SunCruiser Okanagan 2022

Paradise Awaits…in the Tri-Lakes

Whether you visit Okanagan Lake and the surrounding area every summer or it’s your first time, it’s easy to be charmed by the sparkling blue waters and commanding landscape.

Known as the Tri-Lakes, which consists of three main communities of Penticton, Kelowna, and Vernon, each one will call you to the water, enticing you to visit a welcoming marina or cruise off their scenic shores and visit an anchorage to relax and recharge. These are some of the biggest attractions here and they await you all season.

Kelowna is the largest community on Okanagan Lake with Penticton to the south and Vernon to the north. Some of the great news for the 2022 boating season is that businesses are once again in full operation, providing you with the chance to enjoy a true ‘Okanagan experience.’

When you’re not cruising on a lake, marinas, first-class resorts, and shoreside services will not only help you enhance your visit but provide you with all of the essentials you need when you’re on the water. Once you are, you’ll be captivated by the scenery no matter where you plot your course.

For instance, cruising south from Kelowna leads to Penticton - but not before you cruise along the waterfronts of Peachland and Summerland on Okanagan Lake’s west side. While boating-friendly, where many activities can be enjoyed on the water, driving with a boat in tow is scenic as well and another way to spend more time in these two communities. Penticton, too, is exciting and one of the main attractions is Skaha Lake. It has a beautiful beach, warm water and friendly boating services, which make the area that much more exciting.

If you head north on the water from Kelowna, you’ll enter Lake Country and taking a side trip to Kalamalka or Wood lakes is recommended. Running parallel to Okanagan Lake and about just 20 minutes south of Vernon - where more services and accommodations await - both have calm water, anchorages, and secluded provincial parks.

Although boating is a major attraction here with warm weather and clean, refreshing lakes, the climate is also the main force behind the countless thriving wineries. The region accounts for approximately 86 percent of vineyard acreage in the province and is a renowned grape-growing region.

From ‘boutique vineyards’ to world-class operations, there are more than 40 wineries within 20 minutes of Kelowna and many more throughout the area. Wine tours are always available and you’ll want to visit a few as you explore the Tri-Lakes. There’s a good chance you’ll find a new favourite vintage to add to your cellar.

You’ll also want to check out any one of the public parklands. A number of them are located right on the water and if you’re looking for the ultimate boat-camping experience, Commando Bay - on the east side of Okanagan Lake between Kelowna and Penticton - has six marine campgrounds with secluded bays, sheltered sandy beaches and 33 km (about 21 mi) of undeveloped shoreline. It’s where you’ll find true seclusion.

While you’re on the water, we always recommend navigating with current charts and/or the latest mapping software. To provide a quick reference, our 2022 SunCruiser Okanagan edition features detailed maps, available services, hazards as well as marked and unmarked obstructions in full detail - all provided to give you a clear idea of where to go throughout the Tri-Lakes.

On a final note, and to ensure continued enjoyment season after season, reducing your carbon footprint should always be practised. You can do your part by leaving no trace after your visit by treading lightly in protected areas and remaining on marked trails to ensure a clean and green environment for all to enjoy.

Visiting this region of the BC interior will be the highlight of your summer. There are always several places to stay, a variety of restaurants to enjoy, and new destinations to enhance your favourite activities. It doesn’t matter when you arrive, either. The waters of the Tri-Lakes region are ready to serve you all season. - Steve Fennell