Whistler, nestled in the picturesque landscape of British Columbia, just 120 kilometers north of Vancouver, is a year-round paradise for adventure seekers. Whether you're exploring lush alpine woods and pristine lakes in summer or diving into a snow-covered wonderland in winter, Whistler caters to visitors from across the globe. Renowned for its extensive skiable terrain, accessible location, and a wide range of activities, Whistler stands as one of Canada's premier ski destinations.
Where to stay in Whistler
Whistler boasts two iconic ski resorts, Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb, along with three distinct neighborhoods for visitors to choose from. Whether you opt for Creekside, Upper Village, Benchlands, or Whistler Village, each area offers its unique charm and amenities, catering to various preferences for your snow holiday. From ski-in, ski-out hotels to budget-friendly options and luxury resorts, Whistler provides a range of accommodations to suit every traveler. Don't miss the vibrant Village Stroll for post-ski relaxation and entertainment.
Where to ski in Whistler
Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb, side by side, create a sprawling skiable area spanning 8,171 acres, connected by a remarkable peak-to-peak gondola. North America's largest skiable region, Whistler Blackcomb boasts over 240 runs, 37 lifts, and five terrain parks suitable for all skill levels. What's more, the peak-to-peak gondola is accessible on foot, allowing non-skiers to revel in breathtaking summit views. Whistler's winter season, typically from late November to late March, delights with an average annual snowfall of nearly 12 meters at the peak and 4.3 meters in the village. The months from January to March usually see the highest snowfall. Mild winter temperatures compared to other Canadian ski resorts make Whistler an excellent choice for those new to winter adventures. Long runs, some stretching up to 11 kilometers, guarantee a satisfying leg workout. Best of all, Whistler and Blackcomb are accessible with a single lift pass, giving you the freedom to explore extensive terrain during your snow holiday.
How to get to Whistler
Your journey begins at Vancouver International Airport in British Columbia, Canada. From there, it's approximately a 1.5-hour drive to Whistler Blackcomb. Choose from shared or private shuttle services or opt to rent a car for more flexibility in your travel.
Getting Around Whistler
Whistler offers free winter shuttle services that conveniently connect major attractions and ski lifts. Depending on your accommodation choice, you'll find restaurants, bars, and shops within walking distance, and many hotels provide these amenities on-site.
Top things to do in Whistler in Winter
While skiing and snowboarding take the centre stage, Whistler offers a plethora of activities to enhance your visit. Thrill-seekers can partake in cat skiing, ziplining, heli-skiing, dog sledding, and snowmobiling. For a unique experience, visit the Whistler Sliding Centre and test your skills on a bobsleigh. Whistler caters to families, with options like horse and sleigh rides, ice-skating, and tubing. At night, immerse yourself in the magic of Vallea Lumina, an illuminated forest walk suitable for all ages. Don't miss the Fire & Ice shows at Whistler Plaza on Sunday evenings, featuring skiers and snowboarders performing tricks through flaming rings of fire. Plus, there are excellent ski schools and child-minding facilities for parents to enjoy their time on the slopes. For those seeking relaxation, the outdoor Nordic-inspired baths at the Scandanave Spa are a must-visit to soothe tired muscles. Whistler also offers fantastic shopping, from high-end boutiques and unique gift shops to renowned snow sports brands and department stores. Enthusiastic skiers and snowboarders can optimize their time with the Fresh Tracks program, allowing early access to the slopes and a hearty buffet breakfast at the Roundhouse Lodge, beating the crowds for the freshest snow.
Whistler Destination Tips
Best Après in Whistler: Whistler Village buzzes with activity, offering après options to suit all budgets and musical tastes. The Longhorn Saloon, with its country feel and an expansive outdoor patio, is an institution. Merlin's, located at the base of the Wizard chairlift, is known for its famous nachos and lively atmosphere. The GLC (Garibaldi Lift Company) offers cold drinks, live music, and an exciting atmosphere. For a more relaxed après experience, visit Cinnamon Bear Bar or dance the night away at Garfinkles, the town's largest nightclub.
Best Restaurants in Whistler: Whistler boasts a diverse range of dining options, from budget-friendly deals to exquisite fine dining. El Furniture Warehouse offers affordable meals and great music. Crystal Lounge, under the Crystal Lodge, features daily meal deals, extended happy hours, and excellent wings. For delectable wood-fired pizza, Pizzeria Antico is a top choice. Japanese cuisine enthusiasts will love Sushi Village, with fresh dishes and sake margaritas. Fine dining options like Rim Rock and Barefoot Bistro provide a high-quality culinary experience, with exceptional seafood, venison, and an extensive wine selection.
Note: These recommendations are based on our ski experts' perspective. If you have a favourite option to add, please let us know!
Whistler Destination Tips:
Whistler is one of Canada's most popular ski resorts, so it's probably no surprise that locals from close-by often visit for weekends at the snow. If you are trying to avoid lift lines we highly recommend skiing mid-week and then using weekends to experience off-mountain activities or relaxing. Another awesome option to beat the crowds is Whistlers 'Fresh Tracks' program, which allows the first 650 people access to the Whistler Blackcomb before the lifts open to everyone else. Tickets can be pre-purchased and then you take the Gondola between 7:15am and 8am to the Roadhouse Lodge for breakfast before hitting the slopes. Make sure to arrive early to avoid missing out.
If you are not a skier or snowboarder, Whistler still has plenty of activities to enjoy including a ride on the Peak2Peak Gondola. This record-breaking Gondola travels 4.4km and is the highest of it's kind. Enjoy breathtaking views from the top, without worrying about having to ski back down.
Another awesome must-do activity is the mountain-top Fondue Dinner at Crystal Hut, take a snowmobile or snowcat to the top of the mountain and then indulge in a fondue overlooking Whistler.