Exploring Nelson B.C. in a Weekend

Who doesn’t love exploring a new place? I know I do. Nelson BC is one of my all-time favourite cities that my family and I have been road tripping to since I can remember. Some of my fondest memories have been in this city and I look forward to making more. If you’re looking for a getaway, you MUST check out this city.

Nelson is known for it’s “care-free spirit” and independently owned businesses. Nelson lies in the Kootenay region of Southern BC. The historic buildings, farmers markets, speciality restaurants and an impeccable art scene are all apart of what makes Nelson so special. What makes Nelson’s downtown so unique are all the non-chain businesses and restaurants. Nelson is a foodies paradise, MY KIND OF PLACE. Most of these restaurants are easy to get to on foot from the downtown core.

A Few of my Favourite Spots:

One of my all-time favourite restaurants actually lies in Nelson. This Mexican restaurant is called Cantina Del Centro. The must have menu options are the tacos. You will NEVER eat tacos like these – even my discerning Vancouver cousins love this place and can’t wait to come back here every year. They have everything from moist braised lamb, to panko crusted avocado vegetarian tacos. The margaritas are a whole other story – 3 ounces of booze and exceptional in taste. Try their jalapeno cucumber one for a noteworthy spin. And did I mention they also have brunch!? We are guilty of taking over their patio when we visit hehe. My family and I ALWAYS make a point to come to this restaurant every time we come to Nelson. I’ve gotten all my friends hooked too so if you travel to this city – you must check out this establishment.

They also have opened up two Cantina locations in Kelowna (one in Downtown Kelowna and one at Big White), but the original one just has something about it.

Next on the list is Yum Son – a Vietnamese modern restaurant that is exceptional. But this isn’t just your average pho joint. What is unique is Yum Son’s bone broth story. Most restaurants tend to only brew their broth for 8-10 hours while Yum Son brews for 24 hours. Can you imagine how much flavour that is?! Heaven in your mouth. In fact, the whole restaurant is MSG free and uses ethically sourced ingredients. Check out this viet-modern eatery!

After lunch at one (or both) these restaurants, I always head on over to a brewery. If you want to live a little, I always go for a flight so I can sample multiple beers – that’s the best way to do it right 😉

Backroads Brewing has award-winning beer with a wonderful small batch variety ranging from dark and chocolatey to hoppy IPA and lighter. The beer is brewed in the back and then flows directly to the taproom up front. Shared tables makes this a beer drinker’s paradise. They even welcome non-beer drinkers or minors with non-alcoholic beverages and beer snacks. What I love the most is the cozy atmosphere of Backroads which resembles the feeling of Nelson – a sense of community all while drinking a traditional beer. You can checkout my blog post on Backroads Brewery here.

Another favourite brewery of mine is Torchlight Brewing Co which is located near the waterfront of Nelson. I am obsessed with their rhubarbarian beer! It’s so fruity and light and perfect for a hot summer day.

Other Notable Spots Love in Nelson:

More recently in 2019, Broken Hill has opened up which is known for their beer, whiskey and smoker. I love grabbing a beer here!

My favourite coffee shop is Oso Negro. This coffee shop is quite big in size with a stunning outdoor seating area to sip on espresso. I buy their coffee beans here in Kelowna so I can brew it at home. Another great coffee shop I go to as well is Empire Coffee.

One of my favourite clothing stores to pop into is Bia Boro on Baker Street. On the higher end, but super cute casual apparel. I always tend to buy at least one piece from here every time I go. Bia Boro also has a location in Kelowna but I love visiting the one in Nelson!

Craft Connection has really funky stuff for home décor. My parents have purchased quite a few things from here for their house. I also love the store Cartolina – they have hats, candles, and other great products.

For brunch, I love visiting Rel-ish amid the bustle of Downtown Nelson’s Baker Street for a laid back meal.

Great places to stay are the Prestige Lakeside and Hume Hotel. Hume hotel also has a great pub I like to go to called Mike’s Place. It is quite large but cozy. Every time I come to this place it’s always busy so if you’re looking for an atmospheric vibe as well as pool, shuffle board, and other games. Be sure to pop in!

If you visit in the summertime, I recommend hiking Pulpit Rock. This is a great workout and there are stunning views of Nelson at the top. Afterwards, a nice dip at the Lakeside Park Beach will cool you off. If you’re looking for a good photo op, I always tend to take photos next to the famous orange bridge called BOB (Big Orange Bridge).

In the winter time, Nelson has a great ski hill called Whitewater Ski Resort. Known for skiing but also for their incredible food, as Whitewater even has its own cookbook! Another awesome activity I love doing is heading up to Ainsworth Hot Springs. About 45 minutes out of town but worth it for their unique hot springs with an updated hotel – perfect for an over night getaway.

These are just a FEW of my favourite things. What makes Nelson so special to me is the uniqueness of it and all the independently owned businesses.

Next time you want to try out a new place, check out Nelson and you won’t be disappointed.

Where is your favourite place to travel to in British Columbia?!

-Jenna xoxo

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