Things to do in Penticton this Summer
Are you considering a family road trip to the South Okanagan this summer? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we share the best things to do in Penticton with kids this summer.
I’m not sure why it took us so long to visit Penticton. We’ve visited nearby Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops many times over the years. However, Penticton and Osoyoos always seemed to get overlooked. That changed last summer, when we spent a week exploring the region.
We’re happy to report that Penticton exceeded our expectations.
Before we get started, I should mention that you can visit Penticton year round. However, this blog post is focused on the summer travel season.
Spend the day at Okanagan Beach
Most people who visit Penticton in the summer come to spend time at Okanagan Lake. This popular lake is 135 km long, stretching from Vernon in the north to Penticton in the south.
Located on Lakeshore Drive in the heart of the city, Okanagan Beach is the most popular beach in Penticton. Although, some might argue that Skaha Lake Park is the best Penticton beach.
Okanagan Beach features a kilometre of sandy beach and offers ideal swimming conditions for families. It has public washrooms nearby and free parking.
Above is a photo of the Okanagan Beach promenade in Penticton. You will find plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants and hotel/motel accommodation on Lakeshore Drive.
Wibit Penticton – Floating water park
Another popular summer attraction in Penticton is the Wibit floating water park. It’s located on the west end of Okanagan Beach on Lakeshore Drive.
This floating obstacle course has several slides, bouncy bridges and jumps. It’s only open in the summer due to the cold water temperatures in the winter.
Learn about Penticton water park and pricing here.
Lifejackets are required and provided at Penticton Wibit water park.
Get on the water
Okanagan Lake is a dream destination for water sports enthusiasts. Head to Pier Water Sports to rent Seadoos, speed boats, kayaks and paddleboards. You can even rent a 24 passenger “party barge” and spend the day on the lake with your friends and family.
It’s located on the east end of Okanagan Beach, near Penticton Lakeside Resort.
Check equipment availability and rental pricing here.
Related post – Our experience Glamping in Kelowna BC
SS Sicamous Museum & Heritage Park
The SS Sicamous Stern Wheeler is one of Penticton’s most iconic landmarks. It’s the largest surviving stern wheeler in British Columbia and is now a museum.
This Penticton tourist attraction is located on the west end of Okanagan Beach on Lakeshore Drive. You’ll find plenty of free parking near the ship and on Lakeshore Drive. Allow 45 minutes to complete the self guided tour of the ship.
Learn about the History of the SS Sicamous Stern Wheeler here.
Creperie Ooolala is located directly beside SS Sicamous Heritage Park.
Loco Landing Adventure Park
Without question, one of the best things to do in Penticton with kids is spend the afternoon at Loco Landing Adventure Park. It’s a small amusement park located near Okanagan Beach.
See the list of LocoLanding park attractions here.
We recommend you get the Value Pack (see tickets above). It includes one time on every activity in the park. At the time of publishing, the price is $39 per value pack. See ticket prices here.
A nice feature is that activities can be completed over multiple days. We actually visited the park twice because we did not do the Mini-golf on the first day.
The Monkey Motion jumper attraction is a favourite with our boys.
The park has an 18 hole mini-golf course with waterfalls, caves and a train trestle.
Go-Karts course at LocoLanding Adventure Park Penticton.
Braydon made it to the top of the High-level Ropes Course. It’s an adrenaline pumping activity for kids!
Crazy Shakes at The Peach Ice Cream Shop
The Penticton Peach serves up legendary shakes and treats. It’s located on the east end of Okanagan Beach, near the Penticton Lakeside Resort.
The Giant Peach is open in the summer months, beginning in May.
Check out The Peach menu of Crazy Shakes here.
River tubing the Penticton River Channel
Another fun and unique thing to do in Penticton this summer is to float down the Penticton Channel River. It takes about 1.5 hours to float down the channel but times vary depending on water flow.
It’s a very popular activity on a hot summer day in the Okanagan.
Coyote Cruises offers visitors tube rentals and shuttle transport back to the starting point. Single and double tubes are available to rent, along with 4-8-12 person party islands.
Check Tube and Bus Combo prices here.
Penticton river tubing tickets are purchased at the ticket booth pictured above.
Coyote Cruises buses pick-up guests and return them to the starting point.
