Situated in the south Okanagan between Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake, Penticton is a popular destination for several reasons. Families spend days chilling on the white sand beach, trying new water sports, strolling the boardwalk or tubing the seven-kilometre channel between the lakes. Athletes frequently visit to train for world-class events such as Ironman, and adventure seekers flock to the area for a variety of activities. When you visit, consider rock climbing at the Skaha Bluffs or biking the iconic Kettle Valley Railway Trail.
Wine also brings many folks to Penticton.
Jenn Smith Nelson
This stunning, warm region provides an ideal climate for vineyards. Over 80 can be found, along with several award-winning wineries. Like nearby Kelowna, breweries seem to be increasing their foothold in the Okanagan. So, once you’ve burned enough calories with the activity of your choice, consider pairing it with a nearby winery or brewery, many of which are walking distance from the main strip.
Break for wine at Poplar Grove Winery along the Kettle Valley Rail Trail
Jenn Smith Nelson
The former Kettle Valley Railway is a popular choice for those seeking a peaceful hike or bike ride into wine country. Gorgeous lake views accompany explorers as they weave through orchards, vineyards and wineries. With no more than a two per cent grade elevation, it’s an easy trail that’s accessible from multiple points. Start at the Penticton trailhead and break for wine 13 kilometres in (or on your way back) at Poplar Grove Winery, where the killer views continue. The winery’s benchmark varietals, such as the distinctive and delicious Cabernet Franc and Pinot Gris, await.
Refresh with a brew at Slackwater Brewing after kayaking on the lake
The sandy white beach is a draw for many who want to spend a day dipping in and out of the water. Kayak the lake and enjoy surrounding mountain views of the Okanagan Valley. Quench your thirst at a couple breweries only a five-minute walk away. The closest, Bad Tattoo Brewing, is known for wood-fired pizza and popular brew, Los Meurtos Cervez Negra, a dark lager German Bock-style beer with a Mexican twist. Don’t miss Slackwater Brewing, where a Santa Cruz vibe and uber refreshing beers such as the Althea, a Rosé Hibiscus Pilsner, can be found.
Sip slowly at Time Winery after tubing through town
Jenn Smith Nelson
Though you may not exert a ton of energy, tubing along the seven-kilometre Penticton River Channel is an adventure. How long it will take to tube the entire channel will depend on the current, but it’s safe to plan for three or four hours. Once done, a shuttle service will deliver you back downtown where you can head to Time Winery to continuing chilling while sipping on delectable vintages, such as White Meritage with aromas of honey dew melon, pear and a hint of tangerine.
Cool off at Cannery Brewing after downhill mountain biking
Get your adrenaline pumping at the area known as Three Blind Mice, which features a network of over 80 trails of single track, cross-country and downhill. Runs will take you through orchards and vineyards complete with lakeside views! Try Lookout Loop, an intermediate to advanced trail that contains about 1,500 feet of elevation gain. Cool off after exerting all that energy at Cannery Brewing, the city’s second oldest brewery with flavourful pints like their flagship brew, Naramata Nutbrown.
Liquidity Winery and a nighttime paddle on Skaha Lake
If a nighttime adventure intrigues you, consider a 25-minute drive to Okanagan Falls. Start with a wine tasting experience (and perhaps dinner) at Liquidity Winery. Touted as “Pinot heaven” because of its cool and dry location, don’t miss trying the Pinot Noir. Afterwards, head back toward Skaha Lake where at Sudbury Beach, you can try a 1.5-hour SUP Glow Night tour. Paddle the quiet, dark lake with waterproof LED lighting illuminating your board!
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