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!
One of the most romantic places in Whistler (Photo: Kwintin)
Whether you’ve planned a lovey-dovey weekend in Whistler or you unexpectedly meet your soulmate on the slopes, you can probably use a few suggestions for where to propose with panache. Even if you don’t pop the question, just surrender to the romance of fresh air and exhilarating experiences that Whistler offers the most jaded lothario.
See our slideshow of the most romantic proposal spots in Whistler »
In Whistler, bears can be seen everywhere, like this one in Olympic Park (Photo: GoToVan)
Viewing Whistler’s bears is a major draw for nature lovers from mid-March to November. The activity can be minimally invasive as long as you give the animals plenty of space. After all, no matter what nursery rhymes may promise about porridge and picnics, a surprise encounter with a wild bear can be terrifying.
All 70 or so Whistler bears belong to the same species—Ursus americanus, better known as black bears. Attacks are extremely rare, but when they get habituated to humans as a source of food, they can become aggressive. Whistler bears look at garbage cans as picnic hampers, and at open kitchen doors as open invitations. To help you avoid any dangerous situations, our local experts have prepared this short guide to viewing Whistler bears. If it’s done right, you’ll get a great experience and the animal will be none the wiser.
See our guide to viewing Whistler bears »
Whistler brunch: the best pre-slope meals around the skiing mecca
Whether you woke up late after a night of partying in the Village, or you’re just itching to have chocolate chip pancakes at 3 p.m., you’ll find something you like on our list of one of our go-to Whistler brunch restaurants.
See the list of 7 top Whistler Brunch Restaurants »
Whistler shopping done right: where to get top-notch ski and snowboard gear (Photo: Tim in Sydney)
To take full advantage of those bluebird mornings on Blackcomb’s magnificent slopes, you’ll need to have the right gear. A Whistler shopping excursion can provide all you need—but where to go? Our local experts have figured out where to find the top ski and snowboard shopping in Whistler. Whether you’re looking to replace a set of goggles or go on an all-out equipment spree, you will ignite your sense of mountain adventure at any of these Whistler shopping destinations.
See the list of top Whistler shopping destinations for ski and snowboard gear »
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. Read more…
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.
Photo by Matt Walker courtesy Whistler Blackcomb
After an invigorating morning of skiing or winter hiking, skip the simple sandwich and reward yourself with a gourmet lunch and bird’s-eye view of the Coast Mountains and Whistler Valley. Elegant Christine’s (pictured), perched on Blackcomb Mountain, features a local, sustainable menu with game dishes and Ocean Wise seafood. If you’re on Whistler Mountain, Steep’s Grill pairs regional cuisine and an all-BC wine list with the popular afternoon tea service.—Kristina Urquhart