Ian and I took a road trip across BC during the Summer of 2015. Although we went to many places, our favorite by far was Nelson, a quaint town of about 10,000 people in the mountains of BC. In the summer it is an easy going town filled with happy, smiling people! In the winter, as it does get cold (-15 celsius is a thing there) and it does snow, I’ve heard the town caters more to snowboarders and the “snow bunny” clientele.
The people are friendly, the coffee is plenty, the food is heavenly and the shops are lovely. Oh, and the views are a PLENTY!
This town can be expensive, but can be visited on any budget.
The transit system around this area is fantastic. We went in the summer, and there were plenty of backpackers and drifters. Though we travelled by car, I would imagine if you have a lot of time, seeing this area of BC via transit is most definitely a worthwhile trip, and is something I would like to do!
There is a yearly music festival that takes places very close to Nelson called “Shambala” – though I have never gone, it definitely caters to the more “hippie” type person. If this isn’t your scene, I would avoid visiting the first weekend of August. That being said, the people that attend Shambala are extremely friendly and are not the drunken type.
We stayed Two Nights in Nelson (and about 2.5 days).
Where We Stayed
We stayed at The Adventure Hotel for all three nights. We didn’t plan ahead and made our reservations for that night as we drove during the day (a big mistake!) That being said, we were lucky enough to get in to this gem! One night we stayed in a room with it’s own shower (which was nice), the second night we stayed in a room with no shower (though there was one just down the hall that seemed to be a once at a time situation). It honestly was not that bad at all (having to share a shower), and no one was disrespectful. There was also a large communal common area including a kitchen. We had leftovers the evening we arrived, and it was nice to save a few dollars eating in. There is also a large deck that faces the street, which also had a infrared sauna (but was only available to the more fancy rooms).
That being said, we didn’t spend much time in the hotel.
What We Did
The first night we arrived we went for a late night coffee and snack. We wandered the streets for about an hour, and then went back to our hotel to get some rest.
Our first full day was spent shopping and wandering. It was surreal – everyone was in a good mood. Everyone was happy to be alive. The vibe was something I had never experienced. It was refreshing! We also walked down to the beach from our hotel around 3:30 pm, which is a little late, but we still had a great time.
We walked back, had some dinner, and then walked to a waterfall! It was dark out, but it was still beautiful.
The next morning, we took a plane ride over the Valhalla Mountains and the Kokanee Glacier. The views were some that I will never forget! If you’re interested – we flew with Kootenay Lake Aviation (and we highly recommend the experience!)
We spent the remaining of our time going back to a few more shops, and eating – but then we had to head out for out Kokanee Moutain Zipline Tour! Though it wasn’t the cheapest activity, it was certainly worthwhile! The hosts were full of energy, extremely friendly and easy going, and really made the experience that much more enjoyable.
Where we ate:
The Yellow Deli (I had the Nelson Yoga Burger and the Mango Maté)
Itza Ristorante + Pizzeria – I succumb to my love of cheese and enjoyed their pizza A LOT.
Jagannatha Express – Easily and honestly the best food I’ve ever eaten. The food is served buffet style by one person to you. The people who run it are Hare Krisna – I bought a couple of their cookbooks too! 🙂
Empire Coffee – They have iced coffee ON TAP. ‘Nuff Said.
We went to another coffee place twice that I cannot remember the name of, nor can I find it’s name online. 🙁
I highly recommend visiting Nelson – it is so far one of my favorite places I’ve visited thus far!
I hope you enjoyed my perspective on Nelson – and stay tuned for more travel posts! 🙂