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Whistler

A Bright Idea: Lise Watier Nails It

By SHERI RADFORD

This ingenious nail polish comes in summery colours such as Coral Paradise

This ingenious nail polish comes in summery colours such as Coral Paradise

When trying to avoid smudges and smears while applying nail polish, there’s never enough light. That’s why Montreal company Lise Watier produces nail lacquers with ingenious light-up caps. Featuring a long-lasting LED, the cap shines the spotlight exactly where you need it most while perfecting your polish: on your fingernail. Find this summer’s limited-edition shades, Rose Eden and Coral Paradise (pictured), at Shoppers Drug Mart. Brilliant!

Bearfoot Bistro: Baby, It’s Cold Inside

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Guests raise a glass to smooth, chilled vodka in Bearfoot Bistro's Belvedere Ice Room. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Guests raise a glass to Bearfoot Bistro’s Belvedere Ice Room. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

The cliché is true: Canadians can always find a reason to don a parka. And in Bearfoot Bistro’s Belvedere Ice Room, it’s a necessary wardrobe addition. Step into the sub-zero vodka room—the coldest in the world—and sample from more than 50 types of the hard liquor. The Arctic temperatures enhance the flavour for a tasting experience unlike any other. It may be the most fun you can have in a parka.

Backroads Whistler: Dreamboat

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

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.

Tough Mudder

By SHERI RADFORD

Participants take their first leap at the start of the race (Photo: Touch Mudder)

Participants take their first leap at the start of the race (Photo: Touch Mudder)

It stretches over 16 km (10 mi) of rough terrain. It contains challenges that our ancestors tried hard to avoid: fire, electricity, water and heights. And it’s probably the only competition in the world with both an official pain reliever and an official beef jerky. (Advil and Oberto, respectively, in case you were wondering.) (more…)

Make a Splash This Summer

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

From relaxing lakeside to tackling white water on a rafting tour, here’s how to test Whistler’s waters

Playtime on the beach at Lost Lake Park. (Photo: Robin O’Neill/Tourism Whistler)

Playtime on the beach at Lost Lake Park. (Photo: Robin O’Neill/Tourism Whistler)

Best way to beat the heat? By soaking up the area’s spectacular scenery at one of the many lakes surrounding Whistler. Some folks lay their towels on the shore, but others prefer to make a splash at secluded Lost Lake and bustling Rainbow Park—furry companions included. These areas come equipped with concessions, kids’ play areas and gorgeous mountain views. Bonus: the sandy beaches are perfect for both sandcastle building and lakeside lounging. (more…)

Whistler’s Stone-Cold History

By JASON TWETEN

"Ilanaaq" keeps watch over the valley. (Photo: Randy Lincks/Tourism BC)

“Ilanaaq” keeps watch over the valley. (Photo: Randy Lincks/Tourism BC)

Look towards Whistler’s peak on a clear day, and you’ll see this iconic stone structure watching over the valley. Inukshuk cairns play an extremely important role in the survival of Inuit travellers. For thousands of years, Inuit people have set up varieties of these stone formations to use as navigation points or as landmarks for good hunting and fishing sites. “Ilanaaq” (pictured) was built as an emblem of friendship and welcome at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Though this monument is commonly referred to as an Inukshuk, the more specific term for this style—which resembles the human figure—is Inunnguaq. Since 2010, four more of these waypoints have been built around Whistler mountain, and each one provides a free Wi-Fi signal.

2014 Where to Dine Awards: Whistler

By SHERI RADFORD

Polderside Farms duck at Araxi. (Photo: Steve Li/Araxi)

Polderside Farms duck at Araxi. (Photo: Steve Li/Araxi)

From casual pubs to hip après-ski spots to white-linen dining rooms, Whistler’s restaurant scene has everything taste buds could desire. Where’s well-travelled readers weigh in with their flavourful finds in our annual Where to Dine awards.

BEST NEW
Grill & Vine
The room is spacious and welcoming, but the real star is fresh regional fare. Rich natural flavours shine in mains such as wild boar lasagne or scallops with bone marrow risotto. And the chef’s grown-up take on the banana split pleases all palates.

APRÈS-SKI
Black’s Pub & Restaurant
Location location location: at the foot of both village gondolas sits this cheerful pub, ideally situated for après-ski treats such as veal and pork meatballs or warm Caesar salad with pancetta.
FINALISTS Garibaldi Lift Co. Bar & Grill; Longhorn Saloon & Grill.

