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#ExploreBC Road Trip: Penticton and Kelowna

4 to 6 Days, 847 km (526.3 mi)

Explore Penticton and Kelowna with Vancouver Foodie's Emma Choo

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Emma Choo, a.k.a. Instagram’s Vancouver Foodie, spent a week exploring the communities of Penticton and Kelowna in search of flavourful dishes, dining hot spots, tasty beer, and local wineries. Follow her journey and discover her foodie favourites on this Okanagan road trip.

Part 1

Begin in Vancouver

Travelling east from Vancouver, take a slightly longer (but arguably more scenic) route along Highway 3 towards Penticton, a winding road flanked by expansive wilderness. Be sure to stop for a mid-trip break in E.C. Manning Provincial Park for incredible views in any season. While travelling this route, be prepared for rain or snow and follow all winter regulations, including mandatory snow tires between Oct 1st and April 30th. Plan, pack, and prepare for your trip in advance for a picturesque, worry-free drive.

Emma’s Highlights:
  • Stop by Manning Park Resort to stretch your legs, breathe in the fresh winter mountain air, and grab a bite to eat at the Pinewoods Dining Room or road trip snacks at the Country Store.
  • Stroll the small village of Cawston and pop into Twisted Hills Craft Cider for sips of organic fruit-forward ciders.
  • Munch on German schnitzel and homemade sourdough with garlic butter on the outdoor picnic tables at Crowsnest Vineyards.

Part 2

Penticton

Kettle Valley Rail Trail Biking | Emma Choo

Never been to Penticton? Discover wineries along the Naramata Bench, breweries along the Penticton Ale Trail, and culinary favourites in this lakeside South Okanagan destination. Here you can pair top-notch dining and outdoor adventure with ease, exploring bike trails, hiking routes, and scenic lookouts between table reservations. Visiting in winter means easy access to Apex Mountain Resort, an ideal home base for a winter getaway that’s a mere 40-minute drive away.

Emma’s Highlights:

Part 3

Chute Lake Lodge

Chute Lake Lodge | Emma Choo

While Chute Lake Lodge feels a world away from downtown Kelowna and Penticton, the private cabins, resort rooms, and cozy yurts tucked into the nearby wilderness between these two culinary hot spots make it an easy overnight destination. Visit in winter for out-the-door access to snowshoe and cross-country ski trails. Or consider the twisting drive up the mountain along the Naramata Bench (in a four-wheel drive vehicle with winter tires, of course) part of the experience. Your reward? A sign at the lodge entrance that reads: “You Made It.”

Emma’s Highlights:
  • Relax in the outdoor wood-fired barrel sauna, tucked beside the lake, to sweat out the toxins and rejuvenate the body.
  • If you dare, jump into Chute Lake and then plunge quickly back into the sauna for optimal blood circulation and healing benefits.
  • Hot tip: Pre-book your 25-minute session a few days prior to your arrival at Chute Lake Lodge to guarantee a sauna during your stay.

Part 4

Kelowna

Quails' Gate Estate Winery | Emma Choo

Rows of vineyards, sprawling hills, sparkling lakes, and a thriving culinary scene are just a few of Kelowna‘s best attributes. All in a day, you can indulge in a cozy brunch or café hang before dropping into an animal sanctuary, take a lunch break at a winery restaurant then hike in the hills in the afternoon, and go on a self-guided brewery hop through downtown prior to a fine-dining experience at the day’s end.

Emma’s Highlights:
  • Views from the two-bedroom suite at The Cove Lakeside Resort. This lakeside resort is perfectly situated for easy strolls to nearby Willow Beach or Marina Park. The Gellatly Heritage Nut Farm is also close by and visitors can self-harvest fallen hazelnuts, walnuts, buartnuts, and chestnuts.
  • Visit the healing habitat sanctuary of Arion Therapeutic Farm. Here you can visit with horses, llamas, goats, mules, donkeys, and a seven-year-old Berkshire pig named Sunny.
  • Indulge with the Tranquil Reflection package from Beyond Wrapture Spa at the Coast Capri Hotel. The grape pip scrub, personal sauna session, and vinotherapy massage work together to exfoliate, improve blood circulation, and restore connective tissue for a relaxing experience.
  • Walk the network of winding trails of the Crawford Trails area of Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park.
  • Sip brews while bowling at BNA Brewing Co. & Eatery. This newly renovated brewery has a six-lane, 10-pin bowling alley for hours of fun.

