The Perfect Itinerary for a Summer Weekend in Penticton, British Columbia

The Perfect Itinerary for a Summer Weekend in Penticton, British Columbia

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.

penticton sign above okanagan lake

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.

perfect weekend in penticton beach view

Okanagan Lake beach
Four beer tasters and sample popcorn at Cannery Brewery, Penticton

Tasting flight at the Cannery Brewery
A railway trestle on the Kettle Valley Railway trail

Walking the Kettle Valley Railway trail in Penticton
The town of Penticton in summer

View of Penticton from the Kettle Valley Railway trail

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.

Penticton Farmers market signs

Penticton Farmers market signs
A road intersection with market stalls and crowds of people at the Saturday Morning Farmers Market in Penticton

A busy day at the Saturday Morning Farmers Market in Penticton
The edge of Bench 1775's patio with lake views

The patio at Bench 1775 Winery
A Therapy staff member pour wine samples - wine tasting is one of the best things to do during a summer weekend in Penticton

Wine tasting at Therapy Vineyards in Naramata
Three glasses of wine with three appetsers of food

Paired appetisers and wine at Serendipity Winery, Naramata Bench

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.

 

The bright blue water of Okanagan Lake, with surrounding hills

Okanagan Lake views from Hooded Merganser restaurant
People in inflated tubes float down the Penticton Channel - an iconic summer weekend activity in Penticton

Floating the Penticton Channel
Vineyards leading down to Okanagan Lake with 'wine shop' sign

Therapy Vineyards, Naramata Bench
The crystal clear waters of Okanagan Lake, lined with golden sands

Okanagan Lake

Canada Day! Going Online.

There will be no fireworks, no live music and no big gatherings in Penticton this year on Canada Day, but the city has plans to take its celebration online.

In order to discourage large gatherings in light of COVID-19 restrictions, the city has put together a virtual Canada Day, featuring local children’s entertainers, popular musicians, and fun video submissions from across the region.

Headliners include music duo Aidan and Mandy, musician Beamer Wigley, magician Leif David, and dance and fitness instructor Ashley Dias. The show is expected to last 90 minutes, starting at 12 p.m. on July 1.

“Residents can expect a high-energy, entertaining show featuring some of your favourite local performers and musicians,” said sport and event project manager Carly Lewis. “Be prepared to move your body and sing along as we celebrate the best of our community!”

Residents are asked to contribute to the event by submitting a self-recorded one-minute video of them and their family singing our national anthem here. The video will be incorporated into a Community Song Project, to be revealed on the virtual Canada Day show.

As for evening entertainment, residents won’t be watching the typical annual fireworks show. The Penticton Lakeside Resort took over running the $25,000 fireworks show in January, but they confirm this year is not a go.

“We couldn’t move forward because it just encourages people to congregate,” said Penticton Lakeside Resort director of marketing Brannigan Mosses.

Aside from the COVID-19 restrictions, they were not sure they could raise the money needed.

“There is a significant amount of time required to fundraise for an event like that. With the shift in the economy, donations would be hard to come by … and honestly, we want to encourage donations to go to causes with a more immediate need,” Mosses explained.

She said they had already received two donations toward the fireworks fund before the pandemic hit, which have both been returned.

They hope to be back next year with the fireworks and do not have any plans to give up on the display.

More thunder on the way

Photo: Mallory Wilk

Environment Canada has issued another severe thunderstorm watch in effect for the entire Okanagan Valley including Vernon, Kelowna, and Penticton.

According to Environment Canada, “conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.”

Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.

A severe thunderstorm watch was issued Thursday as well along with the possibility of heavy downpours and the threat of flash flooding and water pooling on roadways.

HOSPICE HOPES FOR $30K

Moog and Friends Hospice in Penticton has kicked off a fundraising campaign for the month of June that will see patients provided with fresh fruit, baked goods and other items to improve on standard hospital fare, as well as qualifying them to win a grand prize donation.

The campaign is part of the “Great Canadian Giving Challenge” sponsored by Canada Helps, an online donation service which is offering a cash prize of $20,000 for the charity that operates the most successful campaign during the month.

Every dollar donated to Moog and Friends Hospice in June produces one ballot towards the grand prize.

“If we were to win the $20,000, it would go a long way to supporting the special services we provide our patients at Hospice House”, said Penticton and District Hospice Society chair Ruth Sawyer.

“The money we raise funds a caring program to provide personal companionship to those nearing the end of life, including comforting massage, music, daily newspapers and other reading material, lifelines and cable television for all rooms.  Our most recent purchase was a laptop that staff can use to connect patients with loved ones via Facebook and similar programs.”

Their goal for the month of June is to raise $30,000 to provide for the many “extras” that support the patient care provided by staff and volunteers.

“That’s $1,000 a day we hope to raise for the month of June,” Sawyer said.

“With the generosity shown by Penticton and area donors in the past, we believe that this goal is possible”.

