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Things to Do Whistler

Flight of Fancy


From November through February, nearby Brackendale boasts one of the world's largest populations of bald eagles

November through February, nearby Brackendale boasts one of the world’s largest populations of bald eagles

Birds of a feather flock together. It’s especially true in beautiful Brackendale, where from mid-Nov. through Feb., the tiny town hosts one of the largest populations of bald eagles worldwide—all thanks to the feast of spawning salmon. For a bird’s-eye view of the feathered arrivals, take a float down the Cheakamus River with Sunwolf. Expect to see dozens of eagles along the glacier-fed river, plus breathtaking views of the Tantalus Range and surrounding scenery. It’s the perfect place for nature lovers to flock together, too.

The Dog Days of Whistler


A dog-tired pooch at Summit Lodge

A dog-tired pooch at Summit Lodge

If you think Whistler isn’t a pet-friendly town, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Whether it’s the middle of winter or the dog days of summer, many hotels are happy to offer all the creature comforts to Rover or Spot, for a small fee. Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel (1-888-913-8811) doesn’t charge extra for dogs, all of whom are treated like VIPs (Very Important Pets), and provides special beds, bowls and treats. Plus resident dog Talitha is always on hand to accept treats and cuddles.

Fun in the sun (and snow) with Alpine Dogs

Fun in the sun (and snow) with Alpine Dogs

To make sure your own top dog stays happy and healthy—and becomes dog-tired by day’s end—head to one of the many parks with designated off-leash times, such as Rainbow Park, Lost Lake Park, Alpha Lake Park and Meadow Park. (And since doggie-do is definitely a doggie don’t, be sure to tuck a few plastic bags into your pocket before heading out.) To give your pampered pooch extra exercise and a chance to socialize with canine chums, call Alpine Dogs (604-902-9663). Their adventure hikes are great for high-energy hounds who feel comfortable in a group, while their private walks and in-room sitting are ideal for pups with special needs or who just want a little extra attention.

Bathtime with Shampooch

Bathtime with Shampooch

After running around on muddy or snowy trails, Fido definitely needs a bath. The deluxe bathing area at W.A.G. (604-935-8364), Whistler’s animal shelter, can be rented by donation. If you’d rather leave that whole wet and wiggly process to the pros, call Shampooch Mobile Dog Grooming (604-902-5512). Shayla Libin brings her fully contained grooming van to your four-legged friend and washes, brushes, plucks and trims, magically turning dirty dogs into pristine pups. Consider it a doggie day at the spa, complete with pawdicure.

It’s true that every dog has its day—especially in Whistler.

Hidden Gem: Vincent Massey Pottery Gallery


A basket by Cheryl Massey, woven from kelp

A basket by Cheryl Massey, woven from kelp

Tucked away in a rustic cabin is Vincent Massey Pottery Gallery, a hideaway stocked with high-fired stoneware and handmade baskets by husband-and-wife duo Vincent and Cheryl Massey. The home studio and gallery brims with Vincent’s functional-yet-vibrant pottery and Cheryl’s baskets woven from cedar, tule rush and even kelp (pictured). Added perk: a peek into the studio gives visitors a chance to see what makes these artists tick.

Flying High With Ziptrek Ecotours


The longest zipline in Canada and the US can be found at Ziptrek Ecotours

The longest zipline in Canada and the US can be found at Ziptrek Ecotours

Calling all thrill-seekers: we know the next great adventure for your bucket list. Ziptrek Ecotours is building the longest zipline in Canada and the US. Opened in July 2015, this zipline starts on Blackcomb Mountain and ends on Whistler Mountain, covering a path similar to the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, more than 2 km (7,000 ft) in total. Can you feel the adrenaline rush already?

The Max in Relax at Scandinave Spa


The outdoor hot pools at Scandinave Spa

The outdoor hot pools at Scandinave Spa

Need some R&R? Head to Scandinave Spa, where you can chill out—and heat up—in the Scandinavian baths. The full experience involves three parts. First, spend 10 to 15 minutes warming up in the eucalyptus steam room, the wood-burning Finnish sauna or one of the outdoor hot pools. Next, plunge into an outdoor cold pool for 20 to 30 seconds. Finally, relax in a hammock, settle into a solarium or de-stress by an outdoor fireplace. Repeat the three-part cycle until maximum relaxation is achieved (or you fall asleep, whichever comes first). To unwind even more, add on a Swedish or deep-tissue massage. Ready, set, relax.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Whether you’re a nervous nellie or a thrill-seeker or somewhere in between, there’s an outing to suit your desired adrenaline level


