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Penticton, British Columbia, Canada: “A Place to Stay Forever”
The local Okanagan tribe referred to Penticton as the “place to stay forever”, which describes the beauty and comfort to be found in the area. Penticton, located in British Columbia in Canada, is home to a host of outdoor recreational activities because of the semi-arid climate with hot summers and cool winters. For those who love being in the great outdoors, Penticton has something to please every interest and a rich cultural environment ensures a host of festivals, shops, and museums. Hotel stays offer much with busy city locations and rural sites offering mountain or lake views.
Staying Physically Fit
Penticton is situated between two lakes and one look at a map of the Okanagan Valley will show short driving distances to other sites of natural beauty and outdoor recreation. Apex Mountain Resort offers opportunities for skiing with trails for any skill level. There is also a tube park, cross-country trails, and ice rink. At the resort mountain village, relaxation can be found with hot tubs, spa treatments, and several restaurants. The Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park has world-class climbing with rugged terrains for experienced climbers. At the park, there is also horseback riding and viewing opportunities for Bighorn sheep. Kettle Valley Rail Trail has areas for hiking and biking with cycle tours for 3- to 6-days. LocoLanding Adventure Park is a great fit for kids, with an outside ropes course, rock climbing, and other rides and attractions. Penticton is also home to more than 25 golf courses.
A trip north on Okanagan Lake to nearby Kelowna provides many opportunities for accommodations, eating, and shopping. There are lakeside hotels and motels with stunning views, as well as a convention centre and casino. At the lake, there are rental and touring companies offering parasailing, flyboarding, water-skiing, and other water sports. In the opposite direction, Skaha Lake is a popular spot for camping, boating and kitesurfing and this area of the lake provides wide swaths for tubing and water-skiing. Skaha Lake Park is a public park with a beach for swimming and sunbathing, as well as a children’s water park, marina, and sport courts like beach volleyball, in-line hockey, and tennis. Okanagan Mount Provincial Park also lies along the lake front and provides opportunities for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. There are campgrounds and beaches, as well as areas to canoe and view native wildlife.
Wine a Bit
The area surrounding Penticton is a wine lover’s paradise! A look at the map will show Penticton at the hub of more than 120 wineries within a short one-hour drive. A first stop should be at the Penticton & Wine Country Visitor Centre, where guests can receive maps and directions to local wineries. La Frenz Winery in Penticton has tours and tastings as well as a wine shop with outside patio seating, all overlooking Naramata Beach. Therapy Vineyards & Guesthouse, in nearby Naramata, even offers hotel accommodations for overnight stays. Other agritourism adventures can be found at local farmer’s markers, orchards, and gardens in the area. There are also several breweries, cideries, and distilleries in the area. Many micro-breweries offer selections of beers, lagers, and ales with tours, tastings, and specials on growlers. Barley Mills Brew Pub and Sports Bistro even has a sports memorabilia museum.
Penticton sports a busy schedule with festivals taking place year-round, including sporting, cultural, and gastronomic events. The Okanagan Winter Wine Festival kicks off the year in January while the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival occurs in late April and the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival in early October. Fest of Ale, the craft beer and cider festival, is one of the largest craft beer festivals and takes place every year in April. Sport-centred festivals include the Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan cycle race in July, followed by an Olympic distance triathlon in July and the Challenge Penticton event in August. Penticton’s most popular festival is the August Penticton Peach Festival and Square Dance Festival, which celebrates the area’s peach and fruit industry. The festival has a parade, sand castle competitions, and rides and attractions, as well as lessons and performances of square dancing. The city also hosts the Meadowlark Nature Festival and the annual Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival in September. For the few times a festival isn’t occurring, Penticton has several cultural opportunities available through their museums, such as SS Sicamous Museum and Heritage Park and several art galleries.