Totally Laid-Back Kootenays: Do Nothing Vacation

Totally Laid-Back Kootenays: Do Nothing Vacation

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That vacation you’re planning? That’s not gonna help you relax. You’ve jammed it full of tours, tee times and dinner reservations. You’ve scheduled a mountain bike tour followed by a wine tasting followed by an ultra-hard-to-book dinner at a super posh restaurant followed by an art show followed by a concert — and you haven’t even unpacked your bags yet.


Hey, buddy: This isn’t the office. Your over-productivity holds no value when it comes to vacation. Or, at least, that’s how vacations used to be. With all the madness of digital life and busyness swirling around our daily schedules, it’s time we reclaim the right to the ‘Do Nothing’ vacation.


Take the name of this vacation type literally: If your time to unwind includes more dates in your calendar than arrival and departure times at the airport, you’re doing it wrong.  Some ‘experts’ even say the activities during any single day of said vacation shouldn’t require more than 500 calories.


Can you do it? Can you shut down your schedule and just relax? I’m betting, with a little guidance, you’ll catch on — even love it.  Here are four ideas to properly ‘Do Nothing’ in the Kootenays:

Soak in the Solitude

Shh...the birds are talking. Kootenay people know the value of peace and quiet; after all, we’ve chosen to live geographically ‘away from it all’ — away from traffic jams, noise pollution, crowded city centres and digital overload.

Wandering along Kootenay Lake; photo by Andrew Penner

Did that list just stress you out? Good thing you’re headed to the Kootenays.  


Your agenda:


Logden Lodge - Four beautiful, all-creature-comforts-included cabins rest on 42-acres of private forest land in Ymir, a small town not far from Nelson. “Our cabins are deliberately set apart from one another so no matter if you’re the only ones there or not, you feel alone,” say owners, Paul and Annelies. The year-round creek may be the only sound you hear during the entirety of your stay.

Logden Lodge, in Ymir BC

Soak up the Sun

Bring a book to relax with, or don’t and veg your mind as well as your body. You’re gonna spend all day watching the water from a shoreline of one of the region’s many freshwater lakes. Go ahead and get in and lounge on a personal pool float.  Either way, sun will be plentiful; deadlines will not.

Your agenda:


Sunflower Bed & Breakfast - Christina Lake is known for being the warmest tree-lined lake in Canada due to hot springs deep in the lake and this B&B is right along its shores. Pull up a chair, stick your toes in the water and watch the sun make its rotation around your corner of the world.

Soak in Hot Water

The world over knows that soaking in hot water is synonymous with relaxation — and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better spot than the Kootenays for this 'Do Nothing' activity. The region is so well-known for their hot springs, there’s even a 800-km ‘Hot Springs Road Trip’ celebrating it.

The Caves at Ainsworth Hot Springs, photo by Don Weixl

Your agenda: 

Halcyon Hot Springs Resort & Spa - Get the most out of pampering yourself by letting someone else take on some of the duties. Their newest package, ‘The Cure’ is all-inclusive five nights stay that includes three daily meals,  a cottage, access to the hot springs and three massages — in case the warm water wasn’t relaxing enough.

Halcyon Hot Springs Resort near Nakusp; photo by Dave Heath

Soak in the Views

Monashees. Purcells. Selkirks. Canadian Rockies. Kootenay Lake. Arrow Lake. Christina Lake. Columbia Lake. Lake Windermere. Elk. Deer. Salmon. Northern Lights. (Need I continue?) Summits or shorelines, wildlife or people: whatever you fancy, if you want to lounge in one spot and watch it pass by, that’s perfectly acceptable here.

The Northern Lights over Kootenay Lake; photo by Ryan Flett

Your agenda:


Emerald Lake Lodge - Take ‘Do Nothing’ to the next level: This lodge is not only right inside Yoho National Park, it’s on its own private island. With windows filled with views of glacial-fed Emerald Lake and the mountains that ring it, you don’t even have to step outside to enjoy the views. 

Relaxing at Emerald Lake Lodge; photo by Dave Heath

If you take this route, congratulations: You’re officially a ‘Do Nothing’ vacation pro!

Words by Gina Begin Cover photo by Andrew Penner.

Gina Begin - Although she’s a Florida girl, exploration called her away after the final bell of her high school career. On a quest to reach the distant adventures of North America, she lived in her car, traveling to ski the backcountry of Alaska, sleep under the northern lights in the Yukon Territory, ice climb Colorado's frozen canyons, photograph Nova Scotia’s coves, backpack in southern US wildernesses and munch on sugared tamarindo in the jungles of Mexico. But after three years living on the road and seeing the many wonders this continent had to offer, she chose the place she knew would fit an explorer looking for a lifetime of wild wonder: British Columbia. Dual citizenship in hand, she settled along the Powder Highway in the Selkirks and is making her home between four walls and deeply wooded mountains.

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Tags: Canadian Rockies Columbia Mountains Explore Canada ExploreBC The Kootenays