Three Days in Penticton: Ultimate Weekend Itinerary

Spending the weekend in Penticton soon? We’ve got the perfect three day Penticton itinerary for you!

While three days in Penticton doesn’t offer a lot of time, it does provide enough to experience some of the best places in this small scenic city.

Crafted with years of experience hosting friends and family here in our home city, this weekend Penticton itinerary has been put together with first-time visitors in mind. It offers both a great introduction to the city and also features some of our favourite things to do.

Last updated September 2023

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Paved Okanagan Lake promenade stretching away from camera into the distance, with Okanagan Lake on right and parking on left
Okanagan Lake Promenande

The Best Itinerary for a Weekend in Penticton

This Penticton weekend itinerary includes three days of activities and restaurant recommendations. It’s designed to be tweaked to your own preferences and requirements.

Please note that while it is possible to do many of the following activities all year round, this 3 day Penticton itinerary is best suited for visitors arriving in the warmer months (June, July, August and September).

Not a first-time visitor to Penticton? You may still find this guide helpful to plan how to spend 3 days in Penticton.

Day 1 – Afternoon

Anticipating a late afternoon arrival, this 3 day Penticton itinerary will start slow.

Before or after checking in at your accommodation, take a trip to Munson Mountain. The parking lot is just a few minutes drive from downtown Penticton.

The easily accessible Munson Mountain Viewpoint offers panoramic views across the city and both lakes, as well as the rugged mountains beyond. This extinct volcano is also home to the iconic Penticton sign, which can be spotted from miles around.

Visiting Munson Mountain provides an excellent overview and orientation for the rest of your weekend in Penticton. Best of all, it’s very approachable too. The first views are seen within three minutes after leaving the parking lot, accessed via a completely flat, paved pathway.

Side view of bench on Munson Mountain hike, with expansive views of Okanagan Lake and city of Penticton below, with forested hills as backdrop
Some of the amazing views from Munson Mountain (higher viewpoint)

Day 1 – Evening

It’s time to celebrate your arrival in Penticton! Penticton’s downtown core has a great choice of bars and restaurants as well as five excellent craft breweries.

Each of these breweries have at least one patio, offering the chance to enjoy a tipple or two in the evening sun. Food is also available, so you can stay for dinner or move on to another spot.

Two glasses sit on wooden picnic table in Cannery Brewing Backyard with other picnic tables and umbrellas in background
Enjoying a beer and a slushie in Cannery Brewing’s Backyard

If you have your heart set on a particular dining destination, I would suggest making a reservation during the summer months.

Our favourite downtown (or downtown adjacent) restaurants include:

  • Pizzeria Tratto – Authentic, Neopolitan-style pizzas cooked in a rock oven, topped with quality ingredients
  • Elma – Turkish-inspired menu made with Okanagan ingredients, with many shareable small plates
  • Ginza Sushi and Poke – High-end restaurant in 100 year old heritage building, with fusion menu incorporating many Japanese favourites
  • Katsu Heaven – Japanese comfort food with a focus on breaded cutlets (pork, chicken plus three vegetarian options)
Close up of Turkish pide at Elma, on wooden platter with another plated dish behind (blurred)

If leaving the downtown area is an option, consider Sonetto at Play Estate Winery, which specialises in upscale Italian dishes. The elevated location is absolutely stunning with incredible panoramas of Skaha Lake and surrounding mountains.

Looking for more dinner ideas? Check out our Penticton restaurant recommendations.

Day 2 – Morning

Start your second day in Penticton with the Penticton Farmers’ Market.

Located on the 100 block of Main Street (next to Gyro Park), the market runs from 8.30am to 1pm every Saturday from mid April to the end of October. Expect to see up to eighty vendors proudly presenting products that have been made, baked or grown.

Love running? Join the free weekly parkrun event (5km) along Lakeshore Drive at 8am! Sign up online in advance and receive a barcode so you can get a timed result. It’s a fun, no pressure way to get some steps in early (and it’s scenic too!)

View of people walking on the road, in between tent kiosk at the Penticton Farmers Market.
Farmers Market in Penticton

The Farmers’ Market is joined by the Downtown Community Market from early May to late September. Adding another three blocks of local vendors and food trucks, this combined market is one of the largest in British Columbia.

Expect to spend an hour or two here, longer if you stop to enjoy a coffee or a snack. Seis Ceilo is located right on Main Street, with Wayne and Freda just a short walk away.

For something more substantial, head to Loki’s Garage for the tastiest brunch dishes in town (go before the market as it does get busy).

When visiting the market in the summer months, be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen and water. There isn’t a lot of shade. It helps to visit the market earlier rather than later (before 10.30am). This is the best time to go regardless as some of the most popular vendors sell out early.

View of Wayne and Freda serving counter and display of branded merchandize on a long wooden table seen through decorative grass.  Four black black boards display the menu next to the Wayne and Freda logo painted on wall.
Wayne and Freda

Day 2 – Afternoon

Saturday afternoons are for wine tasting (not into wine? Read ahead to day 3 and fill your second day with these activities instead).

