Summerland began its life on the lake. At first, Summerland was nestled in the tiny strip of land between Okanagan Lake and the foreboding clay cliffs that covered the settlement in shadow by mid afternoon. The first recorded settler to this area was in 1887, and some of his family's descendants are still in the area. The area had electricity in 1905, telephones in 1907, and a newspaper the next year. Growth was fast.
This area is commonly referred to as lower town.
With the arrival of the Kettle Valley Railway in 1915, West Summerland (the location of the present town centre) was born. When the alignment of Highway 97 was moved from lowertown up to the plateau in 1955 and the post office was moved to "West Summerland" in 1964 the 'West' was dropped and the entire area was then referred to as Summerland.
Summerland has grown to include Trout Creek, which arcs into Okanagan Lake south of town, Prairie Valley, which leads west of town, and the huge agricultural benchland that sits behind Giants Head Mountain.
- BC Transit - South Okanagan-Similkameen, toll-free: . Route 30 from Penticton (25 min, $3) runs 4 times a day.
Highway 97 is the only highway into town. It runs south from Kelowna and north from Penticton. Vancouver is 420 km (261 mi) to the west. Calgary is 689km (428mi) to the east. Seattle is 519km (322mi) to the southwest.
Public transportation is very limited (handi-dart). There are plans to increase the system, and it is widely hoped that this increase will include public transportation to Penticton. There is a Taxi Service in Summerland 250-494-6651. The downtown core is easily walked in under 15 minutes from end to end. While Summerland has a modest population, the residential area is spread over a huge area with many steep hills to climb while you enjoy the breathtaking views this wonderful town has to offer.
- Trout Creek Canyon and Trestle, Canyon View Road. This bridge was built in 1913 as part of the Kettle Valley Railway, considered one of the greatest railway engineering feats of its time. The last train rolled over the bridge in 1985 and the tracks were removed ten years later. Today you are welcome to wander across and see if you can withstand vertigo when peering down 73 m (238 ft) to the rushing creek below. This trestle is the highest railway trestle in British Columbia, and the third highest in North America.
- Gartrell Barn, 3117 Gartrell Road. It may be dilapidated today, but this barn which was built circa 1890 by one of Summerland's pioneer families is a tangible link to the past. Please be respectful of the many families that live in this area.
- Giant's Head Mountain is an extinct volcano in the center of town, has 360-degree views of Summerland to the north and west, Okanagan Lake to the east, and Penticton to the south. The entire mountain is designated as parkland, and there is a narrow windy road that leads to a parking area near the top. A ten minute climb will take you the rest of the way. There is also a time capsule at the top, to be opened in 2067 coinciding with Canada's bicentennial.
- The pristine Summerland Ornamental Gardens, 4200 Highway 97, +1 250 494-6385. Part of Agriculture Canada's fruit tree research facility created in 1916, the gardens feature a picnic area on a vast lawn as well as annotated displays of the local flora. Also features stirring views of Trout Creek Canyon and the Trout Creek Trestle. Hours 8AM-sunset. $5 suggested donation.
- Summerland Museum, 9251 Wharton St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit displays and collections that provide insight into this area's vast and interesting history and heritage. Contains town records and photographs dating from 1909.
- Spend the day at one of Summerland's six beaches:
- Powell Beach, Trout Creek.
- Gordon Rotary Beach, lowertown.
- Kin Beach, lowertown.
- Peach Orchard Beach, lowertown.
- Sun-Oka Beach Provincial Park, Trout Creek.
- Crescent Beach, lowertown.
- Bottleneck Drive. Step off the busy highway and enjoy this self-guided winery tour. As of May 2014, there are 14 wineries. Visit 5 wineries, collect a stamp at each of them, and you could win a prize (draws monthly).
