CARCN Meeting - Travel & Accommodation
September 22-25, 2000
Penticton has a small airport served by regular Air Canada/Canadian flights from Vancouver and Calgary. Flights arrive several times per day. Car rentals and taxi service are available at the airport, and it is a very short drive to the hotel area of town (quite reasonable for taxi fare). There is also an airport limousine (van) that drives to hotels for $4/person. If you are by yourself, this might be cheaper than a taxi. The Airport Shuttle can be contacted at (250) 492-0292. They meet every flight and their bus will hold 12 people.
Kelowna, a larger city at the north end of Okanagan Lake, is served by WestJet as well as Air Canada/Canadian. You can rent a car to drive down the lake to Penticton (about an hour's drive). It would be too far for a taxi; however, the same company that runs the Penticton shuttle also runs a scheduled service to and from the Kelowna airport at a cost of about $20.00 per person. (However, you might want to check on that one, as the price goes up if you are the only person on the bus.)
You can also drive to Penticton from Vancouver, a distance of about 400 km (about 5 hours). If you take the Hope-Princeton route it is very pretty, though a bit slower and much twistier than the Coquihalla. I prefer the Hope-Princeton myself as there are more places to stop for coffee and gas.
There is bus service to Penticton via Greyhound from most places in BC if you are so inclined. Check your local bus station for schedules and fares.
Where to Stay
The Penticton Sandman Inn has offered us a conference rate of $60 per room per night. This hotel is newly renovated and is just a five minute walk from the conference centre. There is a restaurant, indoor pool, and a general manager who likes snakes! Please quote reservation number 10201 when you book your room. They will need the usual information such as credit card number, home address and phone number. You can contact them at:
SANDMAN HOTEL PENTICTON - 939 Burnaby Avenue West, Penticton, BC V2A 1G7
Ph: (250) 493-7151
Fx: (250) 493-3767
Toll Free: 1-888-648-1118
Email: [email protected]
Web Site: www.sandman.ca
There are any number of small bed & breakfast inns in the Penticton area if you would like somewhere more private, or romantic. The Penticton Chamber of Commerce has a list at http://www.penticton.org/TDS/introduction.html. You can also contact Okanagan Reservations (1-800-663-5052, www.okres.bc.ca, or [email protected]) for information and reservations.
The weather will still be nice enough for camping in tents or RVs. Private campgrounds are listed along with hotels in the guide above. There is a large and very attractive provincial campground about 40 km north of Penticton at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park (http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/okanalk.htm), and a small campground at Vaseaux Lake (http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/vaseux.htm) with fewer facilities but more wildlife.
There is a Hostelling International youth hostel on Ellis St in the downtown area. Call 492-3992 for information.
How to Get Around
Penticton is small enough to explore on foot, though some parts are rather spread out. The downtown core is nice and compact. You can also rent bicycles or cars, or use the transit system (I'm afraid a bus schedule is not available on the web, but I have used the buses in Penticton. They are quite convenient.)
Where to Eat - Restaurants/Pubs
Theo's Greek Restaurant (recommended personally) - 687 Main St between Eckhardt and White Ave. (492-4019)
La Casa Ouzeria - more Greek and Italian cuisine- 2406 Skaha Lake Rd, a bit farther from the site. (492-9144)
Front St Pasta Factory - 75 Front St (493-5666) Right downtown near the beach.
Jade Garden (Chinese of course) - 902 Westminster Ave W. (492-7259) Directly opposite Sandman Inn.
King's Garden (Chinese smorgasbord) - 101 Westminster Ave. W. (492-2121) close to main street
Swagatham (Indian) - 1048 Westminster Ave. W. (492-9671)
Lee's Overseas Delights (fairly inexpensive stir fries/sushi) - 139 Westminster Ave. W. (492-7172)
Boa Thong Thai Restaurant - 2985 Skaha Lake Rd (770-9791) - again, getting a bit far from the site.
Show Case Bistro - 610 Main St. downtown (492-5610)
Joe's On The Lake Restaurant - "lakefront patio dining" - 950 Lakeshore Dr (492-4092)
Granny Bogner's Restaurant (fine dining despite the name) - 302 Eckhardt Ave. (493-2711)
Barley Mill Pub (British-style) - 2460 Skaha Lake Rd (493-8000). A bit further from the conference site.
The Gunbarrel Grill - 205-399 Main St. (490-0573)
Kettle Valley Station Pub - 1050 Eckhardt Ave. (493-3388)
(a sample listing from the Chamber of Commerce brochures; a more complete list will be available at the hotel)
Denny's Restaurant - located in the Sandman Inn
McDonalds - 1804 Main St
Dairy Queen - 1449 Main St nr Duncan Ave. W
There are many small fast food places in Penticton, especially along Main St. Unfortunately this area is a bit spread out for pedestrians.
The Tin Whistle Brewing Co. - 954 W Eckhardt Ave. (Hwy 97 next to Penticton Golf Club). Brewery tours and tastings - sounds good anyway! 770-1122
Rainbow Delights Bakery & Café - Penticton Plaza, 1301 Main St. (492-0104)
NetWERX Cybercafe - 151 Front St (490-0571)
Java Joe's Ice Cream Courtyard - 950 Lakeshore Dr.
What Else to Do
Well, what else would you want to do but discuss neat critters? However, there are all sorts of museums, boat rides, amusements and even winery/brewpub tours to fill up your spare time. The South Okanagan is justly famed for its vineyards, and if you can fit in a wine tasting you will see why. Several tours can be booked through the hotel, or you can check things out at: http://www.owfs.com/wineries/index.htm.
The week after our conference is the Okanagan Wine Festival - probably worth extending your stay if you can! More details will be posted in this space soon.