Things to Do
Never A Dull Moment
There are things to do all year round, indoors and outdoors, all across the region, and there's something for everyone here. We like to think we are a place for the young and the young at heart. Come find awesome.
The Kootenay Lake Ferry is the longest free ferry in the world, and very easily one of the most gorgeous routes. The curious-minded will find intrigue on the East Shore at The Glass House, a cloverleaf structure made from over half a million embalming fluid bottles. The Pilot Bay Lighthouse echoes the sternwheeler days of Kootenay Lake alongside a superb view.
Late summer brings the salmon spawning to the streams of Kokanee Creek Provincial Park.
The sculptures of Kaslo’s Hide & Seek installation provide a whimsical experience for explorers of all ages. To dive into a bit of history, board the S.S. Moyie, the world’s oldest intact sternwheeler, right next to the waters it once sailed.
To unwind, the pools of Ainsworth Hot Springs offer a steamy escape, and a unique 160ft cave experience.
ARTS & HERITAGE
The Nelson and Kootenay Lake culture is a culmination of our natural surroundings, arts, and heritage combined with the spice of the people who live here. Everywhere you go you will feel the vibe that we value and embrace: The Kootenay Vibe. With theatres, galleries, museums, festivals, artisans, murals and more, our communities are proud of their artistry.
With an abundance of heritage landmarks, including a streetcar, a sternwheeler, and more heritage buildings per capita than any other city in BC, history awaits around every corner.
OUR TOUR APP
The Kootenay Lake Road Trip App includes various fun and informative GPS guided audio tours. You can enjoy the tours in the privacy of your car, walking or even on your bike. You can start the tours from any point of interest in the region making it easy to learn as you go.
- The Driving Tours tell the story of this region from forests to First Nations, and attractions to amenities. If you are curious to learn about the region you are in the right place; The Kootenay Lake Road Trip App is sure to delight you as you discover what makes this place awesome.
- The Mural Tour, in both French and English, highlights over 50 murals of varying sizes, styles, and artists. The murals are tucked in alleys and side streets creating an intimate experience with an explosion of colour and creativity.
Nelson and Kaslo enjoy revitalized main streets with locally owned shops, many selling locally made items.
The ferry landings in Balfour and Kootenay Bay host artists and local products. In Crawford Bay, the renowned artisans will impress you with handwoven shawls, jewellery, ceramics, ironworks, and the famous Harry Potter brooms.
EAT & DRINK
We have more restaurants per capita than foodie landmarks like San Francisco, Vancouver and Manhattan, and our establishments offer a wide variety of cuisine to satisfy any culinary craving.
We take our coffee very seriously around Kootenay Lake; our region is home to multitude of cafes, including a handful who source and roast their own beans.
The breweries in Nelson and Kaslo are always seeking out news ways to infuse local flavour and culture into their brews, and their establishments are a foundation of the après ski, board, bike, hike, and paddle scene.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Nelson and the entire Kootenay Lake area is well known for its abundance of deep healing and wellness retreats. From yoga classes to full-service health retreats, drop in or multi-day experiences, you'll find a place to nourish your body and soul here.
One Small Thing...
We are over-the-moon to be opening our doors again, but we have to do it right, with your help. Consider the Kootenay Rockies Visitor Code of Conduct as you are here finding awesome, and we guarantee things will be good. Like, really, really good. Check out our page on responsible travel for more.
Read our visitors guide online or order a copy of the official visitor's guide and map for our region.