Peachland is a beach town in Interior British Columbia. The District of Peachland located on the west side of Okanagan Lake elbow, along Hwy 97. 24 minutes (25.1 km) north is the city of Kelowna, and the district of Summerland is just 14 minutes (20.8 km) to the south. The main attraction in Peachland is it's downtown beachfront that follows the shores of Okanagan Lake. The community is built into a mountainside, with several terraces that mark former levels of the lake's bottom. Looking across the lake is Rattlesnake Island, the home of the mythical lake monster Ogopogo.
Peachland was incorporated as a district municipality in 1909. Land developer John M. Robinson tasted peaches grown in the area and promptly purchased and subdivided land for a townsite and fruit lots. Robinson was the president of a mining company that operated a gold mining operation on the mountainside above the new community. Peachland's early economy was based on the fruit industry, logging and sawmills, a hydro-electric project on Trepanier Creek, and some mining of copper and silver. After twenty years, the open pit Brenda Mine closed.
Today Peachland is known as a retirement and bedroom community, sustained by tourism and local services. Residents and visitors love its incredible lake and mountain scenery, charming village and relaxed small-town vibe. Peachland's Beach Avenue walkway is lined with cafés, restaurants and shops. The waterfront promenade is perfect for long walks and cycling. Peachland offers 11 kilometres of shoreline, featuring beaches and parks, a recreation centre, a marina and boat launch. The lakeside parks provide playgrounds, walking trails, sports courts, and a skate park.
This small and vibrant community has a population of 5,428 (2016 census). The community has been growing at a rate of 1.11% per year. With its main street following the shoreline, the luxury lakefront properties and condos are within easy walking distance of the village's amenities. The Peachland hillside is home to quiet neighbourhoods of single-family houses, a master-planned golf development, vineyards, orchards and farms. The mountainside provides spectacular views of the lake, and surrounding mountains stretching from Kelowna in the north, and to Penticton in the south.
Peachland is popular with young families, empty nesters and retirees. The total number of private households is 2,460. The real estate in Peachland includes luxury lakefront estates, family homes with incredible views, condos, townhomes and vacation villas. The median age is 58.1. The median household income is $72,294 (2016 census), and its unemployment rate is 8.8%.
Somerset Reach is a new townhome community in Peachland. It's located in the hills overlooking Peachland. The homes offer high-quality craftsmanship, excellent views of Okanagan Lake, stylish designs, private rooftop garden terraces and the carefree lifestyle the Okanagan is known for. New affordable homes have recently become available to Peachland seniors. Through a partnership between the governments of Canada and British Columbia, the District of Peachland, Peachland Seniors’ Support Society, 74 new one and two-bedroom homes have been developed on 6th Street.
Weather conditions in Peachland benefit from the moderating influence of Okanagan Lake, the shelter from the cold northerly winds provided by the mountain, and its overall southern exposure. As a result, temperatures are roughly 1.5 degrees warmer than Kelowna during spring, summer, and fall, and particularly in winter.
Peachland enjoys over 2000 hours of sunshine each year. Annual rainfall is 290.7 mm and snowfall is 95.5 cm. During the summer months of July and August of the average daytime high is 30.4 C. During December and January, the average daytime high is 4.30 C and the average low is - 5.70 C.
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Peachland's primary industries are tourism and fruit production. Over the past decade, construction has become a major growth sector, followed by health care and social assistance; retail trade; accommodation and food services; and then professional, scientific and technical services.
Another industry that is showing promise is vineyards and winemaking. There are currently four notable wineries in Peachland: First Estate Winery Ltd, Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards at Greata Ranch, Hainle Vineyards Estate Winery and Adora Estate Winery.
Peachland Elementary School is the only public school located in the community. The school currently enrols 190 students, grades 1 through 5. Peachland Elementary also offers the StrongStart program for children aged 0 to 5 years.
Located in West Kelowna, École Glenrosa Middle School enrols 592 students in grades 6, 7, 8 and 9. Special programs include a Mentorship Program, Exploratory Program and Hockey Academy. In the exploratory program adolescent students in grades 7-9 explore new course areas which will lead them to make informed choices at the grade 10 level, when they transition to Mt. Boucherie Secondary School.
