Penticton may just be the ultimate summer getaway town in British Columbia. With two glittering lakes, dozen of sandy beaches, hot sun, endless vineyards and views to die for, it’s a hedonist’s dream.
And after three summers, plenty of guests and a whole lot of exploring, I think we’ve found the best Penticton has to offer. Here’s our itinerary for the perfect summer weekend in Penticton, British Columbia.
Day 1 – Lakeside wanderings and local beer
An evening stroll along Lakeshore Drive is a great introduction to your weekend in Penticton. Check out the S.S Sicamous and Rose Garden at the western end before returning to the downtown core. Drinks are waiting at Cannery Brewing on Ellis St. This laid-back tap room (and patio) offers a wide selection of craft beer alongside the best nachos in town.
After the Cannery closes, head across the street to the funky Mile Zero Wine Bar for a nightcap or two (they also serve Cannery beer!)
Arrived early for your weekend in Penticton? Take an easy hike on the Kettle Valley Railway trail, high above Okanagan Lake. The trail winds through vineyards, orchards, across railway trestles and past a winery or two.
Day 2 – Penticton Farmer’s market, wine touring & burgers by the beach
Welcome in the morning with the Penticton Farmers and Community Market, starting at 8.30am. Spanning four downtown blocks, this market is one of the biggest in BC.
Breakfast pastries are plentiful, but there are sit-down options also available on at cafes on Front and Main Streets. Be sure to take a hat or sunscreen; it gets hot here early!
Saturday afternoons are for wine tasting. Just a short distance uphill from downtown is the start of the Naramata Bench, an area nicknamed ‘Napa of the north.’ Here, you can drive, cycle or even walk between award-winning wineries on a self-guided tour.
Lunch is taken on one of the many winery patios or lawns. For the ultimate in Naramata Bench experiences, picnic at Poplar Grove Cheese with a bottle of Lock and Worth wine and a round of Okanagan Double Cream Camembert.
Burger 55 is my pick for the perfect post-wine tour dinner – eat on their patio or head to the park on nearby Marina Way to eat your customised burger by the lake. Don’t waste your time eating inside in Penticton! Finish your evening with an ice-cream cone from Ogo’s on Main Street.
Day 3 – Brunching on the lake, floating on the channel
Today is a lazy day. It starts with brunch at the Hooded Merganser and epic views of Okanagan Lake (the restaurant is quite literally sitting on top of it). Be sure to stay close to the water for the rest of your time in town, whether that means some quality beach time (with a dozen to choose from!), a little paddle boarding or a lazy float down the river.
A trip to Penticton almost wouldn’t be quite complete without some tubing down the Channel between Skaha and Okanagan Lakes. The ride starts on Riverside Drive.
Before you depart, take a slight detour to the top of Munson Mountain at the start of the Naramata Bench. Aside from being the home of the Penticton sign, Munson also offers panoramic views across both lakes, Summerland and the mountains beyond. It’s a final look of paradise before you return home! (Also a good chance to pick up any wine you may have forgotten to buy the day before…) And that was it, the perfect weekend in Penticton.