Learn more about Penticton’s location, lifestyle, history, and weather.
Location & Lifestyle
Penticton (pen-TIK-tən) is located in Canada, in the south central region of the province of British Columbia, in an area known as the Okanagan Valley. It is one of only two cities in the world situated between two lakes – Okanagan Lake & Skaha Lake.
One of the best places to visit in BC, with shimmering blue water, long stretches of sandy beach, vineyards and wineries, orchards, gentle mountains and a wide variety of outdoor activities await you in Penticton.
Our city offers all the charm and friendliness of a small community with all the amenities you might expect of a larger city centre including:
- The South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC) Complex – over 95,000 square feet of meeting space and three ice sheets.
- Penticton Community Centre – 25 meter square lap pool, leisure pool, sauna and steam room, gym, dance studio and home to the Cleland Theatre.
From the nsyilxcən Interior Salish word snpintktn, the name Penticton, has commonly been translated as “a place to stay forever,” but more accurately means “a place where people have always been all year long.” According to Anona Kampe of the Penticton Indian Band, “It’s because this particular place within our Nation is plentiful of traditional foods. Plenty of good hunting, fishing, gathering of roots, berries and medicines from the land. Many folks from throughout the Nation would often travel here to snpintktn to harvest for sustenance.” For over 7,000 years, our region has been home to the syilx First Peoples, who were instrumental in helping the first European fur traders travel through the Okanagan in the early 1800s.
We recognize the Penticton Indian Band and the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the syilx Okanagan People, on whose lands we live, learn, and do our work.
While here you will find a community with a rich and diverse culture that is easy to immerse yourself in. Numerous art galleries, a museum which houses a permanent exhibit detailing the history of the city and the SS Sicamous (an inland marine museum) are great spots to get a glimpse into the city’s rich history. The Okanagan School of the Arts for the arts offers classes in pottery, painting, creative writing and even cheese making. If theatre is your passion we have that too.
With over 2,100 hours of sunshine, and only 15 inches of rain annually, the area has a comfortable climate year round.
Visit Penticton Year Round
The South Okanagan benefits from above seasonal weather in the spring with the early return of longer days and sunnier weather. Vineyards and orchards start blossoming and it’s a great time to be outdoors enjoying fresh air and exploring. Temperatures range from 8°C to highs of 22°C with the warmer temperatures in the later months of May and June. Rain is rare with an average of just 2-4 days of precipitation per month.
Reaching temperatures of 35°C+ with the odd rain shower and low humidity has made Penticton a very popular summer destination. Summertime in Penticton is our busiest time of year with visitors taking advantage of our warm weather, clear skies and cool fresh water lakes. If you’re looking for a break from the sun’s rays, there are several spots serving delicious ice cream treats or you can grab a seat on one of the many shaded patios. Remember your sunscreen and sunglasses!
Extend your summer and visit Penticton in the early autumn months. The days begin to get shorter but we still benefit from daytime highs of 24°C in September, cooling to between 5°C and 15°C in later months. It’s a perfect time for being outdoors, walking, hiking, biking and exploring. Fall is also harvest season and you’ll be greeted with lush vineyards and orchards where you can breathe in the scent of fresh fruit and sagebrush as you explore the area.
Penticton is a year-round destination and the milder winter months bring in snowbirds looking to get away from colder Canadian climates. The days are shorter but temperatures can still reach highs of up to 5°C with an average low of just -4°C from December to February. You may need to bundle up but there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures including skiing, skating, snowshoeing, and fat biking, with snow falling an average of 40 days through the winter.