5 Questions With VisitPenticton.com!

5 Questions With VisitPenticton.Com

Penticton, British Columbia is a very quickly becoming more and more popular as a regional vacation getaway. It’s located not too far across the US-Canadian border from the North Central Washington area and, specifically, Okanogan County. Penticton sits on Highway 97 which is a major north-south route not only in British Columbia, but south through Washington, Oregon, and into California too. This helps make it easily reachable from the states. It’s also very easy to get to from the east and west within British Columbia too.

When you visit Penticton you are heading to an area known for outdoor recreation and beautiful scenery. This small community also offers some fun shopping experiences, great restaurants, and a nice list of things to do too. For example, if you’re a fan of wine and wineries, Penticton really has you taken care of there.

We reached out to the go-to Penticton travel resource recently for our “5 Questions With” series and VisitPenticton.com was gracious enough to help us out.

Five Questions With VisitPenticton.com

1st Question
The Pacific Northwest features some beautiful and interesting names that have survived centuries of translation. What is the meaning of the name “Penticton”?

Penticton, as translated by the local Salish Native Americans, means “a place to live forever” (the commonly accepted translation) or “a place to live year-round”.

2nd Question
Most communities have one or two local celebrations during the year. What are the best celebrations or festivals that vacationers can come and participate in while visiting Penticton?

Penticton is home to so many fantastic annual festival and events. Here are just a few.

Penticton Peach Festival – August 9-13, 2017
This year Penticton celebrates 70 years of Peachfest

Okanagan Fest of Ale – April 7-8, 2017

Pacific Northwestern Elvis Festival – June 22-25, 2017

Peach City Beach Cruise – June 23-25, 2017

Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival – September 8-10, 2017

Penticton Dragon Boat Festival – September 9-10, 2017

For a full list of events in Penticton, go to: Penticton Events

3rd Question
Penticton looks like a fun place to visit for people of all ages. In your opinion, what are the top three things that people shouldn’t miss out on experiencing when they go there?

*Floating ‘the channel’ between Okanagan and Skaha Lake. It’s one of the most popular activities in the summer here.

*Wine touring – with over 70 wineries within a 20 minute drive, it’s no wonder we are called Wine Country.

*Cycling/Mountain biking – whether it’s the Kettle Valley Railway or the many downhill mountain biking routes we have available.

4th Question
Possibly my favorite question, is there a little known fact or piece of trivia that most people don’t know about Penticton?

Penticton is one of two places in the world situated between two lakes

5th Question
Many travelers through our region are very interested in the local history of the area. What are a few of the top attractions in and around Penticton that a history buff would love to experience?

The S.S. Sicamous – The SS Sicamous is the largest surviving stern wheeler in Canada. The ship is now a museum, wedding venue and must-see tourist attraction. The lower deck hosts the original steam boiler, steam engines and a model of the Kettle Valley Railway (with working miniature trains!) The upper decks have been fully restored, and you can see the cabins, dining saloon and even the Captain’s wheel. Visits take up to an hour, and guided tours are available.

Once again, I’d like to thank VisitPenticton.com for helping us out by answering our pesky questions. You can check out all that Penticton has to offer and maybe even start the ball rolling on scheduling your own trip there by checking out their website below:

VISITPENTICTON.COM
Twitter: @VisitPenticton
Facebook: VisitPenticton
Instagram: @VisitPenticton

Five Fun Facts About Victoria Harbour in British Columbia

Victoria Harbour Fun Facts

Victoria is a fascinating city to visit. It’s literally filled with tons of great attractions. Located within Victoria Harbour is the Inner Harbour area filled with great shops, food vendors, restaurants, and sights to see. Here’s a look at five fun facts about Victoria Harbour.

It All Started With A Fort

Before settlement had come to the Victoria area, the Hudson’s Bay Company looked to establish an outpost on Vancouver Island. It came close to selecting Esquimalt Harbour which is located further to the west but instead decided to built Fort Victoria on the shores overlooking what is now Victoria Harbour. The fort grew into what is now the city of Victoria.

Shedding Some Light On The Subject

In 1859 and 1860, two lighthouses were constructed outside Victoria, with Fisgard Light built on an island near Esquimalt Harbour and Race Rocks Light built on an island near Victoria Harbour, respectively. These not only still operate, but they were the first two lighthouses built on Canada’s west coast.

Because of the Panama Canal

The Breakwater and Ogden Piers, both very large in size for their time, were built in 1916 and 1918 respectively. The main purposes for these new piers was to take advantage of the recent opening of the Panama Canal. Included in the construction was a large grain storage bin aimed at shipping grain from Canada’s prairie provinces around the world.

