If You Think All The Hippies Are On Saltspring Island and Commercial Drive, You Haven’t Been To Nelson

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The smell of patchouli is wafting down Baker St as I sit at a sidewalk table of The Jagannatha Express – a vegetarian bistro and organic juice bar in Nelson, BC.

Loose flowing tops and dresses with intricate henna inspired designs are on most of the women walking by. You know, the raw look that you seemed to find crowding the fields of Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair tour.

The Nelson Community Centre parking lot is having a flea market with the expected bead artists, handmade card artist, organic bakers, farmers as well as a collection of clothing. If you’re a lingerie designer don’t bother setting up shop in Nelson, the bras have long been burned.

Nelson is a groovy little town to chillax on a …(what day is it? – that’s how you know you’re on vacation, when every day feels like a weekend).

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I have to admit, I’m here because of Roxanne, the 1987 film starring Steve Martin that was shot here. I remember the beautiful tree lined streets and mountain views, the crisp lake at the base of the city’s hills.

Nelson is also home to some 350 heritage buildings and that architecture brings in the tourists and give the locals pride.

I wandered Baker St, drove up to the top of Josephine and down to the bottom of Lakeside Rotary Park. I passed by the legendary Trolley 23 and then crossed back over the Orange Bridge all the time wishing I had a goatee or dreadlocks or a Che tshirt to fit in.

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