The COVID-19 pandemic is largely in the rearview mirror, which means it’s time to start enjoying all the Okanagan has to offer again this summer.
And one of the most entertaining, relaxing and enjoyable areas of the Okanagan is the south end of Penticton, where Skaha Lake meets the city and is at the center of the action. No matter what type of vacation you’re looking for and no matter who you are, there’s bound to be something for you that will keep you coming back year after year.
Now is the time to do your summer planning, so to save you lots of time, here is the perfect list of things to do in Penticton this summer:
1. Skaha Lake Park
The huge green space has a lot to offer, including beach access, rest rafts and beach slides, a seaside promenade, a children’s water park, playgrounds, sand volleyball, basketball courts, in-line hockey court, tennis courts, picnic areas, power and water, softball field, fire pits and free parking. There are also restrooms and concessions, so you never have to leave. Skaha’s water is also warm, as it is not as large as Okanagan Lake.
2. Skaha Lake Motels
This is where you want to rest each night of your visit to Penticton, as you can’t get close to Skaha Lake. Skaha Lake’s family-friendly motels, which include the Beachside Motel, Sunny Beach Motel, and Waterfront Inn, themselves have pools, hot tubs, saunas, and game rooms, but they’re only a short walk away. not all the fun you can have at Skaha Lake Park and the beach itself. There will be many food truck options on motel properties next to Gilligan’s Ice Cream Shop. Speaking of which, Gilligan’s will be offering a lot more breakfast items this year, including charcuterie boards.
Photo: Mike Biden
3. Penticton River Channel
If you don’t have your own float, Coyote Cruises offers inner tube rentals that will allow you to float the seven-kilometre channel from Okanagan Lake to Skaha Lake. Depending on how fast the water is flowing, the trip can take between one and three hours. There isn’t much more to Penticton than that.
4. Okanagan ATV Tours
Whether you’re a beginner looking for an easy ride or an expert looking for a challenge, Okanagan ATV Tours offers all levels of fun. The area is ideal for mountain biking, as there is a wide variety of trails with stunning scenery. It’s a great group event that promises a lot of fun.
5. Hoodoo Adventures
Rent a kayak and go for a ride. Or grab an e-bike or regular bike and go for a ride. We know you’ve always thought about trying a stand-up paddle board; Hoodoo also has these available. The store, located at 131 Ellis Street, also offers climbing equipment rentals.
6. Covert Farms Family Estate
What? You thought we were going to talk about the South Okanagan and not bring wine into the conversation? Covert Farms, which is a 30-minute drive south of Penticton, falls into the family category because it is owned and operated by a family that didn’t forget the children when it started its business. Sample some of the best Okanagan wines while the kids roam the property.
7. Kettle Valley Rail Trail
It used to be a railway system. It is now a 650 kilometer recreational trail that connects Hope to Castlegar. Disused trails can be used for self-guided hikes or organized tours. You can take a day trip on horseback or on foot, or you can go on an overnight adventure if you are an experienced rider.
8. Skaha Marina
There’s nothing better than renting a boat at Skaha Lake’s only marina, venturing out into the middle of the lake and basking in the warm summer sun. Or, if you own your own boat, you can always bring it in and launch it at the marina, which is operated by the Penticton Yacht Club. It offers on-water fuel, mooring, and an assortment of pleasure craft for hire.
9. LocoLanding Adventure Park
It started out as a mini-golf course in 1999, but now it has attractions that will keep kids entertained all day. Mini-golf, go-karts, high-level ropes course, rock climbing, bumper boats and monkey moves are operating this summer at LocoLanding, located at 75 Riverside Dr. in Penticton.
10. The Bookstore
If you’re going to be laying on the beach all day, you’ll need something to read other than your phone. The Book Shop has been a part of Penticton since 1974 and has every genre you could want. In other words, kids might even find something they love to read in the fall, of course.
11. Slackwater Brewing
One of Penticton’s most popular craft breweries, Slackwater Brewing features two floors, two patios, 12 taps of locally brewed froth and a 10 hectoliter brewhouse. The cuisine is inspired by seasonal ingredients from the Okanagan, which means you’ll enjoy a truly local meal.
12. Kettle Valley Steam Railway
The trains will run near Summerland, giving families plenty of time to enjoy the thrill of riding the tracks as they once did. Restored locomotive #3716 takes passengers through vineyards, then offers stunning lake and canyon views during a 90-minute stay.
13. Cheers Okanagan Tours
Use the Okanagan’s premier travel agency to embark on your unforgettable day. The guides know the valley inside out, and their friendliness and enthusiasm will be the icing on the cake on your trip to one of the most beautiful wine regions in the country.
14. Penticton Speedway
The speedway is great family fun with affordable prices and plenty of entertainment. This is a quarter mile paved oval running track that has been part of the Penticton landscape for over 50 years. The action is fast and furious, and it will get every family member’s heart racing.
The Waterfront Inn is just steps from Skaha Lake Park in Penticton.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.