10 Reasons to Visit Whistler
A crown jewel of North American mountain towns, Whistler, British Columbia, has a sense of style—and self—that has warmed and welcomed the world.
Still basking in the glow of hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Whistler, British Columbia’s stunning beauty, its wild authenticity and its welcoming spirit are an in-crowd secret no more. But with all that space, and all that fun, there’s more than enough to share. Here are some suggestions on how to dial in an absolutely incredible experience when you’re there.
Drive the Sea to Sky Highway
If you are arriving by car, your vacation begins when the drive up to Whistler starts. From the multicultural bustle of downtown Vancouver, the tree-covered canopy of Stanley Park and the mountains rising from the bay as you head north on the Sea to Sky Highway are all unforgettable sights.
Ski in the Tracks of Greatness
For two weeks in February 2010, the greatest winter athletes in the world gathered at Whistler, and the courses that propelled them to Olympic gold are still waiting for you to share. Drop like a World Cup racer down the steep but well-groomed face of the Dave Murray Downhill into Creekside, the horseshoe finish where the crowds stood and cheered. Or take an exhilarating walking tour of The Whistler Sliding Centre, where bobsledding hits the overdrive gear.
Attain New Heights With Peak 2 Peak
Peak 2 Peak, an airborne shuttle bus between the two legendary mountains of Blackcomb and Whistler, is a must-ride gondola for anyone, whether in their ski boots or their street shoes. The 4.4-kilometre trip offers breathtaking views, 436 metres above the valley floor, a record for this kind of lift.
Skiing and Snowboarding Favourites
Alone, Whistler and Blackcomb are two of the greatest mountains in the world. Together, they can hardly be described in words. Accomplished snowboarders love Whistler’s Harmony and Symphony chairs and those cascading open bowls. While hard-core skiers at Blackcomb quickly hike to the steeps of Spanky’s Ladder or open fields of Blackcomb Glacier. Both have groomers, terrain parks and comfortable “down the mountain” gondolas to spare.
Watch the World’s Best at Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival
An action sports extravaganza of films, photography, big-air competitions and open-air concerts, the Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival is an annual celebration of outdoor winter adventure (April 15–24, 2011).
Restaurants: From Italy to the Pacific Northwest
From top Italian restaurants such as Quattro and the hard-to-find Pasta Lupino, to the culinary temple of Araxi, with its emphasis on ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, and Crepe Montagne with its delicious wild salmon benedict, Whistler Village has a smorgasbord of delicious options that rival the number of runs on the hill.
Heli-skiing in the Back Country
If you want to experience the thrill of skiing untouched powder, Coast Range Heliskiing offers a range of à la carte heli-skiing options that will give you a chance to experience the pristine back country of British Columbia.
From Snowmobiling to Zip Lines
Of course, you don’t have to actually ski to love being in Whistler. Go snowmobiling with Cougar Mountain wilderness adventures. Or tour Whistler’s temperate rain forest with Ziptrek Ecotours. Or, just smile away the day at the full-service Spa at Four Seasons Resort Whistler.
Shopping in Whistler Village
Walking around Whistler Village on its cobblestone streets, watching all the skiers and mountain people walk by, can feel like an entire vacation unto itself—especially if there’s a concert in the Skiers’ Plaza at the top of your walk. Art enthusiasts make a beeline to the Whistler Village Art Gallery, with its mix of contemporary paintings and sculpture. And for glamorous apparel on-slope or off, Open Country, Snowflake, CAN-SKI and Showcase are must-see stops.
Experience one of North America’s top year-round mountain retreats at Four Seasons Resort Whistler. Enjoy a superb Spa and mountainside dining, plus easy access to the awe-inspiring ski slopes of Whistler Blackcomb, site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.