"Penticton: A place to live forever..." Penticton by maxx_grey

Penticton Travel Guide: 33 reviews and 43 photos

First Impressions

I'm afraid my first impressions of Penticton weren't all that positive. We arrived in town in the bad old days before the Coquihalla Hwy./Okanagan Connector was built and it meant a really tiresome, slow trip up the Hope-Princeton and east on Hwy. 3 to get to the Okanagan - almost 7 hours to make what should have been a 4 hr. journey.

As we cruised in to town, it quickly became apparent that the town was packed, with tourists - the beaches at both ends were thronged with people, the "No Vacancy" signs lit up the motel marquees and traffic moved at about 20 km. an hour.

But one thing stuck with me from this experience - all these people must see something in this place.

Lesson One for Penticton visitors (and this applies today, as well): If you are going to arrive without reservations on a summer long weekend, it's going to be a challenge to find anywhere to stay.

We, of course, had made a real hash of it, arriving not only on a summer long weekend, but on THE LONG WEEKEND - the BC Day long weekend.

We finally located accommodations in Summerland and made a note never to do it again. We loitered in the area for three days, lazed about on the beach, rented a sailboat for an idyllic afternoon and, in short, ened up having a fabulous time.

Older and Wiser

As it happened, we were out of the country for a couple of years and it was 1994 before we made our way back to Penticton.

This time we had done a bit better job of planning and actually had a place to stay. We also allowed ourselves a lot more time - time to explore, drive the back country roads, stop at the attractions and experience a bit more of the local scene.

It was July and we hit a period where every day was flawlessly clear, hot enough that you really appreciated either the air conditioning or submerging yourself in either Okanagan or Skaha lake. The beaches were truly wonderful - every bit as good as those we frequented in the Carribean or Spain's Costa del Sol.

We golfed a bit on the courses at the Penticton Golf & Country Club and Twin Lakes, just outside of town, visited a couple of nascent wineries (the wine industry was really just beginning to take root (!)), spent a day up at Apex Mountain, the local ski hill and did a bit of fishing. We made several good friends and spent a throughly delightful three weeks. It was very hard to head home - we fell in love with this little bit of paradise.

A Delightful Winter Holiday

In 1999 we decided to change our routine and instead of heading for warmer climes, we would take a real winter vacation, one with snow! Our visit to Apex Mountain had impressed us, even though it was summertime, and we decided to head there. A few phone calls later, we had a chalet on the hill lined up and we were headed for the snow.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very pleasant place to visit - any time of the year
  • Cons:Very crowded on BC Day weekend.
  • In a nutshell:We love it!
  • Last visit to Penticton: Aug 2007
  • Intro Written Jan 13, 2008
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