I know no lake in the world quite like Cultus Lake.
Growing up we had a recreational place there along with a ski boat at the marina. I spent much of my formative years’ summers there. I loved it. I still love Cultus Lake.
Now that I have young kids, I get to share the Cultus Lake experience with them. We’ve vacationed there several times over the last few years. Our most recent vacations involved renting a vacation house there. It appears my kids love the place as much as I did.
Actually, it’s still a fun vacation for me as an adult.
Many folks stay at Cultus for a couple days or longer. There’s plenty of camping and some vacation houses available to rent.
The question if vacationing at Cultus for longer than a day is what is there to do there?
I know first hand. Here are my 13 most favorite things to do at Cultus Lake. Most are kid-friendly.
1. Go swimming
This is a no-brainer. It’s a beautiful lake. Deep. Clean. Gets reasonably warm in the summer. There’s nothing quite like swimming in it.
Most of the campgrounds are situated on the lake. The Sunnyside neighborhood is on the lake. Even the houses off the water are only steps to the public waterfront.
If going for the day, there’s the large public Sunnyside Lakeside beach on the north end of the lake. It gets busy but it’s definitely the best “beach” area if that’s what you’re looking for.
In other words, there are all kinds of places to go swimming. When we’re there, swimming and sitting lakeside is our number one activity.
2. Rent a kayak or SUP
You can rent or bring your own. It’s a decent lake for kayaking, SUP, canoeing, etc. although be warned there are a lot of motorboats ripping around the lake all day, every day.
It’s not a huge lake so you can easily kayak across in either direction.
3. Head to a playground
In fact, you have two to choose from on the north side of the lake.
We stay on the north side of the lake in the Sunnyside neighborhood. There are two playgrounds in the area. One is at Cultus Lake Elementary School. The other is at the Lakeside Beach. Both are decent (at least my boys like them).
4. Spend a day at Cultus Waterpark
Folks drive for an hour or more just to go to the Cultus Waterpark. If you’re there for vacation, it’s a must-do activity.
Note that you should buy your tickets in advance online. It does sell out (which is good otherwise it’s too crowded).
Tickets aren’t cheap but it’s a heckuva a great Waterpark. There are slides for all ages. There are some real daredevil rides too.
I remember when it opened. It was a huge deal. I went as often as I could. Now I get to go with my kids and go we have. I think we’ve been there at least four days in two years.
The place is much improved and expanded since it opened up. There’s a large grass area with covered picnic tables making it a very comfortable place to spend the day.
Read all about my experience at the Cultus Waterpark.
5. Enjoy Cultus Adventure Park
This past summer was the first time I took my kids to the Adventure Park (across the street from the waterpark). I was very, very pleasantly surprised. What a terrific amusement park. Don’t let it’s fairly small land-size fool you. They packed in a lot of decent rides in a small space. It’s very nicely laid out with plenty of seating for adults along with shaded areas.
For an amusement park, it’s very, very nice.
The ride selection is good as well. There aren’t any extreme rides but definitely rides that I enjoyed and so did my 10 and 7-year-old sons. We had a blast. So much fun that we visited twice.
6. Go hiking
There are hiking trails all over the Cultus Lake region. Some are simple, stroll trails close to the lake. Others take you up into the mountains where you could feasibly hike for days.
7. Waterski / Wakeboard / Jet ski
If you’re into boating, waterskiing, wakeboarding and/or jet skiing, head over to the Cultus Lake Marina (north end of the lake) and rent a motorboat and/or jet ski. They provide everything you need for a fun motoring experience on the lake.
Of course, if you have your own boat, drop it in the lake and ski your brains out.
I grew up waterskiing on the lake and we usually went at 7 am or at dusk since that’s when the lake is smoothest. It gets choppy during the day and especially in the afternoon when the wind picks up.
8. Go cycling
We restrict our cycling to bombing around the quiet neighborhood streets in Sunnyside and taking a few of the simple trails around the area. It’s flat and on the side streets, not much traffic so it’s a good place for kids to bike.
If you’re into road cycling, the ride around the lake might something you like although I don’t think the shoulder is all that great and vehicles tend to drive pretty fast. I certainly wouldn’t qualify the Cultus Lake area as a great cycling spot.
If you’re into golfing, try out the Cultus Lake Golf Club. I also remember when this course opened long ago. It’s matured into a beautiful course set among the mountains.
It’s a par 63 spread out over 4,000 yards.
For a vacation area golf course, green fees are reasonable.
There are several campgrounds to choose from at Cultus Lake. I’ve stayed a couple of them but in recent years opt to rent a vacation house.
There’s Sunnyside, Cultus Lake Provincial Park, Entrance Bay, Delta Grove, Honeymoon Bay and Maple Bay campground.
They fill up fast. If you want a spot any given weekend, you’ll need to reserve promptly. They’re also noisy. While they do their best to clamp down on partying and noise, expect it to be filled with a lot of people in close quarters and hence loud.
11. Head to the Cultus Lake Pub
The Cultus Lake Pub has been around as long as I can remember. It’s a local watering hole. It’s about midway north /south of the lake. It’s not on the water. It’s on the other side of the street. I can’t say it’s a key destination for me ever but I know it gets busy.
12. Go out for ice cream
In the Sunnyside area, there are two ice cream shops to choose from. Both are good. Both have decent selection and are walking distance from the houses in the Sunnyside area (as well as the Sunnyside campground).
13. Play tennis
There are some free public tennis courts at the Lakeside Beach. They aren’t great courts but will do the job.
14. Rent a vacation house
With no resort available and campgrounds nearly impossible to reserve, we opt to rent a vacation home each summer. There are an okay number to choose from but like reserving a campground, you need to book early.