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Whistler

Eco-friendly Tips for Tourists

By CHLOË LAI

Enjoy the best of Whistler by bike. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Enjoy the best of Whistler by bike. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Countless travellers have fallen for Whistler’s natural good looks—here are some ways to keep it lush by making your visit environmentally friendly: Make the most of that fresh mountain air by walking or cycling everywhere. Check bin labels to see whether items are compostable or recyclable before putting them in the trash. Carry reusable water bottles and shopping bags so you can sip glacier-fed tap water while loading up on locally designed souvenirs. And come back soon, because visitors like you are part of what makes Whistler beautiful.

Art: Whimsical World

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"The Wind and the Water", by Dana Irving.

“The Wind and the Water”, by Dana Irving.

The wild West Coast gets a dash of whimsy in the hands of landscape artist Dana Irving. The artist’s playful, minimalist world has been described as a blend of Emily Carr and Dr. Seuss, and includes works such as “The Wind and the Water” (pictured). Irving captures the Pacific Northwest’s towering peaks and treetops—and everything in-between—in bold, stylized pieces that celebrate a spiritual connection with nature. Explore her great outdoors at Adele Campbell Fine Art Gallery.

On a High Note

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Treetop Adventure Course is not your average walk in the woods.

The Treetop Adventure Course is not your average walk in the woods.

Trekking through the treetops isn’t just for Tarzan anymore. Now, regular Joes and Janes can have a ball in the branches as they swing, scamper, climb and zip through 70 different aerial obstacles, some as high as 18 m (60 ft). Even little canopy climbers can test their balance on the kids’ course. Learn the ropes—and maybe even thump your chest a little—on the Treetop Adventure Course.

Take a Hike

By SHERI RADFORD

Spectacular scenery awaits you in Whistler, BC. (Photo: Mitch Winton/Coast Mountain Photography and Whistler Blackcomb)

Spectacular scenery awaits you in Whistler, BC. (Photo: Mitch Winton/Coast Mountain Photography and Whistler Blackcomb)

Whether you’re a rambling rambler or a hard-core hiker or somewhere in-between, you’ll find the right route here. The 40-km (25-mi) Valley Trail, which is paved but non-motorized, connects all of Whistler’s parks, lakes and neighbourhoods, from Cheakamus River to Creekside to Green Lake. The trails around Lost Lake are ideal for a leisurely stroll, even with a baby stroller in tow. Seeking more adventure? Head for the hills—Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, that is, where the lift-accessed alpine hiking trails range from the easy Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk to the advanced Alpine Walk to Overlord Trail to Decker Loop on Blackcomb. Lace up those hiking boots and get moving.

Best for Brunch

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Start your day off right at Fergie's Cafe. (Photo: Darby Magill)

Start your day off right at Fergie’s Cafe. (Photo: Darby Magill)

In Whistler, brunch is mountain-activity fuel and a reason to drink mimosas before noon, all rolled into one. Start the day at Wild Wood Pacific Bistro, where nine varieties of eggs Benny (try the sampler plate) and legendary banana bread French toast are on offer. Cheeky Southside Diner serves favourites like the big-ass pancake—go ahead, add chocolate chips—and breakfast poutine. For brunch en français, head to Crêpe Montagne for a delectable array of sweet and savoury crepes. A gem along the Sea-to-Sky for homemade fare, Fergie’s Cafe (pictured) regularly packs its teeny interior with brunch-goers who spill out onto the lawn. Brunch bliss, found.

Recipe for Revelry at Bearfoot Bistro

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Memorable meals await at Bearfoot Bistro.

Memorable meals await at Bearfoot Bistro.

Bearfoot Bistro—one part culinary amusement park, one part fine-dining fixture—is the kind of place foodies write home about, thanks to its 20,000-bottle wine cellar, ice-encased vodka tasting room and palm tree–studded patio. Here it’s possible to sabre a bottle of champagne, don a parka to sip sub-zero spirits and indulge in three- or five-course tasting menus, all in one elegant evening. Now that’s a wild ride.

