74 Things To Do In Penticton and the Southern Okanagan, British Columbia

British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley has a lot to offer residents and visitors all year round. In truth, this list of 74 great things to do in the area barely scratches the surface!

Consider it a taster or maybe even a bucket list, here’s my complete guide to what I think to be the best things to do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan based on 2.5 years of living here and hosting A LOT of visitors over that time.

Enjoy your adventures in the Southern Okanagan!

Elevated view looking down at the city of Penticton and Okanagan Lake from Munson Mountain
Penticton as seen from Munson Mountain
Concrete walking path next to sandy beach and calm lake in Penticton
Penticton’s lakeshore path (Okanagan Lake)

NOTE: Some of the ‘seasonal’ activities listed below can be done in more than one season but not quite year round. In this case, I have simply listed them in what I think to be the most favourable season.

Paddling on the lakes, for example, is great from spring to fall but my personal preference for the trip to Rattlesnake Island is autumn for calm conditions, lack of traffic on the water and beautiful autumn colours.

Originally published in 2017, Updated in 2020. This post includes affiliate links. If you make a qualifying purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. We visited Chute Lake Lodge with the help of Travel Penticton.

Google map of 73 things to do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan
Click the map to use custom Google Map featuring all activities mentioned in this post
Looking out over Okanagan Lake from the Munson Mountain viewpoint, one of the best things to do in Penticton
Okanagan Lake from Munson Mountain lookout point
Things To Do In Penticton BC, River tubing
Tubing on the Penticton Channel

Things to do in Penticton and the southern Okanagan all year round

No matter the season, the following activities can be done all year round (subject to business opening days and hours).

  1. Walk the Kettle Valley Railway trail (Vancouver Ave section) to see lake views, vineyards, hops and a railway trestle
  2. Browse The Bookshop on Penticton’s Main Street, Western Canada’s largest second-hand bookstore
  3. Explore the beautiful Naramata Bench and take in distilleries, wineries, bistros, beaches
  4. Go back in time at the S.S. Sicamous Museum on Lakeshore Drive, Penticton
  5. Follow Penticton’s Ale Trail and visit 6 unique breweries (soon to be 7!)
  6. Prefer cider to beer? Check out Summerland (4 cideries), Oliver (3) or Cawston (2)
  7. Go on a self-guided tour of the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Kaleden
  8. Visit the Penticton Ikeda Japanese Garden (say hi to the koi carp!)
  9. Walk the Okanagan Lake promenade and see the Peach in Rotary Park
  10. Shop local, independent retailers in Penticton’s downtown (Front St and Main St)
  11. Get up close and personal with the Penticton sign (and amazing views) at Munson Mountain
  12. Be transported into a world of miniatures at the Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad
  13. Go for a hike to Naramata Falls in Naramata Creek Park
  14. Take a trip to Penticton Art Gallery on Marina Way
  15. Taste fresh, seasonal food at Brodo on Main Street, Penticton
  16. Discover the legends of Sen’klip (Coyote) at the Nk’mip Cultural Centre in Osoyoos
  17. Pick a wine area and go for a tasting – many wineries are open all year round
Walking the KVR trail - just one of the many things to do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan
Visiting wineries - just one of the many things to do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan

Things to do in Spring in Penticton

Things warm up quickly in the Okanagan Valley, take advantage of what is usually BC’s best spring weather and get outside!

  1. Go on a walking wine tour of the Naramata Bench
  2. Visit the Penticton Farmers Market and Community Market, every Saturday starting in April
  3. Explore the Osoyoos Desert Centre, open in mid-April
  4. Go on an adult Easter egg hunt at Liquidity Winery, Okanagan Falls or Upper Bench Winery and Creamery, Penticton
  5. Climb some of the 1000+ routes in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park, Penticton
  6. Not a climber? Go hiking in the Bluffs instead – the views are stunning and you may spot bighorn sheep too
  7. Go kayak/canoe camping in Okanagan Mountain Park
  8. See the spring blossoms at the Summerland Ornamental Gardens
  9. Spot returning migratory birds in the Vaseux Lake bird hide, just south of Okanagan Falls
  10. Take a shuttle to Myra Canyon in Kelowna and bike downhill all the way back to Penticton over 17 trestles and through several tunnels
  11. Hike the scenic Peach Cliff trail in Okanagan Falls
Climbing in Skaha Bluffs - just one of the many things to do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan
Climbing at Skaha Bluffs
Penticton Farmers Market - just one of the many things to do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan

Things to do in Summer in Penticton

The heat, the shimmering lakes, the flourishing fruit trees and vineyards, the golden colours on the hills and mountains beyond. Summers here are blissful. You’ll never be at a loss for things to do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan!