- Kettle Valley Steam Railway, 18404 Bathville Road, toll-free: . A two hour round-trip on the only remaining part of the historic Kettle Valley Railway. Only 16 km. Disembark and enjoy the view from the Trout Creek Trestle, 73 m (238 ft) above the creek. operates May-October, December, Mothers Day, and Easter. Reservations required. Adults $22, seniors (65+) $20, teens $17, children (3-12) $13..
- Homemade preserves, fruit leather, and ice cream from Summerland Sweets.
- Fruit leather from Kettle Valley Dried Fruit.
- Wine from one of the many local wineries. New wineries pop up all the time. And old ones change hands or names. Note, winery store hours vary seasonally.
- 8th Generation Vineyard, 6807 Highway 97, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- Dirty Laundry Vineyard, 7311 Fiske Street, ☏ , fax: , ✉ TheMadam@dirtylaundry.ca. Their slogan is "Wine is Fun". Formerly Scherzinger Vineyards.
- [dead link] Heaven's Gate Estate Winery, 8001 Happy Valley Rd, ☏ .
- [dead link] Sonoran Estate Winery, 21606 Hwy 97 North, ☏ .
- Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, 17403 Highway 97, ☏ . The first estate winery in BC has been in business since 1981.
- Thornhaven Estate Winery, 6816 Andrews Avenue, ☏ .
- Cellar Door Bistro, 17403 Hwy 97 N, ☏ . Part of Sumac Ridge Estate Winery.
- Zias Stonehouse Pub, 14015 Rosedale Avenue, ☏ . Upscale dining in an old converted stone house.
- Santorinis, 13229 Henry Avenue, ☏ . Locally owned and operated. Standard fare. Good prices.
- Vanilla Pod Restaurant, 9917 Main Street, ☏ .
- Yaki's Pizza and Subs. Try the tank sub. If you can eat it all in one sitting you probably need to go on a diet.
- Peacocks Perch and Liquor Store, 14218 Rosedale Avenue, +1 250 494-9727. The only pub in uppertown. Pub menu. Friendly staff. Pool table, darts. Pub-style menu.
- Local Lounge Grille - Set on Lake Okanagan near Penticton, it offers a fantastic view and good food. - 12817 Lakeshore Dr. North - +1 250 494-8855
- 1 Dirty Laundry Vineyard, 7311 Fiske St, Summerland, BC V0H 1Z2, ☏ . Vineyard with excellent views of a the steam railway. Ask the staff about the story of the establishment.
There are nightclubs. You will have to go fifteen minutes south to Penticton.
Bed and breakfast
- Touch of English, 6111 Tavender Court, ☏ .
- Catbird Ridge, 17404 Logie Rd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- [dead link] Heritage House, 11919 Jubilee Road West, ☏ . Built in 1907.
- Wildhorse Mountain Ranch, 25808 Wild Horse Road, ☏ .
- Hill House Bed & Breakfast, 17007 Logie Road, ☏ .
- [dead link] Antiques and Gardens Bed and Breakfast, 13809 Theed Cres., ☏ .
- A Apples~N~Wine B&B, 5680 Hespeler Road, toll-free: . Excellence in Tourism award-nominated B&B. Has two large decorated A/C suites with gorgeous lake and mountain views. Each suite has a private entrance and ensuite, balcony or veranda, comfortable queen bed, fireplace, in room coffee/tea, 42 inch TV and Blu-Ray DVD, computer w/Internet plus Wi-Fi. Has both fine dining and continental breakfast. Also has sun decks and an outdoor hot tub. Smoke-free.
Hotels and motels
- Rosedale Motel, 14001 Rosedale Avenue, ☏ .
- Pleasant View, 13608 Highway 97, ☏ .
- Summerland Waterfront Resort, 13011 Lakeshore Drive, ☏ .
- Summerland Motel, 2107 Tait Street, ☏ .
- Summerland Campground and RV Park, 5011 Towgood Place, toll-free: .
|Routes through Summerland|
|Kelowna ← Peachland ←||N S||→ Penticton → Osoyoos|