A Perfect Winter Retreat for Snowbirds
In Penticton, you’ll find a friendly community and a climate that’s just as welcoming. Penticton lies in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, which is renowned for its balmy falls and mild winters. The surrounding mountains shelter the valley from harsh winds, keeping temperatures mild. This makes it the ideal winter retreat for those living in regions with more unforgiving climates.
Canadian snowbirds can stay in Canada over the winter, with no need for a passport or extended medical coverage. Penticton is also easy to get to in the winter, with a regional airport, YYF Penticton Airport, in the city, and YLW Kelowna International Airport just over an hour drive away. We are a four hour drive from Vancouver and an eight hour drive from Calgary.
As the main tourist season draws to a close the city becomes noticeably quieter, but there are still plenty of activities and events to enjoy. Thanks to the milder Okanagan weather, golfing, fishing and other outdoor activities are available until much later in the year.
Our fully indoor Community Centre is also open year round and offers a pool, sauna, steam room & hot tub, as well as a range of fitness classes with very reasonable monthly admission rates. Or why not sign up with Penticton Curling Club, which welcomes new members and runs weekly leagues from October to March. The Penticton Seniors Drop-in Centre has a weekly calendar chock full of activities and social events. From bingo, pool, quilting, dancing and fitness classes to dinners and dances in the evening, all this makes it a great place to meet new friends and have some fun.
Walking is another great way to stay active, you will find many walking paths and trails in and around the city that are flat and easy to navigate. Walk alongside the Penticton Channel, connecting the 2 lakes, or stroll the Okanagan Lake boardwalk taking in the views of the mountains and lake. If the temperature does become a bit too chilly for your outdoor stroll, move your walk indoors to the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC). Just four times around the loop and you’ll have covered over a kilometre.
Penticton does not experience much in the way of annual snowfall – however, for those feeling a little more adventurous in the snow, just a quick drive to Apex or Nickel Plate, and you’ll find yourself in a winter wonderland. Take a trip up to Nickel Plate Nordic Centre and go snowshoeing or experience world-class Nordic skiing and go cross country skiing on the mountain trails (shuttle bus services are available). Or visit Apex Mountain Resort for downhill skiing, night skiing, tubing, a skate around their 1km skating loop through the forest, or a game of hockey on their outdoor rink. Many days when there is cloud in the valley basin, taking a drive up the mountain will offer you that little boost of sunshine to make you smile.
A new addition to the outdoor activity menu is the outdoor skating rink located downtown in Penticton, open to the public at no cost and great fun for all ages.
Find out more about winter activities.
Warm up to Winter
The last thing that you’ll want to do in Penticton is hibernate. With so much to do, you’ll find yourself falling in love with winter again. Penticton is rich with entertainment options from art galleries to concerts to live theatre.
Enjoy an evening at the theatre courtesy of the Many Hats Theatre Company, offering an affordable evening out with great entertainment, a night of live music at The Dream Cafe, or try your luck at Cascades Casino. Take in a Penticton Vees Junior A hockey game or sit down to a delicious meal followed by a movie at the Landmark Cinema.
For those looking for more artistic or cultural opportunities, visit the Penticton Art Gallery, one of the exhibitions at the Leir House Cultural Centre, the various exhibits at Penticton Museum & Archives, or one of many local art galleries along Main St and Front St. In the same building as the museum is the Penticton Public Library, where you can register for a book club or find a new read for your stay in Penticton.
You may also be surprised to learn that several wineries remain open throughout the winter months for tours and tastings. Take advantage of this quieter time for a more intimate tasting and try some ice wine!
Where to Stay
Penticton & area offers a wealth of accommodation options to suit any budget for snowbirds and extended winter stays, including full suites with kitchen and laundry. Click here to find out more about snowbird accommodations.
Extended stays and snowbird stays are generally available from October to April. For more information on availability and rates, please contact the accommodations directly.
Penticton is a year-round destination and the milder winter months bring in snowbirds looking to get away from colder Canadian climates.
With over 2,100 hours of sunshine, and only 15 inches of rain annually, the area has a comfortable climate year round. The days are shorter in winter but temperatures can still reach highs of up to 5°C with an average low of just -4°C from December to February, and up to an average high of 15°C in October and April. 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.
Learn more about Penticton here.
Click on the link below to view or download our Snowbirds Guide.
*Please note that this guide was published in 2016 and rates and information for accommodations and listings may have changed. Travel Penticton is not responsible for errors or omissions in this guide.