Updated furniture, a complete kitchen renovation, hide-a-beds for families sleeping over with patients, mini-refrigerators in all rooms, new lighting and décor items were all made possible by donations to Hospice House over the past year.

To donate to Moog and Friends Hospice House today, click here.

Donations in any amount, are gratefully accepted and a tax receipt is provided for all donations over $20.

The New Normal: Why You Should Be Live Streaming Your Next Open House

The New Normal: Why You Should Be Live Streaming Your Next Open House

With the COVID-19 outbreak, many  industries were turned upsidedown. Meanwhile, as regulations are developed and implemented to help curb the sickness, businesses have also been forced to rethink how they conduct their daily activities.

This includes the entire field of real estate, and one of its key elements: the Open House.

Thankfully, technology comes to our rescue, and the answer comes in the form of Live Streaming Open Houses.

For those not yet familiar with how it works, here’s how it goes:

  • The agent sets up a time and date that they will be at the showcased property. They will also provide a link for people who wish to view the property.
  • On the scheduled date, the agent will be present at the property… by themselves (or possibly with one assistant). Using their video phone and the internet, they will then begin a live broadcast of themselves doing a tour of the property as one would at a regular open house.
  • On the same date, interested buyers will click on the link that was provided beforehand, in order to view the agent’s live broadcast.
  • During the broadcast, all the viewers can interact with the agent/s as they go through the property. They can ask or direct the agent to show them certain parts of the property, ask specific questions, focus on certain structural details, etc.

If you’re a technophobe, don’t worry. The process may sound complicated and technical, but trust us, it’s actually a lot simpler and more straightforward than it seems.

In fact, if you’ve ever taken a video recording using your phone, and/or you’ve ever had Skype or Zoom call, then congratulations! You’re already halfway there!

Now that you know what it is, here are just some of the key benefits of adopting this new way of conducting an open house during these extraordinary times.

What Are The Benefits Of Live Streaming My Open House?

There are many benefits to live streaming your open house, many of which are still valuable even without the current pandemic.

• Since there won’t be any commute involved, more people will be willing — and able — to take a peek at what you’re selling. Let’s face it, there are just simply days when the prospect of having to get dressed, spend money on commute or gas, and show up somewhere, is completely unappetizing. However, with a live streamed open house, clients won’t have to worry about any of that, as they can now participate from the comfort of their own homes.

No need to worry about gas! Or getting lost on the way to the open house! Or finding some place to park! Or bad weather! All they’ll really need to do is get on their device, grab a drink, and tune in to your live stream.

• Being able to host an almost unlimited number of prospects at each open house. Instead of just having ten or thirty people attend your open house, can you imagine having dozens, hundreds, or even THOUSANDS of people checking out your property tour? This is entirely possible with live streaming!

The only thing that will limit you at this point, will most likely be how much time you’re willing to spend live streaming, and/or your ability to handle comments from everyone all at once (which is why we recommend getting an assistant).

• Sellers will thank you for it. Being able to host thousands of prospects at a time is great. But what’s even better is that you can do this without worrying that the healthy foot traffic will damage the beautiful floors you’re trying to show off.

• Even buyers overseas can join in! Since having to be physically at the address is no longer a requirement for them, prospects from other countries can also join your open house. This creates opportunities for you to market to international buyers, as well as citizens who are currently out of the country.

• Live streaming is super cost-effective. In fact, it’s FREE on a lot of platforms, including the big social media sites, Facebook, Instagram, and many others.

• It’s savvy. Besides being able to help keep everyone safe from infection, hosting live stream open houses also shows that you’re adapting to the current world situation. As a bonus, this modern approach is also attractive to the millennial generation of home buyers.

These are just a few of the many benefits of conducting open houses over live streaming. In fact, to help out our clients, we’ve recently rolled out a function that makes it easier for agents to announce their upcoming live streams! You can check it out by clicking here.

Kelowna luxury home up for grabs in lottery

This Kelowna home at Kestrel Ridge is one of the grand prizes in the Heroes lottery.

Luxury homes in Kelowna and Penticton will be among the prizes in the 2020 Hometown Heroes lottery.

The lottery supports the Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Hospital Foundation and the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund.

The lottery winner can choose from one of nine grand-prize packages, including the Kelowna or Penticton homes or $2.1 million in tax-free cash.

The Kelowna home is located at Kestrel Ridge, 460 Talon Lane and is part of a prize package worth $2.4 million that includes a Tesla.

The Penticton home at 103 – 190 Vancouver Ave is part of a $2.3-million prize package that also includes a Tesla.

Prize-winning homes are also offered in White Rock, Abbotsford, Vancovuer, Sooke and Courtney.

The homes can be viewed online at heroeslottery.com, but in-person viewings are not available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lottery will offer more than 3,000 prizes worth $3.1 million. Tickets can be bought online or at any London Drugs. A three-pack of tickets costs $75 or you can buy six tickets for $100.

Staycation Ideas for Penticton

Instagram @bonnieleehampson

With clear skies and warmer weather in forecast, get outside and enjoy the fresh air!

