Peach Festival Performance

The perks of living in a tourist town

Tag(s): Living Here

Parades. Parachutes. Peaches. Powder. Living in a signature Okanagan "tourist town" comes with many not having to travel to experience festivals, music in the park, or outdoor adventure. It's all at your doorstep or a short bike ride or walk away.

So much more than peaches, the annual Penticton Peach Festival, held in early August, is one of the largest free festivals in Western Canada, with five days of family fun. Classic small town charm, literally, at the Miss Penticton Pageant. A day made for seniors, a kid's zone, and a midway to entice everyone out on a summer's day, not to mention outdoor music from headliners such as Trooper, Aaron Pritchett, 54-40, and some of the top tribute bands in the country.

As for tribute artists, each June the town is invaded by the Elvis Festival, bringing Elvis tribute artists and fans here in droves for performances next to Okanagan Lake, plus Sunday morning gospel, and an indoor finale that brings the best amateurs and pros to the stage at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. Coupled with the Peach City Beach Cruise, a massive show of classic cars -- just one of several car shows peppered throughout the calendar year -- and you're transported to another era. All without having to pack a suitcase or battle highway traffic.

Adventurists can leave the office behind and hit many biking trails, check out info from the Penticton and Area Cycling Association, or the Skaha Bluffs for rock climbing (read Off the Track Travel's tips here), or parasail over the lake. In winter, Apex Mountain Resort is less than 30 minutes away for adventures in snow, near to Nickel Plate Nordic Centre.

The serious athlete can strive for his or her best time at a number of challenging events, from the annual Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx to special events like the ITU Multisport World Championships Festival.

And, if you just need a relaxing escape away from the computer screen, hit an area winery, float down the channel, spend a Saturday morning at the Penticton Farmer's Market. It's all right here.