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 here, 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.

Elevated view looking down on Penticton downtown with vineyards and mountains in background
View of Penticton from Munson Mountain viewpoint
Lakeshore Dive in Penticton with concrete walking path next to sandy beach, with calm lake
Lakeshore Drive, with the SS Sicamous seen at the end of the beach
Dramatic pink and blue sunset on Okanagan Lake with reflections
Sunsets in Penticton are often spectacular!

Day 1 – Lakeside wanderings and local craft 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. New for 2020, the Backyard is an additional, casual outdoor space with rotating food trucks.

After the Cannery closes, head a few blocks over to Slackwater Brewing. This stylish spot is open a little later (except on Sundays) and often features live music on weekends.

Read Next: A Local’s Guide to Craft Breweries in Penticton

View of SS Sicamous sternwheeler boat on calm lake with reflections
A calm morning exploring the Okanagan Lake shore
Tasting flight with four beers at Cannery Brewing with bowl of popcorn
Tasting craft beer at Cannery Brewing

Day 2 – A celebration of wine and food

Start your day with the Penticton Farmers’ and Community Market, starting at 8.30am. Spanning four downtown blocks, this market is one of the biggest in BC (2020 update – the Farmer’s side of the market is OPEN but with reduced vendors). Be sure to take a hat or sunscreen; it gets hot here early!

If you’re a coffee lover, head to nearby Wayne & Freda or Seis Cielo for a brew. Hungry? Consider picking up something at the market or head to Loki’s Garage for late breakfast or brunch (more info below).

Colourful farmers market signage
Farmers’ Market signs, downtown Penticton

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 40+ 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 (2020 update – some picnic area and winery restaurants are closed, others have reduced capacity. Check in advance).

For your post-wine tour dinner, my top picks are:

  • Time Winery & Kitchen – upscale downtown dining experience with elevated Canadian classics
  • Bad Tattoo – the most inventive and tasty pizza in town! JR and I usually share the large size with different toppings on each half
  • Elma – Turkish inspired dishes designed to share in airy lakefront building
  • Play Estate Winery & Bistro – farm-to-table cuisine served on sunny patio with incredible panoramas of Skaha Lake
Hand holding wine glass with red wine in front of vineyards and lake views
Tasting wine on the Naramata Bench
Table and chairs on elevated patio in front of lake and mountains
Amazing views from the patio at Play Winery

Day 3 – Lazy brunch and beach time

Today is a relaxed day, designed to make the most of the sun. It starts with brunch. My recommendations are:

  • Loki’s Garage – the best Eggs Benny in town plus home made pastrami and focaccia
  • Hooded Merganser – well executed brunch classics with epic views of Okanagan Lake (2020 update – not currently open for brunch at this time)
  • The Nest – Canadian classics with a twist, made with local ingredients

For something lighter, check out Prague Cafe (right on Marina Beach) or Petrasek Bakery (downtown).

Grey Loki's Garage building with wooden patio and umbrellas
The patio at Loki’s Garage – my pick for the best brunch in Penticton!

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 local options to choose from!), a little paddle boarding or a lazy float down the Penticton Channel.

If you feel like being more active, take a walk on the KVR from Vancouver Place to McCullough Trestle. It’s a 5km return easy stroll lined with vineyards, offering spectacular views of Okanagan Lake and Penticton. You can also rent bikes downtown, if preferred.

Sandy beach in front of calm lake, lined by rolling hills
Okanagan Lake

Before you depart, take a trip the top of Munson Mountain. The parking lot is just a quick drive from town.

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…)

Gravel pathway leading away from camera, lined with vineyards, lake views in background
The Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) Trail

Other things to do in Penticton

Here are some more ideas for your weekend stay in Penticton:

  • Cycling the KVR on e-bikes
  • Touring all six (soon to be seven) local breweries
  • Rock climbing at Skaha Bluffs, one of Canada’s best climbing areas
  • Kayaking on Okanagan or Skaha Lake
  • Shop BC’s largest book store, the Bookshop on Main Street
  • Visiting distilleries and cideries on the Naramata Bench
  • Tour Penticton’s impressive collection of downtown street art
  • Play mini-golf at Loco Landing, near Okanagan Lake
  • Check out colourful Front Street, with a choice of independent stores to browse
  • Hiking Campbell Mountain (other suggested local hikes here)
  • Explore the inside of the S.S. Sicamous, one of BC’s last surviving sternwheelers

Read Next: 74 Things to Do in Penticton and the Southern Okanagan

Vertical view of bright street art with heart
An example of the impressive street art in Penticton

Where to stay for your weekend in Penticton

Penticton Lakeside Resort – Stay in the middle of all the action! The Lakeside Resort is located on the shore of Okanagan Lake, just one block from downtown Penticton. The all new ‘West Wing’ is a beautiful timber constructed building with high ceilings, stylish furnishings and amazing views

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 just across the road from Okanagan Lake with large outdoor patio and comfortable rooms

Downtown Penticton with shops, street lights and parked cars
Downtown Penticton
Elevated view looking down on the city of Penticton wth calm lake and marina
View of Penticton from KVR Trail

These other posts will help with your Okanagan Valley travel planning:

A Wine Lover’s Guide to the Naramata Bench eBook

47 Things to Do in Summerland, British Columbia

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

A Local’s Guide to the Best Okanagan Valley Wineries

50+ Things to Do in Osoyoos and Oliver, BC

Penticton may just be the ultimate summer getaway town in British Columbia. Here's our itinerary for the perfect summer weekend in Penticton, BC, Canada
Penticton may just be the ultimate summer getaway town in British Columbia. Here's our itinerary for the perfect summer weekend in Penticton, BC, Canada
The small town of Penticton in British Columbia is an ideal place for a summer getaway, with two glittering lakes, over 50 wineries in the local area, beautiful beaches and great places to hike. 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. offtracktravel.ca

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2 thoughts on “The Perfect Itinerary for a Summer Weekend in Penticton, British Columbia”

    • I’ve heard so much about Joy Road Catering, but it just hasn’t happened yet! We lived in Penticton for 2.5 years but still visit often so maybe one day!

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