Also in West Kelowna, Mt. Boucherie Secondary School enrols over 1,500 students, grades 9 through 12. Special programs include ADST - Technology Education, Career Life Programs, Outdoor Education, Fine Arts, Indigenous Education and Leadership.
Okanagan College - Kelowna Campus is home to a variety of university studies in arts and science, trades, technologies, business, vocational health and adult education programs. A 31-minute drive from Peachland, the Kelowna campus has 5,500 students. They offer a comprehensive array of first and second-year university transfer courses, as well as two bachelor degree programs.
UBC Okanagan Campus (UBCO) in Kelowna is a 41-minute commute by car. This top-ranked university offers 62 undergraduate programs and 19 graduate programs. UBC ranks among the 40 best universities in the world, with 1,291 active research projects.
Peachland Village Centre is an open-air plaza off Highway 97. Anchor stores include the IGA grocery store, Dollar Store, liquor store and Canada Post office. The centre is also home to the Okanagan Regional Library. There are three shopping centres just 15 minutes away in West Kelowna: Westridge Shopping Centre, Westbank Towne Centre and Okanagan Lake Shopping Centre.
Peachland offers a variety of coffee shops, bistros, pubs and restaurants. For a quick bite or pub fare, the 1st & Beach Bar & Grill, Gasthaus Pub, The Blind Angler and The Edgewater Pub & Grill are popular eateries and watering holes. 1st & Beach offers regular comedy nights. The Blind Angler is one of the only restaurants that are right on Lake Okanagan, with fantastic views from its outside deck. Gasthaus on the Lake offers a beautiful garden patio during the summer months and their famous medieval feasts during the winter months.
Beach Ave. Cafe & Tapas Bar offers a variety of sweet and savoury French-style crêpes and pastries. For fish and chips, Ships A-Hoy is sure to hit the spot. And for Asian cuisine, you're sure to enjoy Dragon Lotus Restaurant and Peachland Sushi.
For date night or fine dining, there are Cibo & Vines and Fitz Bistro. Cibo and Vines is an Italian ristorante that serves authentic handmade pasta and Italian staples, made with only the freshest of ingredients, served in an opulent dining room. Choose from a large assortment of fine wines from the Okanagan Valley and abroad. Located at the Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards at Greata Ranch, Fitz Bistro honours the agricultural pedigree of the region with local, seasonal ingredients. It's the quintessential winery restaurant at the lake, with an unparalleled view. All of the food is made from scratch – right down to the freshly picked herbs – and the bistro is known for their wine pairings.
87.44% of Peachland's residents are vehicle drivers. By car, Kelowna is 23 minutes (25.1 km). Peachland is part of the Kelowna Regional Transit System. Taking bus route #22, from Peachland Village Centre to Kelowna, is 59 minutes. Several transit projects are planned to improve transit infrastructure, reduce travel time and increase passenger comfort and convenience.
Peachland to Penticton is 28 minutes (37.5 km). To the Oroville/Osoyoos Border Crossing is 1 hour 19 minutes (101.6 km). Peachland to Vancouver is 4 hours (355.0 km).
Air Canada and WestJet both offer non-stop flights to Vancouver. Flights from Kelowna (YLW) to Vancouver (YVR) average about an hour.
The Peachland Community Arts Council (PCAC) brings artists and artisans together, of all media and ages, to express their talents. The Peachland Art Gallery features local recreational artists and outstanding exhibits from professional artists, photographers, sculptors, potters, etc. from around the Okanagan.
Peachland Museum & Historical Society is located in the former 8-sided Peachland Baptist Church building. In 1981 the church building was declared an official British Columbia Heritage site. The museum has hundreds of historical artifacts, photographs, newspapers and documents on display. On the upper floor, there's a scale model of the Kettle Valley Railway, as it existed between 1955 and 1965.
Located in the Peachland Village Centre, the Peachland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library offers a great selection of books, magazines, music, audiobooks, DVDs and more. Online media is also available, including e-books, e-audiobooks, Rosetta Stone Language Learning, Lynda.com, PressReader and RBdigital magazines, IndieFlix and Naxos Music Libraries. There are two book returns on the IGA side of the branch.
