Fall is a great time of year to enjoy all Nelson has to offer. We know you’ll love it — plan to stay a while!
If you’re hitting the road this autumn, there’s no better spot to stay on your fall road-trip than historic and beautiful Nelson, BC. In fact, fall is a most wonderful time of year to enjoy not only the variety of activities – shopping, restaurants, and abundant outdoor recreation – in and around this small city nestled on striking Kootenay Lake but the sublime weather, as well.
Nelson is described as an “inspirational mecca for foodies, art-goers, music lovers, history buffs and adventure seekers.” And, as anyone knows who’s spent time here, there are no truer words.
We really do check all the boxes for a memorable and satisfying vacation stop. A well-rounded small city, Nelson leverages the surrounding natural environment, the innovative and adventurous spirit of Nelson’s residents, and the region’s colourful history to offer a rich and diverse experience.
As we emerge from a summer of contrasts – glorious above seasonal temperatures paired with the annual crisis of wildfire – we settle into the sanguine of lakeside, mountain autumn.
Fair weather and the vibrant changing of the leaves beckon. The cafes and restaurants are free of summer crowds as are the hiking and biking trails.
Freely explore the East Shore from Wynndel to Kootenay Bay, traverse the azure waters of glacial-fed Kootenay Lake across to Balfour – a free ferry ride! Roam the shoreline from quaint and historic Kaslo and North Kootenay Lake to Ainsworth Hot Springs, south to Nelson. Popular in the summer, the change of seasons makes this loop a uniquely beautiful and relaxing trip in the fall.
Fall hiking doesn’t get any better than around Nelson, BC
Hiking is splendid at this time of year – the weather couldn’t be more perfect for getting out on our nearby trails. Monica Meadows, for instance, offers any level of hiker a wonderfully scenic hike on a high alpine plateau. The trails glorious 10 kilometres offers a panorama of mountains and alpine meadows, wildflowers, waterfalls, and lakes. Fall brings the stunning change of the larch from green to vivid shades of orange and gold.
Get up above the city for a classic hike close by – Pulpit Rock. Hiked for almost a century and referred to by the locals as a “walk in the park”, it offers tremendous views of the town, the lake, and the surrounding peaks.
Stroll for unique goodies — markets and shopping!
Nelson is a wonderfully walkable small city. The historic city centre offers unique and interesting shops to suit just about any interest from ethnic grocery to outdoor clothing and equipment to stylish fashion and shoes.
Don’t forget to include the fabulous Nelson Farmers Market from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm every Wednesday and Saturday. A truly unique market experience as you enjoy the unique community spirit amidst the lush fall colours at the base of the falls in Cottonwood Falls Park. Peruse an abundance of fresh farm produce, baked goods, handmade wares, and much more.
Autumn, with fewer crowds, lets you explore and browse at your leisure.
Want to take in the beauty and wonder of Nelson this fall — let us help! Family-friendly – including your beloved fur-babies! – the Alpine Inn and Suites offers our unique brand of European-style hospitality. We are the closest accommodation to popular Whitewater Ski Resort, convenient to the highway, and walking distance or but a minute’s drive to Nelson’s historic downtown.
Warmth and friendliness close to all the amenities to make your adventure in Nelson, BC truly unforgettable. We have 30 rooms, all exceptionally comfortable and clean, and with your choice of kitchenette or not. Choose one of our fireplace and/or jacuzzi suites or one of our spacious family units.
Working on the road or want to keep in close touch with loved ones? The Inn features free wireless internet. Perfect for a stop on your road-trip, we provide free and ample off-street parking, in front of your door.
We offer great rates!
Book with us directly to begin your fabulous autumn journey to Nelson, BC.
With more than 350 designated heritage buildings, take a stroll back in time as you explore beautiful and historic Nelson BC.
It’s no wonder that Nelson has earned the reputation as one of the finest heritage cities in all of Canada. Over 350 thoughtfully and carefully restored turn-of-the-century heritage buildings and facades – more restored historic buildings per capita than any Canadian city – and an easy walk from one to the other throughout downtown, a walk through Nelson BC is like taking a step back in time.
Initially incorporated as a mining town, the ups-and-downs of a rural, resource-based economy took its toll throughout the second half of the 20th century. Over the last 20 years or so, however, with revitalization efforts and a renewed economic focus on tourism and technology, Nelson has evolved into a quaint, down-to-earth and outdoorsy yet cosmopolitan little city in the Kootenays of British Columbia.
Chock-full of galleries, unique shopping, and cafes, the city is a huge draw for artists and craftspeople. Between the restored historic loveliness, the artsy vibe, and the breathtaking views, Nelson is a city of genuine friendliness and civility.
Ask anyone who’s visited, they’ll rave about the city’s charm and beauty, eagerly anticipating their next visit, if not a complete relocation!
A unique and historic tour through a very walkable city
The modern era of Nelson BC began in 1887 when a group from Colville discovered the Silver King mine on Toad Mountain. The townsite, named for the BC Lieutenant-Governor at the time, Hugh Nelson, was developed shortly thereafter.
