Nelson’s picturesque setting is a shelf of land overlooking the dark-blue waters of Kootenay Lake. Parks and beaches can be found along the waterfront, and the town itself is home to more than 350 heritage buildings constructed between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of these well-preserved buildings have been converted into cafes, eccentric galleries and offbeat boutiques. Adding to the charm of Nelson is an artsy, youthful culture, with the town said to have more artists per capita than any other town in Canada. Nelson is also an excellent base for hiking and skiing in the nearby mountains, and for kayaking in the lakes and streams in the surrounding area.