Unique Things to See and Do in Whistler
- Skiing and snowboarding the BC’s BEST!
- Taking the Peak2Peak Gondola
- Helicopter tours over glaciers
- Cross country skiing
- Getting the Olympic Experience with luge!
Summer Activities in Whistler
- Mountain Biking
- Canoe and Kayak
- Standup Paddleboarding (SUP)
- Horseback riding
- Hiking and Walking
- Bear tours
This little ski resort village is postcard perfect! Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and since then the village has exploded with plenty of shops, parks, playgrounds, fantastic dining spots, and pubs and bars. Watching Whistler grow over the years has been quite the transformation, from a sleepy, quiet, tucked away ski resort to the now commercialized, bustling village. The one thing that remains consistent, even with the influx of tourism, is that it has a “village feel.” Every corner you go around there is something to see or do, and the setting is so beautiful.
So aside from the fantastic skiing, there is a whole host of great restaurants to be tried. You can pick up quick fast food, or find little cafes with hearty home cooking, or if you are a foodie you can find some 5 star gems. Whistler village has some great breakfast spots too. Download the app Urbanspoon for reviews, pictures, and ratings of all the restaurants.
There is an abundance of this, so for those who don’t ski you can always keep yourself occupied wandering the village shops. Most of the shops are sporting goods, catering to mountain biking and ski/snowboarding. If you’re looking to have some customized ski boots, or simple repairs this is a great place to get it done. The technicians are well versed in just about every equipment problem. Included in this sporting realm are shops like North Face, Arcteryx, Helly Hansen- you get the drift, but that’s not all! Whistler also caters to the fashion industry too, with stores such as Aritzia and TNA. But, if you are looking for that authentic Whistler group talk the shop keepers who’ve been there awhile and will point you in the direction of the European wears that once flourished.
Located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain and set back into the forested area, this area offers fantastic hotels and views of the mountains. It’s just outside of the village activity which provides a quieter feel for those looking for little oasis. That being said, it is only a short walk to village. Hotels include:
- Four Seasons Resort and Residences
- Fairmont Whistler Chateau
Another great attraction in the summer time is the Chateau Fairmont Golf Course. It is an 18 hole, Par 72 course, with an elevation of 400ft, and creeks and ponds to traverse. Another popular spot is Merlin’s Bar & Grill. It’s a great spot for apres-ski drinks and snacks and it has an outdoor patio for sunny days. You can also rent skis, shop for groceries, or have snacks in the Upper Village.
Function Junction is a commercial area for shopping, doggy daycare, yoga classes, Whistler hardware, auto shops, and cafes. It even has its own website. It is 8km south of Whistler village (if you drove then you passed it on the left hand side going into the village). The area is hidden by trees, but there is a roadside sign pointing the way. You can get there by bus or by car. In 1923, Function Junction was known as Mile 341/2, which literally meant 34 miles from Squamish Station. Prior to the 60′s, it was home for a couple of logging families, and at one time a camp for the Van West Logging Company. Named Function Junction by Florence Peterson, the “function” was the decision part of the road, one way to Alta Lake and the other was to the NEW ski hill being built.
Years ago, Creekside Village was just a small section of residences and the Husky station where the Greyhound would drop you off. If it was your first time to travelling by bus Whistler, it felt like you had been dropped in the middle of nowhere! Creekside is at the base of Whistler Mountain where the first gondola was built. Now, it’s called Whistler Creekside Village and has had a multimillion dollar refurbishment to revitalize the area, which is providing an alternative to Whistler’s main village. This is great for the locals who need to some shopping and just want to get in and out quickly. Plus, it has underground parking. They have liquor stores, pizza shops, the legendary Dusty’s Bar and BBQ, and Creekside Market for groceries. Creekside is located 4.4km south of Whistler Village and if you were driving up, you passed by this area too.
Did you know…?
That Whistler has 10,000 permanent residents and services 2.7 million tourists a year!
Did you ALSO know…?
Black Bears in Whistler roam around looking for food between March and November. You can go on guided bear watching tours (from a safe distance!).
Getting To Whistler
This is by far the most scenic way to travel from Vancouver. The Rocky Mountaineer offers round travel to Whistler, which is great for those who are only going for a day trip. On average the ride costs $300 round trip, depending on the season, and it’s worth every penny. The train travels through areas that are not accessible by car.
Coach Buses travel to Whistler daily; they are a more economical way to travel and they support full ski gear in the underside of the carriage. There are two main companies: Greyhound and Pacific Coach. The fares are slightly less in the summer time and in winter can cost about $90+ tax, and bicycles are an extra $10 cargo fee.
Renting a Car
This is a great way to travel too, since you can stop along the way. There a couple of stops that are interesting. Shannon Falls is a beautiful fall that drops 335m from the top. The 3rd highest in BC. And right next to it is the the new Sea-to-Sky Gondola ride. There are a couple of restaurants at the top, trails, and of course you’ll see a similar view to the Stawamus Chief one mountain top over. Another great spot for a quick 2 hour hike! Next along the way would Squamish. If you are already renting a for the week, then you’ll find having one is great, however you probably won’t use it much once you’re in Whistler- depending on where you stay and if you like wine with your dinner! Parking in the village can be expensive, so if you are choosing a hotel be sure to get parking included.
Travelling Around Whistler
Walking is the best way to get anywhere in Whistler. You can drive to different areas like Creekside or Function Junction, or you can take a bus, but otherwise walking is the best way. Whistler Taxi service is also available and it’s quite reasonable since the trips are short. The village can be a bit confusing at times with most of the roads circling around into one another, but a after a trips around you’ll get the lay of the land. And you can pick up a map at the tourist office (or Google map it!), but the best way is to ask someone. Spotting locals is pretty easy and most people are really friendly.
Best time of year to travel to Whistler
In Whistler every day is a good day to go. It is really up to your preference for activities, winter or summer, however this is a ski resort and it is postcard perfect in the winter. Everyone in ski gear toting around their boards or skis, and happy. Of course apres-ski drinks help, but who couldn’t be happy in such a beautiful place. In the summer time the temperatures are warm and are perfect for hiking, walking, or downhill mountain biking. The nights can be cooler being up in the mountains, so bring a jacket. In the winter the Ski Mountains are the main attraction and Whistler Blackcomb offer world class slopes.
Weather in Whistler
Snow fall starts in October but by November is when it really gets going. Winter months are from November to February with temperatures ranging from -2°C to 3°C on average. Winter in Whistler is a winter wonderland with snow and icicles everywhere.
Spring months are from mid March to May, with temperatures ranging from 8°C to up to a high 19/20°C. Whistler is exceptionally pretty in the summer with all the landscaping starting up again, making this a great time to visit. Whistler Village is quaint and resorts and business help keep that feel with plenty of hanging flower baskets and planting gardens everywhere they can. Plus, depending on the snow that season there could still be some skiing available.
Summer months are also just as pretty as spring when the warmer weather rolls in. The summer months are from June, July, and August, and the temperatures range from 20°C to 24°C on average. The nights can be quite a bit cooler with temperatures dropping down to about 10°C, so bring a jacket. Also, once the sun drops behind the mountains you’ll feel a cool breeze roll in, and the sun disappears earlier when you’re in the mountains!
Autumn months are similar to Spring, short lived and from mid September to mid October when the snow starts up again. The temperature ranges from high 18/19°C down to low of 2°C, but the average for October is around 6°C.
According to Environment Canada Whistler experiences about 11 days of 30°C + temperature in the summer and about 24 days with -10°C in the winter each year.
Ready to plan your visit to Whistler? Check out these popular guides and trips.