Balfour sits on the west bank of beautiful Kootenay Lake with the Selkirk mountain range as its backdrop. This small community is home to lovely beaches and the free ferry which takes you on a 35-minute scenic ride across the lake to Kootenay Bay. This area is well-known for its world-class fishing for Rainbow Trout and Kokanee. Boating is also very popular. Nearby Buchanan Lookout with an elevation of 6,263 feet (1,909 metres) has spectacular views, lovely flowers in season, and a 2 km (1.3 mi) loop trail that provides access to viewpoints on the rock bluffs. Hiking, golfing and winter activities are all here in the Balfour area.
Balfour is located on Highway 3A, 35 km (22 mi) northeast of Nelson. To the north 15 km (9 mi) on Hwy 31 lies the small community of Ainsworth Hot Springs and 37 km (23 mi) from Balfour is the town of Kaslo. Balfour is the western terminal of the Kootenay Lake ferry, connecting with Kootenay Bay across the lake.
Back in 1889 it was staked as a townsite by Charles Busk, an Englishman who envisioned Balfour becoming a centre for farming. It never did become an agricultural community but instead has survived through the years primarily as a popular resort for fishermen. Today, the community has a population of some 450 residents.