Penticton : The Peach City

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Penticton is a city in the province of British Columbia in Canada. It is located within the Okanagan Valley between Skaha and Okanagan Lakes. Its name is derived from a Salish word ‘snpintktn’ which roughly translates to ‘place to stay forever’. Once regarded as a final stop for Canadian retirees, the city has reinvented itself becoming one of the top tourist destinations in the country. The region has a rich history and a diverse culture which coupled with the breathtaking landscapes make it a coveted holiday destination. It is a fast-growing city with a variety of activities to fill your days both in and outside the city center.

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Penticton : The Peach City:table of contents

1. Okanagan Mountain Park

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The Okanagan Mountain Park is an outdoor lover’s paradise located within the Okanagan Valley with a variety of activities to keep you entertained including boating, hiking, and riding. For the best views of the entire park, follow a trail to the summit where you will be rewarded with 360° views of the surrounding landscape with the Monashee Mountains to the east and the beautiful Okanagan Lake to the west. There are six campgrounds some near the water providing a base for a variety of watersports. Above the lakeshore is an area of untouched wilderness only accessible by foot, bicycle, or on horseback. The park covers over 10,000 hectares making it a nice place to explore and relax while enjoying the great outdoors.

2. Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park located just south of Penticton was established in 2010 becoming one of the best locations for rock climbing. It covers around 480 hectares and features over 1,000 climbs within its three canyons. The rock walls vary in difficulty offering both novice and expert climbers a rewarding challenge. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife playing an important role in the protection of some of the endangered species. Skaha Bluffs is an outdoor paradise, a lovely escape from the hassle and bustle of the city center where you can relax, play, and explore. It is worth noting that the park is only open from March to mid-November so it’s best to plan your visit accordingly.

3. SS Sicamous Museum and Heritage Park

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The SS Sicamous is a historic ship and one of the largest surviving of its kind in Canada. Fully restored, it has been converted into a museum that features the history of the region. The museum provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about the maritime history of the region through its displays and guided tours. In the lower deck is a model of the Kettle Valley Railway which also has working miniature trains. The original boiler and steam engines are also located within the deck. Going upstairs you will see the dining room, Captain’s wheel, and the cabins. The Heritage Park is located outside the SS Sicamous and houses many of the restoration activities on some of the region’s most iconic vessels.

4. Apex Mountain Resort

Located within the Okanagan Valley about a 30-minute drive from Penticton, the Apex Mountain Resort is a family-friendly ski resort on Beaconsfield Mountain. The resort has a variety of terrain that suits both novice and expert skiers. Featuring more than 70 marked runs prepared by some of the best groomers in the industry and an extra 40+ unmarked runs, it compels skiers to outdo themselves while enjoying themselves to the fullest. The resort also features a detachable quad that gets you to the top in six minutes allowing you to go on many runs. There are accommodation facilities near the resort making it a perfect place to go for a fun-filled getaway.

5. Munson Mountain

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The Munson Mountain is a fantastic location to take pictures while enjoying the wonderful views of the valley. Located up Vancouver Hill on the east side of Penticton, it was made famous by the giant Penticton sign on one of its sides. It is protected as a city park with a trail to its summit with benches and viewpoints along the way. Its main attraction is the Sunset Markers, a series of small stones carefully aligned to show the position of the sun as it sets over the horizon. The mountain also has a connection to the Trans-Canada Trail and many walking paths.

6. Penticton Museum & Archives

The Penticton Museum is located at the Penticton Community Art Complex which it shares with the Penticton Public Library. Local curator R.N. Atkinson had collected firearms, antiques, native and military artifacts since the 1920s which he showcased in a private museum in his home. The Penticton Museum was established in 1954 when he was given the decommissioned SS Sicamous to house his extensive collection. It was housed there until 1965 when it moved to its current location. Featuring permanent and temporary exhibits, the museum is a fascinating place to visit educating and entertaining visitors all in one go.

7. Penticton Art Gallery

The Penticton Art Gallery traces its roots to the Penticton Art Club which was founded in the 1950s and functioned as a club where artists showcased their work. In 1985, the Penticton Art Gallery building was officially opened hosting its first exhibition in November the same year. The gallery is home to a permanent collection that includes over 1,000 pieces of art which have a cultural and historical significance. It also presents temporary exhibitions every now and then showcasing works by emerging and established artists. The gallery is a place of interest and enjoyment and a must visit while in Penticton.

8. Kettle Valley Rail Trail

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The Kettle Valley Railway was a railway network that operated across British Columbia as part of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Opened in 1915, it was abandoned in portions from 1961 with its last train in 1989. It has now been converted into a recreational trail that is part of the Trans-Canada Trail. As the longest rail trail network in the province of British Columbia, it offers visitors a fantastic place to ride while enjoying the breath-taking scenery of the region. It is almost 650 kilometers and runs from Castlegar to Hope. From day trips to overnight legs, the Kettle Valley Rail Trail can be experienced in many ways with organized tours also available.

9. The Book Shop

Photo by Mack Male

The Book Shop is one of Penticton’s most treasured landmarks. Opened in 1974 by Bruce Stevenson, the Book Shop is arguably one of the largest in Canada with thousands of books covering every subject imaginable. With a floor space of over 5,000 square feet, the Book Shop is larger than small-town libraries in both quantity and quality becoming somewhat of an enigma in the city. Apart from books, the Book Shop also provides over 20,000 video rentals from its collection which is one of the most extensive in the Okanagan Valley. These include foreign films, film classics, North American releases, and independent films.

10. Ruby Blues Winery

The Okanagan Valley is home to many wineries with some heavenly wine to offer. The Ruby Blues Winery stands out as the funkiest of the bunch making it a popular destination among visitors to the valley. Located on the stunningly beautiful Namarata Beach, it is the only one without a formal entry fee. Opened in 2008 by Prudence Mahrer as the Ruby Tuesday Winery, it grew in popularity as a fun place to enjoy fine wine. The winery is a recipient of many awards including four Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence. From the location, lovely staff, and the tasty wine, the Ruby Blues Winery has it all and at no cost makinThe Okanagan Valley is home to many wineries with some heavenly wine to offer. The Ruby Blues Winery stands out as the funkiest of the bunch making it a popular destination among visitors to the valley. Located on the stunningly beautiful Namarata Beach, it is the only one without a formal entry fee. Opened in 2008 by Prudence Mahrer as the Ruby Tuesday Winery, it grew in popularity as a fun place to enjoy fine wine. The winery is a recipient of many awards including four Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence. From the location, lovely staff, and the tasty wine, the Ruby Blues Winery has it all and at no cost making it a must visit while in Penticton.g it a must visit while in Penticton.

◎ Closing

Aptly named the place to stay forever, visitors to Penticton concur that it is a magical place. From the beautiful natural scenery that includes mountains, beaches, and lakes to the variety of activities one can engage in, Penticton has it all. It is a destination for all seasons, literally. The city also boasts of 28 golf courses, five breweries, and many more orchards and wineries. Visit during one of the many annual events and festivals and experience the true splendour of the city and its inhabitants. In a survey of the Top 18 Cities to Visit in 2018, Canadians chose Penticton as the third most attractive city and this further emphasizes its attractiveness. Visit the magnificent city and enjoy yourself for that is guaranteed.

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