Comfortable four-person floating tube with Coyote Cruises.
Munson Mountain Trail
This is an easy walking trail that can be accessed from downtown Penticton (see details here). It offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Munson Mountain was recognized in 2016 as being one of Canada’s Historic Places.
The photo above was captured at Poplar Grove Winery, which is located close to Munson Mountain park.
The giant Penticton Sign is also located here. However, the closer you get to the sign, the harder it is to actually see or take a photo. It’s best to view the sign from downtown or the lake.
Walk the Kettle Valley Rail trail
The Kettle Valley Trail (KVR) is actually part of the Trans Canada Trail, said to be the world’s longest network of multi-use recreational trails. The most popular section of the trail in Penticton is McCulloch Trestle. It’s about 5 km round-trip.
The trail begins in Penticton and travels all the way to Naramata and beyond. This easy walking trail offers stunning views of Okanagan Lake and the surrounding vineyards. The path also passes the big Penticton sign on Munson Mountain.
Learn more about Kettle Valley Rail Trail here.
Wine tasting at Naramata Bench
Penticton is known as being one of the best wine regions in Canada. Most of the popular Penticton wineries are located along Naramata Bench, located a few kilometres northeast of Penticton.
It will take several days to visit all of the Penticton and Naramata Bench wineries, so it’s best to pick a few. Check out this map of Naramata Wineries.
If you plan to indulge, it’s best to book a Penticton wine tour so that you avoid driving. It’s also a fun way to meet other wine lovers.
We love wine tasting in the Okanagan Valley.
It’s easy to visit several unique wineries within a short distance. Many of the wineries have restaurants with panoramic views of Okanagan Lake, which is an ideal location for sunset watching.
Hillside Winery sells hand-crafted wine made exclusively from Naramata grown grapes.
The Tasting Barn at Elephant Island Winery in Naramata, British Columbia.
Related post – Best Road Trip from Vancouver for first timers
Fresh Fruit picking
Given its prime growing conditions, the Okanagan Valley is home to several orchards and farms. What better way to sample fresh fruit than picking your own apples, cherries, peaches, apricots, plums and pears.
Visit this page to learn about harvest times.
Penticton Ale Trail – Craft Breweries
If wineries are not your thing, not to worry. There are several breweries located in Penticton, known as the Penticton Ale Trail.
Below is the list of Penticton Breweries and Brewpubs
- Cannery Brewing
- Bad Tattoo Brewing (pictured above)
- Highway 97 Brewing
- Slackwater Brewing (pictured below)
- Neighbourhood Brewing
- Tin Whistle Brewery
- Barley Mill Brewpub
Did you know that Penticton is one of Canada’s best kept secrets when it comes to craft beer? In 2020, it was recognized as Canada’s craft beer capital by Lonely Planet.
In the summer, Bad Tattoo Brewing has an outdoor space for guests to enjoy its tasty beer in the sun. It also has a food truck on site serving BBQ. During our visit, we decided to sit outside and enjoy the warm weather, rather than dine inside the restaurant / brewpub.
Beef brisket poutine from the food truck at Bad Tattoo Brewing.
Lickity Splitz Ice Cream
Another popular Penticton ice cream shop is Lickity Splitz. It’s located across the street from Okanagan Beack on Lakeshore Drive. Look for the giant penguin statue pictured above.
How many of these ice cream cookies do you think you can eat?
Explore Penticton on a 2, 4 or 6 person Bike
A fun way to explore Penticton is by renting a 2, 4 or 6 person bike. The bike pictured above is a 2 person bike that also accommodates a small child.
Check options and pricing at Penticton Bike Rentals
Penticton Skate Park
The Penticton Skate Park is a well-maintained park for skateboarding, bikes and scooters. If you or you’re kids like to skate or freestyle bike, bring your boards and bikes on your Penticton road trip.
The park is located directly beside LocoLanding Adventure Park.
Shop, Eat and Wander Downtown Penticton
Penticton is a very walkable city with many shops, cafes and restaurants. Start your walk at the intersection of Main Street and Front Street.
Penticton Peach Festival is an annual South Okanagan Valley tradition, which began in 1947, to celebrate the peach harvest. More info about Penticton Peach Fest here.