More Than Skiing in Whistler

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The resort town of Whistler, B.C. has a well-deserved reputation as one of the world’s premier winter destinations. It’s got some of the best alpine skiing in the western hemisphere, supported by excellent infrastructure and as many modern amenities as you could ask for. But Whistler’s just as amazing without snow, too. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or just some time to unwind, there’s something for everyone.

WHISTLER FOR THRILL SEEKERS
Though you won’t be shushing down Whistler’s famed slopes in the summer, there’s still a ton of awesome action in the mountains. A ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is a must-do for most first-timers: It spans 4.4 kilometres between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains and provides a breathtaking view of the snow-capped summits and surrounding rainforests, glaciers and valleys. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to see the sights al fresco, two highly regarded zipline operators offer a variety of exhilarating tours through the treetops. And even more scenic, airborne excitement can be had with a 50-metre bungee jump from a bridge above the Cheakamus River, surrounded by basalt cliffs and old-growth forest.

Of course, the adrenaline-fueled highs aren’t only found at altitude. The glacier-fed rivers that snake through the Whistler region are great for paddling, and whether you prefer the roaring rapids of the Elaho or the gentle roll of the Cheakamus, the Squamish Rafting Co. offers excursions that…

WHISTLER FOR ART LOVERS
One of Whistler’s newest attractions is the Audain Art Museum. Opened just last year, the beautiful building sits seamlessly within a stand of spruce trees. Inside, its light-filled galleries house an unparalleled assemblage of indigenous masks, an impressive set of Emily Carr paintings and much more.

Like what you see at the Audain? Whistler’s many commercial galleries boast exceptional Aboriginal artworks that you can bring back to your own home. Among them, Black Tusk Gallery features works by artists of British Columbia’s northwest coast, while The Crystal Lodge Art Gallery specializes in contemporary interpretations of Coast Mountains scenery, and at Fathom Stone Art you’ll find animals and other figures carved from marble, jade, serpentine, limestone, quartz, brucite, soapstone, granite, barite and other stone types from B.C. and southeastern Alaska.

And save a few hours for a visit to the Squamish-Lil’Wat Cultural Centre, where you can engage with the history and culture of the centre’s namesake indigenous nations. The Great Hall’s 12-metre-long Salish hunting canoe is a highlight: It’s still paddled every year in Howe Sound to preserve the canoe’s spirit.

WHISTLER FOR FOODIES
Whistler has always been a restaurant village; the food here is better (and there’s more of it) than in many much larger cities. The heights of culinary excellence are most notably scaled on the mountains themselves: Christine’s, perched at 1,860 metres on Blackcomb Peak, has made its name serving fresh, wild-caught fish, free-range meat and seasonal, local produce in a contemporary chalet-style space with panoramic views. In town, chef Melissa Craig’s Bearfoot Bistro is notable not only for its contemporary Pacific Northwest food, but also its beverage program: There’s a 20,000-bottle wine cellar, champagne bar, and the world’s coldest vodka tasting room, with more than 50 varieties of the spirit to sample. Seeking something a little less extravagant? Sushi Village has been holding its own with Vancouver’s famed Japanese restaurants for more than 30 years.

WHISTLER FOR UNWINDING
Few activities put the mind at ease more readily than a good hike—and Whistler has some of the best in Canada. More than 50 kilometres of trails ranging in length and challenge can be accessed by the resort’s various chairlifts and gondolas. Whether you choose and easy, intermediate or advanced trek, you’ll be treated to a bounteous mountain landscape of old-growth forests, glacier-fed lakes and unforgettable scenic vistas.

Following your hike, spend some time at Scandinave Spa, a Nordic-style collection of hot and cold pools, saunas and solariums located just north of the village beside Lost Lake. Partaking in the hydrotherapy circuit has many benefits, including helping to increase blood flow to your muscles and flushing toxins from the body.

