Nelson, in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada, sits on a hill above Kootenay Lake. The town provides a quick getaway from Kelowna or Spokane, and a nice weekend trip from Calgary, Vancouver, or similar locations. Nelson also provides a good base for exploring the West Kootenay, Boundary, and Slocan Valley regions.



Sights and Activities

  • Baker Street - Visitors to Nelson should not miss bustling main street, full of eclectic shops, bakeries, and restaurants.
  • Lakeside Park- This beautiful and Expansive Park along the waterfront includes a street car, beaches, and a playground
  • Whitewater Ski Resort - A Ski resort located just outside the town



Getting There

By Plane

The nearest airport is West Kootenay Regional Airport (YCG), about 40 minutes away, which is serviced by Air Canada Jazz flights to Vancouver and Calgary. It is also possibly to fly into the smaller airport in Trail, about one hour's drive away. Alternatively, one could fly to any airport in the region (such as Spokane, Kelowna, Penticton, Cranbrook, etc.) and add Nelson as an addition to their trip.

By Car

Nelson is best accessed from the east, west, and south through Castlegar. From the west, including the Okanagan and Vancouver, follow highway 3 to Castlegar and transfer to highway 3B. The East, Including Cranbrook and Calgary, follow highway 3 to Salmo and transfer to highway 6. From the south, including Trail and Spokane, follow highway 22 to Castlegar then follow Highway 3B.

By Bus

The city is services by Greyhound buses.



Getting Around

By Car

A car is useful for seeing points out of town, including Castlegar, Rossland, Trail, the North Shore, Kaslo and the Slocan Valley. A car is not needed in Nelson.

By Public Transport

A bus service does exist, but much advance planning is required.

By Foot

Most attractions in town can be reached by foot, and locals can be approached for directions.



Keep Connected


Internet usage is wide-spread in Canada. Wi-fi is available in many locations in larger cities, sometimes free and sometimes at a cost. You will find Wi-Fi in coffee stores, some restaurants and also hotels and motels more and more offer this service for free, but with a code usually. Internet cafes are common along major streets, and and in larger cities, charge between $3 and $4 for an hour, usually in 20-minute increments.


See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Canada is: 1. To make an international call from Canada, the code is: 011. Emergency services can be reached by dialling 911. This number will give you free access to Police, Fire and Ambulance services and can be used from landlines, phone booths and cell phones.

The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never fair from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Depending on the mobile phone provider, coverage could be either CDMA and GSM coverage. Travellers wishing to purchase SIM cards for GSM phones should look for Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility, which all offer nationwide availability.


Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business. Most post offices keep hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm though in bigger places longer hourse might be available.

To format the envelope of a letter sent within Canada, put the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.

The lettermail service allows the mailing of a letter. The basic rate is currently set at $0.63 for one standard letter (30 grams or less). The rates for lettermail are based or weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one. The rate is the same for a postcard. Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost. It can only contain paper documents. The rate for a standard letter is of $1.10 if sent to the United States, and $1.85 if sent to any other destination. Oversize or overweight letters may be charged a higher fee. Larger parcels can be shipped via Canada post both domestically and internationally, the rate is dependent on the weight and destination. [1]

Federal Express, TNT, UPS or DHL also provide interntional shipping from Canada and are usually very quick and reliable though might cost a little more compared to Canada Post.



Further Afield

Travelers with cars should not limit their stay just to Nelson, but should travel the area. To the north, the north shore provides beautiful beaches and spelunking opportunities, as well as hot springs, and Kalso is a charming village to visit. Travelers can also take a ferry from the North Shore to the East Shore. Along the East Shore there are many small artisans, and the road leads to the orchards of the Creston Valley. Travelers may also find the Slocan valley appealing for its laid back lifestyle and beautiful scenery. To the south, Castlegar provides an interesting look into the Dukhobour Russian community, Trail provides Italian-Canadian flare, and Rossland offers excellent skiing opportunities. More adventurous travelers may also enjoy many local ghost towns. The best way to decide what to visit is to ask around once you have arrived in the region.

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This is version 4. Last edited at 10:42 on Jul 19, 13 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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