Spring is proving to be a bit of a slow starter this year in Penticton, British Columbia. For a place so synonymous with sunshine, things to do on rainy days aren’t always obvious. Here are a couple of my favourite things to do in Penticton when the ground is wet and the sun hiding away. The thing to remember about Penticton is that it never stays wet for long!
A step back in time
Before the railways and roads were built, lake boats were central to life in the Okanagan Valley. The SS Sicamous is the largest surviving sternwheeler from this time and is now a museum on Okanagan Lake beach. The ship has been restored to its 1920’s heydey, complete with men’s smoking lounge at the front, dining saloon and engine room. Another option to get a feel of Penticton as it used to be is to visit the Museum. Located in the same building as the library, the Museum has a range of permanent exhibits exploring everything from the geological formation of the Okanagan Valley to the present day.
Try local food and drink
A town in the heart of the Okanagan wine and fruit country, Penticton has a lot to offer for anyone wanting to try local produce. Whether it is wine, beer or cheese that takes your fancy, it’s very easy to create your own personalised foodie tour of Penticton. To combine all three is easy enough as well. Both Popular Grove Cheese and Upper Bench Estate Winery offer paired wine and cheese tastings while Cannery Brewing and Bad Tattoo serve their own locally brewed beers alongside thoughtfully crafted food. Craft Corner Kitchen goes a little further and showcases the best of everything in the southern Okanagan.
The Skaha Bluffs may be wet but that doesn’t mean that you can’t climb! A bouldering gym opened last year, providing visiting climbers with a welcome alternative when dark clouds set in. Better still, the day pass system means that you can boulder in the morning, head outside when it dries out a little and then return to Hoodoo Adventures in the evening for some strength work. One of the best local breweries (Cannery Brewing) is also located almost directly opposite so it’s a bit of a win-win all around!
The place to go for rainy day browsing in Penticton? Definitely Downtown. Here you’ll find quirky independent retailers and cafes alongside art galleries and antique shops. One of Canada’s largest used bookstores, the aptly named Book Shop, is located on Main Street. A great place to warm up and find the perfect new read, the Book Shop also rents DVDs. The Saturday morning Farmers Market, by the way, runs rain or shine.
See a movie or theatre show
For such a small BC town, Penticton has some great options for evening entertainment. Indeed, some of music’s biggest names choose to play at Penticton’s Events Centre over venues in Vancouver! The Many Hats Theatre Co. has regular live productions and the Cleland Theatre hosts a mix of performers and shows. For the size of the local population, Penticton also has one of the best movie theatres around. The film selection stays pretty firmly on the mainstream side but the ticket prices are reasonable, the seats comfortable and the theatres kept super clean. One of my favourite things is being able to pre-book seats online for no extra charge.
Need more ideas? 73 Things to Do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan
Share your rainy day Penticton ideas in the comments below!