The Green Scene

By SHERI RADFORD

Watch the sun come up over Alta Lake, at Rainbow Park. (Photo: Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

Watch the sun come up over Alta Lake, at Rainbow Park. (Photo: Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

Want to experience the great outdoors? There’s a lot of it to choose from here. Rainbow Park (pictured) and Lost Lake Park are two popular summertime destinations for sunbathing, swimming, picnics, alfresco yoga and impromptu wedding proposals. Located on Alta Lake, which looks especially magnificent at sunrise, Rainbow Park has beach volleyball nets and an off-leash area for dogs. Lost Lake Park, on tranquil and secluded Lost Lake, has a sandy beach and extensive hiking and biking trails. This summer, there’s one more reason to plan an outing: every day from Jul. 1 to Sep. 4, a food truck is visiting each of the two parks. The great outdoors just got a little greater.

Golfer’s Paradise: Time for Tee

By SHERI RADFORD

Take a swing at the great outdoors, at Whistler Golf Club. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Take a swing at the great outdoors, at Whistler Golf Club. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

If you’re keen to hit the greens, Whistler is happy to oblige. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and carved into the side of Blackcomb Mountain, Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club boasts breathtaking views of the valley. On the picturesque shores of Green Lake, Nicklaus North Golf Course is one of just a few courses in the world that bears Jack Nicklaus’s name. A few minutes’ walk from the Village, the Arnold Palmer–designed Whistler Golf Club (pictured) has nine lakes, two creeks, stunning mountain views—and the occasional bear sighting. Further afield, Furry Creek Golf and Country Club, Big Sky Golf and Country Club and Squamish Valley Golf Club all offer carefully crafted courses with unparalleled West Coast views. Fore!

Welcome to Whistler Farmers’ Market

By SHERI RADFORD

There's something for everyone at the Whistler Farmers' Market. (Photo: Chad Chomlack/Tourism Whistler)

There’s something for everyone at the Whistler Farmers’ Market. (Photo: Chad Chomlack/Tourism Whistler)

Think the Whistler Farmers’ Market is just for locals? Think again. Running from Jun. 18 to Oct. 8, this popular outdoor marketplace offers a lot more than just fresh produce. While browsing for handcrafted jewellery, clothing and souvenirs, you can sample artisan foods, watch cooking demonstrations, listen to live music, get the kids’ faces painted—and, of course, buy fresh produce, grown nearby in the Pemberton Valley.

Ask an Insider

Whistler’s concierges dish on their favourite eateries

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Show-stopping charcuterie at Basalt. (Photo: Brad K)

Show-stopping charcuterie at Basalt. (Photo: Brad K)

HIDDEN GEM

Tucked away in quiet Creekside, Red Door Bistro packs in locals for French cuisine with a West Coast twist. Out-of-the-way Alta Bistro delights diners with sustainable farm-to-fork fare in an intimate space. At Basalt, the volcanic-rock bar and hand-crank meat slicer catch the eye, but it’s the charcuterie and seasonal dishes that steal the show. Read more…

In Your Element

For those who love the river, the road or the sky—or all three—adventure awaits

By CHLOË LAI

Even beginners can handle white water rapids on the Elaho River. (Photo courtesy Sunwolf)

Even beginners can handle white water rapids on the Elaho River. (Photo courtesy Sunwolf)

Make a Splash

Whistler’s rivers and lakes are icy, but the action is hot. Thrill-seeking travellers and fun-loving families put their paddling power to the test by rafting through glacier-fed white water rapids with Sunwolf. With adventures for every ability level, from the roaring Elaho to the gently rolling Cheakamus River, there are plenty of opportunities to get your feet—and everything else—wet. Those looking for a more meditative experience can head over to Backroads Whistler and glide gently down the River of Golden Dreams in a canoe or kayak, with fresh air courtesy of the old-growth forest. Drift solo, or go with a guide to discover the stories behind every landmark. Read more…