New year? Time for new adventures in beautiful British Columbia. Nestled in the Okanagan Valley in BC’s Southern Interior, Penticton is a charming lakeside city brimming with exciting things to do, especially for the winter lover and outdoor enthusiast.
Though you may think of Penticton as a summer vacation destination, it’s surely primed for all-season fun. Penticton especially comes alive during the winter, with clean, crisp air, awe-inspiring surroundings, delicious cuisine, and so much to explore.
To help you make the most out of your next visit, whether you decide to take a scenic road trip or fly in, here are five exciting things to do in gorgeous Penticton.
Find somewhere unique to rest your head
Vacationing in Penticton is going to start with finding a place to drop your bags and unwind after action-packed days. The city has a range of cozy spots to rest and rejuvenate for any budget type.
There are cozy bed-and-breakfasts like O.K. Whistlestop B&B, offering impressive views in a classic atmosphere, while Cormier’s Studio B&B offers two different suites in a captivating art gallery setting which also features a sculpture garden.
If you’re looking for more traditional options, Penticton has a number of resorts and vacation rentals available as well, so you’ll be sure to find the best option for your needs. For those wishing to stay a little longer, many accommodations offer long-term winter stays.
Before you jump into the snow and even after a busy day of fun, you’re going to want to fuel up on some local eats. Luckily, Penticton is a foodie hotspot, with an endless supply of incredible cafes, restaurants, breweries, and wine destinations.
If you’re looking for a quick bite, Gratify Foods has all the sandwiches, smoothies, and treats in a health-conscious format. Nearby, Brodo Kitchen on Main Street has hearty soups, salads, and sandwiches with Italian flare. Another cute lunch option, Loki’s Garage on Front Street has a retro feel and open kitchen, offering a variety of housemade hot and cold sandwiches, burgers, salads, and a choice of six styles of fries!
If you want the food tour, Penticton has curated an assortment of culinary trail itineraries called Daily Special that’ll help you navigate all the delicious offerings downtown and those on the Naramata Bench.
Experience the outdoors like never before
Anchored by two pristine lakes, Penticton is truly an iconic destination. And in the winter, the city is yours for the taking.
You can jump into classic snow sports like skiing and snowboarding at Apex Mountain Resort, offering day-trip-worthy slopes in a range of difficulties for every rider. Or head to Nickel Plate Nordic Centre about 45 minutes from downtown Penticton, and just 10 minutes from Apex Resort for 56 km of groomed trails to get your snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or winter hiking off without a hitch.
More of a fat biker? Hit Freedom Bike Shop to rent your fat ride for a thrilling pedal down the Kettle Valley Rail trail. Skating fans can figure eight at Penticton’s outdoor skating rink and hockey lovers can join a game of shinny at McLaren Arena.
Another stunning opportunity that cannot be missed is enjoying Penticton’s classic Okanagan Lake views while skating lakeside! The Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre has a fully licenced ice rink that is open both to guests of the resort and to the public. So bring your skates and enjoy a skate with a view, along with a yummy hot beverage to keep you warm.
Explore local culture and entertainment
A historic Canadian city, Penticton comes from the Interior Salish nsyilxcən word “snpintktn” and roughly translates to “a place to stay forever.” As guests in such a historic locale, Penticton’s rich history is certainly something to discover, and you can do that at Penticton Museum and Archives on Main Street.
Along with local culture, Penticton has a fantastic local arts scene, so head to the Penticton Art Gallery for their latest showcase. For an enthralling art tour, you have a wide variety of options, such as the Arts Council Gallery, showcasing emerging and professional artists, Art of Marina, which marries art and fashion, 4th Meridian Art & Auctions, offering fine and historic art, and The Lloyd Gallery, established in the 1980s and showcasing 40 Canadian artists.
For the hockey fans, the BCHL’s number one team, the Penticton Vees could use your cheering and hollering over at the epic South Okanagan Events Centre, which also hosts live concerts and special events, in fact, the epic Harlem Globetrotters are making a stop on January 25 for their world tour.
Wine tour or brewery hop
There’s nothing like unwinding on vacation with a local bevvie from a craft brewery or nearby vineyard.
Luckily, Penticton is home to a mind-boggling 80+ wineries, including Little Engine Wines, Ruby Blues Winery, the Three Sisters Winery and dozens more. Further south, visit Culmina Family Estate or Tinhorn Creek Vineyards up on Golden Mile Bench, or the District Wine Village, the first wine village in Canada.
Since many remain open during the winter months, it’s a great time to indulge in a locally curated wine tour to get the most out of your stay. Plus, the winter season also features the Okanagan Winter Wine Festival, with the Sensation event coming up on January 27, 2023, at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.
Craft beer enthusiasts will also feel at home in Penticton, with eight innovative destinations, the city actually has the most craft brewers per capita in the country.
Hit up the Penticton Ale Trail to discover them all as you make stops at spots like Tin Whistle, BC’s first certified carbon-neutral brewery; Highway 97 Brewery right downtown with their newly expanded taproom; and Slackwater for a flight and some snacks, among others!
Now that you’ve got the tea on some of the most exciting things to do in Penticton, what are you waiting for? Explore a million fun winter activities to enjoy under the sun in the beautiful South Okanagan Valley for your next adventure, and start planning your winter trip today via Visit Penticton
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