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Things to Do Whistler

No Skis (or Boards) Required

For a perfect day off the slopes, try one—or all—of these activities. There’s snow much fun to be had!

By HANNAH POAROS-MCDERMOTT

Jan. 2019

Five thousand twinkling lights illuminate nearly 300 trees in Whistler Village (Photo by Mike Crane courtesy Tourism Whistler)

Peak Perspectives

Ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola on a dizzying 4.4-km (2.7-mi) journey between Whistler and Blackcomb. Feeling adventurous? Catch the extraordinary glass-bottomed gondola and peek down at the powder-covered alpine fairyland 436 m (1,430 ft) below.

Organic Oasis

Need to chill out? Soak up magical mountain views from a rooftop hot tub at The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge. There are a plethora of tranquil treatments on offer, too: hydrafacials, massages, body scrubs, manicures and more. 

Glide to Gold

Put your skating skills to the test on the outdoor ice rink at Whistler Olympic Plaza. With free admission, $6 skate rentals and an Olympic-ring backdrop, it’s a frosty family favourite all winter long.

Indoor Discoveries

Escape the freezing temperatures outside with a visit to the inspiring and interactive exhibits at the Whistler Museum. Snap a selfie with a real Olympic torch, marvel at the original gondola, and learn fascinating facts about the resident black bears.

Ready, Set, Go!

Challenge your friends to a playful, giggle-inducing race at Whistler Olympic Park in the picturesque Callaghan Valley, where you can whiz down the sledding hill on a saucer or toboggan. 

Glow in the Dark

Looking for some extra sparkle? Go for a snowy stroll in Whistler Village, where 5,000 strings of colourful, twinkling lights—that’s 350,000 LED bulbs—illuminate nearly 300 trees.

25 Things We Love About Whistler

Especially in Wintertime

By SHERI RADFORD

Dec. 2019

Nothing says “top of the world” like the stunning views from Whistler Blackcomb’s world-class ski runs (Photo by Vince Edmond courtesy Tourism Whistler)

1. Hitting the slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb for an epic day of skiing.

(more…)

Mountain Magic: Vallea Lumina

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
June 2019

At Vallea Lumina (Jun. 7 to Oct. 13), a nighttime walk in the woods isn’t eerie—it’s enchanting. Located on Cougar Mountain, this immersive after-dark experience transforms the old-growth forest into a magical trail, where the trees talk and campfires come to life. The after-dark alchemy is another of The Adventure Group’s memorable offerings, although they had a little help from Montreal-based Moment Factory, a multimedia studio that’s collaborated on everything from Cirque du Soleil to Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show.

Visitors to this interactive light-and-sound display are first sworn in as rangers, tasked with finding two hikers who mysteriously disappeared into the woods. Follow their trail deeper into the forest, and take note as it transforms, becoming more ethereal with every step. The 1.5-km (0.8-mi) trail takes about an hour to complete—it all depends on how much ooh-ing and ahh-ing you do along the way. And to make the trek even easier, a free shuttle operates from Whistler. Let the magic begin.

Summer Adventures Unleashed

Awesome outdoor activities for every type of traveller

By CHLOË LAI
June 2019

Sometimes, the best place to kick off the journey to inner peace is a deserted dock on a mountain lake (Photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

The Laid-Back Explorer

Every inch of Whistler is packed with showstopping views, but some vantage points are extra awe-inspiring. Lace up those walking shoes to explore the Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk, home to postcard-worthy backdrops such as the inukshuk (a stone figure traditionally used by the Inuit) and Black Tusk. Or step into an iconic red gondola at the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak for 360-degree views of, well, everything. (Pro tip: catch the glass-bottomed gondola.) Want to soak up scenery, serenity and sunshine all at once?  Unroll your yoga mat at one of the many local parks for solo asanas, or call Whistler Eco Tours for group classes at picturesque Alta Lake—on stand-up paddleboards, no less. (more…)

Fun & Frugal in Whistler

By CHLOË LAI
Mar. 2019

Sledding at Whistler Olympic Plaza (Photo by Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

It doesn’t take much to have a great time in Whistler: this winter wonderland is packed with wallet-friendly fun for all. Hop aboard the free Village Shuttle and get off at Olympic Plaza to skate on the outdoor rink, let kiddos play in the sledding area and pose for souvenir snaps with the Olympic rings. Stick around for family-friendly après activities, or head to Skier’s Plaza for the Fire and Ice Show, where skilled skiers and snowboarders soar, twist and flip through flaming hoops. Visit www.whistler.ca to download a self-guided podcast tour of Whistler Village, or a map that points out spectacular public art pieces. The best things in life really are free.

