Whistler is a charming village, built by and for those who pursue the outdoors. The mountain’s potential quickly attracted attention for its skiing and hiking opportunities and quickly grew into the world-class ski resort it is today. Here’s how to experience this quaint alpine village like a local, with advice on where to sleep, eat, have fun, take days off and ski.
Whistler Blackcomb, Canada, is consistently rated as one of the best ski resorts on the planet. It is also one of the largest ski areas in the world, with more than 200 trails across two peaks, and it has the longest ski season, from November to May, due to its northern location and high altitude.
There are a variety of trails here, from the perfect snow run to powder and glacier skiing in the summer (June and July), and there are several not-to-be-missed trails here (depending on technique, of course).
After a long day on the hillside, take a dip in the heated outdoor pool at the Delta Village Suites Hotel, 4308 Main Street, and watch the night fall over Whistler Mountain. There are two outdoor hot tubs next to the pool, the other is located indoors, and there is a sauna and gym. Fully equipped rooms feature a kitchenette, gas fireplace and smart TV.Affinity Ski Rentals has a ski slope in the hotel lobby where guests can store their own skis for free.
The Four Seasons Resort (4591 Blackcomb Way) is located a little outside of Whistler Village, a luxury accommodation hotel. Rooms feature traditional wood-paneled wall decor, open gas fireplaces, leather and checkered soft finishes for a cozy atmosphere. Hotel amenities include a spa, fitness center and a heated outdoor pool with panoramic views of Whistler and Blackcomb. There is a matching shuttle from the hotel to Gondolas.
The Blackcomb Lodge (4220 Gateway Drive) is located in the heart of the village, just a short walk from the base of Whistler Mountain. The hotel has a wide range of rooms to choose from, from simple bedrooms to suites and studios that can accommodate up to six people, all of which include fully equipped kitchens. The indoor swimming pool, sauna and hot tub are the ideal place to relax after a day on the slopes. There is also a restaurant in the hotel.
Located in a secluded penthouse near the main plaza of the Gondola Gondola in Whistler Village, The Westin Resort (4090 Whistler Way) offers a variety of suites, some with sweeping mountain views and all with gas fireplaces. There is an indoor and outdoor pool as well as a whirlpool, gym and spa. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of the hotel’s three restaurants, or you can take an after-dinner nap in the FireRock Lounge with a view.
As diners enter Peaked Pies (4369 Main Street), a glass counter filled with delicious and sweet pies greets them with a small, simply decorated shop. You can order at the counter, including the traditional Australian beef and onion mince, butter chicken, chicken and leeks, steak and Guinness; you can go straight to the table, order the crust pie (with mashed potatoes, mashed peas and beef gravy), or any combination of the three pies. Dessert options include wild berries, crushed apples and a variety of cakes.
Wild Wood Pacific Bistro (4151 Village Green) is a classic American tavern that serves probably the best breakfast in Whistler with friendly service. You can relax in the brown leather bunks on the back wall, where you can enjoy eggs and a variety of side dishes, including bacon, sausage, mushrooms and fried potatoes. The breakfast menu also offers sweets (pancakes, banana bread, French toast) and healthy foods (oatmeal, fruit salad), served until 3 p.m. Lunch and dinner are also open.
Avalanche Pizza Co. (4320 Gateway Drive) is a take-out restaurant. (4320 Gateway Drive) is a take-out restaurant, but there are a few tables and a few wooden picnic benches indoors for those who want to eat in. The counters are stocked with margaritas, Italian sausages and vegetarian pizzas for those who order. The complete pizzas are freshly made and come in all sizes, from edible to large. Classics like Hawaiian, grilled and roasted chicken, cheese lovers and meat lovers, as well as cheesy garlic bread, chicken claws and salad are all here.
Blacks Pub (4270 Mountain Square) is a cozy restaurant, with low lighting, dim furnishings and the smell of dough wafting from the pizza oven creating an intimate atmosphere. It’s located in the foothills of Whistler Mountain and a great place to take a nap in the large heated courtyard.
