Nelson is located on hwy 3A about 657 km (a 9 hour drive) from Vancouver and 624 km from Calgary. It is also 237 km from Spokane, WA, 496 km from Banff and 454 km from Kamloops.
- Air Canada has daily flights from Vancouver and Calgary to Castlegar Regional Airport, (40 km away), with shuttle service to Nelson provided by Queen City Limo. It is recommended to book a shuttle in advance. Budget and National car rentals are also available in the Castlegar Regional Airport.
- Greyhound offers a twice daily bus service to towns and cities throughout BC. Buses from Vancouver and Calgary take approximately 12 hours in total, including stops.
- BC Transit has a regional bus service throughout BC, apart from the Greater Vancouver region.
- Nelson Municipal Airport, offers a 3,100m x 75m asphalt runway for private aircraft only. No commercial flights land here.
The downtown core of Nelson is very compact and walkable. The main streets stretch a few blocks up the hillside away from the lake, and along the contours of the hillside. You don't need a car to get between downtown businesses, but you might need one to get to housing away from the centre. It's a ten minute uphill walk from the airport to the heart of downtown, though the railroad track just inland of the airport is a slight obstacle.
- Budget car rentals are located a block west of the Prestige Lakeside Inn on Lakeside Dr.
- Rent-a-wreck are located by Nelson Municipal Airport.
- BC Transit, see above.
- [dead link]Museum of Art & History, 512 Vernon St, ☎ . Displaying the culture and history of Nelson and District in its museum, archives and art gallery.
- Nelson Mining Museum. Features thousands of rock, gem, fossil and mine core specimens from the West Kootenays and British Columbia. An extensive collection of books, mining publications and maps, both new and old, are available for public use. The facility is open year-round – check for daily and seasonal hours. Located at 215 Hall St. Tel: +1 250 352-5242
- Nelson & District Visitor Info Centre, 225 Hall Street, V1L 5X4, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . pen year round.
- Nelson Electric Tramway, Lakeside Park (near Big Orange Bridge), ☎ . Open weekends and all summer. Restored streetcar #23 that used to run down Baker Street now runs along the waterfront from Lakeside Park to Chahko Mika Mall. The line is 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) long.
Nelson is an great base to explore the lakes, mountains and rivers of the surrounding area. The west arm of the Kootenay Lake flows past Nelson with several dams just below Nelson. The big orange bridge (known locally as BOB) is a local icon connecting the north shore to Nelson. Lakeside Park is a mix of grass and shade trees and sandy beach.
- Spa/Retreat. Ainsworth Hot Springs has many Spa services, treatments and packages.
- Yoga There are several yoga studios in Nelson, perhaps the biggest is Trinity Yoga,  who run yoga teacher training courses across Canada, as well as Yoga classes in Nelson. Shanti Yoga are also worth noting and they run Yoga classes in town.
- Kootenay School of the Arts, 606 Victoria St., ☎ . Study fine craft production in clay, metal, jewelry and small object design or fibre. Community classes as well as two year Diploma programmes.
Enjoy the scenery of Nelson, go for a hike, snowshoe, or glacier swim!
- Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. can be accessed from the north shore (about 20 km from Nelson towards Balfour and the Kootenay Lake Ferry). Getting to the main trailhead into the park requires a steep 13 km drive to Gibson Lake.
- Whitewater Ski Resort, Whitewater Rd. (At the end of Whitewater Rd located 10km south of Nelson off Ymir Rd.), ☎ , toll-free: . Located 20km from Nelson and boasts 20 km of cross country trails, groomed and track set for all abilities. Has 3 lifts which gives access to 80 runs in all types of terrain. Average snowfall is 45 feet. Rates (2016) $75 per day for adults. Rentals and cafeteria available. Hitch-hiking from Nelson is a popular method to get there without a car. $75.
- Chahko Mika Mall. Located on the lake front. Contains approx 30 stores/services including restaurants, clothing, supermarket, Wal-Mart, newsagent, book store etc.
- Still Eagle Planetary Persuasions. British Columbia's first hemp store and one of the largest distributors of hemp, organic and fair-trade clothing products in Canada.
- Culinary Conspiracy Specialty Food Store, 610 Baker Street (corner of Josephine & Baker Street beside the Main Street Diner), ☎ . 10 am-5 pm. A great selection of specialty gourmet food items such as hard to find spices, oils, vinegars, sauces and more. moderate.
- Annie's Boutique, 106 - 402 Baker Street (Downtown just off the corner of Stanley & Baker), ☎ .
- How Shang Shway Tea House, 112 Vernon St., ☎ . Sat-M closed, Tu-Fri 11-17h. Lunch only. Specialty teas and Taiwanese vegetarian meals. Cash only, no debit or credit cards.
Quizno's, KFC, A&W and Edo Japan are all located in Chahko Mika Mall, see above.
