At the end of the skinny west arm of Kootenay Lake, Nelson’s streets ascend the lower flank of Toad Mountain from where the city begins on the lakeshore. Kootenay Lake, just as you pass Nelson going west, is becoming the Kootenay River (the Cora Linn dam, 15 km downstream from Nelson, marks that divide.) Across the water, the Purcell Mountains rise steeply. Dubbed “the prettiest small town in Canada” by the New York Times, Nelson possesses character, glitz and unpolished charm in equal measure.

Nelson- Kendrick

Up on its main commercial streets, Baker and Vernon, with their many heritage buildings and leafy trees in the summer, the city of 10,000 people appears to be one where time has – well, not stood still – but perhaps has slowed down to a comfortable amble. Looking down the entire length of Baker Street, you might think that it will only take you five minutes to go from one end to the other. What an idea! Three hours later you still haven’t explored all the art and craft stores, the bookstores, the funky and fine clothing stores, to say nothing of the restaurants and organic coffee bars. And if you’re one for chatting with the locals, well then, you should clear your day’s schedule altogether.

Nelson is host to a number of festivals that celebrate outdoor recreation. Skiing, boarding and snowmobiling enthusiasts amp up the vibe in the downtown bars and restaurants in the winter. In the summer, it’s the mountain bikers and watersports players who bring their brand of excitement to the scene. But Nelson also has a literary and artistic soul. The best thing? Finding yourself in that place where the vastness of the surrounding outdoors and your inner being intersect. You can find that space in Nelson.

Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance | (250) 505-5505

Nelson Farmers’ Markets & Street Festivals
250-354-1909 |

Castlegar: 250-365-1980 | Trail: 250-364-0211
Nelson: 250-352-5122 | Creston: 250-428-9343

616 Baker Street, Nelson BC
Facebook | 250-354-4848

Kootenay Currency Exchange
715 Vernon Street, Nelson BC
Facebook | 250-354-1441

Isis Essentials
Organic, wildcrafted genuine & authentic essentials oils/exotica
582 Ward Street, Nelson BC
250-352-0666 |

702 Baker Street, Trail & Nelson BC
1-877-Gerick-1 |

488 Baker Street, Nelson BC
Facebook | 250-354-4002

Natural Fabrics to Love, Styles to Live in
sizes XS to 4X
Nelson – 511 Baker Street – 250-354-0101
Balfour – 350 Balfour Ferry Landing – 250-229-4434 (seasonal)
Shop online

Kootenay Rockies West Ale Trail

Garrett Oliver, in the Oxford Companion to Beer wrote “Craft brewing universally involves boldly flavoured beers coupled with a defiantly independent spirit.” That’s true as far as it goes, no doubt. But I want to add that there is always a dash of humour that goes...

read more

Nelson BC

READ it here:

#KootenayLife Quotes

"I love the Kootenays for all its peacefulness and scenic beauty, and the lack of the hectic pace and traffic jams of the cities. Living here has so many outdoor activity possibilities in every season! After living in Edmonton, Toronto and Calgary, I can honestly say as far as the Kootenays go - there’s no place like it!" - Sheila

"I came from the coast for the weekend and stayed here a lifetime!" - Karma

"In 1984 when I made my first visit to Kaslo and the Kootenays, I went on an early evening canoe trip on the lake and watched the full moon rise. The beautiful setting, the quiet, and the colours were inspiring, and the thoughts and feelings which flowed through me said “This is God’s country. And here I am." - Rita