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What to See Whistler

On a High Note

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Enjoy the view at the summit lodge. (Photo: Keegan Pearson Photography)

Enjoy the view at the summit lodge. (Photo: Keegan Pearson Photography)

Want that top-of-the-world feeling? At the Sea to Sky Gondola, it’s just a 10-minute ride away. Perched 885 m (2,900 ft) above sea level, the summit lodge is a jumping-off point for further adventures, with pristine trails perfect for hiking and snowshoeing. The young—and young at heart—slide at the tube park, while experienced skiers glide into the backcountry. Others simply settle in for the breathtaking views of Howe Sound. Paradise, found.

Go for Gold at Whistler Blackcomb

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Whistler Skier's Plaza

Whistler Skier’s Plaza. (Photo: Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

Whistler Blackcomb has never been afraid to think big. In fact, the ski resort’s foundations are built on the biggest dreams of all: the Olympics. In the 1960s, four Vancouver businessmen developed the area with the intent of bidding on the 1968 Winter Olympics. Three more bids and decades later, the town finally succeeded with the 2010 Winter Games. Along the way, the mountain resort accumulated its own accolades, including the number one rating overall by SKI Magazine—three years in a row. Add in awards for dining, après-ski and terrain, plus the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak, and it’s clear the resort never gave up its gold-medal bid

By the Numbers: Peak 2 Peak Gondola

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Peak 2 Peak Gondola. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

The Peak 2 Peak Gondola. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

The math is simple: two mountains and the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola all add up to one awesome experience.

1: The gondola is the first in the world to link the peaks
of two mountains, a feat that delivers truly one-of-a-kind views.

3: It’s one for the books: the Peak 2 Peak broke three
Guinness World Records, claiming fame as the world’s longest unsupported span, the highest lift of its kind, and the longest continuous lift system.

(more…)

Outstanding Art at Audain

By LOUISE PHILLIPS

Audain Art Museum

Audain Art Museum

The sheer numbers are impressive. The Audain Art Museum’s  seven galleries of Northwest Coast art enshrine 200 works spanning 200 years of art-making in BC. Acquired by Vancouver philanthropists Michael and Yoshiko (Karasawa) Audain, the collection honours 11 indigenous cultures, from the Coast Salish in southern BC to the Tlingit in the north. Traditional ceremonial masks and textile art contrast with modern, genre-bending pieces by Bill Reid, Brian Jungen and Don Yeomans. Galleries celebrate the vivid marinescapes of E.J. Hughes and studies of Native villages by pioneer painter Emily Carr. Contemporary BC artists such as Attila Richard Lukacs and Ken Lum suit the minimalist design of this serene, airy space. It all adds up to a memorable journey through BC art.

History Comes Alive at Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

By SHERI RADFORD

Learn about the local First Nations at Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre

Learn about local First Nations culture at Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

Centuries before skiers and snowboarders took over Whistler, the Squamish and Lil’wat people lived, fished and hunted in the region. Celebrating the diverse cultures of these two First Nations groups, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre brims with information and hands-on exhibits. Prepare to be fascinated.

Bringing the Outdoors In

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"Pool of Dreams" by Karel Doruyter

“Pool of Dreams” by Karel Doruyter

Awestruck by the great outdoors? Bring that sublime scenery indoors with a one-of-a-kind piece of Canadian art from Mountain Galleries. The gallery hosts a panorama of paintings, including Karel Doruyter’s lush acrylic-on-canvas works that explore the coastal rainforest (“Pool of Dreams,” pictured). Now that’s a cool keepsake.

The Must List: Summer

With the warm weather finally upon us, we present this season’s must-do activities and must-see attractions

By SHERI RADFORD

Whistler Village. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Whistler Village. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

See black bears up close on a tour.

Relax in a spa.

Travel between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.

Stroll through the Village while window-shopping and savouring an ice cream cone.

Whiz down Whistler at breakneck speed on a mountain bike. (more…)

Make a Splash With Sunwolf

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Cruise the Elaho River with Sunwolf

Cruise the Elaho River with Sunwolf

Turquoise-blue water and spectacular alpine peaks—the setting takes your breath away. That, or the rollicking Elaho River. In nearby Brackendale, Sunwolf offers rafting trips through pristine wilderness, with plenty of white water to boot. Scale a rock face for a glacier-water plunge, then dig paddles deep to work up an appetite for the mid-trip barbeque lunch. Pint-sized adrenaline junkies find calmer adventures on the Cheakamus River. Still waters run deep, but wild ones are much more fun.

