It wasn't the great customer service, the free wi-fi, the on-site ice cream store or the extra cold ice that won my heart while staying at The Golden Sands Resort in Penticton. My favourite thing about this resort was their amazing sign:
This resort also inspired me to try something new. Being in an excellent location right on Okanagan Lake, I was forced to look at Wibit Sports (an inflatable water park) each day. Thinking it would be a fun afternoon of trampoline jumping on the lake, I bought a day pass and endured the workout of my life.
My body felt like this the next day...
Truthfully, I stayed at Golden Sands because it was the only place I could find a hotel room. Unbeknownst to me, Penticton is not just a beach town, it's also home to Peach Fest, Elvis Fest, Car Fest, Rib Fest, Scottish Fest, Film Fest, Dragon Boat Fest, Meadowlark Fest, Fest of Ale, Wine Fest, Peach City Run Fest, Square Dance Fest, Hot Jazz Fest, Oktober Fest, Winter Fest and Austin Healey Owners Car Fest. Did I miss anything?
When I wasn't busy eating a peach on a beach; getting pulled up out of the water by some scrawny 12 year old at Wibit; or attending a festival, here is a list of some of the other fun things I found to do in Peach City:
1. Float the Channel: My favourite thing to do in Penticton is float the river channel between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake. You basically blow up a floatie, pack a cooler and relax as you float along with your friends. You can access the channel at Coyote Cruises (215 Riverside Drive). If you don't have your own floatie, you can rent one from them for $6. For another $6, their bus will pick you up at the half way point of the channel and give you a lift back to your car. Here is a pic of my friends and I on my float:
While I waited for the bus to pick me and my floatie up, I couldn't help falling in love with Relvis. Relvis is the owner of "Hound Dogs", a restaurant at the half way mark of the channel and a regular competitor at Elvis Fest. He has swiveling hips, snarling lips and plays all of the hits. He entertained us until it was time to take the big blue bus home.
2. Visit Dirty Laundry Winery Located at 7311 Fiske Street in Summerland, this winery has remarkable wine, breathtaking views, and a stunning patio with humourous decor. The winery is open 7 days a week from 10am-6pm and offers free tours Monday-Friday at 11:30 PM and 2:30 PM. You can browse their gift shop or relax on their patio while listening to live music with a glass of wine, craft beer or picnic lunch.
3. Visit Stag's Hollow Winery Another winery I enjoyed is located in Okanagan Falls at 2237 Sun Valley Way. This seemed to be a quieter winery with what felt like a private patio. Award winning wines can be enjoyed alongside this spectacular view:
4. Ride the Kettle Valley Steam Railway An especially great activity for a rainy day, this 10 mile train ride can be picked up at 18404 Bathville Road in Summerland. "Built during 1910- 1915, the KVR “Kootenay to Coast Connection” powered [their] pioneer fruit industry into world markets." The ride showcases "lush orchards and vineyards to a spectacular view of lake and land from the Trout Creek Bridge 238 ft above the canyon floor." Adult tickets cost $24.50, Youth cost $19.50 and children 3-12 cost $15.50.
The ride also includes a game where you guess if the people you ride with are paid to be there, or just amazing souls that sing to your son for free and fun.
6. Hike Munson Mountain This mountain is home to the famous Penticton sign and located on the east side of the city. A short hike up the hill offers amazing views of the city, along with a great rock to sit on and celebrate the climb you took while being carried by your mom.
7. Visit The Penticton Farmer's Market Open Saturdays from 8:30 AM - 1 PM, The Penticton Market can be found on the 100 block of Main Street and the Community Market is on the 200, 300 and 400 blocks of Main Street. If you're looking for fruit, vegetables or crafts, this is the place you need to be. All products are grown or produced in South Okanagan.
I can't wait to get back to this city. They have it all: beaches, peaches, drinks, eats and views. The only thing I think they need are more festivals.