in a parking shortage.
Along with the climbing areas, the park is filled with hiking and mountain bike paths. Bunchgrass and Ponderosa pine trees along the pathways.
Watch out for bighorn sheep, western screech owls, and night and western rattlesnakes. Be cautious when choosing your path because some of the routes might be very challenging.
Also nearby the Skaha Bluffs parking lot is Painted Rock Estate Winery, one of the outstanding local wineries and a personal favourite of mine. It has received numerous honours, including the 2020 Decanter Wine of the Year.
World-class rock climbing, breathtaking scenery, and an abundance of wildlife make the Skaha Bluffs stand out.
5. Apex Mountain Resort
The winter activities in Penticton should not be disregarded, despite the city’s reputation as a summer vacation spot.
The only mountain in the Okanagan that faces northeast is Apex Mountain Resort, where the famed light, dry powder snow can persist for days after a snowfall and those lovely powder snow crystals are less damaged by the sun.
The dry powder snow that skiers and snowboarders alike crave can be found in Apex, where an average of 600 cm of this particular snow falls each season.
At Apex Mountain Resort, skiing is a leisurely activity geared toward both families and snow seekers. Due to the unique champagne powder snow that falls here, this rare combination is possible.
Since 1961, the resort has been regarded as one of the greatest in the Okanagan. As you excitedly await your next run down one of the more than 120 trails, you’ll rarely wait longer than two minutes in line at the high-speed detachable quad or triple chair.
The resort provides tubing and night skiing on a few routes in addition to conventional daytime skiing.
Day trips are common because the resort is a simple 33-kilometre drive from Penticton on decent roads. If you wish to remain on the mountain, you can rent everything from hotel rooms to completely furnished apartments.
Planning a comprehensive ski trip to BC’s interior is simple. Silver Star Mountain and Big White are two fantastic resorts that are close by and easily accessible from Penticton. This location is a perfect place for winter vacations
6. Ikeda Japanese Garden
Ikeda Japanese Garden comes alive every year when April and May approach, abounding with a magnificent floral show to treat your eyesight and relax.
The picturesque Okanagan Lake’s head is where the Penticton Ikeda Japanese Garden is located in Penticton, British Columbia. The waterfront promenade in Penticton is the ideal location for it.
When the Ikeda delegation visited Penticton in 1993, Mayor Kazuo Oishi presented the city with plans for a wonderful new garden that would honour his native region in Ikeda.
This is when the idea for the Penticton Ikeda Japanese Garden was first conceived. The garden’s actual construction didn’t start until 2003.
Even though this vibrant and entertaining Japanese garden isn’t one of the most well-known attractions in Penticton, once you’re there, you won’t want to leave.
Simply said, it’s a lovely garden where you may walk your kids and clear your head. There are plenty of parking spaces near the picturesque Ikeda Garden in Penticton.
A big Koi fish pond is surrounded by benches so you can rest your legs while you go down the curved route.
Just keep in mind not to feed the koi fish, and you are welcome to bring your dog on a leash along for a relaxing stroll.
7. SS Sicamous Museum & Heritage Park
Even while Penticton prides itself on its vibrant lifestyle, with many orchards, beaches, and gardens sprouting up all over, history still plays a significant role in this community.
Visit the SS Sicamous Museum & Heritage Park to see the sternwheeler that, in 1915, was utilized to ferry people and goods between points all along the Okanagan Lake Shoreline.
A trip here is like taking a time machine back to the era of opulent ship travel. The cottages, the dining area, and the elaborate interior areas will all be seen.
Every day, the SS Sicamous would travel up and down Okanagan Lake, stopping at 14 predetermined locations en route to Vernon at the lake’s far end.
Attractions include the Grand Staircase, constructed from wood imported from Australia, and the Gentleman’s Saloon, which retains its original design elements like a cane bench and crimson carpet.
The meticulously renovated engine room, along with its multicoloured pipes and enormous boiler, will delight anybody who has an interest in mechanics. The scale model of the Kettle Valley Railway in the engine room will pique the interest of children.
The SS Sicamous was in its prime in the early 20th century because it was seen as a posh trip that catered to the locals. The sternwheeler’s trip came to an end in 1951, but it is still fully restored and open to the public as a museum today.
8. Farmers’ Market
One of Canada’s top agricultural areas is the Okanagan Valley, and the Penticton Farmer’s Market is the perfect location to go to experience some of this healthy goodness.
The idealistic “make it, bake it, grow it” mindset is present at Penticton’s Farmers’ Market.
Situated in the north, the downtown 100 block of Main Street hosts a farmers market every Saturday from 8:30 am to 1 pm from late April to late October. The market relocates indoors for November and December.
The farmers market, which has been going on for more than 30 years, features a huge selection of merchants selling fresh produce, jams, crafts, and baked goods. Everything sold at the market is made or farmed locally.
The market is at its busiest in the summer. The market is open every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is situated in northern Penticton close to Gyro Park.
From the middle of April through the end of October, the outdoor market is open.
Every Saturday, the Farmers Market draws roughly 8,000 visitors and hosts about 50 vendors. You may anticipate some Okanagan wineries, distilleries, and cideries to appear at the Penticton Farmers Market in typical Okanagan style.
Additionally, you can purchase a variety of locally crafted crafts, farm-fresh veggies, and delectable cooked foods.
9. Penticton Wine District
The town’s newest attraction, the Penticton Wine District, brings together 13 regional wineries to showcase their blends to tourists. If you don’t want to take a winery tour, this is a nice spot to visit for some wine tasting or just to hang out with your friends and buy wine.
The District Wine Village’s wineries consist of
- Winemaker’s CUT
- One Faith Vineyards
- Gneiss Wines
- JoiRyde Winery
- Foolish Wine
- Uppercase Winery
- Valley Commons
- Nk’Mip Cellars
- Eau Vivre Winery
- Apricus Cellars
- TIME Family of Wines
- Silhouette Cellars
- Canter Cellars
The shopping experience with a variety of wines from local producers is enhanced by the stunning, contemporary building.
Every store has a number of seats put out in front of it so you can relax, enjoy your nectar of the gods, and take in fine craftsmanship and artisan manufacturing.
Additionally, there is a brewery, a restaurant, and a winery on-site, all of which lean against the majestic mountains in the background. It is one of the best things to do in Penticton.
10. The Book Shop
Since 1974, Main Street has been home to this recognizable shop. It is the location for literature on almost any subject.
Simply look up to see the horse and wooden carriages stacked high with books on the front of the building to locate the store.
If you’re perusing Main Street’s businesses or looking for something to do on a wet day, stop inside the Book Shop, which spans 5,000 square feet.
The Book Shop not only rents out over 20,000 videos and DVDs but also offers one of the best collections of international films in the region.
Books of every genre are stacked floor to ceiling in the space. Here, you can spend hours looking for your favourite writers and discovering fresh, intriguing works. Whatever the topic, they have a book for it, making it one of the best things to do in Penticton.
Major North American releases, cinematic classics, independent films, children’s and animated titles are all available for rent alongside the largest variety of foreign films in the Okanagan Valley.
Along with having a large selection of books, many of which are fairly priced, the staff is very eager to assist you in finding everything you are searching for. The shelves are well-organized and neat.
The Book Shop, one of Canada’s largest used bookstores, offers the opportunity to browse through thousands of brand-new, used, and out-of-print books on virtually every topic imaginable.
Here were the best 10 Things to Do in Penticton. These cover strolling in the park, railways trails, farmers’ market, wine tasting stores, provincial park, book stores and mountains. It is the perfect location for recreation and leisure!