The major shopping centers in Penticton are clustered on the sides of Main Street which becomes Skaha Lake Road in the southern part of the city.
#1 on the map: Downtown Penticton
Downtown Penticton consists mostly of the north end of Main Street and Front Street. It is important to note that Main Street is one-way, heading north, through the downtown area until it ends at Lakeshore Drive which borders Okanagan Lake. The street running parallel to it to the west, Martin Street, is one-way the other way, towards the south. (See the red arrows on the map.)
Parallel parking is available along both sides of Main Street and the speed is limited to 30 km/h. Coming from Naramata, the best way to get to Main Street is to either park along Front Street after the roundabout, or follow Front street past the intersection with Main Street and turn left at the next street, Martin Street. Parking is usually available along Martin Street, but if parking is preferred directly on Main Street, then turn left off Martin Street when reaching either Padmore or White Avenues. Main Street can then be taken in the correct direction, towards Okanagan Lake.
The downtown area of Penticton offers a number of small shops, and a number of places to eat. No visit to that section of town is complete without a tour of The Book Store, and a visit to Teas & Weaves and the YGO Fine Art Gallery, just to name a few interesting places. This is also the area of town where most large banks have their main branch.
Have fun strolling up and down Main Street, and on Front Street. You’ll notice some older and interesting buildings on the east section of Front Street. And, while in the area, a walk along Lakeshore Drive and the beach, heading west, will take you to the S.S. Sicamous, a landmark of Penticton and its history.
If parking is not available on Main Street, it is usually available in the parking lot of the Lakeside Resort, at the intersection of Main Street and Lakeshore Drive. This is a pay parking lot and more expensive than the parking meters along Main Street.
For wine shopping at this end of town, the most interesting store is the VQA Store at the junction of Railway Street and Eckhardt Avenue, marked by a grape symbol on the map above. Access to the VQA store is through the parking lot at the rear. There is no direct access to the store from Eckhardt Avenue. From Eckhardt Avenue and coming from Naramata, turn right onto Vees Drive, and look for the parking lot entrance on the left.
#2 on the map: Penticton Plaza
Penticton Plaza is home to Safeway, Shopper’s Drug Mart, and Penticton’s Signature BC Liquor Store. The liquor store is Penticton’s only government liquor store; all the others are private. (Maybe this is an indication that the government will eventually get out of that business and that British Columbia will join the rest of the world and abandon 19th C. puritanism?)
#3 on the map: Penticton Power Center
This shopping Center offers a Superstore, Winners, Staples and a Petcetera . There is also a branch of the TD Canada Trust Bank on the south side of the center as well as a Dollar Store and some others.
#4 on the map: Cherry Lane Shopping Center
This is a larger shopping center that has 3 main anchor stores: Save-On-Foods, London Drugs, and The Bay. Parking is easily available either on the Main Street side, or in back. A number of smaller stores can be found inside the mall, in addition to a Food Court.
#5 on the map: Walmart
Walmart anchors this shopping center, but there are a number of other stores clustered on its periphery.
#6 on the map: Canadian Tire
Is occupied by a single store, Canadian Tire. As most Canadians will know, this a large multi-purpose store that carries everything from outdoor equipment to tools and kitchen appliances.
#7 on the map: Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market is an innovative and interesting place to visit. It is a natural foods market that was founded by Shelley Hawn. She started off in Summerland in 1981 as the Summerland Whole Food Emporium, then opened a second store, the Penticton Bulk Food Emporium, in 1983.
The bulk food section is huge and amazing. Organic meats & produce, fresh bread, dairy, supplements, eco-friendly products, gluten-free products and last, but not least, even a cafe, known as the Wheatgrass Café.
The current store is 9,100 sq. ft. and is located at 1770 Main Street, Penticton.