Driving Directions

Part 1 - Vancouver
  • 6.25 km
  • 12 min
Show Map & Driving Directions
Wayne & Freda in Penticton

Emma's Foodie Favourites in Penticton

Here are a few of Emma’s amazing foodie experiences in Penticton (all highly recommended).

  • Try the Outlandish Shellfish Chowder at The Restaurant at Naramata Inn made with fresh Road 17 char and wild BC sablefish, alongside mussels, clams, foraged sumac, and potatoes in a cream-based chowder.
  • Pair cheeseburger pizza with the Peanut Butter Chocolate Porter at Bad Tattoo Brewing.
  • Nibble on Winter Toast from Wayne & Freda, made with house-made beet hummus, fig jam, and roasted mushrooms topped with arugula, walnuts, spicy honey, and creamy blue cheese.
  • Sip Moraine Winery’s 2018 Reserve Pinot Noir and Riesling.
  • Pair Cannery Brewing Company’s chicken nachos with one of their seasonal ales.
  • Buy a coconut-infused matcha latte from The Bench Market.
  • Couple a Slackwater Brewing trout burger with their What the Fog!? NE IPA. Fun fact: This new brewery hot spot used to be a nightclub.
Bright Jenny in Kelowna

Emma's Foodie Favourites in Kelowna

Kelowna also offers its share of outstanding eats and treats, and here are a few of Emma’s favourites.

Safe Travel

With smaller capacities and safety protocols in place, it’s best to book ahead if you want to visit a popular bar or restaurant, and don’t forget to pack your mask and hand sanitizer. We asked Emma how she prepared for the trip and how she felt while visiting businesses in the area.

  • Brought extra face masks and bottles of hand sanitizer with her at all times.
  • Booked winery tastings and dining experiences in advance.
  • Respected social distance and the protocols in place at the businesses she visited.

“The businesses in Kelowna and Penticton have all taken safety precautions to ensure the health and safety of their customers, whether it be all their staff wearing masks, having hand sanitizers at the front, and distancing tables accordingly. I didn’t feel the need to have my guard up and was able to enjoy each stop knowing that everything was taken care of. Everyone I met was friendly and well-mannered.”

Travel Deals for This Trip

Mentioned in This Itinerary

Breweries, Distilleries & Cideries

Cannery Brewing

At Cannery Brewing, we make beer with heart. Its beer made by people who care, not just about beer, but about the people who drink it, about the...

View Listing

Wineries & Wine Tours

Poplar Grove Winery

Poplar Grove Winery is a boutique winery on the slopes of the Naramata Bench. Poplar Grove began in 1995 as the quintessential garage winery. Our...

Phone: (250) 493-9463

View Listing

Wineries & Wine Tours

Three Sisters Winery

Located in the heart of the Naramata Bench, our winery is a full family affair! We produce great wines from all our own farmed fruit. We are proud...

View Listing

Cabins & Cottages

Chute Lake Lodge

Inspired by wanderlust and adventure we are a unique experience for people who love the outdoors. Nestled in the mountains above the Naramata...

View Listing

Wineries & Wine Tours

Moraine Estate Winery

Moraine is named for the splendid glacial terrain and white clay bluffs that create the iconic image of the Naramata Bench. Relax on our patio and...

Phone: (250) 460-1836

View Listing

Hotels, Accessibility

Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre

Penticton Lakeside Resort is a full service hotel in Penticton that offers luxurious amenities, clean, spacious rooms, and a spectacular view of...

