Top 5 Things to Do in Nelson and the Surrounding Area

April 20, 2016
Ziplining has become one of the top things to do in Nelson for people who want to get out and experience the outdoors.

Ziplining has become one of the top things to do in Nelson for people who want to get out and experience the outdoors.

If you’re looking for things to do in Nelson, you won’t have to look far. This is a city that is steeped in small-town charm and surrounded by rugged beauty of the West Kootenays. Whether you’re an avid outdoorsman looking to get out in the wilderness, or you covet a more leisurely day out, this city has got it covered.

So, in case you left your guide book at home, or you’re not a fan of TripAdvisor reviews, here are some of our favourite things to do in Nelson.


1. Hang out on Baker Street

While it’s a working-class town, Nelson maintains a charming bohemian vibe that you won’t find in many other places in BC. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the downtown area along Baker Street. Here you’ll find:

  • Street musicians and other performers
  • Boutique clothing stores offering small-scale designer clothing
  • Excellent coffee shops
  • Diverse restaurants


2. Go Ziplining on the Side of a Mountain

Sandwiched between a pair of awe-inspiring provincial parks (Kokanee Glacier Park and Kokanee Creek Park), Kokanee Mountain Zipline promises an adrenaline-filled day out that you won’t soon forget. 

Located less than a 30-minute drive from Nelson, the aerial park is easily accessible along Kokanee Glacier Road. The course features six unique ziplining experiences, with some of the hair-raising highlights including:

Longest zipline: 2,400 feet

Highest zipline: 300 feet above the ground

Fastest zipline: Up to 100km/h

For more about the excitement of ziplining, check out our post: Zip (Line) Through the Kootenays at 100 km/h.


3. Take a Hike

No really. Strap on your boots and get out and enjoy some of the fantastic hiking opportunities this area has to offer. For example, Kokanee Creek Provincial Park is 15 minutes from town and features eight trails. For more ambitious hikers, Kokanee Glacier Park boasts 85 km of trails.

And then there’s the Nelson Salmo Great Northern Trail, an abandoned rail line running 48km between Nelson and Salmo. This gently sloped multipurpose trail boasts some magnificent trestles and is enjoyed by:

  • Hikers
  • Runners
  • Cyclists


4. Soak in Hot Springs

While it’s a ways out of Nelson, a trip to Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort is well worth the 45-minute drive. Not only is the journey a scenic one, but once you arrive you can plunge into the steamy, therapeutic goodness of mineral water.


5. Set Sail on Kootenay Lake

Whether you’re an inexperienced sailor or a complete landlubber, Red Sky at Night Sailing Adventures gives you the opportunity to experience Kootenay Lake in a fast, comfortable racing yacht.

While the tours are skippered by an expert captain, you’ll have the chance to try your hand at: 

  • Helming the boat
  • Trimming the sails
  • Learning knots

Or, you can simply sit back and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Purcells and Selkirk Mountains.


Are you looking for exciting things to do in Nelson? Arrange a fun, adrenaline-filled ziplining tour with Kokanee Mountain Zipline.