Things to do in Penticton this summer 2021
We are all tired of sitting in front of our desks or on our couch by now. We are in dire need of fresh air and lovely scenery (at least I do). That’s why I looked for nearby places I can visit without leaving the country.
I chose Penticton. With my bags packed, my phone in one hand, and a water bottle in the other, I started my long-awaited vacation.
Penticton is located in Southern British Columbia. A small city with just over 30,000 population and lots of beautiful sceneries. There are many tourist spots in the city, but I chose some places that don’t have a lot of people. You know why, right?
Float the Penticton Channel between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake
The Penticton Channel, also known as the Okanagan River Channel, is a man-made river created way back in the 1950’s. It was originally made to help control the flooding and water flow from Okanagan Lake (North) to Skaha Lake (South). However, the Penticton Channel is now a famous tourist spot that even locals love to visit.
Because of the calm mild river current, relaxing while riding a floatation device or a tube is an extremely popular summer activity. Don’t worry if you don’t have any, you can just rent a tube from Coyote Cruise (but rental tubes from them can only be floated up to Green Mountain Road) or buy yours at Riverside Liquor store or Pharmasave and enjoy the ride.
The whole adventure takes about 3 hours. Go to Riverside Drive near the Coyote Cruise building, you will find the stairs leading to the water. You will start your relaxing cruise on a tube at that point. Depending on the current, after around 45 minutes, you will reach the Green Mountain Road bridge. If you don’t have 3 hours to spend, this is the best place to stop.
Once you reach highway 97, it is the end of your tube cruise. To go back to the dry land, check the right-hand side before the bridge and look for the steps leading you up. There are no permanent and huge facilities here, so don’t expect an entourage.
From highway 97, you can ride a bus back to your starting point.
If you think you can go directly to Skaha Lake using the Penticton Channel and a tube, you are sooo wrong. There are dangerous currents connecting the river to Skaha Lake and you and your tube will not be able to handle it.
Go camping at Haynes Point – a natural spit of land in the middle of Osoyoos Lake
Haynes Point, also known as Sẁiẁs Provincial Park, is a thin piece of land surrounded by Osoyoos Lake. It has 80 meters of boardwalk with a viewing platform that overlooks the natural wetland.
It became one of the popular destinations in Okanagan Valley because of its warm water, sandy beaches, lakeside campsites, and privacy. That’s why you need to book a reservation before coming here.
You can do a lot of activities in Haynes Point such as:
- Canoeing or Kayaking
Amenities available in the park include picnic tables, boat launch, drinking water, and most importantly, toilets. The park is 100% wheelchair accessible and vehicle accessible. Campfires are allowed if you take the fire out after. You are responsible for putting it out. Even pets are allowed in this park if they are on a leash and you are a responsible pet owner.
Browse The Bookshop on Penticton’s Main Street, Western Canada’s largest second-hand bookstore
If you are a bookworm like me and love to look for unique books, you will LOVE The Bookshop located in Penticton Main Street. It is Canada’s largest second-hand bookstore opened in 1974 with over 5,000 square feet filled with lots of books.
You can even find rare and first edition books here if you are patient enough to look at their extensive collection of books.
My advice for you is to spare a few hours every day while you’re staying in Penticton to visit The Bookshop. I assure you, visiting this store once is not enough.
Explore the beautiful Naramata Bench and take in distilleries, wineries, bistros, lakes
Naramata Bench is a small town, north of Penticton full of beautiful views and lovely wineries. Where else can you find a lake view winery while you discover Naramata Bench’s captivating sceneries?
You can find over 40 wineries in this region that produce award-winning wines. This region is known for their:
- Pinot Gris
- Pinot Blanc
- Bordeaux Blend Red
- Malbec and more.
There are small boutique wineries with a wine tasting room where you can sample some of their famous wines.
Naramata Bench is not only known for its wines but also for its amazing food, breweries, distilleries, and cideries.
I suggest visiting THE BISTRO at Hillside Winery and try their Naramata Bench Board, a charcuterie board with various local cheeses and cured meats, and their beef tartare. If you want a more relaxed atmosphere and want a break from all the wine tasting, go to Naramata Pub & Grill and order their fish n chips with a local beer.
There are a lot of new things and food you can try here in Naramata Bench, so be sure to spare a few days or at least a week to be able to enjoy them.
You can visit discovernaramata.com for their weekly events like Naramata Community Farmer’s Market that happens every Wednesday, Weekend Online Retreat, and more. If you want to visit Naramata Bench, it is best to check their website so you can participate in the events happening.
There are other places and things to do in Penticton that I haven’t visited or tried. But I will definitely come back again!
Author: Eve Miller