Top things to see and do in Nelson, B.C.

Nelson is a treasure of the Kootenays, and you're going to love what you find there

Relaxing and having lunch in the beautiful waterfront park in Nelson.
Kyle Pearce photo/
Nelson's waterfront park is an ideal spot to grab lunch in between activities. — Kyle Pearce photo/

Mention the Kootenays and you're bound to be asked if your next stop is Nelson, B.C. In a region blessed with near unlimited recreation, Nelson stands out as a crowning jewel for a number of reasons. 

1.) Hiking in the Nelson area

One way to take in the views is to indulge in a wilderness adventure. There are plenty of trails to explore, beaches to lounge on and wildlife to see and photograph on Nelson's hiking trails. There are routes suitable for family use, for those with less experience, or for those with limited ability. If you're new to the area, consider going on a guided day tour, offered by Mountain Sense or Summit Mountain Guides.

2.) Fishing in Kootenay Lake

Kootenay Lake offers legendary fishing; you can reel in a Gerrard rainbow, Dolly Varden, bull trout or even a Kokanee salmon. Hike into the backcountry if you're adventurous, and fish for cutthroat in the smaller lakes and streams.

As a side note, August is spawning time for the salmon, and you can go to Kokanee Creek to watch this amazing natural event.

3.) Touchstones Museum of Art and History

Getting the full Nelson experience means embracing arts and culture. The Touchstones Museum of Art and History is located in a beautiful heritage building at the corner of Ward and Vernon Streets. It is bursting with exhibits that show off the talent of local artists, and there are programs and events taking place regularly.

4.) Get festive

Start planning your trip now, and schedule it to coincide with one of Nelson's many public events. The folks here know how to celebrate, with live music, theatre, Art Walk, fun classes and multicultural festivals. There is always something going on.

5.) Hit the town

A walk around downtown Nelson will show you some of the city's most charming aspects. Quaint and quirky shops line the streets, and there are artistic exhibits scattered throughout the community. The heritage buildings are well-preserved to maintain the classic architectural look that Nelson is known for. Are you hungry yet? Good timing! Whether you are health-conscious or craving decadent delights (or both!), you're going to be blown away by the selection of quality restaurants in this appetizing community. 


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