Why Visit Creston, British Columbia
June 2, 2019
by Valerie Silove
Located within the heart of the Kootenay District of British Columbia, Canada, the small town of Creston has a lot to offer, despite its small size. With a population of only 5000, from unique festivals to community events, Creston is one of those towns where everyone knows everyone. It is a popular tourist destination for its rich farming industry in the summer, as well as nearby music festivals. The Rocky Mountains also draw people in with their beauty.
The perfect place to retire, Creston is also the perfect place for a summer getaway. Whether you wanna dip your toes in the lake, canoe to neighboring towns, or just lounge in the sun at the park, this town is the one for you. Even in the winter, it’s relatively warmer than most places in Canada, and the mountain views are spectacular.
So, why visit Creston Valley?
The number one point about Creston that pops out is the view – surrounded by mountains, I have yet to find a place in BC as beautiful as this little town. There are mountains in every direction you look. Kootenay Lake is only a short drive away, and is definitely worth the trip, even though it is a little scary to drive on mountains.
If you’re interested in visiting the Rocky Mountains, this is definitely the best place to go!
Despite living here for 10 years, I still revel in the beauty of this place. I genuinely recommend it.
Hiking and Outdoor Activities
Along with the view, comes outdoor activities! There are many bike and hiking trails along the mountains, which can be found on the town’s tourist website. There are plenty of parks, some found in residential areas and a few found closer to downtown, the most popular being Centennial Park and the Japanese Garden, Millennium Park. There’s a dog park, too!
As before mentioned, Kootenay Lake is just a 20-minute drive away. This beautiful lake lies between Creston and the neighboring city of Nelson, and there’s a ferry for traveling between the two. The ferry ride lasts about 45 minutes, leaving you with plenty of time to admire the lake and its surroundings. Perfect for fishing, swimming, boating – you name it.
Creston is absolutely one of the best places to immerse yourself in nature. There are plenty of campsites as well. Canoeing and Kayaking are also very popular lake activities.
Every Saturday through May to December, a farmer’s market is held near the town hall. The market showcases the unique products of local farmers, artisans and basically anyone who has a product they’d like to sell. There’s always live music, too! The market is award-winning, and always has new products and new vendors with the best products in the district.
The town is bursting with locally grown produce and locally raised livestock. There is nothing this town doesn’t offer when it comes to fresh food. Many of these farms even have their own shops.
Of course, with all that fresh produce, there’s plenty of wine, too! There are four wineries in town – Skimmerhorn Winery, Baillie Groham Estate Winery, Red Bird Estate Winery, and Wynnwood Cellars. Each brings their own taste to the wine industry, giving Creston the nickname of Canada’s Next Wine Region. Venues in town sell local wine, as well. There is no limit to the wine in town and although unrelated, there is also a brewery in town that brews Kokanee beer. There’s a lot of alcohol around here.
There are as many artists in this town as there are farmers. Pottery and art galleries are everywhere, and the downtown area is filled with art, even on the buildings. I helped paint one of them myself as a kid, although I only did 4 strands of grass. Nature has a habit of drawing artists in (pun intended) and as Creston is overflowing with nature, artists seem to overflow with inspiration here, too. Pottery, in particular, is very popular. Galleries tend to pop up all the time, and the farmer’s market has plenty of art available.
A Rich History
Until somewhere in the 1800s, this area was a well-kept secret. The Ktunaxa nation called this place home for over 10 000 years. Although the Ktunaxa population has declined, efforts have been made to keep the spirit of the nation alive, at least during recent years. The Ktunaxa language and culture can still be studied today, whether it be at the library or a course at the local college.
The local museum also gives insight into the town’s history. There are small plagues located in different areas of town, giving you a little bit of information as to how that area came to be. We are also home to the last remaining grain elevators in British Columbia.
While there aren’t as many restaurants here as other towns, the ones we do have make up for it. Many restaurants used locally grown produce, my favorite of which being the Real Food Cafe. There are only 3 fast food places in town, making it easier to choose a local restaurant to go to rather than a chain restaurant, although now that I think about it, I don’t think there are any chain restaurants outside of the fast food places. I’ve tried almost all of the restaurants in town myself, and from my personal experiences, they all have great food, lovely atmospheres, and friendly staff. I eat out often with my mum.
My Personal View
I moved here when I was 12, so my opinion is a little biased. This town has been my home for years, and I can’t imagine having lived anywhere else growing up. Cities have nothing on this little community. If you’re looking for a small town with a rich culture, beautiful atmosphere and delicious food, then this is the place for you to visit this summer. Do yourself a favor and give this little town a chance. Canada is beautiful, but this town takes the prize for one of the most beautiful in the country.