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Whistler

Join the Après-Ski Scene

After a day spent playing in powder, skiers and snowboarders head down the mountain for après festivities that earned number-one ratings from SKI magazine and range from dancing-on-the-bar revelry to craft cocktails enjoyed fireside

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Longhorn Saloon’s lively patio. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Longhorn Saloon’s lively patio. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

BEER & BURGERS
That last run down the slope is where things begin in Whistler Village, and Garibaldi Lift Co. Bar & Grill is just a sliding stop from the base of Whistler Mountain. Watch skiers from the patio or peel off layers by the fireplace. DJs and live music keep the energy high, while pitchers of beer and pub fare make it the perfect kick-off point. Read more…

Flight of Fancy

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

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

By SHERI RADFORD

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.

Top-Notch Sushi Spot

By SHERI RADFORD

Food, drinks and fun, at Sushi Village

Food, drinks and fun, at Sushi Village

It all began with a simple dream: three friends from Vancouver wanted to ski every day. In 1984, they moved to Whistler. But they needed a way to pay for all that skiing, so, in 1985, they opened Sushi Village. Although two of the three later moved away, one remained: Mikito Homma. For 30 years now, he and his wife have been serving an amazing assortment of sushi, soups and salads. Bring your own friends in for a meal, and make sure to order a sake margarita. Better yet, order a whole pitcher, and you might just make some additional pals.

Hidden Gem: Vincent Massey Pottery Gallery

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

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.

Caramba! Restaurante: All in the Family

By SHERI RADFORD

Halibut on fregula, at Caramba! Restaurante

Halibut on fregula, at Caramba! Restaurante

Mario Enero gave Jay Pare his first restaurant job, when Jay moved to Whistler 30 years ago. Enero later went on to open Caramba! Restaurante, and when it was time for him to retire last year, who better to take over than Jay? When Jay’s nephew, James Pare, was a child, he dreamed of working with his uncle. That dream is now a reality, as Jay runs Caramba! and James runs its kitchen, after training as a chef in several lauded establishments around the world. This family business is the ideal spot to take your own family, for the wood-fired pizzas and assortment of pastas. Buon appetito!

Flying High With Ziptrek Ecotours

By SHERI RADFORD

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

By SHERI RADFORD

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.

La Cantina: Mexican Fusion Flavour

By SHERI RADFORD

Indulge in Mexican fusion at La Cantina

Indulge in Mexican fusion at La Cantina

Although it opened just a year ago, La Cantina has quickly rocketed to the top of the must-visit list. This friendly, unpretentious spot serves mouth-watering Mexican fusion: tacos (chicken, fish, Mayan-style pulled pork, chorizo and more), burritos, soups and salads. Don’t miss the Machu Picchu, with its mixed greens, quinoa, beets, cashews, avocado and ginger soya dressing. And don’t delay—ándale, ándale!

Inspiring Design From Roots

By SHERI RADFORD

Paddle Against the Flow in the new clothing line from Roots

Paddle Against the Flow in the new clothing line from Roots

Freethinkers have never been known for following the standard path. Paddle Against the Flow, the first book from Huck magazine, is a treasure trove of advice from the likes of Douglas Coupland, Spike Jonze and Miranda July on how to live a creative life. To commemorate its publication, Roots has launched a new line of clothing, meant to be worn wherever your paddle might take you.

Peak 2 Peak Gondola’s Record-Breaking Ride

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

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

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

The greatest mountain range (Himalayas) and the flattest country (Maldives) have something in common with the Peak 2 Peak Gondola: they’re all record-breaking. In the 2015 edition of Guinness World Records, the engineering marvel claimed fame as the “highest cable car above ground” and for the “longest unsupported span between two cable car towers.” Gondola cars hang 436 m (1,427 ft) above the valley floor, suspended by towers 3 km (1.8 mi) apart. It all adds up to one unbeatable ride.

Buy Local: Whistler Farmers’ Market

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Pick up fresh fare, crafts and more at the Whistler Farmers' Market. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Pick up fresh fare, crafts and more at the Whistler Farmers’ Market. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Whether you’re seeking a handmade necklace or fresh strawberries or all-natural soap, you’re sure to find it at the Whistler Farmers’ Market. Each week more than 80 vendors sell goods that are locally grown, baked or made, and each week hundreds of visitors show up to browse, buy and take in the festive atmosphere, complete with live music. Head to the base of Blackcomb Mountain on Sundays from Jun. 21 to Oct. 11, or Wednesday evenings from Jul. 1 to Aug. 26. Let the shopping begin!