The number of things to do in Penticton, British Columbia has significantly increased as the town continues to see an uptick in visitors each year. The city is gaining popularity as a hot spot destination for sunshine, wine, water sports, an eclectic art scene, an incredible farmers market, aaaand did I mention wine?
With Kelowna becoming a bigger “city” every day, Penticton welcomes those yearning for a quieter small town vibe that still offers the landscape and #lakelife everyone is searching for. Vancouverites, Calgarians, and international visitors are taking notice, so I figured it was time I wrote a post about my home away from home.
Below I have outlined over 60 things to do in Penticton, British Columbia, including wineries, hikes, shopping, restaurants and day trips to surrounding towns. Here we go!
Best Restaurants in Penticton, BC
- The Bench
- Probably my favourite restaurant in Penticton. I go here for weekend brunch pretty much every weekend I am in town. I love the spinach benny, and eat one too many freshly baked goods for a normal human. The Bench is a great place to connect with friends, get some work done, or bask in the summer sun on their patio and people watch. It’s the perfect spot to go before or after a run/bike ride down the KVR (more on that later..)
- You had me at Bahama Breeze pizza. With incredible views of Okanagan Lake, I love taking friends here because I know the food will always be good, coupled with a lively atmosphere.
- Brodo Kitchen
- My go-to for a hearty lunch. Who doesn’t love a good soup and sandwich?? This spot is also great for dinner, and they are constantly rotating out menu items based on the season!
- I’m a sucker for greek food, and Theo’s always delivers. Great spot for groups! This is a local favourite and is always busy! Another great greek spot is La Casa Ouzeria.
- Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove Winery
- What’s better than a restaurant with amazing food? A restaurant ATTACHED TO A WINERY with amazing food. Not to mention they have one of the best views in the city. Sit on the patio in the summer, share a bottle of wine and watch the sun go down.
- Kettle Valley Station Pub for Pizza
- Normally, I wouldn’t recommend a restaurant attached to a Ramada. It’s nothing against the Ramada (okay maybe it is..). I don’t know. I’d just never tell a girlfriend hey you know where you should go for dinner? The Ramada. However, the Kettle Valley Station Pub has amazing pizza. I like to call in and order a box (or two…) and take it to the beach or back home to enjoy.
- Il Vecchio Deli
- I’m just going to throw this out there.. the best part of Italy isn’t the culture, or the scenery, or even the wine (gasps), it’s the food. I would probably need to carry around a defibrillator if I lived there because I would just eat carbs all day every day. Il Vecchio is a deli straight out of the streets of Italy. The homemade sandwiches are insanely good. Bank on there being a line at lunchtime, but it’s worth it! Grab a few to go and head to the beach!
- The Hooded Merganser
- The Hooded Merganser is a popular choice for tourists interested in dinner with an incredible view. The patio sits on top of Okanagan Lake, and makes for the perfect date night spot. It is centrally located so you can wander over to the Parrot for a few drinks after dins.
- The Cellar Wine Bar
- I’ve never been here, but a ton of people have recommended this spot for dinner. Every time I walk by it, it smells like garlic and deliciousness. I’ll try it the next time I’m in Penticton and report back!
- Sushi KOJO
- New on the scene, Sushi KOJO has made a nice name for itself on the Skaha side of Penticton. I was skeptical seeing as Penticton is landlocked and nowhere near the coast, but was pleasantly surprised! Ramen, sushi rolls, poke bowls. They have it all. Would definitely recommend for your sushi fix!
- Skaha Pizza
- I love Skaha Pizza because you don’t hate yourself after you eat it. It’s not greasy, there is a thin crust, and it’s topped with fresh ingredients. I’m a big fan. Another great choice to pick up and take to Skaha Beach.
Breweries and Distilleries
- Bad Tattoo
- Not even half way through this post and I’ve already recommended three pizza joints. I guess the cat is out of the bag… biiig pizza guy. This time the pizza is paired with craft beer though, so it’s 2 for 2 in my book. This is a fun place to hang and sit on the patio or watch a game!
- Legend Distilling
- Small batch spirits made in Naramata. Their location is perfectly situated on Naramata Bench, with a breathtaking view of the lake. Head there for a tasting or to sit down for lunch or dinner. They make every meal out of a little truck in the back and everything on the menu is delicious.
- Cannery Brewing
- Another place to pop by to try a flight of locally made beer! Cute patio out back with picnic tables to sit and hang out with friends.
Best Shopping in Penticton, BC
- The Book Shop
- As a writer, I am slightly obsessed with this book store. It is one of the largest used book stores in Canada with over 5,000 square feet of floor to ceiling book displays. Sports, photography, fashion, travel. They have every subject you can think of. Amazing shop for coffee table books, or some classic works by famous authors and poets.
- Lurtz and Co
- The prettiest little boutique on Main Street. I felt like I stepped into a cute shop in the heart of Bali. All the clothing is carefully curated with a focus on quality and cruelty free lines. I could have spent all afternoon in this shop buying one of everything. Men, women and home goods available!
- Teas and Weaves
- Where area rug dreams are made of. I can’t say enough about this spot. As a traveller, I felt in my element wandering around this store reflecting on past trips. Turkish lamps, jewelry, teas, and rugs sourced from all over the world. I almost didn’t want to put this store on this list because I want all the rugs for myself. They are so beautiful and very reasonably priced. Excuse me while I go buy 5 more…
- Something Pretty Boutique
- A little bit of everything at this stylish boutique. They love supporting local designers and have a great mix of trendy pieces.
