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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > Thompson Okanagan > Penticton

Penticton is located 60 km (37 miles) north of Osoyoos and 68 km (42 miles) south of Kelowna on Hwy 97. Penticton is situated in the lower half of the Okanagan Valley between Skaha and Okanagan Lakes.

Exciting Lifestyle
With a semi-arid climate providing more than 2,000 hours of sunshine, two lakes bordering city limits and a landscape surrounded by mountains, Penticton can offer you an exciting lifestyle throughout all four seasons.

'A Place to Stay Forever'
Translated from the native Salish First Nations, the name 'Penticton' means 'a place to stay forever.' Once you drive in on Hwy 3 in either direction this name becomes very apparent. Lush orchards, panoramic vistas, crystal clear lakes and incredible-looking bluffs overlooking Skaha or Okanagan Lakes will have you in complete awe.

Fantastic Beaches at Skaha and Okanagan Lakes
For boating and water fun check out the beaches at both Skaha and Okanagan Lakes. Both lakes have incredible beaches for sun tanning or swimming. The water is very clean and warms up nicely during the summer months. For those who require some shade try Skaha Lake where there is a city park complete with trees, grass and a large picnic area.

Fantastic Recreational Activities
Penticton has a reputation for offering a great range of recreational activities all year round. Whatever you desire to do or see, Penticton can fill your activity needs.

Golfing at Penticton
There are a number of golf courses for all level of play with a season that starts in early April and can extend into late October. There is a large choice of both executive-style courses to the full 18 holes for those who want to be challenged. For those who don't mind a short 20-minute drive in either direction on Hwy 97 there are courses at both Kaleden and Summerland.

Recreational Trails
There is biking along the Trans Canada Trail that takes you to Kaleden, Naramata or Summerland following abandoned Kettle Valley Railway right-of-way. For hiking there are trails at Ellis Ridge and the Ridgedale Trail along Penticton Creek.

Apex Mountain Resort
If you ski or snowboard there is a great mountain resort close by called Apex Mountain Resort and, within a short drive south, there is Mt Baldy near Oliver or, if you go north, Big White in Kelowna and Silver Star in Vernon.

Vineyards and Wineries
For wine lovers Penticton makes a good base for touring quite a few wineries in all directions. On the north-east side towards Naramata are the wineries: Hillside Estate, Lang Vineyards and Red Rooster Winery. Going south there are five wineries in the Okanagan Falls in an area nicknamed Corkscrew Drive. Just a short ride north on Hwy 97 at Summerland there is Sumac Ridge and Scherzinger Vineyards.

Sampling Tours
Most of the wineries offer sampling as well as tours of their sites. If you can, a good time to visit is in the early part of October when the grapes have ripened to the fullest extent. A good place to start gathering information regarding the wines and vineyards of Penticton is at the BC VQA Wine Information Centre conveniently located at the corner of Eckhardt Avenue and Hwy 97.

Entertainment and Action
Besides the wineries, fantastic beaches and great golf, Penticton has so much more to offer you. There are numerous 'Show and Shines' featuring incredible hot rods and specialty cars throughout the summer. If you enjoy gaming, there a Lake City Casino located at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. For museums and history fans there is the S.S. Sicamous and R. N. Atkinson Museum and Archives.

Peachfest, which first started in 1947, is a five-day celebration that marks the start of the local Penticton peach harvest. If you enjoy parades Peachfest usually has the largest display of floats in British Columbia. Other festivals include: Pentastic Jazz Festival, Penticton Elvis Festival, Okanagan Fest-of-Ale and Penticton Kiwanis Music Festival.

Skaha Bluffs a Natural Marvel
Just south of Penticton on the east side of Skaha Lake is Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park one of British Columbia's premiere rock climbing areas. Even if you don't climb have a look at the wonder of this landscape. There are some incredible geological formations that form the Skaha Bluffs with a loop trail throughout the rock areas. Make sure you visit the City of Penticton for directions and parking restrictions.

Family Entertainment
Plus if you have kids take them to an adventure park located near the S.S. Sicamous called LocoLanding.

Challenge Penticton
Penticton is also home to one of Canada's premiere athletic competitions called Challenge Penticton. This event happens every year during the month of August.

The Course
If you get a chance, scope out the course and marvel at the challenge. Swim 3.86 km (2.4 miles) in Okanagan Lake, bike a total of 180.2 km (112 miles) down to Osoyoos, up Richter Pass then back to Penticton then, to top it off, run for a full 42.2 km (26.2 miles) down to Okanagan Falls and back along the east side of Skaha Lake.

Information on Penticton




Summerland Penticton
click map for larger image


Beach at Skaha Lake
Beach at Skaha Lake


Okanagan Lake
Okanagan Lake


SS Sicamous
S.S. Sicamous at Okanagan Lake


Tubing the Canal
Tubing the Canal


Trans Canada Trail-Kettle Valley Railway
Trans Canada Trail-KVR


Trans Canada Trail-KVR
Trans Canada Trail-KVR


Hanging out at Salty's
Hanging out at Salty's


Lakeshore Drive
Lakeshore Drive along Okanagan Lake


Photo of the Rotary Wheels 'Show and Shine'
Rotary Wheels 'Show and Shine'

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