Penticton treats to beat the heat this August

Local treats to beat the heat

“More to explore” is a 10-part collaboration between Castanet and Travel Penticton, a follow up to the popular "Tourists in your own town" series. Watch for it every Monday morning.

The South Okanagan is experiencing a prolonged heat wave but we’ve got plenty of suggestions on how to beat the heat and stay cool in Penticton.

The Government Street Liquor Store has been a busy place for people looking for something cold and refreshing to take to the lake, the backyard or the boat, said owner Jeff Leonard.

“Coolers are very popular this summer. Vodka soda coolers like Nude and Nutrl,” said Leonard. “The most popular local beers are Slackwater’s What The Fog and the Cannery’s Lakeboat lager and Sunblink berry sour.”

Since the City of Penticton has made it legal to have open alcohol at local beaches, why not grab a bottle of local wine and watch the sun set over Skaha or Okanagan Lake?

Naramata Bench whites seem to be a popular choice this summer, Leonard said.

“A popular local wine is Three Sisters pinot gris and Three Sisters Bench Red.”

The Government Street Liquor Store offers online ordering for delivery and pick up -- but here’s the best part -- they will even deliver chilled drinks right to the beach. Now that’s lake life!

Travel Penticton recommends having fun in the sun but do so safely.

Buy some local craft beer, wine and take out food and relax at the beach.  Remember to keep your group small and maintain social distance, said Thom Tischik, executive director of Travel Penticton.

Grab a bite to eat at any of the shaded restaurant patios that line Lakeshore Drive or walk downtown and experience the flavours of Penticton at a patio there.

For quintessential beach food, check out Patio Burger and Ice Cream Co. right at Okanagan Lake at Lakawanna Park.

Since turning a tired-looking city building at Lakawanna Park into the Patio Burger in 2016, owner Greg Ferguson has brought that corner on Lakeshore back to life.

The whole goal was to create a beach-friendly menu with fries, burgers, chicken fingers, milkshakes and ice cream, said Ferguson on the Patio website.

Big umbrellas provide shade at most tables while you people watch the day away. The Patio is one of the best places to walk barefoot from the beach and order lunch to bring back to the sand.

Off the main drag of Lakeshore Drive on Okanagan Lake, and not as busy, is a hidden gem at Prague Café.

A popular stop for cyclists, this family café offers Czech and European homemade fresh baked goods like babovka, apple strudel, old style ginger bread as well as soups and sandwiches. Lakefront chairs and tables make a great spot for a relaxing lunch or coffee break during the warm days, said owner Michael Gjurisic.

“We have 25 seats on the grass with the lake view,” said Gjurisic during a break from the lunch rush. “Our most popular and new item at the café is French crepes. Our apple strudel is also a popular treat with a cup of European coffee.”

Cyclists have been making the Prague Café a favourite stop for five years now, said Gjurisic.

“The road cyclists come here Wednesdays and Saturdays and the mountain bikers come Tuesdays and Thursdays. They’ve been so great to us,” he said.

To thank cyclists for their patronage, the Prague Café offers free coffee to cyclists the first Wednesday of every month.

Plan a day in Penticton by going to see the Bob Ross exhibit at the Penticton Art Gallery and walk over to the Prague Café for some treats and coffee afterwards.

Gjurisic said there is plenty of space on the grass to provide social distancing and they are adhering to all COVID safety measures including wearing masks and putting up plexiglass.

“We are doing great for the summer with everyone outside but in the colder months, we aren’t sure how that is going to work,” he said. “I think a lot of us in this business are thinking about that.”

Penticton may be famous for having two lakes, being wine country and having some of the best craft breweries in Canada, but some might argue it should also be famous for its ice cream selection.

In this heat, you have to lick fast. Check out Lickity Splitz right across from the Wibit floating waterpark on Okanagan Lake. This place has some of the tastiest flavours like blast off, cotton candy and moose tracks.

Or head to the giant Peach on the other side of Lakeshore Drive for a ‘crazy shake’ that is topped with things like a slice of birthday cake or brownie.

Diana Stirling owns both ice cream shops.

“We have 28 milkshake flavours to choose from and lots of crazy ice cream cones to try,” she said earlier this summer.

Tickleberry’s is another iconic ice cream parlor that has several locations around town including two shops on Skaha Lake and their big store at the entrance to OK Falls.

Locals and visitors alike live for this sunny, hot weather to get out on the lake for boating, paddling, sailing, kite surfing and going for a dip in the lake. It’s easy to rent a SUP or seadoo.

But as you are getting in the water to stay cool and have fun, be water safe, ask Travel Penticton.

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