Whistler is well-known throughout the world as a premier ski destination. But there’s so much more to learn about this Coast Mountains retreat. Here are ten things you should know about Whistler before visiting.
It’s an expensive vacation spot.
A world-class resort usually has world-class prices. Even though budget travelers can find package deals, lift discounts, and hostels at Whistler, it remains one of Canada’s most costly ski resorts. However, because it is one of the best, many people believe it is worth the money.
More than just skiing
Yes, Whistler is famous for its skiing and snowboarding, which attracts over 2 million visitors each year, but there’s so much more to do here. Tubing, snowshoeing, and winter zipline adventures are available on the mountain. Aside from it, the town is home to a world-class bobsled center, the elegant Scandinave Spa, and museums.
There are two peaks in Whistler
Whistler and Blackcomb were once independent ski regions that were friendly rivals until 1997, when they amalgamated. With this historic merger, Whistler Blackcomb became one of the world’s largest ski resorts, with more than 8,000 acres (3,237ha) of skiable terrain. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola, which connects the two summits, is also a world record holder as the world’s longest continuous lift system.
Simple to reach
If you’re arriving by aircraft, bus, or automobile, Whistler is at an excellent location. It’s a two-hour drive from Vancouver via the Sea to Sky Highway, and various bus companies run daily between the two cities. Vancouver has a big international airport, and Seattle is only about three hours south. All of this means you may arrive fast, simply, and affordably.
Everything happens after that.
Après-ski is an important component of the skiing experience in Whistler. The village is teeming with restaurants, pubs, and cafes offering late-afternoon specials. Because most of the places are aware that you are fresh off the mountain, they have a calm and casual attitude. Dusty’s serves Southern BBQ, Merlin’s has live music, and the Longhorn Saloon has great bargains.
Tipping is customary.
Tipping is prevalent in North America, but not in Australia, which accounts for around 20% of Whistler’s winter population (thus the moniker “Whistralia”). As a general rule, tipping in Canada is normally between 15% and 20%, unless the service was less than satisfactory.
It’s equally as enjoyable in the summer.
Although Whistler Blackcomb is most renowned for its skiing, it is also a must-see site in the summer when it transforms into the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, attracting adventure seekers from all over the world. There are numerous hiking paths leading to lakes and across surrounding mountain ranges. Whistler also has one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. You may take in the panoramic views from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola while also shopping for fresh fruit at the weekly farmer’s market.
Village for pedestrians only
Whistler’s main town area is a no-car zone at the base of Whistler Mountain, making it convenient to stroll around before or after hitting the slopes and enjoy the boutiques, retail shops, gift stores, and restaurants. There are plenty of parking spots around the village if you arrive by car.
Restaurants of international renown
Whistler’s après-ski scene is laid-back, with numerous excellent eateries. The emphasis is on local, sustainable ingredients throughout, and most menus are heavy on meat and seafood. Chef James Walt of Araxi was a pioneer of farm-to-table dining, and Alta Bistro believes that no two visits are alike. Meanwhile, the world’s coldest vodka tasting room can be found at Bearfoot Bistro.
Stack several layers
Even in Whistler Village, temperatures in the winter typically hover around freezing, so bring staples like a heavy waterproof jacket, a moisture-wicking layer for mountain trips, and wool socks. As previously stated, there are as many informal restaurants as fine-dining establishments here, so bring at least one smart-casual dress for dining out.