The Platzl: A Tour of Kimberley's Town Centre
Recommended Tour time: 2-4 hours
Welcome to Kimberley! Before you embark on your big adventures, be sure to get your bearings first by enjoying a walking tour through our endearing town centre: the Platzl. While this tour can be completed during a short visit through town, we encourage you to take your time to really soak up the Platzl magic and appreciate all the small things that make our home so special.
Let’s start by orienting ourselves to the “downtown” core. The Platzl is our pedestrian-only main street and the true heart of our community. It is easily accessed by strollers or wheelchair users and features a variety of shops, restaurants, arts, and Kimberley culture.
At the far end of the main Platzl parking area, you’ll find the Kimberley Visitor Centre. Our Visitor Centre comes equipped with an electric vehicle charging station, public washrooms, and enough insider tips to set you up for success during your stay.
Think of our “downtown” as a grid that consists of 2 intersecting streets and 1 traffic light. So, while you can get lost in your thoughts here, it’s pretty hard to lose yourself in any kind of bustle.
Let’s begin our tour by starting at the Visitor Centre. From the front doors, you have a clear view of the back of the Platzl. Enter through the West end of the Platzl, step into the Kimberley Public Library on your left, and head upstairs to find the...
1. Kimberley Heritage Museum
Embrace our spirit of discovery with a visit to the Kimberley Heritage Museum. This non-profit Museum is located on the top floor of the Kimberley Public Library and showcases local stories, historical artifacts, and a rotating feature exhibit. With over 10,000 artifacts and over 11,000 historical pictures, the Kimberley Heritage Museum is a must-see for any visitor. A small fee is required to enter the Heritage Museum, with all admissions helping to support the Kimberley District Heritage Society.
Note: while the Kimberley Heritage Museum mainly focuses on the town history from the days of the Sullivan Mine onwards, the larger history of the region can be gained by a visit to the Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre at the St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino. This is a short 20-minute drive away from Kimberley and is a great side-trip to any stay here.
2. Happy Hans Cuckoo Clock
Built in the 1970s by Bill Spence and Dick Bova, the Happy Hans Cuckoo Clock was constructed as a labour of love to help set Kimberley apart. While we have since shed our Bavarian ways, we still like to have a laugh, share a past memory, and clink beer steins with our beloved mascot, Happy Hans, every now and then. Put a loonie in the Clock to catch a glimpse of Mr. Happy Hans himself.
From the Clock, hang a left in front of the Platzl Gazebo and stroll towards the North end of the Platzl. Check out shops like Healing Hollow and Tumbled Earth along the way, or stop for a bite at Stonefire Pizzeria, Creme Cheese Shop or The Shed. Next, get ready to refresh at the….
3. Platzl Water Feature
Every saunter through the Platzl deserves a little water break. The Platzl Water Feature is a series of small fountains that operate throughout the warmer months. This feature offers kids, adults, and dogs alike a place to cool off in the heat of summer or catch some rays while cruising through the Platzl shops and restaurants. Splash in the cool water here, or grab a cone from Mark & Niki’s Snack Hut to enjoy while seated on the rock features or benches alongside the water fountains.
After stopping for a cheeky cool-off in the Platzl Water Feature, stroll through the North end of the Platzl and 70m up Deer Park Avenue to discover Kimberley’s artistic side at….
4. Centre 64
Centre 64 is our arts and culture hub here in Kimberley. It’s a place to celebrate local, fine art exhibits, live entertainment, and creative workshops for kids and adults alike. The gallery here showcases works from a variety of local and regional artists and features rotating themes throughout the year. Entry into the art gallery is free or by donation, with all donations helping to support the non-profit Centre 64 Society. For those who love art, a visit to Centre 64 is well worth the inclusion into any Kimberley itinerary.
Head back down Deer Park Ave., and turn left before re-entering the Platzl. Wander a couple of hundred meters down Howard Street for a quick rest, refresh, and view-taking at...
5. Overtime Beer Works and the Blue Stairs
Overtime Beer Works labels itself as “an honest, modest, hard-working beer, more than a bit above average,” and honestly… we couldn’t agree more. Overtime is a place where the whole family (kids and dogs included) can meet to enjoy a local brew, a cold soda, or some takeout fare. Plus, we hear the bocce pit on the outdoor patio goes great with a pint in hand.
Next to Overtime, check out one of the iconic staircases that dot Kimberley’s landscape. The “Blue Stairs” lead to Selkirk Secondary School, and also boast one of the best views of the Platzl and Kimberley Alpine Resort. Enjoy the short climb up to soak in the views, then head back down and help yourself to another pint. You deserve it.
Head left out the doors of Overtime, but don’t cross the street just yet. A few steps down the road you’ll find the...
6. Kimberley Veteran Memorial Park
What once was a former gas station, has now been converted into a beautiful green space that commemorates our veterans and their participation in the World Wars and peacekeeping missions. The Kimberley Veteran Memorial Park came to fruition in 2017 and has become a centrepiece in the community. This is a place to pause during your tour, have a seat, and soak up a little silence before reentering our vibrant Platzl.
Next, cross Wallinger Avenue to enter the East end of the Platzl. Take some time to satisfy your inner child with a trip to the local candy shop, La Lune de Chocolat Candy Shoppe, or with a stop at Treehouse Toy Co. Enjoy a little retail therapy in shops like Moody Bee and Arrow & Axe along the way before exiting the South end of the Platzl and walking through the main Platzl parking area. Head across Kimberley Ave. and get ready to refresh at the...
7. Mark Creek Flume
Mark Creek flows right alongside our downtown core and provides many a biker, hiker, or wanderer with a much-needed cool-down during the warm, summer months. Work began in 2012 to rehabilitate and naturalize the Mark Creek channel, and this town waterway has now become a favourite for locals and visitors alike. Come as you are and dip your feet into the cool waters here.
Note: You may have noticed the impressive, wooden footbridges along the creek. These bridges were crafted by local builders Tyee Homes. In 2014, Kimberley was honoured with a Community Recognition Award in acknowledgment of our log bridges. This particular award is handed out to communities that demonstrate exemplary advocacy for wood use in public structures. Can you spot the 4 different bridges around town?
Wrap up your Walking Tour with a creekside dip, or keep the good times going by wandering a little further with a few bonus stops...
8. Looking For More?
Our Platzl is a few, short steps away from other great experiences. Keep things cool and refreshing with a visit to Grist & Mash Brewery or Bohemian Spirits Distillery. Or, stick to the Platzl to spend more time in our great shops and restaurants, with visits to the Pedal & Tap, Grow, Talaria Footwear & Adornment, and The Grater Good.
Fancy a hike or bike? Grab a Trail Map from the Visitor Centre and explore our more adventurous side. Our downtown core is a short walk or bike-ride away from access into the Kimberley Nature Park, the Lois Creek Trails, or the Rails To Trails. Each of these trail networks offers opportunities to stroll, ride, or glide a little further into our big and beautiful backyard.
Just outside of the Platzl you’ll also find favourite attractions like Kimberley’s Underground Mining Railway, Kootenay Rafting Co. and Kimberley Fly Fishing. These 3 activity providers deliver unique and memorable experiences that make any vacation here extra special and full of fun.