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82+ Things To Do In Penticton and the Southern Okanagan: A Local’s Guide

Our home town of Penticton has SO much to offer residents and visitors all year round. In truth, this list of 80+ things to do in the Penticton and the southern Okanagan barely scratches the surface!

Elevated view looking down at the city of Penticton and Okanagan Lake from Munson Mountain
Penticton as seen from Munson Mountain

Consider it a taster or maybe even a bucket list, here’s my complete guide to what I think to be the best activities in and around Penticton, as tried and tested by us.

For reference, we have now lived in Penticton for 5+ years and hosted many friends and family during that time.

Enjoy your adventures in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan!

Looking ahead to wide dirt path running along edge of cliff with Okanagan Lake visible on left hand side and sunset colours in the sky
Walking the KVR Trail at sunset (Vancouver Place to McCulloch Trestle section)

Published 2017, last updated 2023. 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.

Penticton is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Syilx people. Some of these activities take place on Penticton Indian Band reserve land.

River level view of people in tubes floating down the Penticton Channel, with sunny skies above
Tubing on the Penticton Channel

Must do Penticton activities

I’m going to start this post of the best things to do in Penticton with my absolute five favourite activities.

These are the places we make sure to take every visitor who comes to stay with us, no matter how long they spend in town. The great thing about this ‘must do’ list is that all of the these activities can be done in one day.

Here we go!

Looking out over Okanagan Lake from the Munson Mountain viewpoint, one of the best things to do in Penticton
Looking north from Munson Mountain

Check out the views from Munson Mountain

Visiting Munson Mountain is definitely one of the best things to do in Penticton. Not only does Munson offer incredible views, but it’s easily accessible and also completely FREE!

Munson Mountain is the remains of an extinct volcano and is home to the Penticton sign. The parking lot is only five minutes drive from downtown.

A very short, flat path leads to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the city and Okanagan Lake. There is a shelter and benches here.

Visitors who want to ascend higher can follow the trail up to the plateau above the Penticton sign. There is one steep section that does have some loose gravel. Panoramic vistas over the Naramata Bench await at the top.

Concrete walking path next to sandy beach and calm lake in Penticton
Walking the Okanagan Lake promenade (looking towards the SS Sicamous)

Stroll along Okanagan Lake

The Okanagan Lake promenade provides an ideal introduction to Penticton. Start at the historic SS Sicamous sternwheeler at the western end.

The paved 1km lakeshore path leads along the beach to city’s iconic giant Peach structure (also a concession). There are picnic benches and art sculptures located along the way.

For a longer walk, continue following the shore through Rotary Park towards the Kiwanis Walking Pier.

From here, walk through the Penticton Lakeside Resort (past the Barking Parrot patio) to Okanagan Lake Park and the wonderful Ikeda Japanese garden. The red bridge here is actually an old trestle from the days of the Kettle Valley Railway.

On the other side of the garden is Marina Way Park, which features another beautiful (and quieter!) beach. The return distance from the SS Sicamous to Marina Way Park is just under 5km – we walk it at least five times a week.

Beer flight of 4 beers with car license plate behind at Highway 97 Brewery
Beer flight at Highway 97 Brewery

Visit at least one local brewery or winery

No trip to Penticton would be complete without visiting at least one local brewery or winery…and there are a lot to choose from!

Penticton currently has eight craft breweries (one is currently closed), with four located right in the downtown core. All serve food as well as beer, so consider stopping for lunch or some appies before dinner.

The largest concentration of wineries in Canada can be found on the Naramata Bench, just a short drive from downtown Penticton. There are more than 40 wineries along this 20km stretch of elevated strip of agricultural land above Okanagan Lake.

Most wineries offer a tasting flight of wines for $5-15 (though there are a couple that remain free!), often accompanied by spectacular views of the rolling scenery. Consider taking a wine tour.

Read More: Local’s Guide to Craft Breweries in Penticton, British Columbia

Chairs, table and umbrella on Play Winery patio in front of Skaha Lake
Play winery views from patio

Dine with a view

With Penticton being situated between two lakes, we’re spoiled for choice for restaurants with gorgeous views!

Some upscale examples at Elma, the Hooded Merganser, Sonetto at Play Winery and the Restaurant at Poplar Grove. For something more casual, head to the Barking Parrot or Salty’s.

If you don’t have the time or budget for a sit-down lunch or dinner, consider a picnic at one of Penticton’s many beaches. Purchase supplies from the Bench Market or Upper Bench Creamery.

Sandy beach in front of calm lake in Penticton, on a sunny day
Penticton beach on a sunny day

Relax on the beach

Visiting during the warmer months? You simply must spend an hour or two on the beach. In the heat of the summer, it’s likely that you’ll end up in the water too!