Explore Whistler's back country on horseback

Explore the picturesque Pemberton Valley on horseback. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Giddy-up! If you feel the urge to saddle up and hit the dusty trail, call Adventures on Horseback—only instead of dusty trails you’ll see postcard-worthy scenery throughout the Pemberton Valley, BC’s very own cowboy country. As you clip-clop along, keep your camera ready for picturesque creeks, tall grasses, roaring rivers and lush forests. Most impressive of all is the snow-capped peak of Mount Currie, rising up 2,591 m (8,501 ft). Surrounded by so much tranquillity and natural beauty, it’s easy to imagine you’ve slipped into an earlier, simpler, quieter time period. Trips can be customized for riders of all levels, from beginner to expert, and even small children. Adventure Ranch also offers equine adventures, complete with friendly cowgirls.

Summer here is practically synonymous with cycling. At the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, more than 1,507 m (4,946 ft) of sprawling bike-park terrain guarantees a trail for every preference, from gentle and banked to tight and twisty. Over 200 km (124 ft) of the trails are lift-serviced, meaning you can start from what feels like the top of the world and descend on two wheels, fuelled only by adrenaline. Whistler Eco Tours offers a valley bike tour for those who want to keep it peaceful and learn about history, geography and nature while on a bicycle, as well as a single-track tour for more advanced riders wishing to explore rougher terrain. Whistler Electric Bike Tours lets riders take it easy, which is especially appreciated on the uphill sections.

Do you feel the need to boldly go where no one has gone before? Put the pedal to the metal with Whistler ATV and embark on a bushwacker tour. Deep in the backcountry, stunning views of snow-capped mountains and remote lakes await. If you’re not afraid of heights and want to experience high alpine trails, choose the “top of the world” tour. Or chill out on a leisurely “easy rider” tour, with its gentle trails, perfect for newbie ATVers and families. For even more ATV excursions, call Canadian Wilderness Adventures. In summer, the most popular trip involves riding 1,830 m (6,000 ft) up Blackcomb Mountain, then enjoying live music and wild BC salmon on the Crystal Hut patio, with its sweeping views—a feast for all the senses.

More Than Just Books


Cozy Whistler Public Library (Photo: Reactive Design Inc.)

Cozy Whistler Public Library. (Photo: Reactive Design Inc.)

Sink into a comfy chair in Whistler’s living room, better known as the Whistler Public Library. Part community hub, part resource centre, this spectacular building—with even more spectacular views—features an abundance of free events, such as story time for kids, workshops, games nights and film screenings. Visitors from elsewhere in British Columbia can borrow materials using the free BC OneCard program, while those from farther afield need to purchase a $10 temporary membership. Bonus: all guests can make use of the Wi-Fi, printer and scanner. Just like home? Even better, because most homes don’t contain thousands of books, CDs, DVDs and more.

Rest & Relaxation


After (or even instead of) a long day on the slopes, there’s nothing like a little R&R

Stretch it out at YYoga

Stretch it out at YYoga

Say “Om”
Students of yoga are drawn to Whistler by the laid-back vibe and stunning natural beauty, but practising outdoors isn’t very appealing amidst the snowdrifts at this time of year. Instead, head inside to get your downward dog on—or just skip straight to savasana. YYoga, Yama Yoga and Yogacara all offer an assortment of styles to suit every taste, everything from intense power to sweaty hot to meditative yin, and the Lululemon store here regularly offers free classes.

Enjoy the outdoors at Scandinave Spa (Photo: Scandinave Spa/Tourism Whistler)

Enjoy outdoor luxury at Scandinave Spa. (Photo: Scandinave Spa/Tourism Whistler)

Get Pampered
Who doesn’t love to get cosseted like a queen? Vida Spa, The Spa, The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge and Avello Spa all offer massages, facials and other indulgences. To get treated like royalty—quite literally—head to Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa, which specializes in treatments inspired by the ancient royal court traditions of Java and Bali. If outdoor luxury is more your style, Scandinave Spa obliges with alfresco Scandinavian baths, waterfalls and saunas.

Enjoy pure relaxation in a sensory deprivation pod

Pure relaxation can be found in a sensory deprivation pod

Do Nothing
Reduced gravity plus sensory deprivation plus a whole lot of Epsom salt equals unparalleled relaxation. Imagine floating peacefully in warm, heavily salted water for 90 minutes, with no sights, no sounds, no smells. That’s what West Coast Float has to offer, and Whistler’s only floatation therapy centre has been proving immensely popular with locals and visitors alike who want to relieve stress, lower blood pressure and recover from injuries. Who’d have guessed nothingness could be so enriching?

