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The Best Things to Do in the Columbia Valley Area

September 5, 2018


If you’re looking at rental condos or a vacation home in the Columbia Valley, isn’t it time to start planning some great activities? Here’s what to do on your next vacation to the East Kootenay area:

Sports and Recreation

There are plenty of activities to be enjoyed in the Columbia Valley and surrounding regions. If you’re looking for things to do in the winter, you can’t do better than a snowmobile tour. Whether you’re new to the sport or an old hand, you’ll find a tour that gets you to the best of the Canadian Rockies on a fun four-stroke snowmobile. If you’re visiting during the summer, why not try some white water rafting, an ATV tour, or a horseback adventure that your family will never forget? You’ll also find ziplining, hang gliding, rock climbing, fishing, and lake sport activities everywhere. If you prefer quieter activities, there’s nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than a round of golf with a commanding view of the Canadian Rockies.

Food and Drink

Once you’ve worn everyone out with some sports, it’s time to think about what to eat. There’s something for everyone in the Columbia Valley. Try the Majestic U-Brew and Wine for craft beer and ciders, or take one of their wine tours. If you’re in a pizza mood, Peppi’s is the place to go. The classic taste of the valley can be found at Strand’s Old House with their classic three-course dinner. If you’re a fan of the raclette, try Elkhorn Cabin for a cozy lunch of melted cheese.


The East Kootenay Farmer’s Market is a great place to get fresh produce and home baked goods, jams, and spreads of every type. You’ll also find handicrafts and street performances. Main Street in Invermere has plenty of boutiques, galleries, and interesting shops that you won’t regret visiting. Be sure to check out Village Arts for handcrafted gifts, Bavin Glass for unique glass sculptures and decorations, and Columbia Valley Arts for the finest local offerings.

Parks and beaches

Kinsmen Beach has lots of space for kids to swim but also features shade so you can get out of the sun. Not far away, the James Chabot Provincial Park offers amazing views of the Rockies, sandy beaches along the lake, and plenty of activities like canoeing, kayaking, and windsurfing. Explore lots of the park with a biking tour or just drive up for a picnic. Don’t forget Kootenay National Park.


The Windermere Valley Museum is something not to be missed. The museum houses a treasure trove of artifacts, exhibits, and photo collections that bring the area’s heritage to life, most housed in heritage buildings. The Cranbrook History Centre houses more than 45,000 artifacts and records and is dedicated to the research and preservation of the valley’s heritage and history. If you have kids, you should also consider a visit to Fort Steele heritage town, a restored gold rush era village that features steam train rides, trade demonstrations, dining opportunities, and street performances.

Hot Springs

Your activities list should include a trip to the Radium Hot Springs. The springs are just at the entrance of Kootenay National Park and are well worth the drive. Nothing else you can plan will be as relaxing as a trip to the hot springs and adjacent spa. Stay there for the day or stay there overnight. There are plenty of elegant dining options in the area, too, so there’s no need to rush.

There are activities galore in the Columbia Valley area. Whether you’re visiting for vacation or hoping to move there to enjoy your retirement, you won’t ever be in danger of running out of things to do.

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