A Slice of Bavaria in British Columbia

A relaxing getaway with exceptional recreation…lederhosen optional

As soon as we arrived, we found our way to Kelsey’s for dinner at the Kimberley Alpine Resort, where several parties were treated to “sparkling” ice cream sundaes and a lively wait-staff serenade. After a relaxing evening in our hotel room at the Purcell Rocky Mountain Condos, we ventured out for a healthy breakfast at the Snowdrift Cafe on the Platzl, the downtown pedestrian mall, followed by a trip up the North Star Express Quad chair lift for astonishing views of the Purcell Mountains, and a train ride on the Bavarian City Mining Railway into the past where we experienced early mining life.

Visitors enjoy free parking on the Platzl, which provides easy access to all of the shops and restaurants. We made our way to Chef Bernard’s Schnitzelhaus for lunch and decided on the daily special – an Oscar Wilder Schnitzel, smothered in crab meat, peppers, and hollandaise served with homemade spaetzl and salad.  Along the Platzl, there are Bavarian-inspired shops, hand-painted fire hydrants, and a life-sized “Happy Hans” that emerges hourly from his perch inside the world’s largest Cuckoo Clock.

Sunday morning, we indulged in crisp French toast and Bavarian sausage at Our Place before locating a shady spot to perch our chairs for a soccer match.  Later, we enjoyed a short hike to the 100-foot Marysville Falls and meandered back to town for an ice cream before settling in to watch the Extreme Skateboarding races.  Though we didn’t have time to make it to all the local attractions, I would recommend taking a tour of the Cominco Gardens, five minutes from downtown. The Gardens have been blooming since 1927 and were recently donated to the city for all to enjoy.

If you’re planning to travel to Kimberley during the winter months for their incredible powder skiing, be sure to take advantage of a self-driven sled dog tour or for the less adventurous – but no less exciting! – ride the lift up the mountain and take a scenic 30-minute tour on snowshoes.  Enjoy an amazing chocolate fondue in the mountaintop Kootenay Haus.

Summer travelers, be sure to check out Kimberley’s several outstanding golf courses at Trickle Creek Golf Course, Bootleg Gap , or the Kimberley Golf Club.

Accommodations range from inexpensive motels to higher end condos or hotels, so there is something for any budget. Remember, passports are required to enter Canada from the U.S.!

If you go:

Air Canada offers a number of flights from major cities throughout the U.S. Fly into the Canadian Rockies International Airport in nearby Cranbrook, BC – just 20 minutes from Kimberley.

Kimberley Lodging Company offers several options for ski-in/ski-out lodging at the heart of the Kimberley Alpine Resort.  Call 1-800-525-6622 for more information.

Purcell Rocky Mountain Condos offers condo units with kitchenettes, fireplaces, and BBQ grills as well as standard hotel rooms.  Call 1-800-434-3936 for availability and rate information.

Trickle Creek Residence Inn by Marriott – This all-suite hotel is located in the heart of the Alpine Village and each suite includes full kitchens, gas fireplaces and balconies. Call 1-877-253-6888 for availability and rates.

Polaris Lodge – Located right in the centre of the Kimberley Alpine Resort Village, just a step away from the Northstar high speed quad lift, the Polaris Lodge condos are equipped with kitchens, river rock fireplaces, and beautifully appointed bathrooms with Jacuzzi bath tubs.

For more information on accommodations, go to Ski Kimberley http://www.skikimberley.com/vacations.

Prior to traveling, go to XE to check the current exchange rate, and remember that while many establishments will accept American cash, be prepared to pay with Canadian money.

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