Longhorn Saloon and Grill (4280 Mountain Square) has a view of Whistler Mountain from the front patio, with an open fire burning in the center of the tall, bar-style dining table. The store has old ski and snowboard equipment hanging from the ceiling and walls. There’s Tex-Mex snacks and shared platters, and DJs and bands play from lunchtime to small hours on the weekend. Order everything from Corona cask wine to hot chocolate with whipped cream and a drink of your choice.
A quintessential Irish pub, Dubh Linn Gate (4320 Sundial Crescent) has a relaxed and lively atmosphere. A wooden balustrade separates the stage, which features a band playing traditional music that complements the traditional Irish menu. There is fish and chips, cottage pie, cottage pie, bread and potato skins. There are a variety of craft beers, European and specialty beers, and a large selection of Scotch and North American whiskeys.
Open from 11 a.m., this restaurant offers the best after-dinner experience and is the perfect combination of mountain lodge and urbanite. The open terrace overlooks the atmospheric village, and inside, you can enjoy mixed cocktails and pour glasses at the bar. American and Canadian classics dot the menu, with poutine and nachos being the most popular shared dishes, and DJs and musicians will provide live entertainment.
Bar Oso (4222 Village Square) is a modern Spanish tapas bar in the heart of Whistler Village, with its back to the mountains. The black-and-white tile décor is contrasted with wooden wine racks and a sleek marble bar, where cocktails are artfully mixed together. Classic cocktails (Old Fashioned, Negroni) and signature cocktails (Oso Sour, Pink Day) dominate the drinks menu, while the gourmet menu offers traditional tapas dishes (chorizo, Spanish omelette) and grilled meats.
Stylish and sophisticated haute couture is lined up at Aritzia (4222 Village Square). Originally a one-off boutique in Vancouver, it now has locations across Canada and the United States. Unique women’s clothing and accessories can be found here, from coats, tops, pants, jumpsuits, hats, scarves and bags. The small space is well laid out to accommodate the large amount of merchandise that the brand has to offer.
Another Canadian brand, Roots (4154 Village green), offers comfortable, premium casual wear for all ages. Hoodies, zippers, joggers, T-shirts and sweatshirts line the shelves of the large wooden shop, and the cash register is lined with maple syrup candles and jars of pure Canadian maple syrup. The store also sells backpacks, rucksacks, shoes and other accessories.
At Fanatyk Co., The central shoe rack at the entrance is the main feature, and a variety of accessories such as goggles, skis, snowboards, and helmets are neatly stacked along the wall. The store also has a boot fitting area where custom fitting is available. During the summer, the shop sells and rents bicycles while also taking on the repair work.
Showcase (4340 Sundial Crescent) is located just steps away from the gondola at Whistler Mountain, and has a great selection of skiing and snowboarding gear, as well as stylish casual clothing and swimwear for men and women. Here, customers can try out their gear for a day on the slopes before purchasing. There’s also an area for trying on boots.
Jersey Cream is a relatively easy blue run on Blackcomb Peak. It’s a wide runway, open on two sides with powdered hills and rolling terrain. Stay on the run and go downhill slowly, or use the edges to practice descents, small jumps and hills, knowing that it’s easy to get back to a safe ski. It’s a good halfway grade for advancing from the greenway to the blueway (on-piste).
At the northern edge of Blackcomb Peak there is a highlight trail called Outer Limits (black runway). Climb the Crystal Ridge Express and follow the Ridge Runner (blue runway) until you reach a square wooden arch sign posted with a double diamond trail. Go down this vertical hill and make a turn guided by the trees. To make this section of the trail even more tricky, there are many wooden arch bridges around the trees, further reducing the space for turning around.
A wide path, lined with snow-covered coniferous forests on either side, makes Enchanted Forest (the blue runway) look like an image from a fairy tale. Located on Whistler Mountain, it can be accessed by Peak 2 Peak or Whistler Village Gondola. Descend one of the various green or blue trails until a sign for this trail appears, then follow this continuously steep slope with a particularly steep section in between.
Lower Olympic is the greenway on Whistler Mountain that brings all skiers from Whistler Mountain back to the village. Starting at the top of the Fitzsimmons Express, it’s another wide incline with a gradual gradient, with some steep ramps to choose from for anyone who wants to move forward. It follows the gondola, winds between the pylons, and detours through the forest clearing.