30 Things We Love About Whistler


On or off the mountains, there’s plenty to adore about this winter-friendly town

Dogsledding in the Callaghan Valley (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Dogsledding in the Callaghan Valley (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

1. Slaloming—or at least attempting to slalom—down the slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.

2. Biting into a truffle or brittle from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory or Rogers’ Chocolates.

3. Braving ice cream headaches at Cows Whistler.

4. Marvelling at the jaw-dropping views from on board the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola.

5. Donning a parka to sip spirits in Bearfoot Bistro’s Belvedere Ice Room.

6. Joining the young and young-at-heart for a slide down Coca-Cola Tube Park.

7. Roots, a Canuck company that’s added a dose of Canadiana to wardrobes since 1973.

8. Making tracks in a pair of snowshoes from Cross Country Connection.

9. Practising our triple lutz while gliding around the free outdoor rink at Whistler Olympic Plaza, located right in the heart of the Village.

10. Feeling stress melt away with a massage, manicure and more at one of the resort’s many spas.

11. Channeling our inner Olympian on the bobsleigh and skeleton tracks at Whistler Sliding Centre.

12. Picking out a Coast Salish carving or handcrafted jewellery at The CRS Trading Post.

13. Digging into filet mignon or a New York strip at Hy’s Steakhouse, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar or Sidecut.

14. Sampling a buttery croissant or melt-in-your-mouth pastry—or two, or three—at Purebread, a local favourite.

15. Soaring high above the scenery with Superfly Ziplines or Ziptrek Ecotours.

16. Getting a rush of adrenaline over the Cheakamus River with Whistler Bungee.

17. Sipping handcrafted beer at The Brewhouse or Whistler Brewing Company.

18. Pairing Araxi’s celebrated Pacific Northwest plates with one of 1,000 wines from the cellar.

19. Soaking up the area’s local history at Whistler Museum or the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.

20. Admiring stunning local and international artworks at Whistler’s galleries.

21. Reliving the 2010 Winter Games at Whistler Olympic Park on snowshoes, cross-country skis and
even toboggans.

22. Refueling with a sweet hand-stretched pastry from BeaverTails before heading back down Whistler Mountain.

23. Keeping toasty in a sweater from Amos & Andes or a fur shawl from Snowflake.

24. Warming up with a wood-fired pizza or other fresh regional fare at Grill & Vine.

25. Defying gravity on the indoor trampolines at Bounce.

26. Exploring the great outdoors on snowshoes, snowmobiles, dogsleds and more.

27. Partaking in Whistler’s post-black-diamond ritual with après-ski at Garibaldi Lift Co., Dusty’s or Merlin’s.

28. Going in search of untouched powder with Whistler Heli-Skiing.

29. Giving credit cards a workout at the shops.

30. Snapping photos by the Olympic Rings  and the Inukshuks in the Village and at the top of Whistler Mountain.

Go Wild for Art


"A Northern Style" by artist Cameron Bird

“A Northern Style” by artist Cameron Bird

Two BC artists whose works are always featured at Adele Campbell Fine Art Gallery are on hand Aug. 30 and 31 to give demos and preview new pieces showcasing Canada’s landscapes and wildlife in all their natural beauty. Cameron Bird’s bold and deceptively simple plein-air oil paintings (“A Northern Style,” pictured) reflect the raw glory of the Canadian wilderness, whereas Vance Theoret’s stone carvings depict the whimsy of Canadian wildlife. Get ready to explore the great outdoors indoors.


The Sky’s the Limit


Thrill-seeker takes in the ariel sights with Whistler Skydiving

Thrill-seeker takes in the ariel sights with Whistler Skydiving

The six most thrilling minutes of your life, followed by years of bragging rights: that’s what’s on offer at Whistler Skydiving. No special skills are required, since jumps are done in tandem, meaning that you’re harnessed to an instructor the whole way down. Simply sit back and enjoy all 3,200 m (10,500 ft) of the dive. The spectacular views are just part of the package.

Backroads Whistler: Dreamboat


Paddlers test the waters on the idyllic River of Golden Dreams

Paddlers test the waters on the idyllic River of Golden Dreams

Only a paddle down the River of Golden Dreams can fully explain its idyllic moniker. Soak up the beauty of this slow-moving waterway as you glide through old-growth forests and wetlands with Backroads Whistler. Choose from guided or unguided canoe and kayak tours, or watch for cute critters on the twilight wildlife tour. Some stick close to scenic Alta Lake on paddle boards and pedal boats—certain to make a splash with the whole family.