Penticton offers lavish wine, craft beer and thrilling mountain sports year-round. Here’s why it’s especially worth visiting in the fall.
Though consistently heralded as a must-visit summertime destination in B.C., Penticton’s exquisite scenery and vast array of outdoor activities make it an incredible getaway any time of year.
But it’s especially inviting in the fall.
With vibrant foliage serving as the backdrop of the region’s outstandings orchards, vineyards, wineries and adventurous outdoor offerings, Penticton might be one of the best fall getaways in the South Okanagan, if not the province.
To highlight all there is to see and do, we’ve partnered with Visit Penticton to give you an insiders scoop in B.C.’s favourite “here all year” region.
SIP, SAVOUR, AND PICK
The fall harvest in Penticton means sweeping fields coming to life with hops, botanicals, grapes and all the ingredients necessary to make your favourite drink. It makes for a pretty stunning sight, but the resulting libations are even better. Penticton is surrounded by 80 wineries within 20 minutes of the city, each of which offer tours and tastings, featuring the 75 grape varieties grown in the region. That’s just the wine; Penticton is also known for its own Ale Trail, which features six (soon to be seven) breweries, each boasting gorgeous tasting rooms and menus filled with delicious local food pairings. Looking for a distillery instead? Penticton is home to three.
Of course, orchards aren’t just for grapes and hops. In fact, one of the most iconic activities to partake in while visiting Penticton is visiting one of the area’s fruit stands or U-Pick farms. Here you’ll find Okanagan cherries and apricots alongside crisp apples and of course, pumpkins for carving, roasting or making pie.
GET ON A MOUNTAIN, TRAIL OR BODY OF WATER
While a getaway purely centred around eating and drinking sounds nice, many people keep coming back to Penticton for the unbelievable outdoor activities. In fact, Penticton has been hosting the Ironman Triathlon off and on since 1983 (it will make its grand return in August 2020).
Penticton has earned its reputation as a haven for outdoor recreation partially because it boasts above average seasonal temperatures, which means you can still enjoy the tail-end of summer sunshine for at least a few more weeks than the rest of the province.
One of Penticton’s must-visit outdoor destinations is the Kettle Valley Railway trail; a popular multi-use trail that extends from Hope to Castlegar. The trail cuts right through Penticton and is used by all ages for hiking, running, biking and horseback riding. The Kettle Valley Railway Trail winds through the vineyards and wineries along the Naramata bench, offering picturesque views along your walk, hike or ride.
For the more experienced mountain bikers and hikers, there are also over 600 km of developed single track trails accessible from the Kettle Valley Railway trail. If you’re looking to climb, be sure to visit the Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park, which offer world-class rock climbing and wildlife viewing, located just 15 minutes from Penticton’s city centre.
Some of you may already have winter on the mind, and lucky for you Penticton also offers great skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. A hidden gem of Canadian skiing, Apex Mountain Resort is located just 40 minutes from Penticton and is home to some of the province’s best conditions and terrain.
MAKE IT A ROAD TRIP
If coming from Vancouver, you can make it to Penticton in about 4.5 hours on the Hope-Princeton Highway (Hwy 3). Along the way, you’ll pass through E.C. Manning Park, Princeton, and Keremeos. While all three offer something unique, Manning Park (located about 2 hours from Penticton), contains a large number of scenic, historic, floral and fauna attractions, and trails that range from 15 minutes to 6 hours. This is a great place to stretch your legs and have a picnic before getting to where you want to go.
Of course once you arrive in Penticton, you’ll need a place to stay. Fortunately the city is home to dozens of hotels and resorts, quaint B&B’s, hostels and scenic camping and RV parks.
With beautiful weather leading into the winter months, Penticton really is one of B.C.’s most remarkable four season destinations.
To learn more about visiting in the fall, visit visitpenticton.com