Trip Ideas

Whistler Vacation

Summer in Whistler? Absolutely. At North America’s favourite mountain resort the outdoor fun runs year round. When the temperature rises, gears shift from snow sports to hiking, canoeing, golfing, and biking, plus shopping, spa-going, dining and just soaking up Whistler’s awesome alpine vibe. 


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MAP LEGEND
  1. Peak 2 Peak gondola
  2. Whistler Mountain Bike Park
  3. Whistler Village
  4. Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre

Hiking

Hiking in Whistler. Photo Credit: Paul Morrison

Lace up your boots and head for the alpine. To get there, soar like an eagle on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. This engineering marvel links Blackcomb and Whistler mountains, offering an awe-inspiring ride across the valley. For an additional thrill, try to grab a silver gondola with a glass-bottomed floor. At the top, explore more than 50km/30mi of alpine hiking trails and just try to keep your jaw from dropping on the High Note trail (think wildflowers, snow peaks and turquoise lakes).

Canoeing

Canoe on the serene waters of Alta Lake and be wowed by the spectacular views of mountains and glaciers. Or, paddle along the River of Golden Dreams, a short and relaxing canoe trip where wildlife abounds. Backroads Whistler rent you all the gear, and even provide guides.

Insiders’ tips

  1. Join a local artist on an Art and Heritage walking tour; you’ll learn about the area’s history and visit some offbeat venues hosting art around town.
  2. Try bobsledding or skeleton at the Whistler Sliding Centre, the site of the sliding events at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
  3. Between May and September you can try the Whistler Trifecta, a one-day multi-sport challenge that starts golf, then goes to glacier skiing, and finishes with freeriding at Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
  4. Enjoy live music, local produce, artisan food, handmade works and fun kids’ activities at the Whistler Farmers’ Market which runs on Sundays from June to October on the Upper Village Market Stroll.
  5. Some of the best things in Whistler are free, including Frisbee disc golf at Lost Lake, free golf for kids at village courses, and free movies and concerts at Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Whistler Golf Courses

Nicklaus North Golf Course, Whistler. Photo Credit: Tourism Whistler / John Henebry

Strike a ball in a striking setting in a mountain golf nirvana. Four outstanding courses – Whistler Golf Club, Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club, Nicklaus North Golf Course and Big Sky Golf and Country Club – all offer world-class golf against stunning mountain backdrops.

Bike Park and Ziplining

Summer sees locals and visitors trading in skis for a bike in Whistler and hitting the single track at the resort’s bike park, one of the best in the world.  For more adrenaline, join Ziptrek or The Adventure Group to zipline high above lush, old-growth forests and across canyons at speeds of up to 80kph/50 mph.

Shopping and Culture

Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre. Photo Credit: Gary Fiegehen/SLCC

Stroll your day away in Whistler Village. Find everything from hand-crafted jewellery to original art and high-end fashion in the European-styled village. Top spots include Ruby Tuesday (for jewellery and accessories), Evolution (for ski, skate, bike and snowboard fashion) and the Blake Jorgenson Gallery (for beautiful outdoor adventure photography).

For insight into Whistler’s ancient cultures, join the story at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. This striking building, home to a museum and art gallery, evokes both a Squamish longhouse and a Lil'wat istken (earthen pithouse dwelling). Here’s a tip: the salmon and bannock at the on-site café is one of Whistler’s best values.

Whistler Spas

Soak up the mountain and forest scenery from the outdoor pools and waterfalls at the Scandinave Spa, a unique outdoor spa, or try a treatment with clay harvested from nearby glacial lakes at The Spa at Four Seasons.  For something even more exotic, visit the Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa, North America’s only authentic Javanese spa.

 

Restaurants and Pubs

Araxi Restaurant. Photo Credit: Canadian Tourism Commission

With more than 90 restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars in town, Whistler diners are spoilt for choice. Give your palate a “black diamond” run at one of Whistler’s many award-winning restaurants, or test-drive some of Whistler’s finest establishments with Whistler Tasting Tours. Places to try include:

  1. Creekbread (on Highway 99 by the Creekside Market): Natural pizza baked in a wood-fired oven. The homemade sausage pizza is tops.
  2. Lift Coffee Company (three locations): Eggs benedict, paninis and breakfast burritos.
  3. Bearfoot Bistro (Whistler Village): An iconic Whistler dining experience featuring modern Canadian cuisine – and one of the finest wine cellars and Champagne collections in North America.
  4. Araxi (Whistler Village): Fresh Pacific seafood, local meats and ingredients from the nearby Pemberton Valley. The internationally acclaimed restaurant has a constantly evolving menu that reflects the seasons.
  5. Relax on a sun-warmed patio in the village (try The Longhorn Saloon & Grill) and people watch. When evening comes, stop by Buffalo Bills or the Garibaldi Lift Company – Whistler’s night life is legendary.

 

Accommodation

Looking for accommodation in the heart of Whistler? Delta Whistler Village Suites offers the convenience of restaurants, nightclubs and shops nearby.

Located at the entrance to Whistler Village, Aava Whistler Hotel boasts affordable rates and on-site dining at White Spot restaurant, a BC institution. Or book a room at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, a mountainside resort complete with a spa and golf course.

 

Transportation

The two hour trip along the legendary Sea-to-Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler is one of the most scenic drives in the province. Cool stops en route include the Britannia Mine Museum, Shannon Falls (third highest in BC) and the West Coast Railway Heritage Park. Of course, the road is famous for its scenery; watch for pullouts along the route to take advantage of some of the finest ocean, river and mountain views.

Or, take the slow route to Whistler on the Rocky Mountaineer Whistler Sea to Sky Climb train; it leaves from North Vancouver daily from May to September. Another scenic summer option is to fly: Whistler Air can whisk you from downtown Vancouver to Whistler’s Green Lake in about 30 minutes. Even better, combine the train and plane for an unforgettable round trip. Once in Whistler, it’s easy to get around by foot, bus or bike.