View from atop the High Note Trail. Photo by Steve Rogers courtesy Tourism Whistler
Whistler may be best known for skiing and snowboarding, but an abundance of warm-weather activities attract outdoor adventurers even when the perfect powder is long gone
By Sheri Radford
No matter what type of summer adventure you’re after, Whistler has it.
Marc Télio on a polar-bear expedition in Canada last year.
Native Montrealer Marc Télio was just 23 when he opened a travel company specializing in high-end trips to Canada and Alaska. Seventeen years later Entrée Destinations continues to offer travelers the highest standard in service and unforgettable experiences, like helicoptering into a remote lodge in Manitoba for a polar bear photo safari or cruising British Columbia’s Gulf Islands by yacht. For some of us, these spectacular tours will be filed under “Canadian inspiration”, since they don’t come cheap. But in life and in travel, as Marc says, you get what you pay for.
Seared Qualicum Bay scallops with chorizo, Pemberton corn and mustard vinaigrette, at Araxi. Photo by Steve Li
Even if mountain biking, ziplining, hiking, bear watching and snowboarding on a glacier aren’t your thing, Whistler still has plenty to offer. The food alone is worth the two-hour drive, at much-lauded restaurants such as Araxi (pictured) and Bearfoot Bistro. Bring a camera—and an appetite.—Sheri Radford
The gorgeous greens of Whistler Golf Club. Photo by John Henebry courtesy Tourism Whistler
1 Stunningly beautiful golf courses: there’s no better place to try for that elusive hole-in-one.
2 Skiing and snowboarding, even in the summer.
3 A leisurely hike through the mountains followed by a ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.
4 Flightseeing. The scenery is even more spectacular when seen from the sky.
5 The bustling Whistler Farmers’ Market, which carries produce fresh from nearby farms.
6 Hearing accents from around the world, from both visitors and locals.
7 The pedestrian-only village.
8 Enjoying a cold beer on a restaurant patio.
9 Enough events and festivals to keep you busy every day.
10 Wandering through the many art galleries.
Hikers walk by the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. Photo by Paul Morrison courtesy Tourism Whistler
11 Friendly locals eager to point a confused visitor in the right direction.
12 Flying through the trees—with the greatest of ease, of course—on a thrilling zipline adventure.
13 A once-in-a-lifetime train trip with Rocky Mountaineer.
14 Dining on award-winning cuisine at Araxi.
15 Guided bear tours with local bear researcher Michael Allen.
16 Discovering the rich heritage of the local First Nations at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
17 Gorgeous views. Whichever direction you turn, it looks like a postcard.
18 Buying fresh waffle cones overflowing with giant scoops of ice cream from Cows Whistler.
19 Shakin’ your groove thang at local nightclubs.
20 Anything and everything outdoors, from kayaking to fishing to mountain biking.
Bring a sense of adventure on these outdoor escapes
By Jennifer Patterson
No matter what type of activity you’re after, Where has you covered.
Daredevil cyclists barrel down the jumps and runs in Skiers’ Plaza. Looking for something not as reckless? Rent a bike to explore smoother, less vertical terrain, as mountain biking is the summer sport here.
Views abound on Whistler's biking and hiking trails. Photo by Toshi Kawano courtesy Tourism BC
Animal lovers feel at home on a dog sled as a team of huskies leads a snowy alpine ride. Hop in the back of a 4×4 vehicle and join expert Michael Allen on a bear watching tour, including stops at favourite feeding sites and daybeds—don’t forget your camera! Channel John Wayne on your own trusty steed with a horseback ride through the wild countryside. Prefer horsepower to horses? Kick up some dust in the backcountry on a quad or dirt bike.
Adrenaline junkies get their fix with a bungee jump, while slightly more sane individuals go ziplining through the trees. For the even saner, glass-bottomed cabins on two of the Peak 2 Peak Gondolas offer enough of a thrill—and don’t require harnesses.
Shutterbugs and sightseers, have your cameras at the ready: aerial sightseeing tours and helicopter rides provide the perfect opportunity to capture the sweeping panorama.
Those seeking peace and tranquillity need look no further than the stunning golf courses and fish-filled rivers. For a quiet getaway, rent a canoe or kayak, don some life jackets and explore the pristine lakes. Nature enthusiasts breath the crisp mountain air while hiking the meadows and trails surrounding Whistler.
Snow bunnies can still strap on skis and snowboards, as Horstman Glacier is open through July for sun-filled summer skiing.
For activities listings, click here.