10 Rain or Shine Things to Do in Nelson BC and Kootenay Lake

10 Rain or Shine Things to Do in Nelson BC and Kootenay Lake

The Kootenay Lake region is usually sunshine and rainbows. But when the odd shower rolls in, here are our top 10 suggestions to help you make the most of your time, rain or shine.

Ainsworth Hot Springs

If it’s raining, embrace it with a fully body soak at Ainsworth’s soothing hot springs. Raindrops can dance on your head all day long while relaxing in the outdoor pool. Or head into the caves (that you can wade in!) for shelter and some serious hot relaxation. And for the daring, jump into the cold pool to get really refreshed.

Cody Caves

Head underground with Cody Cave Tours into the labyrinth like network of caves near Ainsworth Hot Springs. Learn about stalactites and stalagmites from a local guide as you spelunk your way through the maze.


Patios are great, but the interiors of our restaurants are also bursting with character. Get a taste of Mexican food in the Kootenays at Taqueria el Corazon in Kaslo or Cantina del Centro in Nelson. Admire the heritage charm of the Hume Hotel’s Library Lounge, or the modern design at the Savoy Hotel’s on site eateries. The list goes on!


Wander Nelson’s historic Baker Street or Kaslo’s quaint Main Street. Boutique shops offer everything from locally made cartography to ethically sourced clothing. Charming bookstores and outdoor gear shops offer a curated selection to help you enjoy your time relaxing or adventuring in the Koots.

Lakefront Walkway

Nelson’s Rotary Lakeside Park is a gem. Flat pathways wind their way along the water, with art installations complementing the natural scenery. And if rain clouds beckon, hop on historic Streetcar #23 for a trip back in time and through the Park. Ding ding!

Capitol Theatre & Civic Theatre

Remember when movie theatres used to have just one screen? Rediscover the joys of cinema at Nelson’s lovingly restored (and volunteer run) Civic Theatre, complete with one big screen, rockin' sound system and spacious seating. The Capitol Theatre also boasts a charming heritage experience with top-notch performances through the year.

SS Moyie

Nestled up on shore, Kaslo’s historic SS Moyie sternwheeler offers plenty to discover rain or shine. Explore the multiple levels, rooms and exhibitions that fondly recall the bygone days of passenger travel on Kootenay Lake.


Does rain attract fish? We’re not sure but there’s only one way to find out. Head out on the water with a local guide in search of Kootenay Lake’s prized Rainbow Trout.


Nelson’s iconic museum of art and history anchors the intersection of Vernon St and Ward St. Check out the rotating exhibition on the first floor, learn about local history upstairs, and browse the fully stocked gift shop for a unique souvenir.

Live Music

Check out a local festival and dance in the rain or sunshine. The Kaslo Jazz Etc. Festival features a floating stage, while the Nelson International Mural Festival adds even more colour and character to the Queen City. Live bands, DJs, and street performers provide plenty of musical shows all year long.

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