Whistler Wonderland

Growing up in Vancouver, Whistler has been our local vacation spot for years. Only a two hour drive away, we’ve both spent summers and winter weekends here with our families, so we were stoked when Sorel asked us to explore the mountain and make a guide of all the local gems. This proved a little bit more difficult than usual, because Whistler’s locals are few and far between. You’ll notice right away that “the village” is inhabited by Aussies and Kiwis who fly halfway around the world to spend their winters on the mountain - which isn’t a bad thing, because they’re possibly the nicest people around.

This is a collection of our favourite adventure spots around the mountain, the village, and everything else in-between.

In the summertime, you can swim to the dock at Lost Lake, play along the beach, and people watch at the sunbathing locale. In the wintertime though? It’s frozen solid and oh so beautiful. Lost Lake is also full of nordic trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. This was our first time snowshoeing, and we may have had to Youtube how to put on snowshoes…

We had the most magical, Canadian experience when we wandered up to the lake. Not only was it frozen, but there was a crew of locals creating a hockey rink. You can’t make this stuff up! Turns out there is a pretty active pond hockey league here, so bring your skates and hit the lake if you want to get a game in. The local players are awesome.

What better place to dangle 160ft off a bridge than here, right? Uh….maybe not. Whether you’re a daredevil like Elaine or pass out at the sight of heights like Taylor, the trip to Whistler Bungee is pretty epic. Make sure your car can handle tough terrain though!

To warm up when it’s freezing cold outside, you definitely want to hit up Purebread for some hot coffee and warm treats. They have a large selection of gluten-free and vegan noms, plus they serve Stumptown. Tip: the location in the village only does espresso based drinks, and the location in Function Junction only does pour-over.

The best part about a day on the mountain might be the aprés. We <3 Whistler Brewing, the local brewery located about 10 minutes out of the village in Function Junction. Taylor adores the Winter Dunkel (it tastes like a chocolate orange!) while Elaine recommends their gluten-free beer. Their bartenders are mighty friendly too. Want a tour? Head over there at 2:30pm or 4!

The Peak 2 Peak is crazy. Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are separated by a large valley connected by the highest and longest unsupported lift in the world. You may think this is a typical touristy thing to do, but it’s presence has completely changed the ski season for locals. Previously, it took an hour of skiing and uploading to get from Whistler to Blackcomb; now it’s only an 11 minute journey through the sky. If it’s your first time though, you definitely want to wait the extra minutes to get a gondola with a glass floor! If you can stomach it. 

After all your exploring, you’ll need somewhere warm and cozy to come back to. While there’s no shortage of hotels in Whistler, there’s also an expansive condo economy that works similar to AirBnb. There’s no shortage of condos, hot tubs, and ski in/ski out resorts here, and VRBO is probably your best bet.

Eat: amazing burgers at Splitz Grill, Aussie pies at Peaked Pies, appies at Elements Tapas, pizza at Creekbread outside the village, and waffels at Crystal Hut up on Blackcomb mountain. On a budget? Hit the $5 menu at El Furniture Warehouse. Want to treat yo self? Umberto’s or Araxi are classics.

Drink: The green moustache is your go-to for fresh juice and smoothies, along with gluten-free treats and all the raw, vegan eats you could want. Mount Currie Coffee brews Intelligentsia and Elysian, a local roastery, with a rotating espresso selection.

Shop: the adorable boutique 3 Singing Birds is the other half of the juice shop and The Beach is nearby in the Village, while Circle is the local independent skate and surf shop.