Penticton

A popular destination in the South Okanagan situated between Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake, Penticton is surrounded by scores of vineyards that produce award-winning wines and offer world-renowned chef-inspired menus and tastings. The drive north from Penticton to Naramata along Lake Okanagan offers breathtaking scenery of the vines as they stretch down to the lakeshore below. Beaches, swimming, tubing, the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, rock climbing on Skaha Bluffs, golfing and so much more bring visitors here year after year.

Dragon Boat Races, Penticton

Dragon Boat Races, Penticton

Location

Penticton is located in the Thompson Okanagan region 63 km (39 mi) north of Osoyoos and 72 km (45 mi) south of Kelowna on  Hwy 97.

Looking North on Okanagan Lake from Munsen Mountain, Penticton

Looking North on Okanagan Lake from Munsen Mountain, Penticton

A Step Back in Time

Pen-tic-ton, as translated by the local Salish Native Americans, means “a place to live forever” (the commonly accepted translation) or “a place to live year-round”.

Tom Ellis, the first non-Native settler in the area, took the meaning to heart and settled here in 1865. Ellis, from England, planned the formulation of the new town. In 1892, a townsite was laid out which is now called Front Street, home to many unique stores and boutiques.

A strange little known fact was that some of the older, wooden buildings were built on skids and could be moved to a new location by simply hitching them up to a team of horses and dragging them away.

Penticton

By 1907, Penticton had grown to 600 residents, and was officially recognized by the British Columbia Government as a municipal district. In the teens, the building of the Kettle Valley Railroad increased the population to around 1,500 people. By 1921 the city was 4,000 strong, but it took until 1948 for Penticton to gain City Status.

The early days were difficult for road travel, but with the proliferation of the automobile and the constant increase in population, road-building was in full force by the 1920s. Prior to this, travel was done primarily by water, up and down the Okanagan Lake, which runs from Vernon in the north to its southern tip at Penticton. Much of this travel was aboard the S.S. Sicamous. Although not the first stern-wheeler to grace Okanagan Lake (but probably the most famous), the S.S. Sicamous was known as the Queen of the Lake. She was built in Port Harbor in Ontario and assembled in Okanagan Landing for her maiden voyage on July 1st (Canada’s birthday) in 1914. Many of the servicemen heading for WWI began their journey aboard the S.S Sicamous. Demoted to carrying freight in 1935, she was then retired two years later. Penticton purchased her from Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in 1949 for $1 and she has since been restored and open to visitors today.

Many changes have come to Penticton. The city now has a population of over 33,000 and continues to grow. And, if you listen on a quiet night, you can almost hear the horn of one of the old steamwheelers, announcing its arrival on the beach.

Contact Information

Visit Penticton

Penticton & Nearby Accommodations

42 Listings

Carmi Motel

Carmi Motel

Penticton

Between the famous Okanagan Lake and beautiful Skaha Lake, Carmi Motel rests in a central location close to local attraction for guests to enjoy. Our motel is walking distance to several local sights and entertainment, including Penticton Museum and Archives. We are proud to provide our guests with ... Read more
Waterfront Inn

Waterfront Inn

Penticton

Overlooking Skaha Lake and park, quiet off Hwy. Across from tennis and volleyball courts, children's playground, marina, river channel rafting, children's theme park and rock climbing at Skaha Bluffs nearby. Shopping, take-out and dining within walking distance. Close to airport. ... Read more
Oxbow RV Resort

Oxbow RV Resort

Penticton

Full hookups, shaded and grassed sites with 30 amp service, coin showers, laundry, ice, pay phones, electric, sewer, water and WiFi. We are family-oriented, near restaurants, marina and right across from the beach. No dogs during July & August. ... Read more
Lake Skaha Tent & Trailer Park

Lake Skaha Tent & Trailer Park

Penticton

One block to safe, sandy beach. Large public park, boat launch, marina, boat and sailboard rentals, tennis courts, corner store. Across street from childrens water park and playground. ... Read more
South Beach Gardens  Campground

South Beach Gardens Campground

Penticton

Located less than 100 yds. From Skaha Lake. Beach. Featuring shady areas with complete hookups. Clean washrooms, hot showers & laundry facilities. Playgrounds for children & fishing pond. Visa accepted. ... Read more
Barefoot Beach Resort

Barefoot Beach Resort

Penticton

Barefoot Beach Resort is a family-friendly campground with a private beach located on Lake Skaha. Our annual RV lots include irrigated garden beds along paved pathways under a canopy of established trees. Our Yurt village has 14 units ranging from studio to two bedroom layouts, full washrooms, kitch ... Read more
Wright's Beach Camp

Wright's Beach Camp

Penticton

Skaha Lake Penticton - sandy swimming beach, outdoor pool, many waterfront sites, full hookups, 30 amp electricity, cable TV, free wireless internet, sani-dump, laundromat, convenience store, arcade, picnic tables, onsite trailer and boat rentals, daily activities program, family entertainment. Chil ... Read more
Summerland Motel

Summerland Motel

Summerland

Resting in the centre of Okanagan Wine Country, Summerland Motel offers guests a memorable stay with its prime location and array of amenities. Located near championship golf courses and gorgeous sandy beaches, guests will enjoy the beautiful landscape Okanagan has to offer. Having an extended list ... Read more
Banbury Green RV & Camping Resort

Banbury Green RV & Camping Resort

Kaleden

Nestled away from the city noise, Banbury Green RV & Camping Resort is a peaceful destination for families wanting a fun and relaxing vacation. Our resort is a family-oriented campground with attractively kept lawns and flowerbeds. We have an abundance of shaded areas to stay cool during the warmer ... Read more
Summerland Beach RV Park

Summerland Beach RV Park

Summerland

RV park with private beach located on Okanagan Lake south of Summerland. Sites are treed and shady. RV sites with full hook-ups and tent sites with water available. Seasonal and yearly sites also available. ... Read more
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Travel Spotlight
Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989