Be charmed by Nelson where mountains of fall foliage embrace 350 heritage buildings along the shore of Kootenay Lake in the West Kootenays. Grab a cup of freshly roasted coffee at Oso Negro, a local institution and one of Nelson’s many excellent eating establishments (the town claims to have more restaurants per capita than Manhattan!)
Pick up seasonal supplies from Kootenay Co-Op or Cottonwood Community Market and join locals on a short, steep hike up Pulpit Rock for fall leaf peeping and views of golden larch trees. Soak tired muscles in nearby Ainsworth Hot Springs—head into the cave for a natural steam bath.
There’s fun to be had in all directions. Head northwest for a day trip through the Slocan Valley. Head east on a free ferry across Kootenay Lake, then drive south to the Creston Valley (an up-and-coming wine area). Head northeast to visit the historic town of Kaslo and enjoy a stroll along the Kaslo River Trail.
- Nelson is a stop along the Mountains and Vineyards Circle Route.