The Best Places to Stay in Penticton

Situated by two lakes and surrounded by mountains and vineyards, Penticton is a pretty compact city. Nonetheless, it can still be difficult to choose an area to stay in while visiting.

This post offers a complete guide to the best places to stay in Penticton. It includes a breakdown of different city areas and their advantages (and disadvantages!) I also share the best hotels, motels and vacation rentals to help you find the perfect Penticton accommodation for your next trip.

As local residents, we are often asked for our recommendation for the best area to stay in Penticton. Living on the north side of Penticton by Okanagan Lake, we are a little biased….but I’ve tried to be as neutral as I can in this post.

Here’s what to expect:

Last updated May 2024. There are affiliate links in this post. We may earn a small percentage of any resulting bookings.

Okanagan Lake

The largest concentration of Penticton accommodation is found at the very north end of town, on or very close to the shores of Okanagan Lake.

Besides the appeal of the lakeside beaches and parks, downtown is within easy walking distance. This means great accessibility to restaurants, cafes, breweries, shops, the cinema and even the Farmers Market (Saturdays only). If you love the beach, eating out and socializing, this is the place to be!

On the downside, it can be a little noisy on weekend evenings and some weekdays in summer. Nothing too wild (Penticton does not have any clubs) but it’s something to be aware of. Having said that, I’d still recommend this area to families due to the proximity of the lake and beaches.

Best options in this area:

  • Penticton Lakeside Resort – premium location on the shore of Okanagan Lake with private beach area, walkable to everywhere downtown
  • Tiki Shores Beach Resort – one of the best motel properties along Lakeshore Drive, just across the road from Okanagan Lake, great for families
Paved Okanagan Lake promenade stretching away from camera into the distance, with Okanagan Lake on right and parking on left
Okanagan Lake promenade

North Gateway

The North Gateway area is located to the west of downtown, immediately above and around Highway 97. A small cluster of chain hotels and independent motels are found here, as well as a shopping complex (Riverside) and golf course (Penticton Golf & Country Club). At the centre of this area is the South Okanagan Events Centre and the Trade and Convention Centre.

The western side of the North Gateway is around 2-3 blocks from Okanagan Beach (10 minutes walk) and around 4-6 blocks from downtown (20 minutes walk). It’s therefore still a convenient area for those who don’t want to drive anywhere, but a little quieter and cheaper than staying right on Okanagan Lake.

The North Gateway is, however, not the prettiest of places to stay. At the time of writing, it is undergoing extensive redevelopment so this may change in the next few years.

Best options in this area:

Steps leading down into calm Penticton Channel, with housing visible on the other side
The North Gateway neighbourhood has quick access to the Penticton Channel

Downtown Penticton

Downtown Penticton is at the northern end of the city, close to Okanagan Lake. The centre of the shopping action is Main Street, with additional stores and restaurants spread across Front Street, Winnipeg Street, Martin Street and Westminster Street.

Five of Penticton’s eight breweries are located right in the downtown core, alongside a winery and distillery. There is a six screen Landmark Cinema here as well.

Visitors who like to be in the centre of the action will enjoy staying in downtown Penticton. The lake and beaches are still only a few blocks away and easy to access by foot or bike.

While Penticton isn’t the party city it used to be, expect some noise in the downtown area on summer weekends and some weekdays. Most summer events (such as PeachFest) are held in parks close to downtown, with live music until 11pm or so.

Best options in this area:

Downtown Penticton street with hanging flowers (from lamppost) on left, sidewalk in middle and shops on right. There is a tree with autumal leaves in the centre of the sidewalk
Downtown Penticton

Commercial Centre

The southern half of Main Street is Penticton’s commercial centre and is where you’ll find all of the big box stores and fast food outlets. The hospital is located close by as well.

The commercial centre is not the prettiest place to stay, but it can be very convenient. Highway 97 runs roughly parallel to Main Street, so there is fairly quick access in and out of the city. Follow Main Street north and you’ll reach downtown and Okanagan Lake. Go directly south and you’ll be at Skaha Lake.

Two star motels are common in this area, as well as house and apartment rentals.