Phone: (250) 493-8221

View Listing

Spas & Wellness, Hotels

Naramata Inn

Were a really great restaurant. With rooms. We found the best of the Okanagans natural bounty and put it all in one place. Youre going to like it...

Phone: (250) 496-6808

View Listing

Wineries & Wine Tours

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery proudly stands facing its namesake, a former volcano that created unique soil conditions for grape growing. Our...

Phone: (250) 769-8803

View Listing

Wineries & Wine Tours, Accessibility

Quails' Gate Winery

As one of Canadas foremost family-owned estate wineries, Quails Gate has shaped the development of the wine industry for more than six decades. We...

Phone: (250) 769-4451

View Listing

Spas & Wellness, Hotels, Resorts & Wilderness Lodges

The Cove Lakeside Resort

The Cove Lakeside Resort is a luxury all-suite resort featuring 100 elegantly decorated one, two and three bedroom condo-style suites, indulgent...

Phone: (250) 707-1800

View Listing

Farms & Markets

Arion Therapeutic Farm

Arion Therapeutic Farm has something for everyone at any age or ability! Animals, tours, workshops, fun family activities, you can even help feed...

Phone: (778) 477-1006

View Listing

Wineries & Wine Tours

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Canada's largest organic winery and premier producer of sparkling wine. Enjoy the stunning view, wine tasting and tours, and wine paired cuisine...

Phone: (250) 764-8000

View Listing

Breweries, Distilleries & Cideries

Cannery Brewing

At Cannery Brewing, we make beer with heart. Its beer made by people who care, not just about beer, but about the people who drink it, about the...

View Listing

Wineries & Wine Tours

Poplar Grove Winery

Poplar Grove Winery is a boutique winery on the slopes of the Naramata Bench. Poplar Grove began in 1995 as the quintessential garage winery. Our...

Phone: (250) 493-9463

View Listing

Wineries & Wine Tours

Three Sisters Winery

Located in the heart of the Naramata Bench, our winery is a full family affair! We produce great wines from all our own farmed fruit. We are proud...

View Listing

Cabins & Cottages

Chute Lake Lodge

Inspired by wanderlust and adventure we are a unique experience for people who love the outdoors. Nestled in the mountains above the Naramata...

View Listing

Wineries & Wine Tours

Moraine Estate Winery

Moraine is named for the splendid glacial terrain and white clay bluffs that create the iconic image of the Naramata Bench. Relax on our patio and...

Phone: (250) 460-1836

View Listing

Hotels, Accessibility

Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre

Penticton Lakeside Resort is a full service hotel in Penticton that offers luxurious amenities, clean, spacious rooms, and a spectacular view of...

Phone: (250) 493-8221

View Listing

Spas & Wellness, Hotels

Naramata Inn

Were a really great restaurant. With rooms. We found the best of the Okanagans natural bounty and put it all in one place. Youre going to like it...

Phone: (250) 496-6808

View Listing

Wineries & Wine Tours

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery proudly stands facing its namesake, a former volcano that created unique soil conditions for grape growing. Our...

Phone: (250) 769-8803

View Listing

Wineries & Wine Tours, Accessibility

Quails' Gate Winery

As one of Canadas foremost family-owned estate wineries, Quails Gate has shaped the development of the wine industry for more than six decades. We...

Phone: (250) 769-4451

View Listing

Spas & Wellness, Hotels, Resorts & Wilderness Lodges

The Cove Lakeside Resort

The Cove Lakeside Resort is a luxury all-suite resort featuring 100 elegantly decorated one, two and three bedroom condo-style suites, indulgent...

Phone: (250) 707-1800

View Listing

Farms & Markets

Arion Therapeutic Farm

Arion Therapeutic Farm has something for everyone at any age or ability! Animals, tours, workshops, fun family activities, you can even help feed...

Phone: (778) 477-1006

View Listing

Wineries & Wine Tours

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Canada's largest organic winery and premier producer of sparkling wine. Enjoy the stunning view, wine tasting and tours, and wine paired cuisine...

Phone: (250) 764-8000

View Listing

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