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Day Trip To Nakusp For Coffee, Burgers and Handmade Chocolates

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Is it possible to spend too much time in a hot spring? Medically speaking yes, but I could float in the heated mineral waters at Halcyon Hot Springs for days on end. If you need a break from the pools or the spa the town of Nakusp is just a short drive away (20 mins or so) and has plenty of adventures just waiting to be discovered. For me, I’m happy to explore the historic downtown and check out some of the local businesses. Maybe a little shopping, some lunch and most definitely I’ll be looking for some good coffee to go along with my walk.

Nakus Visitor Centre

There is a lot of history and local gems to be uncovered in the village of Nakusp if you have the eye for them. It is located on the shores of Arrow Lake in the Kootenay Rockies region of British Columbia and can be reached by road from Revelstoke to the North or Castlegar from the South.

Our first stop upon arriving in town is to the local visitor centre. Staffed year round the visitor centre is easy to spot. Just look for the big paddle wheel. A clue that water transportation played a big role in the development of the village. The visitor centre also offers complimentary WiFi so it is a great place to check in with friends and family on social media. Our purpose was to find out the best coffee shop location.

Brewing on Broadway for a great cup of coffee

Turns out that What’s Brewing on Broadway was a short walk from the visitor centre so we left our car parked and set off on foot. In fact, the entire downtown is accessible by foot. So second stop is for some espresso and great espresso at that! Sometimes these small town independent shops really know what they are doing. Brilliant coffee in my opinion and plenty of smiles to go with it.

Next, we wander the main drag, aka Broadway Street. There are plenty of shops selling most of what you’d need including the town General Store. True to its name you can find a bit of everything here including board games to keep ourselves occupied back at Halcyon.

Nakusp General Store has a little bit of everything

At a tip from our friends at the Visitor Centre, we walked towards the lake and discovered a lakeside walking path. Even though snow is everywhere the path was cleared so we didn’t worry about slipping too much. In the winter it is quite beautiful so I can only imagine in the summer months it must be quite spectacular. Hmmm, I wonder what lakefront property sells for here?

Lakefront trail in downtown Nakusp

A coffee in Nakusp

Back up to Broadway we trek, for lunch at Arrow Lakes Tavern located within The Lodge at Arrow Lakes. I’m on this trip with my Mom who has Celiac disease and this spot offers a pretty good selection for both of us to choose from. For me, it is a Burger with Fries.

Burger and fries for lunch at The Lodge at Arrow Lakes

Now if I was into skiing, biking (including Fat Tire biking) or horseshoeing our stop after lunch would be the perfect place. Shon’s Bike & Ski has everything you need for to enjoy the outdoors in around Nakusp. They even have a bistro inside, where I got a coffee and a Hostel that plans to open in the Spring of 2018.

Shon's Bike and Ski + Bistro in Naksup

There is only one more stop for us in Nakusp before we hit the local grocery store and head back to Halcyon Hot Springs. That stop is at Jennifer Chocolates. I’d had some of the chocolates the night before as a dessert option at the Kingfisher Restaurant at the resort so today we wanted to go right to the source.

Jennifer's Chocolate Shop Nakusp

I never expected to discover a chocolate shop in small-town Nakusp that makes chocolates by hand that rival any I’ve enjoyed in Vancouver. What truly sets Jennifer Chocolates apart, in my opinion, are the caramels that she makes. There are over 6 flavour variations including eggnog, chilli and sea salt. They also make a chocolate covered caramel which Jennifer was making when we visited. I may or may not have bought a bag or two. Who’s kidding, of course, I bought some and wish I had bought more.

Making Caramels from scratch at Jennifer's Chocolates

That is it. A quick stop at the grocery store to pick up supplies for a light dinner in our cabin at Halcyon and then it is time to hit the road.

This was a quick side trip into Nakusp and it was obvious from the few hours we spent in the town that it is well worth a return visit for further exploring. I saw a few restaurants worth checking out along with nature, nature and more nature all around.

Until my next visit thanks for the lovely afternoon in Naksup. I still dream of those caramels…

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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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