Our more than 2,000 hours of sunshine are sure to warm your toes. And your cheeks. And your fingertips while laughing over a sandcastle creation that’s worthy of a few smartphone photos.
The choice is yours: Penticton’s north and south borders are beaches, lapped by Skaha Lake in the south, Okanagan Lake in the north, and connected by a long, lazy river channel that traverses the town and welcomes tube and floatie traffic jams as sunbathers bob gently along, perhaps making a new friend or two along the way.
Pick up an ice cream cone, smoothie, or even a bucket of mini-donuts, along Okanagan Lake before picking the perfect spot to dig in your toes for the day, admiring the long views north to Naramata on the east, Summerland on the west. Your gaze will surely find the large Penticton sign on Munson Mountain gleaming white in the sun, as a warm welcome.
Feeling the need to meander? The beach here is nearly one kilometre of a good workout traipsing through the sand, or hand-holding along the newly-completed walkway, wide enough for holding a rambunctious child arm-in-arm and swinging him between you to squeals of delight. Maybe you’ll end up in a nearby playground, or sliding into the water, or flying above it on a parasail. Take a break at the SS Sicamous sternwheeler for a history lesson, or a waterfront eatery.
Speaking of meandering, just next to our beautiful rose garden you’ll find the entryway to a calm adventure: the Okanagan River Channel. Bring your own floatation device or rent a tube, climb on and sail away for seven kilometres of lazy river riding, but not before sunscreen, a quick safety check, and packing some water. It’ll be a couple of hours of family bonding, spotting fish below or birds on the bank, and glorious warm sun till the designated landing area. Bonus: there’s a landing spot halfway down if it’s time for another ice cream break or be entertained by a frolicking family of ducks.
Exiting the Channel at Skaha Lake, one of the warmest in the province, you’ll find another vast beach: almost 20 acres of sand along Skaha. Your eyes will land on vineyards, waterfront homes, and overhead, the occasional airplane coming in for a landing. Airport Beach, in fact, is to the west. Tie up a boat there and sink into the sand for the afternoon.