Creston, Why Creston?
"Is there anything to do here?"
Our Postmaster in Markleeville is from Canada and mentioned to us that we might enjoy Creston. Not much to do there she said, but very beautiful country, with lots of cute little B&B's to stay at, very reasonably priced. So...off we went to check it out.
Actually, Creston is at the south end of Lake Kootenay and also a great jumping off point for road trips to Banff and Jasper National Parks. Nelson is also an easy day trip away, a quirky place with lots of little shops and restaurants. There are some highly developed hot springs at the far end of the lake, called Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort. (Please see our, 'things to do tip'on our Balfour, Canada page) They are a good overnight trip from Creston. You may be able to do it in a day, it is only about 55 miles away but the road there along the lake is so scenic, why be rushed? You take the road north along the east side of the lake and cross over to the town of Balfour on the west side by way of the ferry, then head north another twenty minutes or so to the hot springs. There is a nice cozy little restaurant right at the ferry landing on the east side of the lake, dont know the name, but we had a nice breakfast there.
There are nearby small mom and pop style downhill ski resorts near Creston. There is a huge bird sanctuary just outside the town, the Kokanee brewery is in Creston, a golf course (cute, with it's own restaurant, food was simple but cheap), curling rink and hockey court (well, of course, Eh?) and loads and loads of fruit orchids and gardens. There is the biggest green house we have ever sen at one of the many nureries. It seems nurseries/garden centers are to Creston what Starbucks is to Seattle....one on every corner. They grow a lot of cherries here. Actually, it seems they grow everything here, it seems everybody grows everything here. In fact, it seems that everyone in Creston is so into gardening they often forget or do not have the time to run their little cottage businesses, such as B&B's. "Sorry, I do have rooms that are empty but I need to catch up on my gardening, it is May, you know. Can you come back next weekend?" or "No, we're not open for tourist season yet. It's planting time, eh?"
"But we expected an English flavor..."
We were a bit surprised to find that there are a lot of German expats living in Creston. We just assumed it would be popualted by English descendants or at least French, this is BC and it is Canada, after all. Our hosts at the B&B were German-Canadians and they introduced us to several of their German friends. Seems there are an abundance of German-Canadians in Creston. People we met were very friendly, felt like home after just a day.
"But this is BC after all, so where's the tea?"
There is a great bakery/cafe in downtown Creston with a wide variety of pastries and baked goods including many English varieties. Very reasonable and comfortable place to have a cuppa with the locals or alone. Cant remember the name, it's on a corner. Not exactly "High Tea", but we stopped in daily and loved it.