6 Ways to Enjoy the Natural Splendor of Creston, British Columbia
A Canadian Shangri-La Of Bucolic Charms
Creston is a sleepy town with a deeply rooted past. Its nestled in the West Kootenays, just north of the Canadian border, about midway between Cranbook and Nelson. Surrounded by farms and vineyards, it makes an ideal escape for anyone who wants to enjoy a relaxing retreat filled with bucolic charms, the opportunity for outdoor adventure and plenty of fabulous food and drink.
Here are the Creston, BC attractions you should check out whether you’re driving through, staying the night or hunkering down for a week-long retreat.
Things to Do in Creston
Winery and Brewery Tours
Creston Valley has been called the next great wine region in Canada, offering the opportunity for wine enthusiasts to sample some of its many delights. Not only do local eateries feature menus with fantastic local food and wine pairings, but you’ll find three outstanding wineries for tours and tastings.
Wynnwood Cellars Estate Winery is just 10 minutes north of Creston in Wynndel and features a tasting room with a beautiful view of Duck Lake that’s open from mid-May through mid-October.
Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery is right in Creston and offers wine tours by appointment for a small fee. It’s open seven days a week from mid-May through to the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in October. Bring a picnic and enjoy a glass of wine while immersed in picturesque scenery.
Last but not least, Skimmerhorn Winery, also right in Creston, serves an exceptional seasonal menu in its bistro and hosts a tasting room open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting in early May each year.
Brew enthusiasts have the opportunity to sample local beers at the source with a visit to Columbia Brewery where Kokanee beer is brewed. Tours are available where you can learn about its history and everything that goes into the process of making a great brew. You’ll take a guided walk through the brewhouse as well as the fermenting, aging and packaging departments before the grand finale: samples.
U-Pick Farms and Farm Tours
Creston Valley is filled with farms and orchards, and many offer the chance to pick your own produce, particularly raspberries, strawberries and blueberries in the summer. Check out the Food & Farms page on the Creston Valley tourism website to see what farms you can visit.
At the Kootenay Alpine Cheese Co., you can learn about the cheese-making process as well as meet the farmer and his cows on the Harris family farm.
Delve into Creston’s history at The Creston Museum, which is filled inside and out with interesting remnants from the past. The grounds are home to a red, turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, a trapper’s cabin and a historic steam locomotive that makes a great spot for a selfie.
Check out displays filled with old farming equipment, medical tools, toys, appliances and more. Participate in a workshop in the summer and get your hands dirty. Take a guided tour from one of their knowledgeable staff and learn about the history of the area.
From forestry to mining to agriculture, Creston has a fascinating history you won’t want to miss learning more about.
Certainly sitting on a deck admiring your surroundings has its merits, but to truly enjoy the great outdoors in Creston and the rest of Western Canada you need to get active. Go for a hike or bike ride along the miles of trails available. Tee off at two golf courses in the area: the Creston Golf Club and the Kokanee Springs Golf Resort.
Rowing, canoeing, kayaking and waterskiing can be enjoyed only minutes from downtown Creston on the Kootenay River. If you want to get out on the water but don’t have your own vessel, check out Paddle & Portage which offers guided kayak trips. Just a few of the other options here include caving, zip-lining and climbing.
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Day Trips From Creston
While Creston and the surrounding area offers a ton of things to see and do, there are some great day trips within a couple hours of town that you probably won’t want to miss.
There are several hot springs in this region, including Ainsworth Hot Springs along Highway 31 in the tiny village of Ainworth. It features a 150-foot horseshoe cave that’s lined with stalagmites and stalactites, a large plunging pool and a stream-fed cold plunge.
The spa services and restaurant on site overlook Kootenay Lake, while the newly renovated hotel means guests have full access to the pool.
Dewar Creek Hot Springs is a great option for the more adventurous who would prefer enjoying the hot pools all to themselves. Situated near Kimberly in Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park, you’ll have to hike or horseback ride to access the springs, which keeps the big crowds away.
Kootenay Lake is just north of Creston. One of the best ways to explore it is to take the world’s longest free ferry ride, the Kootenay Lake Ferry, which travels between Balfour and Kootenay Bay. Sunset sail adventures are also available via Red Sky at Night Sailing Adventures in Balfour near the north end of the lake.