With over 450km of trails within 20 minutes of downtown, Spring is a great time to explore your own backyard.  Dust off your bike or head down to the local bike stores to rent a bike for the day.  Or, go for a hike with your family and check out some of the new spring growth on the forest floor.

KVR Trail

The Kettle Valley Rail Trail is the perfect option for people of all ages and abilities to get outside.  Easily accessible from downtown with lots of unique stops along the way.

  • As more of the wineries start opening for the season, most of them are with in a short walking distance from the KVR trail, experience a self-guided walking or biking wine tour
  • Go further and check out the incredible views from Little Tunnel overlooking Naramata and Lake Okanagan

Instagram @curtisturchak
  • Explore the South Spur of the KVR Trail along the west shores of Skaha Lake connecting Penticton to Kaleden and Ok Falls
    • This is a beautiful trail that follows the shore line of Skaha Lake
    • Access to the trail in Penticton is through Wright’s Beach Campground, Pioneer Park in Kaleden and Lions Garden Park in Ok Falls

Local trails in the city

  • Penticton Creek runs from the shores of Okanangan Lake, next to the Penticton Ikeda Japanese Gardens all the way up to the old Fish hatchery.
    • This is a great paved trail that runs through town along the creek
    • Great for people of all ages and abilities

Instagram @nettersadventures
  • Lake-to-Lake trail located on the east side of the Channel
    • A 7km one way walk from the SS Sicamous to Sudbury Beach
    • A combination of compact gravel and paved trail makes this a great option for those looking to get moving but don’t want to climb any hills!

Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

Skaha Bluffs Park provides a variety of recreation opportunities including hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and wildlife viewing while also protecting habitat for a variety of species at risk

Instagram @1partatatime

Skaha Lake Park

A great way to let the kids run while soaking up the sun and fresh air

  • With two playgrounds, enclosed ball hockey, beach volleyball courts, tennis courts and lots of grass areas, grab some food from our local restaurants and artisanal bakers for a picnic and set up for a full day of outdoor family fun!

 

COVID-19 – Provide feedback on emergency surveys

The City of Penticton has issued two emergency surveys to seek urgent feedback that will help guide its COVID-19 relief and recovery response measures.

We’re calling on you – our residents and South Okanagan business community – to tell us how you have been financially impacted by COVID-19.

One survey is for Penticton residents and the second for South Okanagan businesses. Local business owners can fill out one or both. While residents are encouraged to complete the survey online, you may also respond by calling the City’s Call Centre at 250-490-2345.

The surveys will remain open until midnight Thursday, April 16.

Take the survey(s) now!

COVID-19: Who’s still open for business in Penticton?

Numerous Penticton businesses have been forced to close their doors due to the COVID-19 crisis, making it increasingly difficult to know where to go. This is a running list of businesses that remain open. (File photo)

Your guide to restaurants that remain open in Penticton in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis

As people adapt to social distancing and businesses in Penticton shut their doors or alter the way they operate due the global COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly difficult to know what is still open and in what capacity.

Many restaurants and bars have closed for the foreseeable future, however a handful of others have stayed open for either take-out or delivery.

The following list is a compilation of restaurants and establishments in Penticton that remain open in some form despite the coronavirus crisis:

  • Villa Rosa Ristorante open for delivery and take-out
  • Upper Bench Winery open with regular hours
  • Time Winery open with altered hours
  • Tim Hortons open for take-out only
  • Ashoka Indian Cuisine open for take-out and delivery
  • Bad Tattoo Brewing open for delivery
  • Blenz Coffee open for take-out only
  • Brodo Kitchen open with altered hours for take-out and delivery
  • Cannery Brewing open for take-out only
  • Kojo Sushi open for take-out and delivery
  • Mykonos Pizza open for take-out and delivery
  • Poplar Grove Winery open with altered hours for take-out and delivery
  • Salty’s Beach House open for take-out and delivery
  • Salvation Army Food Bank open with regular hours
  • Shades on Main open for take-out only
  • Singletree Winery open with regular hours
  • Skaha Pizza open for take-out and delivery
  • Slackwater Brewing open for take-out only
  • Corleone’s Pizzaeria open with altered hours for take-out and delivery

All fast-food establishments in Penticton also remain open at this time, however dine-in service is not available.

All grocery stores remain open, with some offering special hours for seniors. London Drugs remains open and is dedicating an hour of opening time each day to healthcare workers.

Canadian Tire remains open.

Rona remains open.

Shoppers Drug Mart remains open.

All gas stations remain open.

Government liquor stores remain open.

As for medications, all Penticton pharmacies remain open with most offering a free delivery service. If you’re not sure if your pharmacy delivers, you are encouraged to call.

This list was comprised using data from the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce. The Western News recognizes that information is subject to change, and there may be other businesses who are continuing to serve the community and are not included in this list. If you wish to have your business added to an updated version of this list please email editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.