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  • Erin Norberry

12 Things to Do While Visiting Nelson, British Columbia

There’s a reason why Nelson is considered to be one of Canada’s hidden gems. Located in the far west side of Kootenay Lake, about halfway through Vancouver and Calgary, you’ll find your way to the city of Nelson. This quaint town is a tapestry of historic architecture, a creative art scene, and tons of thriving small businesses, allowing lasting connections between the locals and travelers. Check out these top twelve must-do’s and write them down on your to-do list.

1. Rest at Lakeside Park

This park has it all – tons of green space, a big playground, a beach with a huge sandy area, and plenty of areas for you to ease your mind.

2. Visit Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History

This cultural hub showcases the town’s emerging talents while giving value to the history that made the city what it is today.

3. Shop at Baker Street

From organic grocery, artisan shops, and even art galleries, this famed street enables tourists to source out local finds and interact with their dedicated creators.

4. Go Skiing

The Whitewater Ski Resort’s naturally great terrains can accommodate all levels and abilities.

5. Nature Trail at the Pulpit Rock

The trail offers a stunning view of Nelson and the surrounding area. You have the option to hike this trail or even take your mountain bike to explore.

6. Coffee and Community

One of the famous coffee shops in Nelson is Oso Negro. They take pride in the authenticity and artisanal quality of their coffee as well as the community warmth of their café.

7. Experience the Electric Tramway

With cars originating from as far back as 1906, Nelson’s electric tramway is the first operating heritage streetcar line in all of British Columbia.

8. Drive to Kootenay Lake

There is an extensive array of water activities at Kootenay Lake such as swimming, canoeing, boating, kayaking, and even fishing.

9. Camp Out

Whether you own or rent a campervan, the Nelson City campground grants you access to a forested, natural, environment in an urban setting.

10. Grab a Local Beer

Test out the best breweries in town – Nelson Brewing Company (NBC), Torchlight Brewing, and Backroads Brewing Company.

11. Walking Heritage Tour

The self-guided tour gives you a peek into the architecture of the town's past and how some of the areas had chosen to adapt to modern restructuring.

12. Go Mural Spotting

Nelson is an artist’s haven, with bigger than life murals that add color and texture to the cityscapes. Make it a point to spot every mural in town.

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