BC Mountain Towns: 48 Hours in Nelson 4

BC Mountain Towns: 48 Hours in Nelson

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Its mountain-backed, lakeshore setting and Victorian architecture may exude a quiet charm, but Nelson is anything but subdued. Locals in this Kootenay city are entrepreneurial in spirit, passionate about the arts, and amped about outdoor play. They take their coffee seriously, too. Here’s our guide to 48 hours in Nelson.

See: Nelson is home to more than 350 Victoria heritage buildings, best viewed on foot. Grab a map at the Visitor Centre, and set off on a self-guided Heritage Walking Tour of the city’s commercial and residential wonders.

One such building? Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History, a stone Chateauesque-Richardsonian Romanesque (that’s a real thing) edifice on Vernon Street. Touchstones Nelson has had many lives; once a post office, and Nelson’s city hall, the museum now offers a glimpse into the city’s rich mining history.

Do: Nearby Kokanee Mountain is the place to go for a rainforest hike. For the adventurous, there’s the Kokanee Mountain Zipline with six ziplines that soar above Kokanee Creek Canyon.

Eat and Drink: Getting a caffeine jolt from Oso Negro is a Nelson ritual. The convivial Ward Street cafe offers more than 20 fair-trade blends, roasted on-site; ask a local which brew is best.

Organic Nelson Brewing Company ales are on tap at Mike’s Place Pub, an English-style tavern in the Hume Hotel & Spa. Order a pint and challenge a local to a game of pool. Post game, take a stroll to Thor’s Pizzeria, a local haunt that serves up Hawaiian Poseidon’s Treat and hot and meaty Hades Inferno pies, among others.

Other options? Cantina del Centro promises Latin American flavours and a social atmosphere, while the All Seasons Cafe blends local staples and sensibilities.

Sleep: Enjoy sweet slumber in a studio, two-, or three-bedroom suite, complete with kitchen, at Mistiso’s Place Vacation Rentals. Or opt for the Hume Hotel & Spa, an 1898 landmark that renovated its cosy spaces, but maintained its historic appeal.

For more information, or to find out what other adventures await in Nelson, visit

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