Ainsworth Hot Springs
Ainsworth is about a half hour drive, and well worth it! Its naturally healing waters have been drawing the young and old for generations, and there is a warm pool, a hot pool with natural caves, a cold plunge, showers and towel rental. There’s also a family-friendly restaurant! To get there, cross the Harrop Ferry and head towards Balfour. Continue on Highway 3 to Ainsworth, along the spectacular coastline of the big part of Kootenay Lake.
Kokanee Glacier Park
This extraordinary park goes from the lake to the glacier, and is not to be missed. There’s a great beach for picnics, a playground, waterfalls, zip lining, and, at the top of a 16-kilometer dirt road up the mountain, a fabulous hike to Kokanee Glacier (weather permitting, of course).
Kootenay Lake Ferry
A short 10-15 minute drive to Balfour and you can board the Kootenay Lake Ferry to the east-shore of Kootenay Lake and the picturesque artisan town of Crawford Bay. We especially love Dog Patch Pottery, the delicious locally inspired food at Black Salt Café, and the hand-made brooms at North Woven Broom Company. They made the brooms for Harry Potter! The ferry is free, and we’ve attached the sailing schedule here. Arrive at least 15 minutes before sailing time, earlier at peak travel times.
Sunshine Bay Park
This charming park, with a broad beach, hiking trails, a playground, and a basketball practice court, is just a few minutes up the road from us, on the way to the Village Bakery. Great place for younger kids!
Balfour Golf Course
This excellent course boasts dramatic views of Kootenay Lake and features the Osprey Grill Restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The course is about a 15-minute drive from us, at 602 Queens Bay Drive. In winter, it’s a great place to cross-country ski.
The City of Nelson has a charm and mountain culture all its own! The heritage buildings give it character, and the town has everything you need, from great boutique shopping, to outstanding restaurants, to acclaimed micro-breweries, to a movie theatre, public library, and the NDCC recreation center that includes an ice skating rink, full gym, steam and sauna. We also have a fabulous natural grocery store with a hot bar and a salad bar: the Kootenay Coop, located in downtown Nelson, on Baker Street. Whitewater Ski Resort, on the ‘Powder Highway,’ is 10 minutes drive from Nelson, and features alpine and cross-country skiing, and snowboarding, with virtually no wait lift lines. There are also Heli-Skiing options nearby.
A few of our favorite restaurants in Nelson: Yum Son, Vietnamese-inspired specialties, Waits for maple walnut ice cream, Relish for great breakfast choices and Cantina Del Centro for Mexican food and tequila. In summer, there are two weekly markets in Nelson: Cottonwood Falls on Saturday mornings, and the Wednesday market that closes down the main street of Baker street. Both feature delicious prepared and locally grown food, arts, crafts, clothes, music and more!