From trail rides to bungee jumps, Whistler’s thrills come in every shape and size
By Jill Von Sprecken
Need a thrill? Catch some waves with a white water rafting tour. Photo by Steve Rogers courtesy Tourism Whistler
For the Faint of Heart
For some, Whistler’s scenery and wildlife is thrilling enough. See black bears from a safe distance with the Bear and Wildlife Viewing tour. Or sit back in your saddle and enjoy Pemberton Valley’s rainforests and meadows with Adventures on Horseback. If you’re not afraid to get your feet wet, settle into a canoe or kayak with Backroads Whistler, or try your hand at the rod and reel with Whistler Fishing Guides. For sky-high views, ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. But beware: the 4.4-km (2.7-mi) ride between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains will take your breath away.
The stunning scenery on an alpine hike is enough to get hearts racing. Photo by Steve Rogers courtesy Tourism Whistler
For Intrepid Explorers
If the view alone doesn’t thrill, fly through it on a zipline or wander the forest canopy on suspension bridges and boardwalks with Ziptrek Ecotours. For more bird’s-eye views, hop in a helicopter with Blackcomb Aviation for alpine walks, picnics and heli-golfing at the tippy-top of the Coast Mountain Range. If you prefer solid ground, take to the trails on a mountain bike with Cross Country Connection or head to Whistler Mountain Bike Park. If you really want to cover ground, climb aboard an ATV with Canadian Wilderness Adventures and end with West Coast fare on the salmon bake tour.
For a dose of adventure take to the trails on a mountain bike. Photo by Chad Chomlack courtesy Tourism Whistler
The alpine surroundings here are a magnet for adrenaline junkies. Get up close to untouched wilderness on a white-water rafting tour with Sunwolf Rafting. Our advice? Don’t be distracted by the stunning glaciers and waterfalls that zip by. If that doesn’t get your heart racing, a 53-m (160-ft) jump over the Cheakamus River with Whistler Bungee certainly will. Or scale and scramble your way to new heights with a rock-climbing tour by Canadian Outback Adventures. Take it even higher with summer skiing on the Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain. Is there any better way to chill out?
By Tim Pawsey
Where’s annual salute to the brightest and best serves as a fitting culinary snapshot of Vancouver, a worthy reminder from well-travelled voting visitors as to just how blessed this city is by such diversity. Our vibrant multicultural culinary scene is fuelled increasingly by local year-round ingredients and flourishing artisan producers. Congratulations to all our winners and finalists! (more…)
By Tim Pawsey
Readers’ Choice: Whistler
Take the scenic Sea to Sky Highway to discover Whistler, a year-round resort that still sports plenty of post–Winter Games vibes, not to mention an abundance of great tastes, from fine dining to funky pubs to cool après-ski hang-outs.
Bronx Burger with beer-battered onion rings, at Earls. Photo courtesy Earls
[RELATED: See last year's Where to Dine Winners]
4222 Village Square, Whistler.
Bearfoot Bistro; Rimrock Cafe.
220-4295 Blackcomb Way, Whistler.
The Keg Steakhouse & Bar; 21 Steps Kitchen & Bar.
The Old Spaghetti Factory
4154 Village Green at Crystal Lodge, Whistler. 604-938-1081.
Earls; Milestones Grill & Bar.
Garibaldi Lift Company
4165 Springs Lane, Whistler.
Longhorn Saloon & Grill; Dusty’s Bar & BBQ.
To see our Vancouver winners, please click here.
To vote for your favourite Vancouver and Whistler restaurants in our 2014 Where to Dine Awards, click here. You could win a fabulous prize package from Rocky Mountaineer and Nita Lake Lodge!
PUBLIC TRANSIT. BC Transit operates the buses throughout Whistler (here is a map of the whole system). The buses connect between Function Junction in the south and Green Lake in the north, running hourly or more often. The Pemberton Commuter connects Whistler and Pemberton and runs several times daily. Bus stops are clearly indicated and usually list route numbers serving the stop. Deposit exact change on the bus—a single adult fare is $2.50. Transfers are valid for one-way travel only (you cannot use it on your return trip). Sheets of 10 tickets ($20) and DayPasses ($7) can be purchased at select retailers (here’s a list of where to buy). All buses are equipped to carry bicycles in the summer, and all buses are equipped with a wheelchair lift. Check the BC Transit website for exact schedules.
DRIVING AND PARKING. Whistler is pedestrian-friendly—there are large parts of the Village that do not allow cars. Metered parking is available in stalls or in designated parking lots, most in effect until 5 p.m. with rates from $1-$4 per hour. Some lots have a maximum stay of 2 or 4 hours. Right turns are permitted on red lights unless signs indicate otherwise.
