Located in the southeast corner of British Columbia, along the shores of Kootenay Lake, the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region is an inspirational mecca for foodies, art-goers, music lovers, history buffs and adventure seekers.
Nelson is a vibrant mountain town with a special combination of heritage, culture and creativity. Nelson’s Baker Street spills over into alleyways and adjacent streets, and is full of art, music, shops, galleries, and features a large variety of places to eat & drink. Nelson boasts opportunities for adventure well beyond what one might expect from a small town, with hundreds of kilometres of hiking and biking trails in the summer and world-class skiing in the winter.
Despite our rural location, there are many easy ways to get to our region. Check out these great resources for more details on: nearby Airports, Ferry Schedules, Border Crossings, and visit DriveBC for up-to-date road information.
Nelson has a unique history and geography, offering activities for adrenaline junkies, art buffs, and foodies; among many other exciting options. Be sure to check out as much as you can, but there’s always the next trip to round things out.
If you want to explore the region in the comforts of your vehicle, download our free audio Kootenay Lake Road Trip App, and learn about the region: from forests to First Nations, and attractions to amenities. A Nelson walking Mural Tour is also available in audio format. These tours are a fun way to discover what makes our region so awesome!
Nelson is home to more restaurants (over 70) per capita than pretty much anywhere else in the world! Experience a variety of cafes, craft breweries, markets, and restaurants in the area. There are options to suit a variety of tastes and dietary needs, with most restaurants offering vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan choices.
Find local events on our Events Calendar - from concerts to markets and dance classes. The calendar is updated regularly so be sure to check it before and during your vacation.
Nelson and the surrounding area has everything an adventure seeker could ask for!
Lake & River: Kootenay Lake is one of the largest lakes in British Columbia, and is perfect for sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, SUP (Stand Up Paddle), canoeing, leisurely boat rides, and fishing. Nearby rivers provide rafting and casual floating experiences.
Mountain Biking: Nelson’s mountain biking scene is second-to-none in the interior, with 270km of trails from steep singletrack madness to casual rides. For a detailed map of our trail networks, and the most up-to-date information on trail status, visit Nelson Cycling Club’s website. Trails can be found surrounding Nelson on almost every side, from Morning Mountain to the west, Svoboda to the east, and Giveout Creek and the North shore to the south and north.
Winter Activities: Nelson is home to world-class skiing, featuring renowned ski destination Whitewater Ski Resort, as well as cross-country skiing at Nelson Nordic Ski Club. Other winter activities in our area include curling, skating, snowshoeing, tobogganing, catskiing, hockey, fat tire biking and snowmobiling. Come out and enjoy!
Nelson is filled with boutique stores and back-alley studios - view Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism’s Interactive Map of local shops. There’s also local markets weekly during the warmer months, attracting a range of local makers. We also encourage you to shop online for locally made products and more!