Located in the formidable shadow of the spectacular Coast Mountains just two hours north of Vancouver, Whistler remains one of North America’s favorite winter pastimes. The gabled alpine village is named after the distinctive marmots that let out high-pitched screams, which is fitting because Whistler is a place where you enjoy truly unique natural beauty and a mountain lifestyle for an escape like nowhere else. This is especially true when the colder months roll around and the famed Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort puts forth a world-class skiing and snowboarding experience, so much so that is was chosen as the venue of the famed 2010 Winter Olympics. The pedestrian-only Whistler Village lies at the base of the two majestic mountains and offers everything to satisfy your food and shopping cravings, the perfect place to refresh and refuel after a long day on the slopes. Locals pride themselves on their contrasting nature between Aspen’s mink-wearing clientele, and instead relish in the friendly and genuine atmosphere that sweeps through the village. With that being said, there’s certainly no shortage of luxe lodging and fine dining experiences. Whistler perfectly straddles the line between thrill and relaxation, where you can unleash your wild side while creating a lifetime’s worth of memories. In Whistler, you’ll find adventures that both challenge and inspire, or you can opt to relax and soak in the scenery.
Where to Stay
Whether you’re itching for luxury condos, private chalets, or globally-recognized hotels, Whistler has your home away from home waiting for you. Located at the base of the Blackcomb Mountain, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler seamlessly blends into the surrounding rugged coastline and soaring summits of Western Canada, combining its alpine setting with a healthy dose of modern elegance. The accommodations are not only tastefully designed in the same manner, but also offer either views of spectacular mountains or of the charming village. Visitors of Whistler’s landmark ski-in/ski-out chateau also have access to an indoor health club, casual fare and fine dining, a par 72, 18-hole Audubon-certified championship golf course, private lounges, heated pools and the wonderful on-site Vida Spa, which has hot tubs, saunas and Eucalyptus steam rooms. Finish the day relaxing in the soothing waters of the mountainside whirlpools or telling stories of adventures around the cozy outdoor fire pit. For an expanded list of accommodation options, check out our Luxury Hotel Guide for Whistler.
Where to Dine
Between casual après-ski snacks to world-famous culinary experiences, Whistler has just about everything to satisfy whatever your cravings may be. In true Pacific Northwest fashion, there’s a healthy emphasis on organic, locally-sourced ingredients. Perhaps no better place embodies the heart of Whistler than Araxi Restaurant, which has long held an international reputation for excellence in food and wine. Headed by executive chefs James Walt and Nigel Finley, the establishment continues to make use of the pristine fields and waters of beautiful British Columbia, creating compelling regional cuisine based on local, sustainable ingredients. Araxi is located in the heart of Whistler Village and was an early pioneer for “farm-to-table” dining with its innovative and skillfully-executed dishes. Take a look at our Restaurant Guide for Whistler for a complete list of local eateries.
What to Do
With 37 lifts and over 200 runs in total, few places on earth match the quality of skiing and snowboarding found at the two majestic Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. What’s more is that the sister mountains are physically linked by a mammoth gondola, meaning you can easily hit the slopes on both during the same afternoon with ease. While there are plenty of beginner and intermediate options, professional and expert skiers look to Whistler as the Holy Grail for slopes such as the double-black diamond known as Spank’s Ladder or the thigh-burning Peak-to-Creek, one of the most famous runs in all of Canada. Outside of this, seventeen on-mountain restaurants, five terrain parks and a superpipe round out the facilities, while dog-sledding, ice fishing and ice climbing are also available for outdoor enthusiasts who want to take it one step further.
While Whistler’s claim to fame is certainly its abundance of white powdered snow and soaring snow-capped mountains, the European-style mountain village provides the perfect all-around experience for when you’re not on the slopes as well. Within the pedestrian-only streets, you’ll be able to find a mix of designer boutiques and home-grown local shops, as well as a variety of upscale eateries and après-ski bars to satisfy any craving. The debut of the Audain Art Museum in 2016 marked a tipping point for the cultural scene of Whistler Village. Housed in a 56,000-square foot Modernist treehouse, the trendy gallery houses the story of Canadian contemporary art with a focus on the Indigenous Peoples of Canada’s west coast. The lively Whistler Village is the perfect place to refresh and refuel with friends and family, where you can sit back and soak in the village vibe from a patio year-round.
What to Wear
You’ll certainly want to be ready to keep warm on the slopes and throughout the village, but unlike the extravagant Aspen and its infamous mink-wearing clientele, Whistler is proudly understated, practical and authentic. A staple of their Pre-Fall 2019 collection, this Co Ribbed Wool-Cashmere Blend Turtleneck Sweater is designed with a ribbed-knitting and turtle neckline in a rich cream color. What’s more is that the loose fit makes for a relaxed look that prioritizes comfort, while the premium fabric is one that you’ll just want to bury yourself in. When it comes to keeping warm on the slopes, this Bogner Fire + Ice Hank Ski Jacket was designed to meet all the modern standards of professional skiers, while the relaxed cut and premium materials work to maximize the overall comfort. For a complete low-down on what to pack, check out our Style Sheet for Whistler.