{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} I Left My Heart In San Diego

As my husband and I sat squished in the corner of a tiny tiki bar, sipping on our overly-garnished and generously-poured boozy drinks, a couple sitting next to us shot a knowing glance our way. We could tell that they were thinking the same thing as us: we were too old to be in this bar that was jam-packed with peppy 20-somethings.

“Looks like we were put in the ‘old people’ section” the man said to us with a nervous laugh. It turned out they were also parents, trying to enjoy a quiet night out without kids. Like us, they had enjoyed a nice dinner and were having one last drink before calling it a night. We chatted casually like old friends, bonding over stories of parenthood, politics, and plans for the future, and when we parted, they kindly wished us well and went on their way.

Goofing off at Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego (Instagram: @bitsofbee)

We met several friendly characters like this during our 3-day stay in San Diego, and I realized later that each person who crossed our path represented something equally as endearing and unique about the city in which they lived.

Check out my post for BC Living on how to eat and explore your way through San Diego in 3 days, including an itinerary you can totally steal: READ MORE.

There was the 20-something surfer girl (our kayak tour guide) who epitomized the beach bum lifestyle. As she guided us through the waters of the cove, she spoke passionately of her surroundings, her love of adventure infectious and her glowing olive skin and laid-back attitude mesmerizing. She reminded me of Kate Bosworth in Blue Crush, working just enough to make rent, living for the sun and surf, feeding off the adrenaline rush of adventuring through nature’s playground.

Kayaking in La Jolla (Instagram: @bitsofbee)

There was the quick-witted VIP hotel concierge/aspiring food blogger, who served us drinks while sharing his passion for food and lust for life. He spoke with sincerity and listened with intent, making us feel interesting and appreciated even though we knew that he spent most of his days doing the same with every guest who walked through his door.

And there was the restaurant server/aspiring sommelier with a sparkle in his eye and an avid passion for the culinary world. I could tell he was an introvert at heart, whose inner extrovert only emerged when he spoke of his love for wine and travel to an attentive audience. While he rushed through the restaurant to ensure guests were happy and meals were delivered in a timely manner, he also stood patiently as guests asked him questions, projecting an air of confidence and calmness as he worked.

Strolling through Coronado (Instagram: @bitsofbee)

San Diego is a city full of as much passion, aspiration, and inspiration as the people who call “America’s Finest City” home. From the “surfer girl” feel of La Jolla Shores, to the colourful history behind the city’s Gaslamp Quarter neighbourhood, to the up-and-coming culinary hot spot that is Little Italy, there is something unique about each person, and each region of San Diego – and I loved them all.

San Diego Sunset (Instagram: @bitsofbee)