Best options in this area:

  • Best Western Inn Penticton – reliable chain hotel pick just up the street from Skaha Lake Park. Excellent amenities, including two swimming pools, a hot tub, complimentary hot breakfast and more
  • Trail House vacation rental – newly constructed two bedroom house with three bathrooms featuring open concept kitchen and laundry. Ideal pick for families or two couples, particularly cyclists as the KVR Trail is close by
Penticton Best Western Inn with large signage on right above flowerbed. Grey hotel building to left
Best Western Inn Penticton

Skaha Lake

The Skaha Lake side of town is definitely quieter than Okanagan Lake but is full of life in summer. The highlight is Skaha Lake Park, which features gorgeous golden sand beach backed by green space and playgrounds.

Accommodation options here include a range of two star motels and campgrounds, making the area relatively budget friendly (in the grand scheme of Penticton accommodation!) There are not many restaurants on this side of town, however, so expect to drive more if you like to eat out.

In summer 2024, Skaha Lake will be connected to Okanagan Lake with the help of a protected bike route (designed with families in mind). This will ensure better accessibility to downtown Penticton without the use of a vehicle.

Best options in this area:

  • Traveler’s Motel – colourful lowkey accommodation choice just three minutes walk from Skaha Lake Park. Seasonal outdoor pool and BBQ facilities
  • Lakeside Villa Inn and Suites – modest and unfussy motel with studio rooms, one bedroom suites and family suites. Some road noise. A nearby underpass leads to a private beach on Skaha Lake
View of Skaha Lake Beach with hills in the distance and people walking on lake shore drive walking path.
Skaha Beach

Sendero Canyon and beyond

Sendero Canyon is a planned community of 200+ homes on the western side of Penticton, perched between Campbell Mountain, Penticton Creek and Carmi Avenue. Some properties have views across the city to Skaha Lake.

Staying in this brand new residential area may seem like an unusual choice, but these high end properties offer the chance to enjoy quiet surroundings and luxury facilities (such as private swimming pools).

Downtown Penticton is still less than 10 minutes drive away, with the beaches of Skaha and Okanagan only a few minutes more. There are no stores or restaurants within walking distance, though there are hiking trails and playgrounds within the development.

Best options in this area:

  • Mountain View Suite vacation rental – two bedroom, one bathroom modern suite with laundry and BBQ. Beautiful sunset views of the surrounding mountains and valley from the first porch
  • Lost Moose Cabins vacation rental – three fully self-contained cabins located high above the city of Penticton, each with a hot tub. Enjoy cooler summer temperatures
Three wooden cabins sit side by side at Lose Moose, each with small front patio featuring BBQ and seating
Loost Moose Cabins

Naramata Bench

If relaxing is your number one priority, consider a stay on the Naramata Bench. This is the strip of (bench) land that rises from Penticton and follows the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake.

The first third of the Naramata Bench sits within Penticton city limits and is only a quick drive from downtown. Even so, it feels like a world away. The rolling hills are covered with vineyards, which gently slope towards Okanagan Lake. On a sunny day, it’s a little piece of Tuscany in Canada.

Not only are the views spectacular from the Naramata Bench, but there’s the added convenience of being close to wineries and hiking/biking trails. Most of the Penticton accommodation in this area is on the smaller, intimate side – think B&Bs and guesthouses.

The disadvantage of staying on the Bench is limited eating options; you’ll need to plan ahead and book accommodation with a kitchen, reserve a spot at one of the winery restaurants or be prepared to head into Penticton/Naramata.

Best options in this area:

  • Wesbert Winery & Guest Suites – three beautiful guest suites, each with private balcony overlooking Okanagan Lake and surrounding vineyards. Upscale features include king size beds, separate baths and a complimentary continental breakfast
  • D’Angelo Winery Guest House – self-contained studio rooms and suites with private balconies featuring panoramic Okanagan Lake views. The property has a large (seasonal) swimming pool, shared by all suites
Marichel Vineyards patio view looking out to vineyards below, with Okanagan Lake in background, which in turn is backdropped by forested rugged mountains
The Naramata Bench

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