Here’s why BC's Penticton is an outdoor lover’s dream come true
With the gloomy winter days behind us, now is the time to start planning an epic spring getaway.
If you want to experience some of the most remarkable beauty British Columbia has to offer, Penticton is the place to be. A small vibrant town located in the beautiful South Okanagan Valley, Penticton is a popular year-round destination for all types of visitors. Its breathtaking landscapes, stunning scenery, glistening lakes, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure truly make it worth the trip.
The climate is typically mild in spring, meaning it’s the perfect time to visit for some outdoor exploration — and a great time to experience everything the area has to offer before the summer crowds flock in.
Getting to Penticton is easy — it’s less than an hour’s flight from Vancouver (or a scenic 4.5-hour road trip) and there are direct flights from both Calgary and Edmonton. For people in Toronto, the best way to get there is via a layover in Vancouver, or with a direct flight to Kelowna International Airport, a 1.5-hour drive away.
With the thought of an action-packed vacation to Penticton on our minds, we’ve put together a list of some of the best activities to do in the city, and full disclosure: they’ll make any outdoor lover’s dream come true.
Explore the backcountry
When you’re in Penticton, exploring the incredible South Okanagan backcountry is a must-do. Heading out on a guided tour is the perfect way to do so.
Okanagan ATV Tours allows you to venture into the Okanagan countryside from the seat of an all-terrain vehicle. Expert guides will take you on an action-packed journey through winding forest paths, up mountain-top trails, and around pristine lakes – and there are lots of opportunities to stop for awesome photographs.
If you’re after a more intimate guided hike, Hoodoo Adventures offers hiking tours for everyone, from beginner to expert, young to old. The Interpretive Hike at Campbell Mountain is a unique two–hour educational outing where you’ll learn about local flora, fauna, and geology. They’ll also talk about trail etiquette and the Leave No Trace principles. This hike gives visitors the opportunity to see the area from a local’s point of view.
Rock climbing at Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park
Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park, located just a few minutes south of Penticton, is known as one of the best places to climb in Canada – and it’s not hard to see why. With over 50 crags, there are so many different opportunities for climbing.
Skaha Rock Adventures offers a wide selection of rock climbing courses, accessible for beginners and those who are a little more experienced, where you can learn all of the basics about climbing outdoors. You’ll be provided with all the gear you need as experienced, professional guides teach you new skills or expand on your current ones, while you take in the beauty of the park.
Bike the Kettle Valley Rail Trail
The Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail is a decommissioned rail trail that has been converted into a recreational trail network, and it’s one of the most iconic attractions in all of Penticton. The entire trail stretches a lengthy 660 km from Hope, BC, to Castlegar, BC, and through remote backcountry, forests, and over old railway trestles with incredible mountain and valley scenery.
Rent a bike, e-bike, or e-scooter, and spend a day exploring the section close to Penticton, which can be easily accessed from downtown and takes you through the Naramata Bench, a renowned BC wine region, so you’ll get to take in some stunning vineyard views and maybe even stop off for a wine tasting or two.
Go ziplining with Zipzone Adventures
The South Okanagan is home to Canada’s highest zipline! At Zipzone Adventures, you can fly 381 ft over the breathtaking Deep Creek Canyon in Peachland, just a 30-minute drive from Penticton. This is an exciting way for you to experience an adrenaline rush while taking in breathtaking landscapes at the same time.
You can choose from a two-, four- or six-line tour. All tours are fully escorted by trained guides and depart at regular intervals throughout the day. There is also DynaClimb, which is a shifting wall that moves as you climb and is Canada’s first dynamic climbing system.
Spend some time on the water
Fun fact: Penticton is one of just two cities in the world that sits between two lakes (Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake), so you’ve got to make the most of it. The best way to enjoy the water is to get out on it, whether that’s by paddleboarding, kitesurfing, or kayaking –whatever floats your boat.
At Pier Water Sports, you can get everything you need to have an unforgettable day on Okanagan Lake, including Sea-Doos and wakeboards. They also provide professional watersports lessons for beginners.
For water adventures on Skaha Lake, Penticton Boat Rentals offers boat, kayak, SUP, Sea Doo, and WaveRunner rentals from the Skaha Marina.
With those lakes come some of BC’s best beaches, all of which are worth spending an entire day on. Okanagan Beach, located on Okanagan Lake at Lakeshore Drive, is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in the area, stretching almost a kilometre long. Skaha Lake Beach is another much-loved beach, thanks to its premium sand and clean, warm waters. It also has a beachfront promenade and is a fantastic place to play volleyball.
To learn what else Penticton has to offer and start planning your dream vacation today, click here.