FAMILY FARE
The Old Spaghetti Factory
Spaghetti and meatballs (what else?) are the star of the menu at this casual spot, but other tasty options abound, such as baked chicken or jumbo crab ravioli. Wallet-friendly bonus: entrées come with fresh bread, soup or salad, a drink and ice cream.
FINALISTS Earls Kitchen + Bar; Mile One Eating House.

INFORMAL
Earls Kitchen + Bar
What started as a simple burger-and-beer joint 30-odd years ago still serves burgers and beer but also dishes up an array of West Coast favourites, from chicken curry to fish and chips.
FINALISTS 21 Steps Kitchen & Bar; Splitz Grill.

FORMAL
Araxi Restaurant + Bar
For more than three decades, this popular dining room in the heart of the village has been winning accolades from diners and critics alike for its fresh regional cuisine and extensive wine list.
FINALISTS Bearfoot Bistro; Rimrock Cafe.

To see our Vancouver winners, please click here.

To vote for your favourite Vancouver and Whistler restaurants in our 2015 Where to Dine Awards, click here. You could win a fabulous prize package from Rocky Mountaineer and Nita Lake Lodge!

Sustainable Sips at Alta Bistro

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The FreshTAP system at Alta Bistro is the first of its kind in Whistler. (Photo: ©vvlado/istockphoto.com)

The FreshTAP system at Alta Bistro is the first of its kind in Whistler. (Photo: ©vvlado/istockphoto.com)

Tap into Whistler’s green scene with wine-on-tap offerings from Alta Bistro, the first restaurant to introduce the environmentally friendly system to the town. FreshTAP uses less packaging and waste and promises a perfectly fresh pour every time. Bonus: the bistro champions local and ethical bites on the menu, too. Oenophiles, take note: sustainability never tasted so good.

Whistler Welcomes TEDActive

By RACHAELA VAN BOREK

June Cohen, executive producer of TED Media, takes the stage in 2013. (Photo: James Duncan Davidson)

June Cohen, executive producer of TED Media, takes the stage in 2013. (Photo: James Duncan Davidson)

It’s official. After 30 years of spreading worthy ideas, the monumentally popular Technology, Entertainment and Design Conference known as TED is coming to British Columbia. The main event is being hosted at the Vancouver Convention Centre with a live simulcast feeding to Whistler’s own TEDActive Conference at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The five-day retreat themed “The Next Chapter” is expected to bring hundreds of brilliant thinkers to the slopes. Ticket or no ticket, mountain visitors can count on some interesting chairlift conversation.

Fresh Fine Art Frost

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Harris' captivating canvases are sure to brighten your outlook.

Harris’ captivating canvases are sure to brighten your outlook

Baby, it’s cold outside. Warm up by checking out hot new artworks at Adele Campbell Fine Art Gallery, which features changing winter exhibitions, including Laura Harris’s richly saturated acrylic-on-canvas pieces (“Sunday Kisses,” pictured). The bold textures and colours in her gorgeous floral and abstract works make the perfect winter warmer.

Escape the Elements at Armchair Books

By JASON TWETEN

Shelves cover every inch of this book-lover's paradise. (Photo: Armchair Books)

Books cover every inch of this book-lover’s paradise. (Photo: Armchair Books)

Too chilly to hit the hills? Cozy up with a page-turner recommended by the staff at Armchair Books. This family-run bookstore is a staple of Whistler’s literary heritage and the only shop of its kind in the village. If you’re searching for contemporary fiction, store clerk Dan Ellis suggests author Joseph Boyden’s newest Aboriginal life portrait, The Orenda, an insightful representation of pre-nation conflicts fought on the lands that would eventually become Canada. This season, keep warm with a good read.

Come Fly with Me

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Get a birds-eye view on a thrilling ride over Whistler's stunning winter scenery.

Get a birds-eye view on a thrilling ride over Whistler’s stunning scenery.

Sure, scenic Whistler is pretty spectacular on foot. But there’s nothing quite like soaring over it with Superfly Ziplines. Take your sightseeing to new heights on two of Canada’s longest ziplines, both over a kilometer (0.6 mi) long. Buckle up, admire the winter wonderland and prepare for an exhilarating ride.