Tucked into the sunny bench between the Purcell and Selkirk mountain ranges, the Creston Valley is a perfect retreat for outdoor adventurers, foodies, creative souls, and anyone in need of a wholesome home-away-from-home experience.
The Creston Valley’s unique climate and incomparable geography make it a place where you can feast like royalty on a 10-mile diet, thanks to its rich, diverse agricultural industry. The farmers’ market runs year-round (and outdoors from the beginning of May to the end of September), and it’s easy to find commercial fruit stands and dozens of roadside and farm gate sales. With three exceptional wineries and counting, the Creston Valley has been dubbed Canada’s next wine region.
A large, talented community of artists and artisans gives colour and texture to the Valley’s culture. The Lower Kootenay Band of the Ktunaxa nation carries forth its ancient cultural heritage and a language so distinct that it is unconnected to any other in the world. The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, a Ramsar designated wetland of international importance, covers 17,000 acres, boasts 32 kilometres of walking trails, and is home to over 300 species of birds, 57 species of mammals, and 29 species of fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Guided tours by canoe are offered and an excellent interpretive center and gift shop provide educational information on the wetlands.
With annual average rainfall of a mere 49 centimetres and above-freezing mid-winter temperatures, nature itself extends year-round hospitality. A four-season playground sheltered by the Selkirk and Purcell ranges, the Creston Valley offers year-round activities in its challenging alpine mountains and plentiful lakes. There are opportunities for cross-country skiing, boating, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, golfing, swimming, and bird watching plus many special interest activities. Look for the 18-hole Creston Golf Course turn-off south of town for some excellent golf at this championship course. The mild climate in the Creston Valley means a golf season starting in early March with great weather lasting until the end of October.
Creston is home to the “Glacier Brewery of the Kootenays” where Cool Crisp Kokanee Beer is made. Columbia Brewery offers tours on weekdays, mid-May to mid-September. The tour ends in the Kokanee Beer Gear Store where you’ll sample the product and have a chance to shop.
While there are no skyscrapers there are two landmark grain elevators. The elevators are the last in BC and the last in a Canadian downtown center. Take time to explore the many studios galleries scattered around town featuring exceptional local talent.
For more in-depth history of the area visit the Creston Museum, regarded as one of the finest small museums in BC. Authentic historic buildings and unique and fascinating artefacts can be found from Creston’s past.
For some local flavour the “Orchards Galore Super Side Trip” is just east of Creston on Hwy 3.
For more information on the area visit the Creston Valley Visitor Centre located on 121 N.W. Blvd or visit the Creston Visitor Centre website. www.crestonvalleybc.com