{TRAVEL} 4 Places To Peruse & Play In Penticton

Biking along the Okanagan River Channel in Penticton.

We had been pedalling for almost an hour, our noses red and our breath making small clouds of condensation with every exhale. As we rode our bikes side-by-side in silence, we took in the beauty of the Okanagan River Channel that flowed peacefully beside us. In the Summer months, this is the hub for warm-weather fun in Penticton, where locals and visitors flock to float on tubes down the river that connects one lake to another. But on this day, the river was quiet, with only a gaggle of geese on its cool surface.

Skaha Lake was our destination, and when we arrived, the view was breathtaking. While the day was chilly, the glasslike surface of the lake mirrored the calm sky that skulked above. The view was worth the trek, and we stood together grinning as we took it all in. This was the perfect way to start our mother-daughter trip to Penticton, where we would explore the city by bus, seeking new adventures and bonding over our weekend getaway to The District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

Based on our recent excursion, here are 4 ways you too can peruse and play your way through Penticton – and all of these fun spots are accessible by bus.

We kept dry going from stop to stop by bus!

Bike The River Channel Path To Skaha Lake

Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or a biking newbie, Freedom Bike Shop is a must-visit spot. Not only can you buy top-of-the-line mountain and street bikes or get a tune up from this great local shop, but they offer biking lessons and round-the-year rentals so you can explore Penticton by bike whenever you feel like going for a ride. Leave your car at home and visit the shop by bus – BC Transit buses are equipped with bike racks so you can hitch a ride to and from your biking destination if the weather takes a turn for the worst or if your legs are too tired to pedal on (the bus definitely saved us when we took a wrong turn and got lost at the other end of town!).

My girl was such a trooper!

A quick water break by the river.

We got a bit lost and ended up on a golf course – oops!

This view of Skaha Lake was totally worth the trek!

Browse The Classics At The Book Shop

This hidden gem is is a book lover’s paradise! With over 5,000 square feet of floor-to-ceiling literature, The Book Shop is one of Canada’s largest used book stores, and a treat for anyone looking to explore their favourite subject matter through the written word. Not a book lover? The Book Shop also offers over 20,000 videos and DVDs for rent! This is a great spot to peruse after a chilly day outdoors, and the perfect place to pick up a gift or keepsake. My daughter and I left with 8 books!

The Book Shop on Main St.

She picked some great classics!

Boulder The Indoor Climbing Wall at Hoodoo Adventures

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or an indoor adventure type, Hoodoo Adventures is your go-to spot in Penticton. We started our visit with a beginner’s lesson in belay-style indoor rock climbing, where Emma nailed the figure 8 knot and scaled the walls like Spiderman’s quicker, more agile younger sister.

Mama Bee, on belay.

Those climbing skills!

We then tried the 15-foot-tall bouldering wall, where we solo-climbed sans ropes.  It was fun to switch back and forth between climbing styles to figure out which worked best for us.

Emma tackling the bouldering wall.

After a quick lunch break, we headed back to Hoodoo for part 2 of our day full of adventure…

Bound Through The Snow At Apex Mountain Resort

Not only does Hoodoo Adventures offer an indoor climbing gym, but they offer a wide range of outdoor activities as well, such as outdoor rock climbing, kayaking, hiking tours, and snowshoeing – which would be our next feat. We geared up into our warmest snow gear and headed up Apex Mountain with our friendly tour guide. Once we reached our starting point, we strapped on our snowshoes and scampered along the snow, stepping swiftly through the powdery surface while catching snowflakes on our tongues. We took a trail that wrapped around the 3 lakes that sit tucked tightly amongst the trees and took in the views as we stopped for hot chocolate. This was definitely Emma’s favourite adventure, and hopefully a new one that we can continue to enjoy together back home.

Bounding through the powder in our snowshoes.

Taking a quick hot chocolate break.

Mother-daughter snowshoe dance!

Hoodoo adventures I’m adding to my bucket list for next time: The Kayak Kelowna Wine & Cheese Tour, and The 3-Course Fireside Dinner & Snowshoeing Tour – how amazing do these sound!?

We had such an amazing time bonding while exploring a new spot in BC, and can’t wait to see what else our beautiful province has to over. To learn more about how you can #ExploreBCByBus, check out these great destinations and pre-built itineraries designed with families in mind.

The giant peach on Okanagan Lake.

{TRAVEL} My Top 4 Trips of 2016

The past year was filled with travel! I discovered some new destinations, and revisited some old ones, and I’ve loved sharing my adventures, discoveries and tips with my readers. Here are the places we explored in 2016 – both with and without our kids:

BOWEN ISLAND, BC
(September 2016)
BC LIVING – Where To Enjoy Nature and Namaste on Bowen Island

My most recent trip was to a fairly local destination. Only a 20-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay (and a total of only 40 minutes from my home), I was surprised to discover all there was to see and do in this beautiful little ocean-side community. Visiting with a friend and enjoying a 2-day yoga retreat at Nectar Yoga B&B made the mini vacation extra special, as we bonded, relaxed, and enjoyed the natural surroundings of Bowen – immersed in serenity by the sea.

The geodesic dome at Nectar Yoga B&B in Bowen Island, BC

DISNEYLAND, CA
(June 2016)
BC LIVING – 10 Reasons To Stop Putting Off Your Trip To Disneyland
BITS OF BEE – Dashing Off To Disneyland

I hadn’t visited Disneyland since I was 9 years old, so I was excited to see the changes and experience the Most Magical Place On Earth with my two oldest children. We surprised our children with the trip on the day of departure, and dashed off to Disneyland to celebrate the 60th Diamond Anniversary and enjoy all that the destination had to offer. The trip exceeded my expectations and left me buzzing for months afterwards.

World of Color – Celebrate The World of Walt Disney Fireworks Show

SUMMERLAND, BC
(May 2016)
BC LIVING – 5 Things To Do In Summerland (Besides Golf and Wine Tours)
BITS OF BEE – A Sweet Escape To Summerland

Another fairly local destination that I had yet to explore, Summerland was a sweet escape. My oldest daughter and I enjoyed a special mother-daughter trip and joined some fellow writers and their families for an action-packed tour of the local wineries and eateries. Since our visit we’ve been eager to return with our entire family in tow!

Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa

HARRISON HOT SPRINGS, BC
(March 2016)
BC LIVING – Harrison Hot Springs: The Perfect Spring Break Family Getaway (On A Budget)

Harrison Hot Springs is one of our favourite not-too-far-from-home destinations, and we visit at least once a year. While it’s most well known as an ideal Summer destination, I shared about how it’s also a great (and budget-friendly) destination for families to visit in the off-season. We love it there and look forward to our next visit.

Harrison Lake

MAUI, HI
(February 2016)
BITS OF BEE – A Week Away in Kihei (Sans Kids)

This last-minute adults-only definitely topped my list of 2016 trips. It was a very last-minute getaway, made possible by some friends who own a beach-side condo in Kihei (and with the help of some long-accumulated Aeroplan points). We lazed on the beach, toured lava caves by boat, visited a pod of playful dolphins, and took in the views from the top of the Haleakala volcano (and did so much more! It’s amazing what you can pack into a trip when you don’t have 3 little kids in tow). We hope to return with our kids sometime soon.

At the top of the Haleakala volcano

With a new year comes a new list of exciting adventures! Next stop: SAN DIEGO, CA (sans kids)! I have a jam-packed itinerary and can’t wait to explore a new city for the first time. Stay tuned!

Bee xx