A quiet moment in Whistler Village — Photo courtesy of Photographer: Mike Crane (Go Whistler Facebook)
Whistler any time of year is great, but Whistler in the winter is spectacular. No matter the length of time you're planning on spending in Whistler, you won't find a shortage of things to do. From the ride up to Whistler from Vancouver, to the trip down the mountain, beautiful views await.
Getting to Whistler is easy, even if you don't have a car. There are plenty of shuttles that pick up at most hotels in downtown Vancouver that are affordable and comfortable. You can come back the same day, or book your return at a later date. If you've got a vehicle and you plan on driving yourself up there, parking is readily available close to Whistler Village. The main streets of Whistler Village are pedestrian only, but the outer streets are set up for cars to get around the Village, to hotels, shops and parking.
If you're only there for a day, it's pretty easy to fill up a full day on the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb mountain. The mountain is set to start opening up ski lifts on Nov 22, 2012 all the way through April 21, 2013. Of course, this is all weather-dependent. The two mountains have 8100 glorious acres with 200 marked trails and the 38 lifts are able to move 61,407 skiers per hour! The longest of the marked trails will take you down the mountain for seven whole miles. Will you have kids under six years old with you? If so, they can ski for free.
Photographer: Patrick Hui — Photo courtesy of Whistler Blackcomb (Facebook)
The Nintendo Terrain Parks at Whistler Blackcomb is packed with over 200 features including hips, rails, pipes and snowcross. The Coca-Cola Tube Park is fun for the entire family and is a nice change from strapping on some skis. Hop into your rubber inner tube and choose from one of the eight lanes to slide down. When you get to the bottom, there is a lift that will pull you back up the mountain so you can go and do it over and over again.
After spending the day outside in Whistler's gorgeous playgrounds, hunger will likely be knocking at your door. Depending on your schedule, you can grab a quick bite to go from a Whistler favorite. Or, bring a change of clothes and enjoy a fabulous meal. Ingrid's Village Cafe has been around for over 20 years and is great if you're in the mood for soup or a sandwich. Just make sure you get there before 6pm because that's when it closes.
Araxi's seared sockeye salmon, with cauliflower, sultanas, polenta and carrot purée — Photo courtesy of Araxi Restaurant + Bar (Facebook)
Looking for a casual spot to sit down and eat your meal? The Whistler Brewhouse is cozy and has ample seating for larger groups. Creekbread is a local favorite amongst appetites that crave local and organic flatbreads and salads. If you're cravings are leaning more towards small plates and sharing with friends, Elements Urban Tapas Parlour is a more intimate and hip setting.
Every now and then, it's nice to step it up a bit and go for the ultimate indulgence and treat yourself to fine dining. Araxi Restaurant + Bar and Bearfoot Bistro and Champagne Bar are places where you can enjoy a decadent meal and toast to the blissful day you've had in Whistler.