Thirty minutes south of Kelowna is a small waterfront town of 5000 people, known as Peachland. It is located on a hillside on the west side of the Okanagan Lake. There are 11 kilometres of lakeshore which has been developed into public parks and beaches. We found Peachland to have a peaceful, friendly atmosphere – the main street along the waterfront has a variety of shops and restaurants. Hainle Vineyards is located in Peachland – they were the first ice-wine maker in North America.
In the Okanagan language, Penticton means “a place to stay forever”. About an hour drive from Kelowna – Penticton is a relaxed community of 35,000 people. The first white settlers – Thomas Ellis and his family came to Penticton from Ireland, raising cattle and planting fruit trees.
Penticton is known for its hot summers and moderate winters. The warm temperatures place Penticton as the second warmest city in Canada – behind Kamloops. It has long been a popular retirement destination, but the climate also provides optimum opportunity for outdoor activities. Beaches were packed when we stopped in –watersports are very popular. Hikers and mountain bikers enjoy the rolling hills, while rock climbers from all over the world come to the Skaha Bluffs, where more than 400 routes are bolted. Apex Mountain Resort is one of Canada’s best small ski resorts. It has more than 68 downhill runs.