Skaha Lake Park
Located on the south side of Penticton, Skaha Lake Park is another popular Penticton beach area. If you plan to camp or RV, this is where you want to be.
There are several RV campgrounds near Skaha Lake, including Barefoot Beach Resort, Oxbow RV Resort and South Beach Gardens Tent and RV Park.
Kettle Valley Steam Railway
The Kettle Valley Steam Railway is actually located in Summerland, which is about 20 minutes north of Penticton. Given it’s close proximity, we feel it should be included as a family friendly attraction in Penticton.
More info about the Kettle Valley Steam Railway here.
Ikeda Japanese Garden
This Japanese Garden is best visited during April and May, when the spring blossoms are in full bloom. It’s not a big park, but it has a peaceful garden with reflection ponds and shady trees.
While here, consider a quick visit to the nearby Penticton Art Gallery.
Visit the new District Wine Village
Looking for a unique wine tasting experience in the South Okanagan? Check out the new one-of-a-kind District Wine Village, located 30 minutes drive south of Penticton.
This is the first wine village in Canada. It’s located in the town of Oliver, which is half way between Penticton and Osoyoos. We made a visit while driving from Penticton to Osoyoos on our summer road trip.
Watch this short video from our time at the District Wine Village.
Where to eat in Penticton
There are several Penticton restaurants, breweries and cafes to choose from. Where you eat will depend on your budget and dining preference.
Here’s a few of recommendations for Penticton restaurants:
- Loki’s Garage – hipster brunch spot serving tasty Bennies, Hashes and Chicken & Waffles (see photo below).
- Wayne & Freda Coffee Shop – smoothies, toasts, sandwiches and bowls.
- Hooded Merganser Restaurant – sit on the patio for waterfront views of Okanagan Lake.
- Pizzeria Tratto Napoletana – traditional Italian pizza.
- Salty’s Beach House – lakefront bistro serving fresh oysters, brunch, burgers, bowls and salads.
- Pasta Factory – family restaurant serving every kind of pasta dish as well as steaks and ribs
- The Black Antler – fancy burgers and sandwiches, steaks and shareable plates, brunch, salads and bowls.
- BRODO Kitchen – lunch spot serving artisan soups, salads, bowls and sandwiches.
- TIME Winery & Kitchen – built within a revitalized movie theater, Penticton’s first downtown winery, serving charcuterie, share plates, fancy fries, salads, burgers and special Sunday dinner menu.
Above photo – Braydon devouring Chicken and Waffles at Loki’s Garage.
Where to Stay in Penticton
The most popular hotel on Okanagan Lake is the Penticton Lakeside Resort. This is where we stayed during our Penticton summer vacation.
The property is located directly on the beach, as advertised. It’s an older building but the rooms are clean and renovated. We would recommend staying here.
Note – the indoor pool is very cold. Keep that in mind if having a pool is a big part of your hotel decision making. It has a hot tub, which is nice. But we could not spend more than a few minutes in the pool before running back to the hot tub.
Penticton Lakeside Resort has a private beach with loungers and umbrellas provided to guests.
This is the private beach at the resort. It was really windy that afternoon, which is not the norm.
The above photo shows the lake view rooms and gardens at the resort.
The Kiwanis Walking Pier is located directly beside the Penticton Lakeside Resort.
Lakeshore Drive has several options for accommodations. Most are budget friendly motels that are geared towards families.
Here are a few options on Lakeshore Drive:
Other hotel options within walking distance to Okanagan Lake:
Search for more Penticton hotels here.
Penticton Campgrounds and RV parks:
- South Beach Gardens Tent and RV Park
- Barefoot Beach Resort
- Oxbow RV Resort
- Wright’s Beach Camp
- Banbury Green RV Park
- Holiday Hills RV Park
Here’s a comprehensive list of campgrounds in the Okanagan Valley.
Read more blog posts from British Columbia:
- Things to do at Harrison Hot Springs with kids
- The Best Road Trip from Vancouver for first time visitors
- The best things to do in Victoria
- 20 Things to do in Whistler this Summer 2020
- The best things to do along the Sea to Sky Highway
Have you visited Penticton? What did we miss?
Leave us a comment if you have any questions about visiting Penticton.