Laid-back Kootenays: Un-Plug and Relax

Laid-back Kootenays: Un-Plug and Relax

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That vacation you’re planning? That’s not going to help you relax. You’ve jammed packed your itinerary by scheduling an earlier morning guided hike, followed by a mountain bike tour, followed by a tee time, followed by a wine or craft beer tasting, followed by five-course dinner reservation, followed by an art show, followed by a concert — and you haven’t even unpacked your bags yet.


This isn’t the office. Your over-productivity holds no value when it comes to quiet 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, then you could be doing it wrong.  Some ‘experts’ even say the activities in a single day of a soothing vacation shouldn’t require no 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 ‘Un-Plug and Relax’ in the Kootenays:


Shhh...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.

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

Your agenda:


Find a secluded cabin!

The Logden Lodge offers all-creature-comforts-cabins on 42-acres of private forest land in Ymir, a small town not far from Nelson, BC. “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.

Soak in the solitude at the Logden Lodge in Ymir, BC



Bring a book to relax with, or don’t and veg your mind as well as your body. You’re going to 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 or a lounge chair.  Either way, sun will be plentiful; deadlines will not.


Your agenda:


Grab a lounge chair and just soak up the rays!

At Island Lake Lodge near Fernie, BC you'll be able to get some fabulous 'vitamin D' on your lodge balcony or next to their private lake (Island Lake) in one of their adirondack chairs.  Eyeing up the spectacular Canadian Rockies mountains is just an added bonus. 

Island Lake Lodge, photo by Dave Heath




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.  The region is so well-known for their hot springs, there’s even a ‘Hot Spring Road Trip’ celebrating it.  

The Caves at Ainsworth Hot Springs, photo by Don Weixl



Your agenda: 


Get the most out of pampering yourself by letting someone else take on some of the duties. Halcyon Hot Springs' - The Complete Spa Package includes a two-night stay in a cottage, a $100 meal voucher, a 60-min massage per person, a gift bag with 2 bottles of "Happy Water", 1-kg of Himalayan Bath Salts and all pool passes with free pool towel service.  Just in case the warm soothing, therapeutic water and stunning Arrow Lake views weren’t relaxing enough.

Halcyon Hot Springs Resort near Nakusp; photo by Andrew Penner



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

Ahhh... just you and Mother Nature.  Photo by Lucas Jmieff in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park

Your agenda:


Emerald Lake Lodge takes a laid-back Kootenay vacation 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; photo by Dave Heath

If you take this route, congratulations: You’re officially a ‘Kootenay laidback’ vacation pro!

Words by Gina Begin.  Cover/top photo by Lucas Jmieff.

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

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