Get away to B.C.'s Okanagan Valley

Enjoy water sports, great produce, wines, and other epicurean treats

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The largest city in the South Okanagan sits on a sliver of land between Okanagan and Skaha Lakes. Its 2 miles of public beach are packed with sun worshipers in summer. The nearby town of Summerland is like an old-fashioned English village. Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, 888 Westminster Ave. W.; 250/492-4103.

 Giant's Head hike. A 2-mile, 50-minute hike on the Don Agur Trail to the 2,772-foot summit and a breathtaking panorama. For directions visit the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism, 15600 Hwy. 97; 250/494-2686.

Kettle Valley Railroad Trail. Tracks of the old Kettle Valley Railroad have been pulled up and turned into 87 miles of biking and hiking trail. One scenic section is north of Penticton on the old trestles through Myra Canyon. For information on the trail, bike rentals (from $20 for four hours), and shuttles or tours, contact Monashee Adventure Tours, 470 Cawston Ave., Kelowna; 250/762-9253.

Kettle Valley Steam Railway. A 1924 steam engine pulls passenger cars through a canyon to the 238-foot Trout Creek Bridge. Twice daily Thu-Mon; $16. Prairie Valley Station west of Summerland; 877/494-8424.

Dining and Lodging
 Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa. This 1908 inn has 12 rooms and is a Provincial Heritage Site. The Rock Oven Dining Room (dinner Thu-Sun) serves lamb loin en croute and roast duckling with a sweet cherry-plum sauce; the pleasant patio at the Cobblestone Wine Bar is a more casual option. From $165. 3625 First St., Naramata; 866/617-1188.

Penticton Lakeside Resort Convention Centre & Casino. A full-service resort hotel with 204 rooms and suites and a casino right on the beach. At Magnums on the Lake (three meals daily; 250/493-9768), chef Ralph Kordass's menus are inventive. Rooms from $154. 21 Lakeshore Dr. W., Penticton; 800/663-9400.

Zias Stonehouse. Featuring live piano nightly in an old house, the restaurant's diverse menu includes owner Shannon Ferlizza's memorable tiramisu. Lunch and dinner daily. 14015 Rosedale Ave., Summerland; 250/494-1105.



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