Within only a few years, two railways were established to serve the fledgling settlement. They provided transportation for ore and goods, while a fleet of sternwheelers connected the communities cropping up on Kootenay Lake.
As other mines, mainly silver, developed in the region, Nelson and other surrounding communities grew quickly. Incorporated as a city in 1897, Nelson became the administrative hub of the Kootenays.
Infrastructure developed rapidly. The city boasted a streetcar system and hydroelectric power plant — the first in BC — in addition to a variety of impressive stone and brick buildings.
In the years that followed, agriculture and forestry – a successful sawmill – helped support the local economy. Beginning in the 1950s, Nelson became a university town when the Roman Catholic diocese established Notre Dame, which later became David Thompson University Centre.
Unfortunately, the recession of the early 1980s hit the city quite hard. Both the sawmill and the school closed and other employers reduced their numbers of employees dramatically.
But just as things were looking quite lost in the region, Nelson leveraged its history to bring about necessary change – a downtown revitalization project that uncovered and restored many hidden heritage buildings. That Hollywood took notice of the city’s unique historic charm certainly didn’t hurt.
With a current population of a little over 10,000, and a trading area twice that size, Nelson boasts a scenic and vibrant downtown, a thriving arts scene, and the cultural and recreational opportunities and amenities of a much larger city.
A wonderful way to experience and learn about the history of Nelson, BC, and its lovingly restored architecture is to enjoy the Nelson Heritage Walking Tour. Explore all of Nelson’s historic buildings, particularly those constructed between 1895 and 1924.
The tour guides you along Nelson’s main commercial artery, beautiful Baker Street, and within a block or so on either side. You’ll find Baker to be a vibrant, thriving, and busy commercial main street, brimming with restaurants and cafes and quaint local shops and galleries.
Part of maintaining the unique quaintness to Nelson downtown is the absence of any chain franchises. You won’t find a Starbucks or McDonald’s on or around Baker Street but you will find an exceptional cup of coffee at Oso Negro or authentic Latin American cuisine at Cantina del Centro in the revitalized historic buildings. Your choices for exceptional and fresh food are really quite endless in downtown Nelson.
Your Downtown Nelson Walking Tour
The historic walking tour highlights 27 buildings. You’ll be sure to note the distinctive architectural style – reminiscent of that found in Victoria, Seattle, San Francisco, and Spokane.
459 Baker Street, the CIBC building, for example, was constructed of Kootenay Marble in 1907 and includes a facade of four graceful pillars. The Burns Building, at 560 Baker Street, was built in 1899 for cattle baron Patrick Burns and was once home to a butcher shop. The iconic carving above the entrance – a cow’s head – alludes to the building’s bovine history.
The Capitol Theatre, another stop on the tour, has recently undergone a bit of face-lift and is now a community project to support the city’s commitment to arts and culture. It’s a wonderful bonus if you have the chance to explore the theatre’s characteristic indoors!
Another feature of Nelson heritage to include in your walking tour is the Post Office & Customs House at 502 Vernon St. Built in 1902 of Spokane pink brick and Kaslo Marble, this lovely building is a unique and picturesque combination of patterns and textures. It has been a museum, City Hall, and since 2006, as Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History. This is a great stop to linger and learn much more about the region’s colourful and fascinating history.
And, there’s so much more to see!
Want to view a digital map on your phone or computer? Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism recently put together an online Nelson BC – Heritage Walking Tour Map.
Be sure to take in the full list of must-see revitalized historic buildings in downtown Nelson BC – your complete Nelson Heritage Walking Tour starts HERE!
We love dogs – the Alpine Inn & Suites is proudly dog-friendly and is as excited to welcome your fur-baby as we are you!
We understand that our dogs are every bit (if not more!) a part of the family as their human counterparts. They are, after all, our best friends. But, when planning a vacation, despite their standing in our families, it’s often hard to bring them on holiday with us.
Not so in Nelson, British Columbia! As you make your plans to visit our fair, historic city, make sure you plan to bring your fur-baby with you. We, at the Alpine Inn & Suites, as well as much of the city, are very proud to welcome your four-legged loved ones.
In fact, just about everywhere you go in and around Nelson, you’ll find it’s pretty hospitable to furry friends. There’s a ton to see and do for you and your dog, including plenty of outdoors as well as a patio or two where he can soak up the warm sun as you enjoy a cuppa Joe.
We know you’ll love Nelson, and so will your pooch. Between one of the most scenic and beautiful waterfront dog parks you’ve ever experienced and the many businesses that provide water bowls and even a treat for your pup, Nelson is sure to be one of your favourite destinations that include the whole family.
Walking, hiking, and biking with your dog around Nelson
There are a variety of options when it comes to getting outdoors and exploring with your dog.
Enjoy a choice of hikes or let Fido run free at one of the dog parks on the lake. Take advantage of off-leash trails and two designated doggie swimming beaches where you can both cool off in spectacular Kootenay Lake within only 15 minutes of the The Inn.
If you’re looking to get outdoors with your dog in and around Nelson, here are a few ideas:
Nelson Dog Walk: A leisurely stroll, complete with marshes and dog beach, perfect for fetching sticks, you’ll both have a great time, whether he’s chasing sticks or meeting the other furry friends along the trail.
