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Whistler

Recipe for Revelry at Bearfoot Bistro

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Memorable meals await at Bearfoot Bistro.

Memorable meals await at Bearfoot Bistro.

Bearfoot Bistro—one part culinary amusement park, one part fine-dining fixture—is the kind of place foodies write home about, thanks to its 20,000-bottle wine cellar, ice-encased vodka tasting room and palm tree–studded patio. Here it’s possible to sabre a bottle of champagne, don a parka to sip sub-zero spirits and indulge in three- or five-course tasting menus, all in one elegant evening. Now that’s a wild ride.

More Than Skiing in Whistler

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The resort town of Whistler, B.C. has a well-deserved reputation as one of the world’s premier winter destinations. It’s got some of the best alpine skiing in the western hemisphere, supported by excellent infrastructure and as many modern amenities as you could ask for. But Whistler’s just as amazing without snow, too. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or just some time to unwind, there’s something for everyone.

WHISTLER FOR THRILL SEEKERS
Though you won’t be shushing down Whistler’s famed slopes in the summer, there’s still a ton of awesome action in the mountains. A ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is a must-do for most first-timers: It spans 4.4 kilometres between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains and provides a breathtaking view of the snow-capped summits and surrounding rainforests, glaciers and valleys. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to see the sights al fresco, two highly regarded zipline operators offer a variety of exhilarating tours through the treetops. And even more scenic, airborne excitement can be had with a 50-metre bungee jump from a bridge above the Cheakamus River, surrounded by basalt cliffs and old-growth forest.

Of course, the adrenaline-fueled highs aren’t only found at altitude. The glacier-fed rivers that snake through the Whistler region are great for paddling, and whether you prefer the roaring rapids of the Elaho or the gentle roll of the Cheakamus, the Squamish Rafting Co. offers excursions that…

WHISTLER FOR ART LOVERS
One of Whistler’s newest attractions is the Audain Art Museum. Opened just last year, the beautiful building sits seamlessly within a stand of spruce trees. Inside, its light-filled galleries house an unparalleled assemblage of indigenous masks, an impressive set of Emily Carr paintings and much more.

Like what you see at the Audain? Whistler’s many commercial galleries boast exceptional Aboriginal artworks that you can bring back to your own home. Among them, Black Tusk Gallery features works by artists of British Columbia’s northwest coast, while The Crystal Lodge Art Gallery specializes in contemporary interpretations of Coast Mountains scenery, and at Fathom Stone Art you’ll find animals and other figures carved from marble, jade, serpentine, limestone, quartz, brucite, soapstone, granite, barite and other stone types from B.C. and southeastern Alaska.

And save a few hours for a visit to the Squamish-Lil’Wat Cultural Centre, where you can engage with the history and culture of the centre’s namesake indigenous nations. The Great Hall’s 12-metre-long Salish hunting canoe is a highlight: It’s still paddled every year in Howe Sound to preserve the canoe’s spirit.

WHISTLER FOR FOODIES
Whistler has always been a restaurant village; the food here is better (and there’s more of it) than in many much larger cities. The heights of culinary excellence are most notably scaled on the mountains themselves: Christine’s, perched at 1,860 metres on Blackcomb Peak, has made its name serving fresh, wild-caught fish, free-range meat and seasonal, local produce in a contemporary chalet-style space with panoramic views. In town, chef Melissa Craig’s Bearfoot Bistro is notable not only for its contemporary Pacific Northwest food, but also its beverage program: There’s a 20,000-bottle wine cellar, champagne bar, and the world’s coldest vodka tasting room, with more than 50 varieties of the spirit to sample. Seeking something a little less extravagant? Sushi Village has been holding its own with Vancouver’s famed Japanese restaurants for more than 30 years.