Yacht Racing From Victoria Harbour

A number of long established yacht races start, finish, or both begin and end in Victoria Harbour. The Swiftsure Yacht Race has been held yearly since 1930 and features yachts leaving Victoria and heading out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca before returning to the Victoria Harbour. The Vic-Maul Yacht Race is held every other year and sees competitors frace between Victoria and Lahaina, Hawaii.

For The Birds

1923 saw Victoria Harbour recognized as a Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The water from Upper and Lower Thetis Lakes eventually makes its way into Victoria Harbour and they were the first nature sanctuaries ever established in Canada.

Taking A Road Trip Across The Water To Victoria

Victoria Welcome Sign

A road trip usually takes place, naturally, on the road. This trip was a little different though as we took the ride across the Puget Sound and to the north to Victoria, British Columbia.

Victoria Welcome Sign

Victoria is a unique city. It has a very unusual feel to it because though it’s very modern like most large cities, it also has a very historic look to it. There are just so many reasons to enjoy a visit there.

The City

One of the things everyone has to do when they visit Victoria is get out and walk the old section of the city. The architecture there is incredible, much of it dating back to its earliest days. As you walk through this part of the city, take the time to venture in for some shopping, eating, or drinking. It’s an experience you’ll love and remember forever.

The History

Victoria is also known for its rich history and valuable collection of historical sites. Some of the places to make sure to check out include the Royal BC Museum, British Columbia Parliament, Craigdarroch Castle, Government House, Empress Hotel National Historic Site of Canada, Christ Church Cathedral, and the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. Much of the history of Victoria and the surrounding area is new to many travelers. This adds to the fun of learning about it. Exploring Victoria’s history can be one of the best remembered things you do during your time there.

The Food

Victoria is littered with great restaurants. In recent years it has really developed a reputation for being home to some great food. From cafes with sidewalk seating to restaurants offering views of the waterfront area, there are some great places to get a bite to eat in Victoria. Two that we really enjoyed during our stay were breakfast at the Blue Fox Cafe and dinner at Ferris’ Oyster Bar. We came away with a long list of places we’d like to try next time. The choices are many when it comes to eating out in Victoria.

The Natural Scenery and Wildlife

While Victoria is a vibrant city, it also offers some great natural scenery and wildlife interaction possibilities. Around the outskirts of the city are Thetis Lake Regional Park, Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, Elk / Beaver Lake Regional Park, Goldstream Provincial Park, and Mt. Douglas Park. You can also get out on the water for a cruise, dinner cruise, or a whale watching trip. Getting out and seeing the local natural scenery and wildlife during a visit to Victoria is a great way to be entertained, especially if you are traveling with kids.

Victoria Beaches

When you visit Victoria, you need a great place to stay too. We stayed at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel which was top notch in every way. From the restaurant and wine tasting to the comfort of the rooms, including one of the best hotel beds I’ve ever slept on.

Oak Bay Beach Hotel

Check out Oak Bay Beach Hotel online:
Oak Bay Beach Hotel

Oak Bay Beach Hotel

Awesome Food at Amore’s Ristorante in Trail, British Columbia

Trail - Amores Ristorante

On a recent crossing of the Canadian border after spending time in Spokane, I came across the small town of Trail, British Columbia. This little town has a unique look to it with homes built almost on top of each other in areas up the sides of the local hills. The town also has a rich mining history and that can be fun to explore too.

Enough stuff caught my eye in Trail that it soon became time to spend the night. After selecting some accommodations, it was time to find some dinner. A long road trip, without too many snacks for a change this time, had left me pretty hungry so I was looking for something more substantial.

I got a recommendation from one of the locals to give Amore’s Ristorante a try. A nice meal of pasta and bread appealed to my hunger at the time so off I went.

This is a very cute little Italian eatery. The restaurant is housed in a historic looking building, but once you go inside you immediately feel like you are in a high end establishment.

Not wanting to be too adventurous, I stuck with something familiar and ordered Chicken Alfredo. The chicken was cooked perfectly, as were the noodles. The creamy sauce was definitely close to some of the best I had ever had too. By the time I was full, I found I still had a good amount of food left over. A full to-go box meant that I could have that late night snack back at the motel.

Amore’s Ristorante in Trail is a surprising little Italian restaurant that is sure to please anyone lucky enough to venture inside.

Visiting Vancouver, BC? Eat At The Noodle Box!

Sometimes when you are on the road you want to try eating at a place you would not normally go to. For most of us, this means eating at a more upscale restaurant. Somewhere that has a reputation for doing the finer things a little bit better than everyone else.

I was in Vancouver recently and I did not feel like that at all. What I felt like was going somewhere that offered something simple, well done, and affordable.

