Who wants to spend hours of their vacation sitting in a car?
Penticton is a perfect hub to explore the South Okanagan free from the confines of a vehicle.
Finding ways to explore without using fuel opens up the possibility of discovering little-known out-of-the-way spots, along with the added benefits of avoiding traffic, parking, the cost of gas, the stress of navigating unknown roads, and importantly, being good to our environment.
“Driving in an unfamiliar (or even familiar) place means passing by some off-the-beaten-path gems and gravitating toward what looks familiar, and safe,” says Visit Penticton about its ‘Fuel Free… Almost’ campaign encouraging sustainable travel.
“We’re inspiring people to park the car and wander the streets; to pop into a boutique store, a tucked away cafe, and a lakefront patio. The freedom to explore is freedom to discover the gems that are typically enjoyed by locals only.”
The South Okanagan is a rich vein of wineries, and Penticton is perfectly located in their midst, ready for you to explore.
There are more than 80 nearby wineries, which makes it possible to tour the region’s vineyards almost fuel free. The Penticton area includes the Naramata Bench, Skaha Lake | Okanagan Falls’ Heart of Wine Country, as well as Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive.
There are plenty of wine tour shuttle operators, or biking is a fun way to flit from vineyard to vineyard.
Wine Tours on a Bike
When biking, the Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail north to Naramata offers plenty of winery or lunch options and lookout stops along the way.
For more experienced riders, who wish to indulge in some mountain biking before wine tasting, the Three Blind Mice and Campbell Mountain trails offer some of the best single-track mountain biking terrain in B.C.
In town, try the lake-to-lake bike route, which goes from Okanagan Lake to Skaha Lake, and stop at TIME Family of Wines, located in the heart of downtown Penticton and right along this bike route.
If you can’t bring your own wheels, there are several different local shops where you can rent a bike or e-bike, including Freedom Bike Shop, Hoodoo Adventures, Pedego Penticton, or Penticton E-Kruise. Another great option is Velo Volt Mobile E-Bike Rentals, who will deliver your e-bike rentals right to your accommodations, and they have gravel bikes as part of their fleet now too.
If you don’t want to go wine touring on your bike alone or if you wish to get some additional guidance from a local, there are guided biking wine tours available through Epic Cycling or South Okanagan E-Bike Safaris.
Wine Shuttle Tours
For wine adventures a little further afoot that may not be right for biking, there are many options for wine tour shuttles such as Vivid Tours, Unique Blend South Okanagan Tours, and Wicked Tours. Or check out the area’s newest addition for a fun and unique way to wine tour, the Grape Savvy Trolley, which allows you to hop on and off. For more wine tour operators visit www.visitpenticton.com/wine-tours.
As much fun as it is visiting wineries, there are a lot of other activities Penticton has to offer—and many are a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air or water.
Penticton is one of only two cities in the world situated between two lakes, and both Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake are ideal for swimming and exploring by kayak or standup paddleboard (known colloquially as a SUP). Those who enjoy a spike of adrenaline with their water can catch some air on a kiteboard.
Rent a SUP from Sun n Sup in nearby Naramata as a perfect activity before indulging in wine tastings along the Naramata Bench.
If you’re not ready to put down your wine glass just yet, try a blend with a Kayak, Wine, and Picnic Tour from Hoodoo Adventures.
For the more laid-back, drifting down the famous Penticton channel between the two lakes on a floatie is a great way to laze away some of the day. Coyote Cruises offers tube rentals plus a shuttle back to the starting point.
Back on land, Penticton is a cozy walkable community, with less than seven kilometres between the north and south end of the city. It’s easy to get around from accommodations to restaurants, wineries, breweries, cafes, and galleries.
There are world-class culinary experiences with a variety of international flavours, including Turkish, Japanese, Mexican, Greek, Indian, and Italian, all just steps away.
To work up an appetite, take a stroll along the waterfront promenade of Skaha Lake or Okanagan Lake, or hike up Munson Mountain above the iconic PENTICTON sign.
More Penticton Fun
There are lots of other ways to get active in Penticton, including playing a round of golf at the Penticton Golf & Country Club, lawn bowling, disc golf, or rock climbing with Skaha Rock Adventures at Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park.
Start your Penticton vacation and wine adventure at the Penticton Visitor Information Centre (888 Westminster Ave. W) to get wine tour maps, dining recommendations, and a selection of Penticton souvenirs. Before you get here, be sure to check out www.visitpenticton.com to plan your trip.