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.
Highway 97 is the only highway into town. It runs south from Kelowna and north from Penticton. Vancouver is 420km (261mi) to the west. Calgary is 689km (428mi) to the east. Seattle is 519km (322mi) to the southwest.
Public transportation is currently very limited (handi-dart). There are plans to increase the system in the near future 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 73M (238F) 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 right 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 8:00AM-sunset. $3 suggested donation.
Summerland Museum, 9251 Wharton St, +1 250 494-9395, email@example.com . 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.
Take a ride on the Kettle Valley Steam Railway. A two hour round-trip on the only remaining part of the historic Kettle Valley Railway. Only 16km. Disembark and enjoy the view from the Trout Creek Trestle, 73m (238 ft) above the creek.
Cellar Door Bistro, 17403 Hwy 97 N, +1 250 494-0451. Part of Sumac Ridge Estate Winery.
Zias Stonehouse Pub, 14015 Rosedale Avenue, +1 250 494-1105. Upscale dining in an old converted stone house.
Santorinis, 13229 Henry Avenue, +1 250 494-7811. Locally owned and operated. Standard fare. Good prices.
Vanilla Pod Restaurant, 9917 Main Street, +1 250 494-8222.
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.
A Apples~N~Wine B&B, 5680 Hespeler Road, ☎ 1-877-630-3089, . Enjoy warm hospitality in our Excellence in Tourism award nominated Wine Country B&B. Choose from two large well decorated A/C Suites with gorgeous lake & mountain views. Each suite has a private entrance & ensuite, Balcony or Veranda, comfortable Queen bed, fireplace, in room coffee/tea, 42 inch TV & Blu-Ray DVD, computer w/Internet plus WI-FI. From gourmet to continental breakfast. Soak up the sun on the sun decks or relax in a soothing outdoor hot tub. We offer an adult oriented, smoke free environment. Near wineries, beaches & golf.please call. edit
Peacock's Perch Neighbourhood Pub & Liquor Store - offers a selection of on-site brewed beers and more. The pub-style menu has something for everyone. - 14218 Rosedale Summerland, BC, V0H 1Z0 - 250 494-9727
Local Lounge • Grille - Set on Lake Okanagan near Penticton, Local Lounge • Grille offers a fantastic view and good food. - 12817 Lakeshore Dr. North - 250 494-8855
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