Whistler is a small resort community located an hour and half drive north of Vancouver, British Columbia.  Known as a world class winter resort and host to the alpine and Nordic events for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics it is a destination not to be missed on a trip to the Pacific Coast of Canada.  With its pedestrian only village and majestic peaks soaring above, it is picturesque not only in winter but all other seasons of the year.  Not a typical tourist destination with many sights and historical monuments to see, Whistler is more about the experiences partaken in while staying here. 

Things you MUST see/do:

Shannon Falls – Located on the beautiful Sea to Sky Highway in Squamish, B.C., Shannon Falls is approximately an hours’ drive north of Vancouver.  Depending on the time of year, it may be partially frozen, or teeming with more water than is imaginable.  At an impressive 335 metres (1099 ft.) tall, the water cascades from above in a jaw dropping waterfall.

Squamish Chief – Towering over the city of Squamish only about 40 minutes south of Whistler, B.C. is the Squamish Chief.  With its sheer rock face, it is a rock climber’s challenge and if you look carefully at the front face you may see climbers on the mountain.  There is also a steep hiking trail up the back of the Chief that goes to the top of this rock formation.  The average hiker can reach the top in about 2-3 hours but it is like being on a stair climber for the entire time.  However, it is well worth the journey because of the spectacular views of Howe Sound and the valley below.

Lost Lake – Although no longer lost and now reachable by road, not long ago it was only able to be reached by foot.  A small lake that is popular in the summer for those wishing to cool off in its waters or sun tan on its beaches.  In the winter, it is a popular place to snowshoe or cross country ski around. 

The Village – Whistler’s famous pedestrian only village was modelled after a European ski village and is a great place to wander, browse the shops and grab a delicious bite of food on one of the patios.  Find a spot somewhere along the stroll, as this is a great area to people watch.

Ski/Snowboard – With two world class mountains at the doorstep, Whistler and its mountains are a winter sport lover’s paradise.  Make sure to spend time on both mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, as they both offer different experiences.  On Whistler, be sure to not miss a ride up the Peak Chair for staggering views of the Coast Mountains and Black Tusk jutting majestically into the sky.  On Blackcomb, head over to 7th Heaven for views of Whistler Mountain and its “musical” bowls.

Travels4Couples highly recommended EXPERIENCES:

Peak to Peak Gondola – This engineering feat connects the Roundhouse Lodge of Whistler Mountain to the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain.  The gondola crosses a span of 4.4 km (2.73 miles) from station to station and is supported by only 4 towers.   At its highest point above ground, it is 436 m (1427 ft.) above the valley bottom.  Not for the faint of heart, it gives amazing views of both mountain resorts and the valley.  For the daredevils, take the glass bottom gondolas across for an added thrill.

Après ski – Whether a skier or snowboarder or not, take time to enjoy the atmosphere that is created upon the end of a great day on the mountains.  Grab a table, a drink and some appetizers and enjoy the celebration of a day spent in the glorious outdoors in Whistler.  This tradition also takes place in the off-season, although a little tamed down; it is still a good time and a great place to people watch.  Popular spots include the Longhorn Saloon, the Garibaldi Lift Company, the Dubh Linn Gate and Merlin’s Bar and Grill.  For a more local experience head to Dusty’s Bar and BBQ on Creekside, this is our favourite hangout after a day on the slopes. 

Snowshoeing/Cross-Country Skiing – With many trails around the village and at the Callaghan Valley, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are very popular in Whistler.  Rentals are easily obtained in the village at numerous shops or at the trails’ head. 

Whistler Sliding Centre – For thrill seekers, head to the bobsled track at the sliding centre.  Located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain and offers guest a chance to slide down a portion of the Olympic track.

Ziplining – If you enjoy high speeds while hanging from a cable high above the ground, head to Ziptrek Ecotours in Whistler for their ziplining experience.   Tours include 10 ziplines and 9 tree top aerial bridges.

Whistler Mountain Bike Park – Whistler Mountain becomes inundated with mountain bikers the minute the snow melts.  Adrenaline junkies head to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park to take advantage of the many trails from cruisers to steep single track for downhillers.  To maximize rider’s time, the chairlift is used to bring riders and bikes to the tops of the trails.

Food – Whistler is a culinary delight.  With countless five star restaurants, cozy pubs and quaint eateries, the decision will not be easy.  Restaurants we recommend include The Brewhouse, Crepe Montagne, the Dubh Linn Gate, the Mongolie Grill, Splitz Grill, La Brasserie, and Bavaria Restaurant.  If you are up the mountains during the winter season, we also highly recommend the Belgian waffles at the Crystal Hut on Blackcomb Mountain and the cinnamon buns at Chickpea on Whistler Mountain.

Travels4Couples #1 ROMANTIC thing to do in Whistler

Fondue Dinner at Crystal Hut on Blackcomb Mountain – Take a snowcat or snowmobile with Canadian Snowmobile Adventures to the Crystal Hut located at 6000 ft. on Blackcomb Mountain.  This is the ultimate romantic dinner nestled amongst the snow-capped trees overlooking the sparkling valley below.


More articles on British Columbia:

Memories of the 2010 Olympics…a change in Canadian pride

7 Great Wineries to visit in the Okanagan