Growing up, I never realized how lucky I was to live in Penticton, British Columbia. Like most people, when we don’t know anything different, we tend to take a place for granted, never really taking the time to appreciate the beauty in the every day.
My family moved to Penticton when I was four years old and I have lived all of my life in Penticton or the surrounding areas. As a child, I spent my Summers lazing at the beach eating cherries, apricots, and peaches. My Falls were spent hiking in the incredibly accessible mountains. I thought that a typical Winter temperature of 0 Degrees Celcius (32 Degrees Fahrenheit) was actually cold. I never realized that the Spring blossoms in the orchards that Penticton is famous for would leave other people in jaw-dropping awe. These were all just a part of my life growing up.
I no longer take this beautiful valley for granted. Traveling has a way of putting things in perspective for you. I remember coming home from my very first long-term traveling experience. I had fallen asleep on the drive home and, as serendipity would have it, I woke up at the exact moment that we crested the top of the hill to reveal the glorious Okanagan Valley below. The sun was shining, Lake Okanagan was shimmering in the distance, the air was crisp and clean (after spending nine months in Asia), and I felt the most incredible feeling of gratitude well up inside my soul.
I am filled with the same feeling of gratitude for the place that I call home every time our family returns from a trip abroad. Penticton and the South Okanagan Valley really is an amazing place to call home! I am so excited to be sharing this beautiful place with all of the amazing traveling families who will be attending the Family Adventure Summit this September 1st to 3rd, 2017!
What I Love About Penticton
The beaches! Oh, the beaches! I bet you never thought of coming to British Columbia for a beach vacation, did you? Penticton is surrounded by two lakes, Okanagan Lake lies to the North and Skaha Lake to the South. Good beaches are plentiful and you will be spoiled for choice! Think soft, yellow sand and fresh water that is warm enough to lounge in but cool enough to refresh you, even on the hottest days. And the lakes don’t stop there, there are lakes and beaches in every community in the South Okanagan. (I’ll tell you about the best ones when I see you at the conference!)
The South Okanagan actually sits at the Northern tip of the Sonoran Desert. That is right! A desert in Canada! It is hard to believe with all of those lakes, orchards, and vineyards, but head into the undeveloped areas and you will find sagebrush, antelope brush, and prickly pear cactus. Penticton gets gorgeously hot summers and mild winters. In fact, our winters are the mildest in Canada!
If you have read my blog or if you have done any research on Penticton you will discover that there is a big local food movement in the South Okanagan. The conditions here are just so perfect for growing food! We have orchards full of so many types of fruits….apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries, and apricots. Ground crops grow in abundance (we have the best watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberries!) And one of our main industries is now vineyards. Grab yourself a picnic basket full of local fruit and wine and head to the beach!
Penticton has a wonderful farmers’ market every Saturday that is a tourist attraction onto itself. Luckily, The Family Adventure Summit will be held over a weekend and the famous Penticton Farmers’ Market is literally outside the door of our venue, The Penticton Lakeside Resort!
The Downtown Core
While Penticton has not escaped the big box stores of the western world, it’s downtown core has retained all of its charm. Think cute boutique stores, quaint cafes, and trendy restaurants.
People from all over the world come to Penticton for their vacation and there is so much to see and do! Spend the day at the beach, float down the river channel, enjoy the amusements at Wibit or Loco Landing, learn about local history at the museum, visit the SS Sicamous Stern Wheeler, head to the hills and go for a hike, or enjoy a bike ride down the historic Kettle Valley Trail. You won’t be bored in Penticton.
We hope that you enjoy Penticton and the South Okanagan Valley as much as our family does and we look forward to creating a traveling family community with you at the Family Adventure Summit 2017!