Pulpit Rock: Only a few kilometres, this short, steep trek is a fave with locals. A great workout, and a fast way to get up high and enjoy one of the best Nelson viewpoints –exceptional valley views – with your best friend.
Sproule Creek Trail: A great trail for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and even horseback riding, this is sure to be an all-season favourite for you and your dog. It’s a beautiful trail in the woods, where you’ll experience a burbling creek and nine bridge crossings!
Kokanee Creek Provincial Park: A lush, green, and gorgeous walk you can take Fido for quite the walk through towering West Kootenay cedars. Bonus: there’s a dog beach beside the boat launch at the north-east end of the park.
Walk or Bike the Rail Trail: If you’ve brought your bike, this is a great outing for you and your canine friend. The Rail to Trail path begins at mountain station and leads you through our local forest – lush, green, and outstandingly beautiful.
Buchanan Lookout Trail, Kaslo: A bit further afield, north of Nelson, up Kootenay Lake, this trail offers beautiful views and incredible flowers, when in season. An old fire tower, the lookout is now a recreation site with picnic tables and a 2km trail around the top that offers access to viewpoints on the rock bluffs. Note that the trailhead is up a 12km access road – not for the feint of heart or low-clearance vehicles!
Kaslo River Trail: A favourite hiking trail for residents and visitors, alike, you and your dog will enjoy a well-maintained trail system that includes two covered pedestrian bridges offering breathtaking views over the Kaslo river.
An historic walk, the trail follows a wood stave pipeline from the old dam site that once provided the power for Kaslo from 1897-1960. Interpretive maps and signs along the way offer informative tidbits to go along with the incredible views.
Paws For A Cause Dog Walk: An annual event, this is a terrific cause to plan your travels around. A yearly dog walk, Paws for a Cause is a walk organized to help end animal cruelty. Extending from Lakeside Park – one of the only times dogs are allowed! – along the lakeshore, it typically takes place in early September.
If you’re traveling with your dog, but have plans that don’t involve Fido, you should know about Nelson’s dog day care & walking service: All Play Pet Care & Adventures. the provide friendly and professional pet care services designed to meet your needs as well as those of your precious dog.
Instagram-worthy: If you’re documenting your travels with your dog, there are a number of outstanding backdrops to enjoy with your pup! The journey is half the fun – make it a scavenger hunt to find and explore each picturesque location.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dog-friendly activities in and around Nelson. Our friendly staff is happy to provide you with more details to help plan your trip.
If you’d like more information or to plan your dog-friendly stay at the Alpine Inn & Suites in Nelson, we’d love to help – CONTACT US!
Be the first on the ski hill! As the closest accommodation to White Water Ski Resort, enjoying first tracks couldn’t be easier or more convenient.
Your ultimate mountain destination, Alpine Inn and Suites offers you the perfect place to rest and relax on your next winter adventure. We know Nelson and the Kootenays and are more than happy to help you get the most out of your stay.
Our warm and friendly atmosphere and European style hospitality combined with newly renovated rooms provide luxurious comfort — all the amenities to make your experience in Nelson, BC, unforgettable.
Nelson is known as the “powder snow” capital of Western Canada. It’s also a popular stop along the #PowderHighway of British Columbia, offering seemingly endless ways to enjoy the abundance of glorious snow: lift-serviced, cat and heli-skiing, Nordic skiing, skate skiing, backcountry – Nelson has it all!
The Alpine Inn and Suites makes it easy to be first on the mountain! Centrally located in Nelson, walking distance to downtown and the closest accommodation to Whitewater Ski Resort, whether you drive, take advantage of our convenient shuttle, or catch a ride from the nearby hitchhiking spot, you’ll be on the slopes in mere minutes.
After a lovely day playing in the snow, relax in your room before you explore Nelson’s vibrant downtown – incredible restaurants, shopping, and simply strolling the quaint and charming historic city streets.
The Inn’s 30 clean and peaceful rooms ensure you enjoy a great night’s rest to prepare for another fabulous day on the slopes. With a choice of standard suites, family suites, and jacuzzi suites, the Alpine has rooms for every preference and budget. Our fully stocked kitchen suites have everything you need to be self-sufficient. Ideal for families and larger groups and those of you who prefer to fix your meals with an in-room kitchenette.
Well-appointed yet affordable, the Inn features free wireless internet and ample, free off-street parking in front of the rooms. Want to bring Fido? The Alpine Inn and Suites is also proudly dog-friendly!
Ski & Stay Specials
We want to help you make the most of your Nelson, BC experience –– stay with us at the Alpine Inn & Suites and enjoy a great discount on your ski passes!
Stay & Ski Packages start as low as $132.05 per person, per day, based on double occupancy and subject to availability. Are you traveling solo? Enjoy Stay & Ski for $176.60/night. All of our Stay & Ski packages include two nights accommodation in a standard room and two days skiing at Whitewater Winter Resort.
This is just one of our many ski packages available! Please call us so that we can give you the best ski package based on your trip and party size!
Powder Alliance Pass Member? All Powder Alliance Members are eligible for 10% off your stay. Simply show us your pass when checking-in to qualify.