Caught on Camera: Whistler Photo Safaris

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Shutterbugs watch for wildlife on Whistler Photo Safaris. (Photo: Jason Coleman/Whistler Photo Safaris Ltd.)

Shutterbugs watch for wildlife on Whistler Photo Safaris. (Photo: Jason Coleman/Whistler Photo Safaris Ltd.)

On the hunt for the perfect picture? Track down top-notch photo ops with Whistler Photo Safaris. Guides take shutterbugs—and their cameras—off the beaten path for a chance to view wild bears in their natural habitat. Explore beautiful backcountry terrain and the Whistler Olympic Park while looking for bears against a mountain-and-valley backdrop. The tour may only last a few hours, but the bragging rights last a lifetime.

Start Your Engines: RZR Tours

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Explore Whistler's backcountry on a RZR with The Adventure Group

Explore Whistler’s backcountry on a RZR with The Adventure Group

When it comes to thrills, all-terrain RZR tours put the pedal to the metal. The off-road vehicles are perfect for exploring Whistler’s backcountry, navigating boulder-strewn creek beds and steep climbs with ease. On the BC Tour, thrill-seekers strut their stuff on the giant teeter-totters and cliffs in the skills park. Just be sure to take your eyes off the road once in awhile to enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding Cougar Mountain. Get your motor running with The Adventure Group Whistler.

Guide to Outside

Plot out an itinerary for one of the world’s most pristine adventure playgrounds

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Only a unique breed of Zen-master thrill-seeker can successfully chill out while bungee jumping. (Photo: The Adventure Group)

Only a unique breed of Zen-master thrill-seeker can successfully chill out while bungee jumping. (Photo: The Adventure Group)

MAKE TRACKS
Once ski season is over, the peaks here turn into a mountain-bike mecca. Downhillers and freeriders flock to Whistler Mountain Bike Park, which boasts 1,500 vertical metres (4,900 vertical feet) of lift-serviced descending trails. Pedal through sprawling terrain that ranges from beginner to heart-stopping. Those with gold-medal dreams head to the Whistler Sliding Centre, the venue for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Even in summer, it’s possible to rocket down a track on Rolling Thunder, a bobsleigh equipped with wheels that reaches speeds of up to 90 km (56 mi) per hour. (more…)

Whistler by the Numbers

Why do we love Whistler? Let us count the ways—skiing, shopping, dining and reliving the Olympics are just the beginning. To sum up, there’s something for everyone

By CRAIG SCHARIEN

Whistler and Blackcomb mountains tower above the Village. (Photo: David McColm/Tourism Whistler)

Whistler and Blackcomb mountains tower above the Village. (Photo: David McColm/Tourism Whistler)

1 Whistler Blackcomb has once again been named the number one ski resort in North America by SKI magazine. The resort offers more than 200 unique runs, 3,307 hectares (8,171 acres) of terrain and après options for everyone.

8 Whistler was home to eight sports during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Live the dream and try everything from skeleton at the Whistler Sliding Centre to ski jumping at Whistler Olympic Park—glory can be yours.

50 The 2015-16 season marks the 50th anniversary of Whistler Mountain as a ski resort. When it first opened in 1966, there were just six runs, including Franz’s Run, named for Franz Wilhelmsen, the company’s first president.

200 If you need a break from all the wintry adventure, or just get the urge to shop, duck into one of the 200+ stores to stock up on everything from art to ski gear.

551.3 Whistler boasts 551.3 hectares (1,362.3 acres) of parkland spread across 15 public parks. Add in the area’s five major lakes, and there’s plenty to do without taking a chairlift.

6,450 Need to refuel? There’s no need to go far, or even to leave the slopes. Whistler Blackcomb has 17 on-mountain dining options, with seating for 6,450.

69,939 Whistler Blackcomb’s 37 lifts can move 69,939 people per hour. That includes the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, the world’s highest and longest lift, which spans 4.4 km (2.7 mi) between the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb.

2,100,000 Each year 2,100,000 people from all over the world visit Whistler. That doesn’t include the more than 2,000 seasonal residents—note all the Australian accents.