Parrot Island is one of Peachland's popular attractions. It's a sanctuary for abandoned and abused exotic birds. The rescue group and preserve are run by Ray and Valerie Parks. Most of the birds come from people who didn't realize the tremendous commitment the birds need to survive.
Peachland is an outdoor paradise, with many beaches, parks and scenic trails. Antlers Beach Regional Park is on the south end of Peachland, on the shores of Okanagan Lake. It's a natural beach, with a swimming area and picnic tables. The park offers excellent views of the lake and connects with Hardy Falls, along Deep Creek.
Hardy Falls is located on Deep Creek at the south end of Peachland. The falls are a 10 to 15-minute walk from the parking area. The walkway crosses Deep Creek several times. In September and October each year the salmon run fills the creek with fish.
Trepanier Creek Greenway Regional Park is a natural forested area that borders the canyon of Trepanier Creek. The park's trail links into a 5 km linear trail that creates a Greenway recreational corridor from the Okanagan Lake waterfront to the Hwy 97C Okanagan Connector. There are remnants of the Trepanier Creek Dam in the park from a small hydroelectric power plant that operated from 1901 through 1947.
Cousins Park is at the corner of Beach Avenue and 6th Street, directly across from the Yacht Club and Swim Bay. The park has been a popular sports hub since Peachland's early days. The park offers a sports field, soccer field, softball diamond, outdoor volleyball and basketball. Heritage Park is also on Beach Avenue, in the downtown core, across from the Peachland Museum. The park offers some scenic views, picnic area, and a playground.
Lamby Park is located on Hwy 97, across from the Peachland Village Centre. Walkways connect with the shopping centre, San Clemente and 14th Street. The park has a picnic area, tennis and pickleball courts, and a skate park. Peachland also has some excellent neighbourhood parks: Cenotaph Park, Chevallier Park, Knoblauch Park, Morrison Park and Pentowna Park.
The Elizabeth Warrendorf Trail connects Bulyea Avenue, Renfrew Road and Stuart Crescent South. The trail recognizes Councilor Elizabeth Warrendorf, who was known for her "environmental conscience" when it came to the implications council decisions would have on the environment, wildlife and nature around Peachland. The Gladstone Trail begins at the end of Harrington Court. The hiking trail is dog-friendly and has an elevation gain of 249.5m. The average walk time is 90 minutes.
Pincushion Mountain was named after a wildfire that burned across the mountain in the 19th century. Spindly burned trees stuck up from the mound following the fire, resembling a pincushion. The trailhead is at the top of Ponderosa Drive. The 1.8 km hike to the summit is a moderate climb that takes 40 - 60 minutes. There are several steep sections, with loose gravel, so appropriate footwear and trekking poles are advised.
The Peachland Lookout Trail trailhead is off Princeton Road. The trail is easy to hike and provides beautiful views of the lake. Lang Trail was once a Peachland road. Due to the topography, it was decided to convert it to a trail, with over 250 stairs that connect Trepanier Bench Road with Sutherland, Clarence, Greata and Huston Roads. The trail provides a safe access route and has also become a popular fitness course. Located at the Gladstone end of Victoria Street, the Stairway to Heaven Trail has 158 stairs, also provides a nice workout, and offers several vantage points.
There are several cross country ski and snowshoe trails in the area. The Wilson Lake Loop is a 5 km beginner trail, and the Wilson Silver Trail is an 8 km intermediate route. Another intermediate trail is the 4 km Fir Lane. For the advanced skiers, there are the 6 km Les’s Trail and 14 km Aspen Grove Trail. Wes's Trail is a 5 km round trip snowshoe trail to Wilson Mountain.
Peachland is close to three ski slopes, with Big White 80 km to the north, Silver Star 100km to the northwest, and Apex 75 km to the south. Golfers are close to three courses: the Two Eagles Golf Course in Westbank and the Sumac Ridge Golf & Country Club and Summerland Golf & Country Club in Summerland.
Peachland is an idyllic lakefront setting for raising a family, with quiet neighbourhoods, great schools and the charm of a small town; but with all the amenities of West Kelowna and the City of Kelowna just minutes away.
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