Penticton beaches earn high marks

A top travel website has named the Okanagan’s beaches among the Top 10 beaches in Canada.

A top travel website has named the Okanagan’s beaches among the Top 10 beaches in Canada.

TripAdvisor’s 2011 Travellers’ Choice Awards rated Penticton’s Okanagan Beach, Skaha Beach and Kelowna’s City Park Beach the tops in the country — second only to the ocean beach at Tofino.

“On the shores of two beautiful lakes — with Okanagan Lake on the north and Skaha Lake at the south — Penticton’s beaches continue to be a popular destination for families and friends during the hot summer months,” said Penticton and Wine Country Tourism marketing manager Jessie Campbell. “And with over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually, there’s no better place to base your summer vacation than on the shores of a now top-rated Okanagan beach.”

The Okanagan beaches beat out other locations in B.C. and across Canada including Parksville (third place), Cavendish, P.E.I. (fourth), Charlottetown, P.E.I. (fifth), Cape Breton Island, N.S. (sixth), Sunshine Coast (seventh), Wasaga Beach, Ont. (eighth), Harrison Hot Springs (ninth) and Galiano Island (10th).

“This high-profile praise for our world-class beaches is well deserved,” said Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association CEO Glenn Mandziuk. “It not only recognizes our region as a premier destination for beaches and water sports, it also gives a big global boost to our marketing and promotion. This high ranking lets the millions of travellers who use TripAdvisor know about the wonderful experiences they can have here, not just at our beaches but also at our wineries, golf courses, fine restaurants, resorts, ski hills and other excellent amenities.”

Tourism Kelowna media relations manager Catherine Frechette said there are just over 8.8 million unique visitors for Canada on TripAdvisor, and the endorsement gives Kelowna’s beach offerings some serious exposure to a significant travel audience.

Results of the TripAdvisor awards were based on the highest rated beach destinations by travellers in TripAdvisor reviews.

“The Okanagan Valley, in the interior of British Columbia, is a popular Canadian vacation destination known for skiing in the winter and water sports in the summer,” said a statement from TripAdvisor about the Top 10 Beaches in Canada category. “The area’s quaint towns and lush vineyards are connected by a network of clear blue lakes and rivers surrounded by rolling, sun-dappled hills. Head to Kelowna for one of several wine festivals or to Penticton for the sugary summer Peach Festival. To the south is Osoyoos, home to an arid desert filled with rare plants and animals.”