Choose between Okanagan Lake (north side) and Skaha Lake (south side).

Okanagan Lake is much closer to downtown and has restaurants and bars right on the lakeshore. There’s a water park for kids too.

Skaha Lake has a larger, wider beach and is backed by a lush park featuring playgrounds, volleyball courts and two concessions.

It is possible to rent paddleboards and other boats at either beach.

Hand holding up wine glass in front of vineyards and Okanagan Lake view
Wine tasting on the Naramata Bench

The best things to do in Penticton

Now that I’ve shared my ultimate ‘top 5’ things to do in Penticton, it’s time to list all of the other amazing activities here! You’ll never be at a loss for things to do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan.

Google map of 80+ things to do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan
Click here or above to view Google Map featuring activities mentioned in this post

Things to do in downtown Penticton

  • Visit the Penticton Farmers Market, every Saturday from mid April to late October
  • Tour the Community Market (adjacent to the Farmers Market), every Saturday from May to September
  • Browse The Bookshop on Penticton’s Main Street, Western Canada’s largest second-hand bookstore
  • Shop local, independent retailers in Penticton’s downtown district (Front St and Main St)
  • Follow the BC Ale Trail and visit all 8 Penticton craft breweries
  • Enjoy the best brunch in town at Loki’s Garage
  • Take part in trivia night at Slackwater Brewing, held every Tuesday
  • Visit the Penticton Ikeda Japanese Garden (say hi to the koi carp!)
  • Take a trip to Penticton Art Gallery on Marina Way
  • Play disc golf at the Rotary Marina View course
  • Taste fresh, seasonal food at Brodo on Main Street, Penticton
  • Stroll along Penticton Creek and watch for salmon (September)
  • Choose between over 60+ flavours of ice-cream at Ogo’s or Tickleberry’s on Main Street, Penticton
  • Play a couple of games at Meeples and Milkshakes Board Game Café
  • See the colours change in local parks in autumn (October)
Sunset view of Okanagan Lake in winter with orange colours in the sky and reflected in the water
Sunset views in winter

Outdoor activities

  • Walk the Kettle Valley Railway trail (Vancouver Ave section) to see lake views, vineyards, hops and a railway trestle
  • Go on a walking wine tour of the Naramata Bench
  • Mountain bike on the Three Blind Mice or Campbell Mountain trails on the Naramata Bench
  • Climb some of the 1000+ routes in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park, Penticton
  • Not a climber? Go hiking in the Bluffs instead – the views are stunning and you may spot bighorn sheep too
Golden sand beach with signage and calm lake to left. There is a paved wooden path on the right
Skaha Lake beach
  • Rent a canoe, SUP or kayak and paddle Skaha or Okanagan Lake
  • Hike to the top of Campbell Mountain (head to the Meat and Potatoes Trail for beautiful views)
  • Go alpine fishing for rainbow trout at Nickel Plate Lake
  • Rent electric bikes and cycle the Kettle Valley Rail Trail
  • Ride the bicycle pump track on the corner of Popular Grove Road on the Naramata Bench
  • Hike in the alpine of Beaconsfield (Apex) Mountain
  • Hike to the top of the G-Spot Trail for epic views of Okanagan Lake
  • Check out the BMX track behind Munson Mountain

Read More: 18 Fast and Fun Hikes in Penticton, British Columbia

Back view of JR hiking along dirt G-spot trail with views of the city of Penticton and Okanagan Lake
Hiking the G-Spot Trail in early spring

Things to do in Penticton in summer

  • Float the Penticton Channel between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake
  • Play the miniature golf course at Loco Landing Adventure Park
  • Pick a lake, pick a beach, swim, sunbathe, paddle, float, repeat
  • Go parasailing on Okanagan Lake
  • Fish for rainbow trout on Skaha Lake
  • Shop at fruit stands on Upper Bench Road and Highway 97
  • Hire a boat or jet ski and explore one of the lakes
  • Cool down at the Lakawanna Park splash pad (Okanagan Lake)
  • Let the kids go wild at the Splash BC (formerly Wibit) inflatable water park on Okanagan Lake
Lake view of SS Sicamous boat with autumn foliage on left and right
The SS Sicamous from the water

Indoor activities

  • Visit the latest exhibition at the Penticton Museum and Archives (in the library building)
  • Have a go at laser bowling and blacklit mini golf at the Rock n Stones Fun Centre
  • Try your luck at the Cascades Casino
  • Go back in time at the S.S. Sicamous Museum on Lakeshore Drive, Penticton
  • Go climbing at Hoodoo Adventures’ indoor gym on Ellis Street
  • Gather a team and try to solve one of the escape rooms at EXIT
  • Taste paired cheese and wine at Upper Bench Winery or Poplar Grove Cheese
Looking up at climbers ascending rockface at Skaha Bluffs
Climbing at Skaha Bluffs