A&W, 512 Railway St.
Subway, Baker Street.
- Max and Irmas -- wood fired pizzas, Italian california
- Outer Clove -- everything garlic
- Mike's -- Something for everyone
- KC'S Kitchen -- The only good sushi in town, the Chinese is a miss
- Jackson's Hole -- Dixie's Cafe in the movie Roaxanne, Something for everyone
- 1 Red Light ramen bar, 308 Herridge Lane (down the modest lane from Stanley St or Kootenay St), ☎ . usually Sun-Thu 5-10:30PM, Fri-Sat 5-midnight. A B.C. spin on a Japanese ramen joint. Choose your broth, noodles, spicing, and protein; the chef adds seasonal greens. Appetizers, desserts, sake, wine, and beer. Plentiful vegetarian options, including no-meat broth. The patio seating out front is delightful in summer. Full size bowl $12 (veg), $14 (meat).
- Bite, 700 Baker St.. Mar-Oct (seasonal food truck). Burgers, fries, organic poutine, fries, wraps, salads.
- Baker Street Café. Greek food. Burgers, fish and chips, draught beer.
- All Season Cafe Where the locals go for a special dinner. Great wine list.
- Fusion 301 French and Fusion Bistro in a trendy atmosphere
- Bibo New restaurant to Nelson, beautiful patio, fantastic food and wine.
- Bogustown Pub -- A relaxed atmosphere including an enjoyable patio, daily drink specials, and great service.
- Spirit Bar located in the Hume Hotel, mixed crowd with DJ's on weekends and the occasional live act
- The City of Nelson has its own brewery, The Nelson Brewing Company..
- The Library the lounge in the Hume Hotel, relaxing atmosphere, good food and drink, fireplace in Winter and live music in evenings
- Louie's Steakhouse and Lounge, 616 Vernon St, ☎ . Located in the renovated New Grand Hotel, Louie's serves up an enticing array of signature martinis, cocktails, and other libations in an elegant, relaxing atmosphere.
- Finley's Irish Bar & Grill. offers live entertainment, karaoke, live DJ. The kitchen is open until 2AM.
- Uptown Tavern.
- 1 Kokanee Creek Provincial Park. 20km from Nelson BC. With a large sandy beach, adventure playground, hot showers and a host of other amenities you’re sure to be comfortable and find plenty to do for you and your family. Open May 1-Sep 30.
- 2 [dead link]Dancing Bear Hostel, 171 Baker St., Nelson (West end of downtown Nelson), ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: email@example.com. Clean and quiet. Dorm, private and group rooms available. Parking space, equipment lockers (require lock), paid laundry, computer, WiFi, kitchen, 2 common areas. $34 for dorm bed (2016, tax inc.).
- 3 [dead link]Solterra Guest House, 2109 Fort Sheppard, ☎ . Beautiful private setting, close to downtown and the Burlington trail.
- 4 Adventure Hotel, 616 Vernon Street, ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A great find! The location is in the heart of downtown, with shops, food, and sights an easy walk away. Previously named the New Grand Hotel and Hostel, it was recently refurbished in vivid colours. Its hostel roots remain in bunk beds, a communal kitchen, and a nice roof deck where guests can chat. But the private baths and comfortable beds say "hotel". It's an old building, with charming brick walls, and a less charming absence of elevators — climb with suitcases up the stairs! $80-144.
- 5 The Prestige Inn, 1301 Front St, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: , e-mail: Lakeview@PrestigeHotels.ca. Located by the lake shore on Front St. Rates (2006) $100 to $250 per night.
- 6 The Hume Hotel, 422 Vernon Street, ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: email@example.com. Vernon St. (downtown). Rates (2006) $80 to $140 per night.
- 7 Best Western Baker Street Inn, 153 Baker St, ☎ , fax: . Check-in: 4:00PM, check-out: 11:00AM. Just a few minute's walk from the attractions on the rest of Baker St.
- 8 Ainsworth Springs Guest House, 3620 Highway 31, Ainsworth Hot Springs (60 miles from Nelson), toll-free: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (2009) $84 to $113 per night.
- 9 Blaylock Mansion, 1679 HWY 3A, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The mansion of early 20th-century mining and smelting tycoon Selwyn Blaylock, converted into a bed and breakfast. Some rooms have shared bath. Also a lovely setting for weddings. $173-$266/night.
There are many locations where the traveler can access wireless Internet, including the following: Safeway, Nelson Public Library, Chako Mika Mall, Best Western Baker St Inn, and many restaurants in town.
Most of the downtown area has Shaw public wifi, although you will need a Shaw account to use it.
- Ainsworth Hot Springs, Located approx. 47 km north of Nelson on Hwy 31. This resort is open for day visits ($5 to $11) and also has rooms (approx. $100 to $200, depending on season) and a restaurant. Rates are 2006 prices.