  1. Pick a lake, pick a beach, swim, sunbathe, paddle, float, repeat
  2. Watch the Canada Day fireworks – Osoyoos has the biggest display in Canada outside of Ottawa!
  3. Go on a guided tour of Mascot Mine in Hedley
  4. Ride the Kettle Valley Steam Railway in Summerland
  5. Take a drive up to historic Chute Lake Lodge – swim in the lake, bike on the KVR or even stay overnight
  6. Enjoy a backcountry base camping experience at Cathedral Provincial Park near Keremeos
  7. Float the Penticton Channel between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake
  8. Shop fruit stands in Keremeos
  9. Go parasailing on Okanagan Lake
  10. Watch and listen to music and displays at Penticton’s Peachfest in August
  11. Go camping at Haynes Point – a natural spit of land in the middle of Osoyoos Lake
  12. Hike in the alpine of Beaconsfield (Apex) Mountain
  13. Enjoy live entertainment at Penticton’s Gyro Park, usually every Saturday and Sunday in July and August
  14. Play disc golf at the Rotary Marina View course in Penticton
  15. Pick your own fruit in Oliver
  16. Watch a movie under the stars (Okanagan Falls – August, Penticton – September)
  17. Eat breakfast with a lakefront view at the Hooded Merganser
  18. Have a picnic lunch at a winery – Mocojo’s has epic views over Okanagan Lake and the vineyards of Naramata Bench
  19. Hire a canoe, SUP or kayak and paddle Skaha, Osoyoos or Okanagan Lake
  20. Search for pictographs around Vaseux Lake
  21. Choose between over 60 flavours of ice-cream at Ogo’s on Main Street, Penticton
  22. Go alpine fishing for rainbow trout at Nickel Plate Lake
  23. Visit the working 1877 waterwheel at Grist Mill and Gardens in Keremeos
Crystal clear lake in Cathedral Provincial Park
Ladyslipper Lake in Cathedral Provincial Park

Things to do in Autumn in Penticton

Plenty of clear days with cooler temperatures offer lots of opportunities to get out and explore the changing autumn colours in the valley. Autumn is also a busy time for local events.

  1. Mountain bike on the Three Blind Mice trails on the Naramata Bench
  2. Watch the races at the Dragon Boat Festival on Skaha Lake in September
  3. Visit the wonder of Spotted Lakes in Osoyoos
  4. Hike the McIntyre Bluff trail near Oliver or Giant’s Head Mountain in Summerland
  5. Watch a film festival or two – the Banff Mountain Film Festival is in September and the Warren Miller ski show in November
  6. Taste wine and food pairings on Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive during the annual Light Up the Vines event
  7. Paddle to Rattlesnake Island and discover its fascinating history
  8. See the colours change in local parks
  9. Attend a wine festival or event – September/October is harvest time in the vineyards
  10. Play the ‘Haunted Holes’ miniature golf course at Loco Landing Adventure Park
  11. Go fishing at Yellow Lake between Kaleden and Keremeos
  12. See the fireworks in Summerland (Festival of Lights, November) or Oliver (Christmas Light Up, November)
Spotted Lake - just one of the many things to do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan
Spotted Lake
Old mini golf remains on Rattlesnake Island
Rattlesnake Island

Things to do in Winter in Penticton

With fairly mild temperatures and a low amount of snow (for Canada!), winter is not necessarily a time for hibernation in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan region.

  1. Glide through the trees on Apex Ski Resort’s ice skating loop
  2. Snowboard at Baldy Mountain Resort
  3. Climb at Hoodoo Adventures’ indoor gym on Ellis Street
  4. See the Christmas Eve fireworks and torchlight parade at Apex Mountain Resort
  5. Snowshoe the Carmi hill trails in Penticton or at Mt Baldy
  6. Taste paired cheese and wine at Upper Bench Winery – they only close for a few days around Christmas
  7. Visit the latest exhibition at the Penticton Museum and Archives (in the library building)
  8. Downhill ski at Apex Mountain Resort
  9. Shop at the Winter Indoor Farmer’s Market in Penticton
  10. Cross-country ski at Nickel Plate Nordic Centre
  11. See a hockey game at South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton
Winter in Penticton, view from the KVR trail-Things To Do In Penticton and the Southern Okanagan, BC

Gliding through the trees on Apex's ice skating loop - just one of the many things to do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan

Looking to book a stay in Penticton?

Penticton Lakeside Resort – Awesome lakefront location on north side of town, within walking distance to beach, shops, entertainment, restaurants, trails

E’Laysa Guesthouse and Vineyard Retreat – Gorgeous property on the Naramata Bench, very close to the KVR Trail. A full breakfast is included with every stay

Casa Grande Inn – Highly rated B&B situated across from Okanagan Lake with large outdoor patio 

Chute Lake Lodge – Great for outdoor adventurers or anyone looking for an escape, historic Chute Lake Lodge is a scenic 45 minute drive from Penticton. It’s located right on the KVR Trail and offers lodge rooms, glamping tents, cabins and campsites. There’s an on-site restaurant too

Looking from the bed outside in one of Chute Lake Lodge's Glamping tents, with wood stove and chairs on deck
One of the glamping tents at Chute Lake Lodge

Read these articles next:

47 Things to Do in Summerland, British Columbia

Okanagan Valley Road Trip: Where to Go and What to Do

30+ Awesome Things to Do in Vernon, BC

A Perfect Summer Weekend in Penticton: Complete Itinerary

A Local’s Guide to the Best Okanagan Valley Wineries

50+ Things to Do in Osoyoos and Oliver, BC

The Complete Guide to Craft Breweries in Penticton

British Columbia's beautiful southern Okanagan Valley has a lot to offer residents and visitors all year round - here are just 73 of the best things to do! offtracktravel.ca
Click here to discover 73 of the best things to do in the beautiful southern Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada form paddling, climbing and hiking to wine touring, historical sights and more!
British Columbia's beautiful Okanagan Valley has a lot to offer residents and visitors all year round. In truth, this list of 73 great things to do in the area barely scratches the surface! Consider it a taster or maybe even a bucket list, here's my complete guide to what I think to be the best things to do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan based on 2.5 years of living here and hosting A LOT of visitors over that time. offtracktravel.ca

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