Deep Roots: First Nations Art in Whistler

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Aug. 2018

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler

Whistler Mountain officially opened in 1966, but its history goes back much further—thousands of years, in fact. Explore the area’s roots at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (pictured). Here, hand-carved canoes, baskets, art and First Nations–inspired fare are complemented by traditional drumming and storytelling. Next, visit the Audain Art Museum for the incredible collection of First Nations art, both historical and contemporary. And just across from the museum, spot “A Timeless Circle” by Coast Salish artist Susan Point. First carved in cedar, then cast in bronze, each of the 86 faces is unique—a celebration of diversity.

 

Summer Days in Squamish

Indulge an appetite for adventure—or fresh local fare—in the town of Squamish

By SHERI RADFORD
Jul. 2018

Al’s Habrich Ridge Trail starts at the Sea to Sky Gondola and rises into the backcountry, offering breathtaking views of the mountains, Howe Sound and the town of Squamish (Photo by Paul Bride)

See & Do

Just an hour’s drive from Whistler, Squamish has a well-earned reputation as the outdoor recreation capital of Canada. Visit the Squamish Adventure Centre to get oriented, then leave the city behind and venture into the great outdoors. (more…)

Bold & Beautiful: Audain Art Museum

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

“The Dance Screen (The Scream Too)” by James Hart (Photo by Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

Amazing architecture, history and natural wonders—oh yes, and inspiring art—can all be found at the Audain Art Museum. On the walls: Michael Audain’s stunning private collection, which highlights the philanthropist’s profound fascination with BC art from the past 200 years. See Emily Carr’s exquisite landscapes, contemporary photographs by Rodney Graham, and rare First Nations art, including James Hart’s monumental “The Dance Screen (The Scream Too)” (pictured). Even the building itself is noteworthy, designed to defer to, rather than dominate, the natural surroundings. Consider it a cultural tour de force.

By the Numbers: Mountain Biking

Mountain biking has picked up speed in Whistler, and there’s little wonder why: the terrain and trail systems are some of North America’s most epic

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Jun. 2018

Adrenaline-seekers of all ages tackle the trails in Whistler Mountain Bike Park (Photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

1

When it comes to terrain, Whistler Mountain Bike Park comes out on top—the alpine playground boasts more than any other bike park in North America.

70

The bike park has 70 trails serviced by five lifts, and in 2018, the Creekside expansion will add another five trails to the already impressive line-up. (more…)

15 Things to Love About Summer in Whistler

Fall head over heels for summer activities, from sunny skydiving to serene spa retreats

By CHLOË LAI
Jun. 2018

Peak to Peak gondola (Photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

1. Snapping photos of local bears—from a safe distance, of course—on a wildlife viewing tour.

2. Sabering a bottle of champagne at Bearfoot Bistro.

3. Ooh-ing and aah-ing over the incredible views from the world-record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola. (more…)

Get Crafty: Locally Distilled Spirits

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
May 2018

Toast your travels with Schramm Gin from Pemberton Distillery

Would you like to take your time in Whistler and bottle it? Then save suitcase space for small-batch spirits with local flavour. At Gillespie’s Fine Spirits, savour tipples such as Sin Gin with its locally foraged botanicals, and Raspberry Gin that’s crafted with BC berries. Pemberton Distillery is famed for the award-winning Schramm Vodka—made from potatoes sourced from just down the road—as well as more creative options like the Barrel-Aged Apple Brandy that boasts BC-based fruit. Now that’s souvenir-savvy.

Cultural Connector: a Self-Guided Tour of Art in Whistler

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Feb. 2018

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. (Photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Excited to explore Whistler’s art scene? If you’re on the Cultural Connector, you’re on the right path. This scenic walking route links six of the resort’s coolest cultural venues: the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Audain Art Museum, Whistler Public Library, Whistler Museum, Maury Young Arts Centre and Lost Lake PassivHaus. Along the way, discover public art like Susan Point’s “Timeless Circle,” plus local lore and points of interest. Pick up a map from the Whistler Visitor Centre (page 39) or one of the six venues to embark on a self-guided tour. Art admirers, lace up your walking shoes.