Staycation Getaway to Penticton BC
Summer is here and we know that finding family-friendly places to visit is a must for family vacations especially right now with everything that is going on with COVID. Penticton, British Columbia is a somewhat undiscovered beauty to many tourists and BC residents. Luckily for us, we took full advantage of this!
Known for sun, sand and delicious wines, Penticton has all the right ingredients for a perfect relaxing getaway for the entire family. Breath easy on the soft sandy beaches or splash around in two of the big lakes, better yet – the adults can test their tastebuds at over 70 different wineries all within a half-hour of each other.
Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre
When it came time to decide where we wanted to go for a quick 2-night getaway this past July, Rick and I both knew we didn’t want to be driving for more than a few hours tops. Immediately we thought of Kelowna but were in need of some lake views and easy beach access. We pondered with the idea of maybe going to Osoyoos but most hotels had already been booked well into September so we decided to look around the area when we stumbled upon Penticton.
The Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre which is right in the heart of the Okanagan Valley seemed like the perfect fit for us. It was smack dab on the lake with views for miles, wineries within 10-minutes and beach access within minutes we knew we wanted to stay here. Plus, they had plenty of availability to choose from.
The one major downside to staying here was the lack of updates in the rooms and furniture. Some of our furniture and decor had stains and small tears and there were nicks and dents in the tables. These rooms could definitely use a bit of TLC. However, with that being said, the location of the room was fantastic as we got to enjoy lake views from every angle and our patio was fabulous.
The weather wasn’t bad – it was a bit cooler the weekend we went so didn’t get as much beach time as we wanted but overall there was no rain so we were happy!
Local Winery Visits
Surprisingly we managed to fit in a total of 12 wineries with a 4.5-year-old over the span of the 2-days. We had only made 2 reservations as many of the wineries in the Okanagan are doing so to limit the number of people who are coming in and out. However, there is still a good handful that does allow walk-ins and frankly, we just got lucky at some places. Below is the list of wineries we hit and a little about each.
Our first stop on the Thursday was to Dirty Laundry in Summerland. Rick really likes their rose and I had heard it was such a cool location – you know with negligee hanging about. Dirty Laundry has such an interesting history (which is not so hush-hush) behind it and I love that the tasting staff share it with such pride and excitement. Not to mention they have one heck of a pizza place right on the property. Pizza and wine, could it get any better?
The next two wineries we then hit before taking it easy and having a pool and lake day were Three Sisters Winery and Township 7 Vineyards. The first of the two, was Three Sisters Winery, which pursues its commitment to the environment by reducing packaging, using lighter weight bottles and ambitious targets for energy saving, waste reduction and sustainability. I wasn’t as big of a fan as a lot of their wines were on the drier side, but Rick really liked one so that came home with us.
Up next, a name that we’re familiar with as we have a Township 7 right here in Langley, BC. This was our last stop on Thursday and it was the perfect one to close the day. We took our tasting flights out to their back picnic area and sat amongst the vines. Ry had a blast running around and exploring while we were able to enjoy and sip our wine (slowly). Again the wines here are much more on the drier side so not something I’d typically go for.
Fridays Winery Ventures
Friday was a pretty successful day we’d say in terms of what we were able to accomplish. The one winery we were dying to try was Painted Rock as they only serve red wines (which are mine and Ricks go-to choice when it comes to wine). The property is absolutely breathtaking and the winery itself is so classy and modern with a sexy sophisticated edge. We happen to have the first tasting of the day at 11:00 am and we were graciously served by John Skinner himself, the owner and mastermind behind Painted Rock. It was so fascinating to hear how he came up with the idea and how he has a passion and love for when and realized “if my friend can do it, I can do it”. Honestly, we could have stayed there all day and are looking forward to going back!
Next up, and likely a close tie to being our favourite was Crescent Hill. Tysha Pope one of the winemakers and owners of the winery was so lovely and made our tasting experience such fun! It’s a small tasting room so we had the whole place to ourselves. I have to commend them on some kick-ass branding. The images and artwork are so different and sassy, they really are eye-catching. We ended up purchasing three bottles from here, two Hissy Fit which is a 2016 Blush and my favourite the 2018 Sparkling Blush – First Crush. If you’re in the Penticton area this is a must stop!
Then to round off the day we made stops in at Play Winery, Da Silva Vineyards and Winery and Time & Evolve Cellars before heading back to the hotel and grabbing a bite to eat at the Hooded Merganser.
Also, if you’ve ever been to Penticton or are planning on going you have to stop in at The Peach Ice Cream Shop – on the beach (no intention of rhyming there). Serving up some fun and funky ice cream cones along with their crazy shakes, if you’re looking for that perfect Instagram worthy shot and wanting to indulge in something super sweet this is the place to go.
On our way home, we had said we had to stop and get some local produce aka peaches. Did we? No… let’s just say the addition of about 4 more wineries stopped that from happening. I should note, Rick was the one doing the majority of the tastings I was having sips here and there so one of us was able to safely drive!
One winery I’d never heard of was 8th Generation Winery. The name goes without saying that 8 generations later, the story of this winery continues on. We ended up purchasing two bottles of their wine, one being Confidence 2019 (Frizzante) a new release with tasting notes of Wild strawberries, Rainer Cherries. It was quite crisp and tasted of fresh field berries mingle with a hint of pink grapefruit. I’m a sucker for a little bubble so this was a super nice touch. Also to curb my sweet tooth we grabbed a Late Harvest wine that is meant to be like a dessert wine.
Finally to round off our wine-ventures we stopped into Sumac Ridge Estate Winery – Black Sage Vineyard – Steller’s Jay, Summerland Estate Winery and Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards at Greata Ranch.
It’s safe to say we had a jam-packed but fun time in Penticton and are looking forward to maybe making this an annual trip!