Special events

  • Check out the vintage cars at the Penticton Beach Cruise, usually held in late June
  • Watch the Canada Day fireworks
  • Indulge at the Penticton Ribfest in Skaha Lake Park, usually held in September
  • Enjoy live entertainment at Penticton’s Gyro Park, usually every Saturday and Sunday in July and August
  • Watch and listen to music and displays at Penticton’s Peachfest in August
  • Watch the races at the Dragon Boat Festival on Skaha Lake in September
  • Attend a wine festival or event – September/October is harvest time in the vineyards
Elevated view looking down on the city of Penticton from Munson Mountain, with Okanagan Lake
Penticton in winter, from Munson Mountain

Things to do in Penticton in winter

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.

  • Downhill ski or snowboard at Apex Mountain Resort, open December to early April
  • Glide through the trees on Apex Ski Resort’s ice skating loop
  • See the Christmas Eve fireworks and torchlight parade at Apex Mountain Resort
  • Go snowshoeing – here are my recommendations where to go!
  • Shop at the Winter Indoor Farmer’s Market in Penticton
  • Cross-country ski at Nickel Plate Nordic Centre
  • See a Penticton Vees hockey game at South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton
  • Snowboard at Baldy Mountain Resort

Read More: What to Do in Penticton in Winter: A Local’s Guide

Back view of two men gliding through trees on Apex Ski Resort's Skating Loop
Gliding through the trees on Apex Ski Resort’s Skating Loop

Things to do beyond Penticton

The following activities are located within 65km of Penticton, perfect for an afternoon excursion or full day adventure.

Back view of JR looking up at Naramata Creek Falls, a cascading waterfall in a forest
Naramata Creek Falls
  • Go for a hike to Naramata Creek Falls in Naramata Creek Park
  • Cycle (or walk) the KVR Trail to see the historic Little Tunnel
  • Take a drive up to historic Chute Lake Lodge – swim in the lake, bike on the KVR or even stay overnight
  • Try small batch fruit brandies and liqueurs at Maple Leaf Spirits
  • Go on a self-guided tour of the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Kaleden
  • Discover the legends of Sen’klip (Coyote) at the Nk’mip Cultural Centre in Osoyoos
  • Check out even more breweries in Summerland (Giant’s Head Brewing), Oliver (Firehall, Trading Post) and Osoyoos (North Basin)
  • Browse unique antiques and collectibles at Ravens Oddities in Okanagan Falls (1040 Main Street, opposite the Fire Hall)
  • Prefer cider to beer? Check out Summerland (4 cideries), Oliver (3) or Cawston (2)
  • Explore the Osoyoos Desert Centre and learn more about this unique natural area of Canada
  • Summit Giant’s Head Mountain in Summerland by foot or road
  • Go kayak/canoe camping in Okanagan Mountain Park
  • See the spring blossoms at the Summerland Ornamental Gardens
  • Spot returning migratory birds in the Vaseux Lake bird hide, just south of Okanagan Falls
  • Take a shuttle to Myra Canyon in Kelowna and bike downhill all the way back to Penticton over 17 trestles and through several tunnels
  • Go fishing at Yellow Lake between Kaleden and Keremeos
  • Hike the scenic Peach Cliff trail in Okanagan Falls
  • Ride the Kettle Valley Steam Railway in Summerland
  • Enjoy a backcountry base camping experience at Cathedral Provincial Park near Keremeos
  • Pick your own fruit in Oliver
  • Watch a movie under the stars (Okanagan Falls – August, Penticton – September)
  • Go camping at Haynes Point – a natural spit of land in the middle of Osoyoos Lake
  • Search for pictographs around Vaseux Lake
  • Visit the working 1877 waterwheel at Grist Mill and Gardens in Keremeos
  • Hike the McIntyre Bluff (nʕaylintn) trail near Oliver
  • Visit the wonder of Spotted Lakes in Osoyoos
  • Taste wine and food pairings on Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive during the annual Light Up the Vines event
  • Paddle to Rattlesnake Island and discover its fascinating history
  • See the fireworks in Summerland (Festival of Lights, November) or Oliver (Christmas Light Up, November)
Looking across to Spotted Lake from elevated position, which features many different ponds of water
Spotted Lake in Osoyoos

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

Wesbert Winery and Guest Suites – Upscale B&B rooms with wonderful vineyard views, ideal location for wine touring

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

You may enjoy these related articles:

The Best Restaurant Patios in Penticton

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

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