Vancouver - Noodle Box

Up on the menu: The Noodle Box

The Noodle Box is home to a wide variety of different noodle concoctions and a long list of different sauces. You can go there with eight different people and all eight of you could get different noodle based dishes. This is Asian food done with a flair I hadn’t seen before.

Luckily I ordered enough to have extra too! A couple hours later, back at the hotel, it was nice to revisit the great job I did selecting a dinner spot that day.

Vancouver - Noodle Box2

The Noodle Box is one of the best options out there for a quick bite to eat in Vancouver.

Skiing and More at Red Mountain Resort in British Columbia

The right destination can make all the difference when going on a ski vacation. One of the more fun locales that many people overlook is Red Mountain Resort in Rossland, British Columbia. Located in Southeastern British Columbia, Red Mountain Resort has been very popular for a very long time. Regulars who go there know to expect a top quality skiing experience.

RedMountainResort

Red Mountain Resort has seven lifts and 110 marked runs. The entire ski area covers over 4,000 acres and offers ski runs rated for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skiers. The longest ski run is 4.3 miles which makes for a great trip down the mountain. While named Red Mountain Resort, the skiing actually happens on Red Mountain, Granite Mountain, and Grey Mountain.

I’ve been lucky enough to have gone to the Red Mountain Resort area in both winter and summer. The skiing there is great and the atmosphere and offerings in the lodges and restaurants are excellent too. If you’re not a skier and are instead into summer activities like mountain biking, then this is still the place for you. There are a number of mountain bike trails in the area and the lodge remains open to give you that meal and refreshment you desire when you’re finished out on the trail. There are also some great hiking and sight seeing opportunities both on the resort property as well as on the surrounding mountainsides.

Red Mountain Resort really is a full service and year round attraction worth visiting. You simply cannot go wrong, regardless of the time of year you choose to visit there in.

Waffle Gone Wild is a Can’t Miss in Vancouver, BC

Vancouver is one of those cities that it is hard to stay away from. Every once in awhile, I find myself drawn back there and the surrounding area for a road trip. It’s just irresistable.

The last time I was there, I found a place to eat that just knocked my socks off.

Have you ever found a great breakfast spot? The kind you have to share with friends or show off when family visits? Something that special?

If you go to Vancouver, that kind of place exists and it’s called Waffle Gone Wild.

Vancouver - WaffleGoneWild2

Great name, right?

And it fits what they offer there perfectly.

I ran down to Waffle Gone Wild one morning and picked up an order to bring back for everyone. These fresh baked Belgian waffles hit the spot and everyone of us on that trip raved about them. I had the Black Forest Ham & Cheese Waffle. This was a sandwich that substituted waffle for bread and was filled with perfectly cooked ham and cheese. Delicious!

Other orders in are group came with names like Strawberry Heaven, Japanese Okonomiyaki, Banana Split, and Creamy Potato.

It’s so nice when an unusual and eye catching eating establishment also pleases the tastebuds too.

The worst part about our experience with Waffle Gone Wild was that I didn’t go there until the morning of our last day in town. If I’d only gone there earlier, we could’ve eaten there more than once.

We will definitely make a point of seeking out Waffle Gone Wild on our next visit to Vancouver… which could happen at any moment.

Vancouver - WaffleGoneWild

Vancouver’s Legendary Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel

A lot of times when out on a road trip, I find myself skimping and saving. You know, a lot of money is going into that gas tank and you’re always pressed for time. This means going through the drive thru one too many times or even packing a lunch from home to be eaten on the road. Nothing wrong with that either because sometimes a picnic along the way or that extra time in the car can bring out better conversation and camaraderie.

Other times though, it’s nice to splurge.

Vancouver-FairmontPacificRim

On my most recent trip to Vancouver (B.C., not Washington), I did just that and stayed at the famous Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel. This is one very special place to stay.

The Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel sits right on the water and there are incredible views it seems in every direction. Watching the activity out on the water is very relaxing, whether you’re doing it from your hotel room, down by the pool, or from one of the many sitting areas.

Inside the hotel, it was equally special. The rooms are first class with only the highest quality features. From the bathroom to the beds, I was very impressed.

There are multiple places in the hotel to get food and drink too which is very nice. There is a fitness center, the best business center I’ve ever seen, and plenty of meeting space. The pool is awesome, featuring private cabanas and a large hot tub. Stanley Park is one of Vancouver’s most popular attractions, and I really enjoyed looking out on it while having a drink on the large outdoor patio.

I’m used to staying somewhere for a short time and moving on down the road. This was one hotel that was truly hard to leave though. I love Vancouver, but it was almost tough to tear myself away from my accommodation in order to have a look around the city.

I will always remember my time at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel very fondly. I won’t have to dwell on that memory though because I know for a fact that I’ll be back. Yeah… just try and keep me away.

Vancouver-FairmontPacificRim2