WHISTLER FOR UNWINDING
Few activities put the mind at ease more readily than a good hike—and Whistler has some of the best in Canada. More than 50 kilometres of trails ranging in length and challenge can be accessed by the resort’s various chairlifts and gondolas. Whether you choose and easy, intermediate or advanced trek, you’ll be treated to a bounteous mountain landscape of old-growth forests, glacier-fed lakes and unforgettable scenic vistas.

Following your hike, spend some time at Scandinave Spa, a Nordic-style collection of hot and cold pools, saunas and solariums located just north of the village beside Lost Lake. Partaking in the hydrotherapy circuit has many benefits, including helping to increase blood flow to your muscles and flushing toxins from the body.

The Green Scene

By SHERI RADFORD

Watch the sun come up over Alta Lake, at Rainbow Park. (Photo: Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

Watch the sun come up over Alta Lake, at Rainbow Park. (Photo: Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler)

Want to experience the great outdoors? There’s a lot of it to choose from here. Rainbow Park (pictured) and Lost Lake Park are two popular summertime destinations for sunbathing, swimming, picnics, alfresco yoga and impromptu wedding proposals. Located on Alta Lake, which looks especially magnificent at sunrise, Rainbow Park has beach volleyball nets and an off-leash area for dogs. Lost Lake Park, on tranquil and secluded Lost Lake, has a sandy beach and extensive hiking and biking trails. This summer, there’s one more reason to plan an outing: every day from Jul. 1 to Sep. 4, a food truck is visiting each of the two parks. The great outdoors just got a little greater.

Golfer’s Paradise: Time for Tee

By SHERI RADFORD

Take a swing at the great outdoors, at Whistler Golf Club. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Take a swing at the great outdoors, at Whistler Golf Club. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

If you’re keen to hit the greens, Whistler is happy to oblige. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and carved into the side of Blackcomb Mountain, Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club boasts breathtaking views of the valley. On the picturesque shores of Green Lake, Nicklaus North Golf Course is one of just a few courses in the world that bears Jack Nicklaus’s name. A few minutes’ walk from the Village, the Arnold Palmer–designed Whistler Golf Club (pictured) has nine lakes, two creeks, stunning mountain views—and the occasional bear sighting. Further afield, Furry Creek Golf and Country Club, Big Sky Golf and Country Club and Squamish Valley Golf Club all offer carefully crafted courses with unparalleled West Coast views. Fore!

Welcome to Whistler Farmers’ Market

By SHERI RADFORD

There's something for everyone at the Whistler Farmers' Market. (Photo: Chad Chomlack/Tourism Whistler)

There’s something for everyone at the Whistler Farmers’ Market. (Photo: Chad Chomlack/Tourism Whistler)

Think the Whistler Farmers’ Market is just for locals? Think again. Running from Jun. 18 to Oct. 8, this popular outdoor marketplace offers a lot more than just fresh produce. While browsing for handcrafted jewellery, clothing and souvenirs, you can sample artisan foods, watch cooking demonstrations, listen to live music, get the kids’ faces painted—and, of course, buy fresh produce, grown nearby in the Pemberton Valley.

Ask an Insider

Whistler’s concierges dish on their favourite eateries

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Show-stopping charcuterie at Basalt. (Photo: Brad K)

Show-stopping charcuterie at Basalt. (Photo: Brad K)

HIDDEN GEM

Tucked away in quiet Creekside, Red Door Bistro packs in locals for French cuisine with a West Coast twist. Out-of-the-way Alta Bistro delights diners with sustainable farm-to-fork fare in an intimate space. At Basalt, the volcanic-rock bar and hand-crank meat slicer catch the eye, but it’s the charcuterie and seasonal dishes that steal the show. Read more…

In Your Element

For those who love the river, the road or the sky—or all three—adventure awaits

By CHLOË LAI

Even beginners can handle white water rapids on the Elaho River. (Photo courtesy Sunwolf)

Even beginners can handle white water rapids on the Elaho River. (Photo courtesy Sunwolf)

