The COVID-19 pandemic is in the rear-view mirror for the most part, which means it’s time to get back to enjoying everything the Okanagan has to offer this summer.
And one of the most entertaining, relaxing and enjoyable areas of the Okanagan is the southern end of Penticton, where Skaha Lake meets the city and is at the centre of the action. No matter what kind of vacation you seek and no matter who you are, there is guaranteed to be something for you to do that will have you coming back year after year.
Now is the time to do your summer planning, so to save you plenty of time, here is the perfect list of things to do in Penticton this summer:
1. Skaha Lake Park
The massive green space has plenty to offer, including beach access, rest rafts and beach slides, a beachfront promenade, a children’s water park, playgrounds, sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, in-line hockey court, tennis courts, picnic areas, power and water, a softball field, fire pits and free parking. There are also washrooms and concessions, so you never have to leave. The Skaha water is warm, too, because it’s not as large as Okanagan Lake.
2. Skaha Lake Motels
This is where you want to rest your head each night you’re visiting Penticton, because you can’t get any closer to Skaha Lake. The family-friendly Skaha Lake Motels, which include Beachside Motel, Sunny Beach Motel and Waterfront Inn, feature pools, hot tubs, saunas and game rooms themselves, but they are mere steps from all the fun that can be had at Skaha Lake Park and the beach itself. There will be plenty of food truck options on the motel properties next to Gilligan’s Ice Cream Shop. Speaking of which, Gilligan’s will be offering many more lunch items this year, including charcuterie boards.
3. Penticton River Channel
If you don’t have your own floatie, Coyote Cruises offers inner-tube rentals that will allow you to float down the seven-kilometre channel from Okanagan Lake to Skaha Lake. Depending on how quickly the water is flowing, the journey can take between one and three hours. It doesn’t get much more Penticton than this.
4. Okanagan ATV Tours
Whether you are a beginner wanting an easy ride or an expert looking for a challenge, Okanagan ATV Tours offers every level of enjoyment. The area is great for ATVs, as there is a wide variety of trails with gorgeous scenery. It’s a great group event that promises plenty of fun.
5. Hoodoo Adventures
Rent a kayak, and go for a twirl. Or pick up an e-bike or a regular bike and go for a spin. We know you’ve always been thinking about giving a stand-up paddleboard a try; Hoodoo has those available as well. The store, which is located at 131 Ellis St., also offers rock climbing gear 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 is owned and operated by a family that didn’t forget about the kids when putting its business together. Enjoy some of the Okanagan’s finest wine while the kids rip around the property.
7. Kettle Valley Rail Trail
It used to be a railway system. Now it’s a 650-kilometre recreational trail that runs from Hope to Castlegar. The decommissioned tracks can be used for either self-guided treks or organized tours. You can do a day trip riding or walking, or you can go on overnight ventures if you are an experienced rider.
8. Skaha Marina
It doesn’t get much better than renting a boat from Skaha Lake’s only marina, venturing out to the middle of the lake and lounging under the hot summer sun. Or, if you own your own boat, you can always bring it and launch it at the marina, which is operated by Penticton Yacht Club. It offers on-water fuel, moorage and an assortment of rental pleasure craft.
9. LocoLanding Adventure Park
It started out as a mini-golf course in 1999, but now it boasts attractions that will keep kids entertained all day. Mini-golf, go-karts, a high-level ropes course, rock climbing, bumper boats and monkey motion are operating this summer at LocoLanding, which is located at 75 Riverside Dr. in Penticton.
10. The Book Shop
If you’re going to lie on the beach all day, you’re going to need something to read other than your phone. The Book Shop has been a part of Penticton since 1974, and it has every kind of genre you could possibly want. In other words, the kids will even be able to find something they like—to read in the fall, of course.
11. Slackwater Brewing
One of Penticton’s most popular brewpubs, Slackwater Brewing features two floors, two patios, 12 taps of locally brewed suds and a 10-hectolitre brewhouse. The kitchen gets its inspiration from seasonal Okanagan ingredients, which means you will be enjoying a truly local meal.
12. Kettle Valley Steam Railway
The trains will be rolling near Summerland, giving families plenty of time to enjoy the thrill of riding the rails like they did in the old days. Restored locomotive No. 3716 takes passengers through vineyards, and then provides stunning lake and canyon views during a 90-minute sojourn.
13. Cheers Okanagan Tours
Use the Okanagan’s premier tour company to embark on your day to remember. The guides know the valley inside and out, and their friendliness and enthusiasm will be the icing on the cake as you travel around one of the country’s most stunning wine areas.
14. Penticton Speedway
The speedway is great family fun with affordable pricing and plenty of entertainment. It’s a quarter-mile, paved, oval racetrack that has been part of the Penticton landscape for more than 50 years. The action is fast and furious, and it will get every family member’s heart racing.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.