- Ad Hoc
- A stunning collection of local designers across North America. What I love most is that they focus on a lot of female designers. They have been open for 6 years and value well made items and fabrics. It is a bit pricey but worth it for quality pieces! The perfect store for those looking for a more minimalistic closet. High quality > quantity.
This farmers market is an absolute ZOO, but for good reason. This is probably one of the best things to do in Penticton on a weekend in the summer or early fall! The streets are chalk full of vendors. Vegan cheeses to handmade pottery to local vegetables, this market has it all. There are a ton of food trucks that set up shop as well, so come with an appetite. BRING CASH!! The bank ATM’s usually have massive lines, and not that many vendors accept credit. There is also a little greek stand that makes insane spanokopita. I’ll find the name next time I go.
Farmer’s Markets.. the perfect excuse to pet all the dogs.
Didn’t think I’d write a things to do in Penticton post without mentioning wine touring now did ya?? It is THE thing to do in the Okanagan. Here is a list of my favourite wineries in Naramata:
- Best Wineries in Naramata:
- Poplar Grove
- La Frenz
- Laughing Stock
- Bench 1775
- Lake Breeze
- Best Wineries in Okanagan Falls:
- Painted Rock – Beautiful view. Their wines are sold in Bordeaux, France to give you a sense of the quality! Popular wedding spot
- Liquidity – amazing food!! Get the pizza … (man, I didn’t realize what an addict I was until this post :|)
- Blue Mountain – My favourite Pinot Noir
- See ya Later Ranch – Ask them to tell you the story behind the name!
- PLAY (located in Skaha, good one to stop at on way back to Penticton) Great restaurant overlooking Skaha Lake
- Book a Wine tour with Grape Escapes
- Definitely the premier wine tour company! They have really established a name for themselves in the space, and are the most professional. Knowledgable staff and a variety of different tours available!
- HooDoo Adventures
- Provide outdoor adventure tours and group tours led by energetic and highly trained staff. Everything from kayaking, rappelling, hiking tours and snowshoeing adventures. There is also a spirited brews cruise, bicycle distillery and craft brewery tour!
Rent Water Sports Equipment
- Boat Rentals (Pier Water Sports, Penticton Boat Rentals or Skaha Lake Marina)
- Rent a boat for the day with friends, no boat license required!
- Kayak or SUP rentals
- I like going out early morning or at sunset on the paddle boards. So peaceful! There is a great SUP rental place in Naramata as well.
Float the River channel
Grab a six pack, a waterproof speaker and a floatie and spend a few hours basking in the sun as the water transports you from Okanagan Lake to Skaha Lake.
- Penticton Golf and Country Cub
- Fairview Mountain Golf and Country Club (Oliver)
- Summerland Golf and Country Club
Go for Ice Cream
- Tickleberry’s – a cult favourite
- Ice cream at the Peach – crazy creations in a mason jar. Very instagrammable and not high in calories at all…
- Antiques in Okanagan Falls – The cutest white and pink antique shop you ever did see!
- Penticton Gifts and Antiques – Can always find some gems in this store!
- Resale Vintage in Peachland – Never been here but heard good things if you pop over to Peachland!
Day at the Beach
- Sunoka Beach
- Skaha Lake Beach
- Okanagan Lake Beach
- Okanagan Lake Park (Dog Beach)
- Marina Way Beach
- Three Mile Beach
Pro tip: Buy a day pass for Splash BC Water Parks – Penticton Wibit – The kids will be occupied while you relax for some quite time on the beach. Don’t worry they pay staff to supervise your kids for you. Praise be.
Host a Beach BBQ
Buy meat or veggie burgers from T-Bones or seafood from Buy the Sea and host your own BBQ picnic on the beach.
Mini golf at Loco Landing
Fun fact: my boyfriend took me here for one of our first dates. I crushed him in mini golf. This is fun spot to take the family or for date night. You could wander over to Salty’s for a bite afterward.
Take a day trip to:
- Take a day trip to the wine capitol of Canada: Oliver, BC. About an hour drive from Penticton
- Head to the “big” city for the day. Try out new hikes, wineries, or head to Big White Ski Resort for that champagne powder in the winter.
- Go golfing or..shocker, hit up a winery or two.
- Apex Mountain
- Apex is a fun place to explore all year, but it comes alive in the winter. Cross country skiing, tubing, skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing, outdoor hockey, a skating loop, this quaint mountain has it all.
Hiking, Biking & Climbing
- Giant’s Head in Summerland
- Skaha Bluffs
- Great climbing mountain
- Bike the KVR Trail
- Munson Mountain
Rainy Day Things to do in Penticton, BC
- See a movie at Landmark theatre
- Watch a Penticton V’s hockey game
- S.S Sicamous Museum
- Penticton Art Gallery
- Explore the Book Store
- BC Wine Information Centre
- Cozy up at the Bench with a book and a latte
- Take a spin class at PURE gym
- Ikeda Japanese Garden
- S.S Sicamous Museum
Okay, I feel like that was about 5 blog posts in one, but hopefully that gives you lots of options for places to eat, wineries to visit and things to do in Penticton, British Columbia! I turned this blog post into a handy 3 page PDF with just a list of all the things to do. Great thing to download and reference when you visit!