Looking for a fresh vacation option? Between the grapes draping the surrounding vineyards and the timeless apple, pear and cherry orchards planted in the 1860s, Penticton has a rich history as a great spot to gather, allowing visitors to harvest an exceptional experience with friends and family.
This youthful summer-resort town has ripened into a mature community that more than 33,000 people call home, all year round. Theories on the name of the city draw from local Okanagan and Salish words referring to an ideal meeting place, a place to stay forever or a place that water passes by. Penticton's population temporarily doubles during the summer months when visitors from around the country and beyond visit to take in the bounty of the Okanagan Valley.
Wine tours convoying through the more than 88 local wineries in the region allow visitors to sample the wide range of excellent wine and culminates in the Okanagan Wine Festival which happens three times a year in May, July and October for respective spring, summer and autumn sessions. The festival also features fresh, local food and musical performances.
Penticton has a range of other festivals over the course of the year including the Beach Blanket Film Festival, Rock the Peach Music Fest, the Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival, the Okanagan International Children's Festival and the Penticton Dragon Boat Festival. Colourful Front Street has grown from the single, wood-lined street in town to a lush main street. It is a great place to start exploring the galleries, studios and shops that exhibit Penticton's artistic side.
Visitors will find water fun just outside of Penticton on Lake Okanagan and Skaha Lake and their surrounding beaches. House boats rentals, leisurely cruises and sailing are all available. Dryer outdoor activities include golf, hiking and biking. The Kettle Valley Steam trail, in nearby Summerland, offers a throwback for locomotive enthusiasts and also makes up part of the Trans Canada Trail.
Visiting athletes can grab some local fruit (pick it yourself at one of the local U-Pick orchards) to recharge after taking one of the endurance races in Penticton including triathlons, or a cup of hot cider made from local apples after skiing on Apex Alpine mountain in the winter time.
Lake Okanagan acts as a giant radiator (and home to the elusive Ogopogo) and tempers the valley during the winter. Heat waves during the summer can reach between 25 and 30 Celsius but the nearby lakes are a handy way to cool off.