Make a Splash

Whistler’s rivers and lakes are icy, but the action is hot. Thrill-seeking travellers and fun-loving families put their paddling power to the test by rafting through glacier-fed white water rapids with Sunwolf. With adventures for every ability level, from the roaring Elaho to the gently rolling Cheakamus River, there are plenty of opportunities to get your feet—and everything else—wet. Those looking for a more meditative experience can head over to Backroads Whistler and glide gently down the River of Golden Dreams in a canoe or kayak, with fresh air courtesy of the old-growth forest. Drift solo, or go with a guide to discover the stories behind every landmark. Read more…

Udderly Delicious

By SHERI RADFORD

Scoop up some joy this summer.

Scoop up some joy this summer.

If the whole family is screaming for ice cream, head to Cows Whistler. There’s something for all tastes, from traditional—Vanilla, Chocolate, Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter—to more playful: Gooey Mooey, Messie Bessie, Wowie Cowie, Moo Crunch, Chip Chip Hooray. With so much frozen goodness to choose from, brain freeze is inevitable (but worth it).

All in a Day

Pack a lifetime of memories into 24 hours

By CHLOË LAI

MitchWinton_CoastMountainPhotography_RendezvousLodge

Rendezvous Lodge photo ©Mitch Winton/Coast Mountain Photography

Hit the Rendezvous Lodge for snacks with a side of gorgeous valley scenery.

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Peak 2 Peak Gondola photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler

Blow your mind with 360-degree views from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. Read more…

Lakeside Serenity

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Relax at The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge.

Relax at The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge.

Looking for your bliss? At The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge, you’ll find it all wrapped up in a terry-towel robe. The top-to-toe treatments use sustainably sourced oils and scrubs, while the rooftop hot tub provides the perfect post-pampering soak. For an indulgence that’s equal parts “oommm” and “aahhh,” try the Inner Connection package, complete with the signature kundalini massage, shirodhara (warm oil poured over the third eye), body scrub and facial. Paradise, found.

Cheers to Whistler Beers

By LOUISE PHILLIPS

Small but mighty Coast Mountain Brewing pours a fine beer.

Small but mighty Coast Mountain Brewing pours a fine beer.

Coast Mountain Brewing puts the “micro” in microbrewery. This new boutique craft brewery at Function Junction, smallest in the Sea-to-Sky region, offers half its capacity on tap in a 27-seat tap room (along with BC wines) and half to Whistler eateries. Kevin and Angie Winter keep three beers on tap year-round and rotate a further five or six out of their ever-growing roster of seasonal recipes. Their “core” beers are “easy and approachable” German Kellerbier-style Treeline Lager; well-rounded Field Guide Ale; and The Surveyor IPA, “with massive tropical character and a good bitter framework—our best seller.” Winter aims for the “experimental, wow factors” that set his brews apart—quality over quantity.

Read more…

2017 Where to Dine Awards: Whistler

Voted on by Where’s globetrotting readers, our annual dining awards fete the best of the best on the Whistler restaurant scene

By SHERI RADFORD

Delicious dining at The Salted Vine Kitchen & Bar

Delicious dining at The Salted Vine Kitchen & Bar

FINE DINING
Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar

Finalists: Bearfoot Bistro; Hy’s Steakhouse.

CASUAL DINING
21 Steps Kitchen & Bar
Finalists: Earls Kitchen + Bar; Elements Urban Tapas Parlour.

APRÈS-SKI
Longhorn Saloon & Grill
Finalists: Dusty’s Bar & BBQ; Garibaldi Lift Co. Bar & Grill.

BEST NEW RESTAURANT
The Salted Vine Kitchen & Bar (pictured).

To see Vancouver’s winners, please click here.

To vote for your favourite Vancouver and Whistler restaurants in our 2018 Where to Dine Awards, click here. You could win a spectacular Victoria Whale Watching Retreat for 2 from BC Ferries Vacations!