How to spend 48 hours in Penticton: The ultimate guide for visitors

How to spend 48 hours in Penticton: The ultimate guide for visitors

With beautiful beaches, markets, a lazy river to float down, lakeside dining spots, and over 80 nearby wineries, cideries, craft distilleries and eight breweries, there’s simply no shortage of fun to be had in Penticton.

It’s no wonder that visitors from across BC and Alberta flock to this classic vacation spot that’s wedged between two incredible lakes.

Whether your ideal day involves biking, paddling, or simply tasting your way through the city, there’s something for everyone in this interior oasis. And everything is nearby — meaning that once you make it here, your trip becomes almost fuel free. Easy breezy.

So, with a trip to Penticton on the top of our minds, we thought we’d round up the ultimate way to spend 48 hours in the region, full of activities from exploring nature and lake lounging to food and bevvy tastings.

Day 01

Hit the Penticton Farmer’s Market

What better way to start off your visit to Penticton than by literally checking out all the fruits of its local’s labours? As well as its famed wine, the Okanagan is known for its delicious fruit orchards.

The Saturday morning Penticton Farmer’s Market is where you’ll find a wide assortment of fruits to stock up your hotel room with for your stay — as well as fresh veggies, eggs, honey, baked goods, preserves, and a variety of souvenirs for your friends and family back home. The farmer’s market also runs alongside the Penticton Downtown Community Market — so you’re set with plenty of booths to check out.

Try the iconic Channel Float

Floating the Penticton Channel (Visit Penticton)

Once you’ve had your shop at the market, head back home, grab your bathing suit and floaty, and prepare to let the iconic Channel Float carry your stresses away. Simply bike or walk from downtown to Coyote Cruises on Riverside Drive, and from there you’ll begin your drift from Okanagan Lake all the way down to Skaha Lake. They even operate regular shuttle busses to bring you back to the start once you’ve finished your float.

A must-do while in Penticton, this well-known 7km lazy river is the definition of a chill summer activity. Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake hug the city of Penticton. The Channel Float allows you to drift from one to the other while taking in the sights along the stunning shoreline.

Head to a craft brewery for a post-float beer

Slack Water brewing, brewery tours are one of the many things to do in Penticton

Slackwater Brewing (Visit Penticton)

After all that lounging on the lazy river, you’ll definitely be in need of a beer. As the craft beer capital of Canada (with more breweries per capita than any other Canadian city), Penticton has no shortage of options for brews.

From Slackwater to Bad Tattoo and Neighbourhood Brewing (plus the five others), you’re sure to find a spot (or two) that’s up your alley with delicious food options to enjoy with your beer, too. When planning your brewery crawl, check out the Penticton Ale Trail for all the inside info.

Bring your bike and ride from brewery to brewery on a self-guided tour, or rent a bike (or scooter) and enjoy your breweries tour. If you prefer a guided tour, you can travel in style and meet some new friends in a guided pedal vehicle as you visit the breweries.

Head back to your luxurious landing pad

The Penticton Lakeside Resort, places to stay in Penticton

Penticton Lakeside Resort (Visit Penticton)

After a day of lounging, beer tasting, and eating (rough life), make your way back to your room to recharge for the next day ahead.

From lavish spots like the Penticton Lakeside Resort and the Tiki Shores Inn & Suites on the Okanagan lake end of town to the Valleystar Motel and Beachside Motel on the Skaha Lake side of town — you are spoiled for choice with where to rest your sun-kissed head.

Day 02

Grab a quick coffee at Wayne & Freda’s

What would a vacation be without having your go-to coffee spot? Stroll from your hotel to this aesthetically pleasing cafe in downtown Penticton. It serves every purpose a good coffee shop should: it’s well designed, smells of rich espresso, sounds of ambient music and friends chatting, and makes a mean latte.

Head out for a morning paddle, bike, or climb

Lake life is all about getting outside and being on the water, and what could be a more relaxing way to start your day than with stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking? However, if you’re looking for a way to get your heart racing in the outdoors a little more, other popular Penticton activities include mountain biking and rock climbing — just pick your pleasure. And during your stay, you can easily rent the toys you need from various retailers.

Embark on a winery tour

Wine tasting, one of the many things to do in Penticton

Wine tasting on the Naramata Bench (Visit Penticton)

Wine tasting in the “Napa of the North” is the biggest must of all must-do’s while visiting here. There are over 80 wineries within a 20-minute drive of Penticton, so — once again, you have your pick of the litter.

The Naramata Bench is just north of Penticton alongside Okanagan Lake and is one of the most picturesque wine regions in the country. But with so many options for vineyards to hit here (45, to be exact), your preference for whites, reds, sweet or dry wines will help you in choosing a spot that gears more towards your tastes. We suggest picking around three to visit in an extended afternoon, to make sure you have enough time to spend at them all.

Pop into one of the local bike shops or bike rental locations to pick up a bicycle or e-bike to start your car-free wine tour, or consider taking an organized tour for optimal ease.

Get dinner at Theo’s Restaurant

Located right in downtown Penticton — which is easily walkable — this fantastic Greek spot has been operating since 1976 and will transport you into a whimsical dining experience.

Everything served here is made in-house, from their soups, dips, thick yogurt and ice creams. They offer a wide variety of dish styles, from platters packed with gorgeous meats and seafood to classic souvlakis and Mediterranean-style ribs.

There’s no shortage of places to eat in Penticton, and with the Daily Special culinary trail itineraries, you’ll have another 48 hours you could spend here simply focused on eating and drinking your way through the town.

If you’re already mentally packing your channel-floating and wine-tasting outfits, we’re right there with you. With so much to do in Penticton and close by downtown Penticton, there couldn’t be a better spot for an almost fuel-free vacation.

To learn more and to start planning your trip, check out

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