The Naramata Bench, one of the best wine regions in Canada, is only a short drive uphill from downtown.

Nicknamed ‘Napa of the North,’ there are more than 40 boutique winery tasting rooms located along this 15km long stretch of agricultural land. With so many wineries to explore, there’s sure to be one that is the perfect match for you.

Hand holding glass of red wine in front of camera, in front of views of vineyards and Okanagan Lake
Wine tasting on the Naramata Bench

The easiest way to go wine touring is to take a guided wine tour. The main benefit, of course, is the built-in designated driver.

Wine tours also offer the chance to learn some local, insider knowledge about the wineries. The comfortable, air-conditioned transportation is a bonus as well.

If you’re planning to explore independently, anticipate visiting four or five different wineries. The pandemic resulted in many wineries introducing reservation systems.

Most wineries still accept walk-ins but guests with reservations will always have priority. If you don’t want to wait around, consider making reservations.

Enjoy lunch on one of the many winery patios or picnic areas. Be sure to have a reservation for the winery restaurants on weekends in July and August. If you’re a group of more than four people, I would reserve during the week too.

Looking over wooden patio above vineyard, with canyon and road view in background, slither of Okanagan Lake visible with forested mountain above
Howling Bluff Winery served charcuterie boards on their sunny patio

Day 2 – Evening

After a fun afternoon on the Naramata Bench, it’s time to return to lake level and relax at your accommodation before dinner.

If you have the time, I’d suggest taking a short stroll along Okanagan Lake. Start at the western side of the promenade, at the historical SS Sicamous sternwheeler.

Continue 1km along the paved lakeshore to the Peach or turn around when desired. Art sculptures line the month, with new contributions every year.

In the summer months, I’d highly recommend having a dinner reservation on Saturdays.

Boat view of large white SS Sicamous paddlewheeler on land, surrounded by rocks, with blue sky and fluffy clouds above
SS Sicamous sternwheeler

Day 3 – Morning

Today is a relaxed day, designed to provide some downtime before heading home.

As all good Sundays begin, this one starts with brunch. There are many great local options for brunch in Penticton, with our favourite being Loki’s Garage. Enjoy the best Eggs Benedict in town, as well as other brunch classics like Chicken and Waffles.

Dishes have an exceptional level of execution, with perfectly cooked eggs, fresh made-that-morning bread, homemade hollandaise, French Press coffee and more. Portions are generous and prices are very reasonable. Be sure to get there early.

The Nest is a great alternative for visitors staying outside of downtown. The creative dishes are made with as many local ingredients as possible.

Close up of eggs benedict at Loki's Garage, with perfectly cooked eggs covered in hollandaise on top of potatoes
Brunch at Loki’s Garage

Day 3 – Afternoon

For the rest of your time in town, plan to stay close to the water. That could mean spending a few hours at one of Penticton’s excellent lake beaches or floating the Penticton River Channel.

Another idea would be to rent a paddleboard or kayak (possible on either lake) and spend some time leisurely exploring the shoreline, stopping to swim when desired.

Looking ahead to gravel KVR Trail with sun setting to left, behind Okanagan Lake
Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail between Vancouver Place and McCulloch Trestle

Not a water baby? Stay on dry land with an easy walk along the Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail from Vancouver Place to McCulloch Trestle.

The full distance is 5km return, but you could simply turn around at a point that suits you. The almost completely flat path winds through vineyards and below the iconic Penticton sign, all while offering wonderful views of Okanagan Lake.

There isn’t a ton of parking on Vancouver Place so I would suggest walking from downtown if you can. That adds another 1km each way. If your group prefers cycling over walking, it’s possible to rent bikes (including those of the electric kind) downtown.

And that’s the end of this 3 day Penticton itinerary!

Reflection of Lakeside Resort building and Hooded Merganser Restaurant on calm water surface of Okanagan Lake
Lakeside Resort (left) and the Hooded Merganser Restaurant (right) from Okanagan Lake

Where to stay in Penticton

For this particular Penticton weekend itinerary, it makes sense to stay close to downtown. Not only will it reduce the amount of driving needed (and who wants to drive on vacation!) everyone will be able to enjoy a drink or two with dinner, if desired.

Staying in the downtown area also means that you’ll be close to Okanagan Lake, one of Penticton’s highlights. The lake is most tranquil in the early morning (before 10am) and in the evening (after 7pm).

Here are our top picks for accommodation in the downtown area:

  • Penticton Lakeside Resort – Located on the shores of Okanagan Lake, just one block from downtown Penticton. The Farmers Market is held just across the road! Even if you don’t manage to get a room with a lake view, the Lakeside Resort is still a beautiful place to stay as it is surrounded by municipal parks. There are three places to dine within the resort itself and a private beach with marina
  • Tiki Shores Beach Shores – This relaxed, family friendly resort has a heated outdoor pool, and BBQ area as well as an on-site Asian fusion restaurant. It is situated on the ‘motel strip’ section of Lakeshore Drive, directly opposite Okanagan Lake. A range of room configurations are available, from smaller studios with kitchenettes to three bedroom suites with private lawn area

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