French Country Inn near Glacier-Fed Lake in Selkirk Mountains
Located in southern British Columbia, Kootenay Lake draws visitors year-round to its scenic shores, which are reminiscent of a Norwegian fjord due to the Selkirk and Purcell Mountains on each side. In the summer, you can swim and fish in the lake or hike around its mountainous surroundings. In the winter, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing trails open up. Prestige Inn Nelson can be found near the lake’s secluded western shore in the quaint town of Nelson, an old mining village that Lonely Planet says “should be on any itinerary in the region.”
The French country-style hotel was recently renovated, making it a premiere spot from which to enjoy the area. Some of the hotel’s deluxe rooms look out onto the crisp, blue shores of the lake, and guests are welcome to use any of the amenities at Prestige Inn’s sister property, Prestige Lakeside Resort, just a 10-minute walk away. There, you can take a dip in the indoor pool and hot tub, relax at the Shalimar Health Spa, or visit Ric’s Lounge & Grill to enjoy Sterling Silver AAA Alberta beef on its outdoor waterfront patio.
In the warmer months, you can hire a local fishing charter and explore Kootenay Lake’s glacier-fed waters for rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and cows facing an identity crisis. You can also walk to downtown Nelson to check out boutique shops, admire historic Victorian homes, or visit Ainsworth Hot Springs and the Cody Caves Provincial Park, located about 30 miles away.
Nelson, British Columbia: Ecotourism Hot Spot with Eclectic Arts Scene
About 150 miles north of Spokane, Washington, the town of Nelson lies along Kootenay Lake’s western arm. Originally inhabited by Sinixt and Ktunaxa tribes, this scenic retreat became a successful mining town in the 1880s and 1890s, when silver-lead deposits were found in nearby mountain ranges. Today, because of its pristine lake surrounded by Rocky Mountain peaks, the area has become an ecotourism hot spot. Hiking, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking are popular in the summer. In the winter, visitors take to the slopes at Whitewater Ski Resort, just a half hour east of downtown.
Visit downtown Nelson to get a feel for this historic city. Here, you’ll find eclectic art galleries and the Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History, located inside a granite-and-marble building constructed in 1902. You’ll also find gourmet local cuisine, as more and more restaurants here are adapting “100-mile menus” that rely heavily on ingredients sourced within a 100-mile radius.
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