Think Local  

There is so much to do in Penticton, but here are 10 hidden gems

Penticton's 10 hidden gems

By Kim Lawton and John Arendt, Hidden Gems of BC

The beautiful city of Penticton in British Columbia's South Okanagan has a lot to offer residents and visitors alike.

Putting together a list of our top 10 favourite hidden gems for fall in Penticton was no easy task. There are plenty of remarkable places to see and things to do in the city. However, this list shows some of our favourite recommendations for Penticton.

Ramada Penticton Hotel

The Ramada Penticton Hotel and Suites, on Eckhardt Avenue, is a great place to stay in Penticton at any time of the year. We live close by, but we’ve stayed here a few times because it’s a great spot when visiting Penticton or for a local staycation. This hotel offers the best of both worlds. It’s locally owned and operated, and they are continually updating and upgrading the rooms, property and amenities. It’s also part of the Wyndham group, so you know you’re getting a high standard of service and care. The rooms are spacious and well-maintained with a wide range of room styles for couples, families or groups of friends. Some rooms even have kitchens. We like to stay in the rooms that walk out to the large and beautifully maintained courtyard, which also includes a heated outdoor pool and hot tub.

The location is ideal, since the South Okanagan Events Centre and the Penticton Golf and Country Club are both within easy walking distance, and Penticton’s downtown core is just a short drive away.

The Station Public House

The Station Public House, at the Ramada Penticton Hotel, is not your typical hotel restaurant. It’s well-loved by locals and hotel guests, as it offers a delicious menu filled with locally sourced ingredients, fresh house-made soup and baked goods, and delicious pizza from their forno oven. They feature a great selection of craft beers and local wines, and the menu is updated regularly. At this time of year, we like to grab a table by the fireplace. When the weather is beautiful, we opt for their massive patio. For more on The Station Public House, read our full blog here.

Hoodoo Adventures

Hoodoo Adventures, on Ellis Street, has everything you need for all of your adventures in Penticton and area. They rent equipment and supplies for a wide variety of outdoor sports, including kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, snowshoes and bikes. They offer shuttle services and unique guided tours such as Kayak Wine & Picnic Tours, Paddle, Pinot & Paint Tours and Spirited Brews Cruise as well as Snowshoe Under the Stars. They also have an indoor climbing wall. The selection of e-bikes is impressive, and we have rented these bikes for some two-wheeled exploring around the area.

Kettle Valley Rail Trail and Little Tunnel

Penticton’s portion of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail offers a relatively flat ride on a well-maintained path to explore the area. A bucket list ride for us was from Hoodoo Adventures to the Little Tunnel along a former railway bed. The ride is 16.8 kilometres each way, featuring stunning lake and valley views, meandering through orchards and vineyards. The ride to the Little Tunnel is on a slight uphill trail with a small grade that doesn’t exceed 2.2%. It’s a manageable ride, although even with the e-bikes that we rented, the ride to the tunnel requires some effort. But the view from the tunnel is well worth every bit of the effort. Besides, the return trip to Penticton is a relaxing downhill ride. This trail is used by hikers, joggers, dog-walkers and cyclists throughout the year.

Allow a couple of hours for the return trip and bring water and some snacks to enjoy at the tunnel, as well as your camera to capture the picturesque views.

Cannery Brewing

Another Ellis Street attraction, Cannery Brewing is a popular gathering place for many Penticton residents. The brewery staff takes pride in creating a variety of quality craft beers, including a rotating selection of limited release beers. The family friendly taproom also offers locally inspired dishes designed to complement its beers. We typically order the chicken and roasted red pepper nachos, which are said to be the best in Penticton. They also have B.C. wine, cider and a nice selection of non-alcoholic drinks. On Sundays, they have free live music in their warehouse taproom space.

Nautical Dog Cafe

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha Marina offers tasty breakfasts and lunches at a lakefront setting. The breakfast options are updated daily and include inspired offerings such as eggs benedict that range from a crispy prosciutto and cranberry goat cheese benny to a portobello mushroom, spinach and avocado benny. They also have waffles, French toast, breakfast sandwiches and even a breakfast charcuterie board. Other offerings include house-made soups, sandwiches and a variety of delicious baked goods, from cupcakes to brownies to cheesecakes. Order your meal along with your favourite coffee and enjoy it on their spacious patio overlooking Skaha Lake, or take your coffee to go for a walk along the boardwalk in Skaha Lake Park.

Oh, and by the way, the owner of The Nautical Dog Cafe is an incredible baker and cake maker. She also creates amazing and elaborate cakes for all occasions.

Skaha Lake Park

At the south end of Penticton, along the water, Skaha Lake Park offers waterfront enjoyment for all seasons. The park features a wide, paved pathway where you’ll see people biking, running and walking with their families, strollers and dogs. There are plenty of benches to stop, rest and enjoy the views, picnic tables to enjoy a meal, and trees to park your chairs under.

Skaha Lake Park is a four-season destination. In the summer months, people of all ages will spend a day at the beach playing in the lake. You can find people on boats, kayaks and canoes most months of the year, and on windy days watch for kite surfers. During the coldest part of the winter, when the lake freezes near the shore, you’ll even see people skating on the ice.

McCulloch Trestle

A few kilometres from Penticton along the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, the McCulloch Trestle offers spectacular views of Okanagan Lake, the mountains, vineyards and orchards. The trestle offers a feast for the eyes. The view from the trestle is spectacular any time of the year, but in the fall, the ever-changing colours of the vineyards and orchards are breathtaking.

Munson Mountain Lookout

A spectacular view spot, Munson Mountain Lookout, at 630 Munson Mountain Rd., offers views of the city of Penticton and the south end of Okanagan Lake.

The mountain is famous for the iconic Penticton sign. It also features paved and gravel trails to the summit, a one-kilometre hike from the parking lot. It’s a bit steep in some sections, so wear good quality footwear. We recommend heading up to Munson Mountain to catch a breathtaking Okanagan sunset.

Okanagan Lake Boardwalk

There's plenty to see on the walk along the paved path from Marina Way Park to the SS Sicamous. The 1.7-kilometre walk includes the Penticton Ikeda Japanese Garden, Okanagan Lake Park and a stop at Penticton's iconic Peach. For those who want a longer walk, the path continues west and then follows the Penticton Channel.

There is so much to discover in Penticton. We hope you enjoy these top 10 hidden gems of Penticton.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

More Think Local articles