A little winter downtime around town


Sometimes we just a need little time to chill, relax and get away from it all.

Mountain towns like Nelson, Kaslo, Castlegar and Rossland provide that sweet spot combination of comfortable amenities, charming downtowns, and leisurely activities.

Outdoor gear shops rub shoulders with fashionable shoe and clothing shops in Nelson, while local artists are featured at the Craft Connection and Touchstones. You’ll find carefully curated home furnishings at Willow, Maison, Cartolina and Kootenai Moon, and vintage books, pristine pre-loved clothing, and one of a kind finds at a variety of eclectic shops around town.

Head indoors and catch a flick at Nelson’s historic Civic Theatre or a performance at the grand Capitol Theatre. Murals blanket the walls down alleys throughout Nelson, creating a spectacle of awe and inspiration. Dozens of pubs, restaurants and cafes serve up fresh flavours with a local influence. From fine dining at Pitchfork or All Seasons Café to mouthwatering homemade muffins at Empire or steamy americanos at Oso Negro, freshly baked baguettes at French bakeries to flavourful ales at a local brewpub, the culinary delights of Nelson are all within walking distance of each other.

A variety of local premium roast, family-run bakeries and coffee shops can be found throughout Castlegar. You can enjoy fresh-baked goods, locally roasted coffee and even kombucha on tap here in the city — all while being inspired by the local artwork. Visit Crumbs Bakery, Roots Modern Health Food and Common Ground Coffee House for a boutique-style experience. That said, Castlegar has the best of both worlds because you can also grab a quick Tim Hortons double-double or a frappuccino at Starbucks.

Kaslo’s charming Main Street features a small selection of shops and eateries in an outstanding location on the shores of Kootenay Lake. Take a stroll through downtown and along the waterfront path past the historic SS Moyie sternwheeler for superb views of the lake. It’s worth continuing along the Kaslo River Trail and the twin signature covered red bridges for a relaxing walk in nature on the edge of town.

Winter is a special time in Castlegar and not just because it’s an idyllic scene of white mountain peaks, snow-draped evergreens and slow-moving, ice-rimmed rivers and lakes. This is also the season when residents and visitors alike meet up for outdoor activities, indoor warmth and to enjoy a sense of togetherness. Whether it’s at the hockey rink or the gallery or outside by City Hall or the CPR station (for the annual Holiday Train), there’s plenty to do in Castlegar during the winter months

Rossland’s historic and compact downtown features a combination of stellar alpine vistas and charming brick and wood clad buildings from an earlier era. Nose around town and you’ll find a gourmet chocolate and ice cream maker, trendy restaurants, fully stocked outdoor shops, locally made crafts and more. A network of trails runs through the town, while colourful and grand architecture rewards visitors who wander beyond the main street. Up at the hill the Josie is the newest hotel, with breathtaking views and top-notch accommodations.

A reputation for wellness in the West Kootenays is well deserved; multiple yoga studios, spas and meditation centres provide plenty of options to find beauty, peace and calm. Indulge in the healing waters at Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort for the ultimate in rejuvenation and warmth.

From historic boutique hotels to waterfront resorts, comfortable suites to spacious vacation homes, you’ll find the perfect accommodation for your relaxing winter retreat. Many are located in the heart of downtown, providing easy access for all the amenities in town.

Wander Nelson’s historic Baker Street, Kaslo’s charming Main Street or Rossland’s compact downtown and you’ll find a unique blend of boutique shops, independent eateries and captivating attractions on your next winter getaway.

To learn more about winter activities in the area visit the local tourism websites.