TAXI. You can hail a cab on the street in Whistler (if the roof light is on, it’s available) or you can call for one. An average trip within the Village should cost about $5, to Creekside $10, and to outlying areas $15. There are two taxi companies in Whistler with sedans and minivans: Resort Cabs (604-938-1515) and Whistler Taxi (604-932-3333).
COACH BUS. Transfer between Whistler, Squamish, Vancouver and Vancouver International Airport with Pacific Coach Lines, Greyhound, Transportation Whistler or Whistler Glacier Group. During the winter, Snowbus makes multiple trips daily between Vancouver and Whistler. Fares start at $25. Packages including lift tickets are available.
Last year’s Where to Dine Awards recognized some of our fair city’s most exceptional eateries. Among the recipients: renowned restaurateur Bud Kanke, upscale Hawksworth Restaurant, budget-friendly Japadog and buzz-worthy Chambar. Find all the finalists and runner-ups from last year’s event here. Pick up our May issue to see the 2013 Where to Dine Awards.
Photo by Amy McDermid
This mountain playground has something in store for kids young and old
By Louise Phillips
Eek! The kids are hopping up and down because you’re all going to Whistler—but you don’t want to worry about watching them while you’re regaining your own ski legs, and you could really enjoy some quality time with your other half. Your skiwear no longer fits, and the kids want snowboards. (more…)
Once the chopper pulls away, you’re left to ski down the hill. Talk about an adrenaline rush! Photo by Neil Brown
Crowded lift line-ups, screaming children, clumsy beginners holding up the advanced runs—who needs it? Hop on a helicopter and escape to the serenity of untracked powder and endless terrain with Whistler Heli-Skiing. Intermediate to expert skiers have more than 175,000 hectares (432,000 acres) of possibilities in the mountains and glaciers surrounding Whistler, and a day of heli-skiing involves around 10 runs varying from 400 to 1,500 vertical metres (1,400 to 5,000 vertical feet). It’s a wilderness adventure, but with the advantage of a return to civilization immediately after.—Sheri Radford
The best heli-skiing is in Feb. and Mar., and the season ends Apr. 21. Call 1-888-435-4754 or visit www.whistlerheliskiing.com for more info.
At Aura, it’s hard to decide which is more stunning, the setting or the food. Fortunately, there’s no need to choose: feast on sustainable, seasonal, West Coast fare while taking in expansive views of Nita Lake and the mountains.—Sheri Radford
“Cannonball no. 47″ by Rebecca Kinkead, at Whistler Village Art Gallery
Rebecca Kinkead makes a splash at Whistler Village Art Gallery with her encaustic paintings, which are created using pigmented wax. The American artist’s thick, bright pieces are rife with childhood moments (“Cannonball no. 47,” pictured), and she leaves faces blank to encourage people to insert themselves into her works. Enjoy your trip down memory lane.—Kristina Urquhart
Photo by Tom Ryan courtesy Tourism BC
Attention, eagle-eyed raptor fans: from late Nov. through Mar., this region plays host to the world’s largest concentration of bald eagles. The majestic birds come for the abundant salmon and stick around to pose for countless snapshots. Every Jan. for almost three decades, the Brackendale Art Gallery Theatre Teahouse has been holding an eagle festival and count. Back in 1994, volunteers tallied up 3,769 bald eagles—a world record.—Sheri Radford
Roots sweater, available in Whistler
Stay cozy this season with a warm sweater from these winter-friendly shops.
- Roots (pictured) channels heritage Canadiana with maple leaf– and plaid-adorned knits.
- Amos & Andes is Whistler’s official sweater shop. Find Fair Isle–patterned wools and the coveted Cowichan zip-ups.
- Snowflake stocks fur and leather wraps and accessories—perfect for staying toasty warm.
- Lululemon carries a rotating selection of the sought-after thick hoodie.—Jennifer Patterson
However you do the math, Whistler adds up to one unforgettable experience
By Sheri Radford
Skiing photo by Chad Chomlack courtesy Tourism Whistler
We’re number one! Whistler Blackcomb is consistently named the best ski resort in North America by publications such as Skiing Magazine and Freeskier.
For 11 minutes, you can enjoy the world’s most breathtaking view as the Peak 2 Peak Gondola whisks passengers on a 4.4-km (2.73-mi) ride between the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
Whistler Mountain’s ski season runs from Nov. 22, 2012 to Apr. 21, 2013, which equals 151 days of great skiing. Blackcomb Mountain stays open into the summer months, depending on weather conditions.
Snow bunnies can’t resist the 1,192 cm (39 ft) of snow that Whistler Blackcomb averages each year.
Blackcomb’s peak elevation of 2,284 m (7,494 ft) is a bit taller than Whistler Mountain’s 2,182 m (7,160 ft).
With 3,307 hectares (8,171 acres) of ski terrain, Whistler Blackcomb has something for every skier and snowboarder.