On a hot summer day, lie back on a giant rubber floatie and let the river carry your stress away, best enjoyed with a choice cold beverage floating in a cooler. It’s free to float down this 7km channel, all you need is a floatation device, which can rented at the launch site. The 3-4 drift is the essence of relaxation, aided by a handy shuttle to return you to your car.
Length of Trip : A morning/afternoon excursion
Cost : Free if you have your own tube/air mattress $10 for tubes and bus ride with Coyote Cruises $5 for the return bus ride only.
Best time to go : Open Mid June to Mid September. Best day is sunny and warm.
Wheelchair friendly : Yes
Family friendly : Yes
Where to eat : The Bucket List Choice: Theo’s A local favourite, Theo’s delivers the kind of meal you’ll remember for a long, long time. Owned and operated by the same Greek family since the 1970’s, it feels like you’ve walked into a traditional Greek tavern, and the food doesn’t disappoint. The seasonal purslane salad is a must, as are the old-world recipes for dako, giant white beans, grilled octopus and lamb so soft you can spread it like butter. With the warm ambiance and service, Theo’s is a feast for the soul.
Where to Stay : Sandman Hotels
Getting There : Park or bus to the launch site at 215 Riverside Drive on the north end of Penticton, off Eckhardt Avenue West. Best time of day is between 1pm and 6pm when the sun is hottest. Pickup your own tube at Canadian Tire, or rent from Coyote Cruises right at the launch site
Note from Robin : Make sure you bring a cooler bag to float your beverages alongside you (a piece of string will help keep it from wandering away). You can also use string to tie multiple tubes together, or just link feet. The canal is not deep so don’t worry about swimming too much! Wait for a sunny day, and hit the canal in the afternoon when its warmest. Grab a snack at the “Reztaurant” about halfway down the canal.
PHOTO: MELISSA BARNES
THE CANAL LAUNCH SITE
RULES OF THE RIVER
ROUTE OF THE FLOAT
TUBING THE CANAL: PHOTO MELISSA BARNES