Snow sports and Whistler go hand in hand. The town, which is a little under 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Vancouver in British Columbia, is world-renowned for its facilities and slopes. It attracts more than two million visitors every year and even had the honors of hosting events in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Read on to learn about the best things to do in Whistler!
1. Whistler Blackcomb
Speaking of skiing, if you have a serious hankering for the slopes then Whistler is the place to be. Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America, welcoming upwards to two million people a year. It offers no fewer than 200 ski runs, from ‘easiest’ all the way up to 'expert,’ and there aren’t that many locations where you can lay claim to the bragging rights of saying you’d skied at a resort where Olympic champions were made.
Contact: Numerous toll free phone options, depending on caller’s home nation. Click here to find out more.
Website: Whistler Blackcomb
2. Peak 2 Peak Gondola
Sticking with breathtaking vistas, if you want to experience a true birds-eye view of the mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb then the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is worth checking out. This Guinness World Record holding gondola spans a distance of more than two-and-a-half miles (4 kilometers) between Blackcomb and Whistler.
Peak 2 Peak Gondola
Address: Whistler Blackcomb resort
Website: PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola
3. Whistler Mountain Bike Park
Mountain bikers of all abilities will find much to enjoy at Whistler Mountain Bike Park. This popular facility, which has close to 50 trails, attracts around 100,000 bikers every summer season. Further trails are planned. An additional five routes covering a combined distance of 15 kilometers (9 miles) are expected to open in 2018 as part of the park’s ‘Creekside Expansion’ project. The park also caters to an array of mountain bikers, from off-road enthusiasts to slopestyle aficionados eager to grab some big air.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park
Opening Hours: Opens at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. depending on zone. Closing times vary from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. depending on the time of year and zone. The park operates from mid-May to early October.
Website: Whistler Mountain Bike Park
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4. Whistler Olympic Park
The park, which is situated in the Madeley Creek basin to the west of Whistler, played host to the 2010 Winter Olympics’ nordic events, including the cross-country skiing and ski jumping. It offers a range of activities for people of all abilities - from family-friendly tobogganing up to ski jumping. Other attractions include the biathlon, 40 kilometers (25 miles) of snowshoe trails, baseboarding, fat biking and backcountry skiing. Activities in the warmer months include the likes of summer biathlon and Olympic sightseeing.
Whistler Olympic Park
Address: 5 Callaghan Valley Road, Whistler, BC, V0N 1B8
Opening Hours: Winter activities typically operate from November to April, depending on the weather. Also open daily from late June to early September between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Contact: +1 604-964-0060 x 2460
Website: Whistler Olympic Park
5. Ziptrek Ecotours
Soar high above the valley floor and treetop canopies with a zip line tour. Ziptrek Ecotours is located next to Whistler village, in the valley between the Blackcomb and Whistler mountains. It offers a wide range of options, from a Treetop Adventure canopy walk which features no zip lines and is suitable for all, up to the adrenaline-fuelled Sasquatch. At more than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) long the Sasquatch is the longest zip line in the whole of Canada and the USA.
Address: The main booking office is in Carleton Lodge in Whistler village
Opening Hours: Booking Office: Daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (6 p.m. in winter)
Contact: 1-866-935-0001 or [email protected]
Website: Ziptrek Ecotours
6. Blackcomb Helicopters
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Take to the skies for a helicopter experience that will forge memories to last a lifetime. Blackcomb Helicopters has been operating for more than two decades and offers sightseeing tours all year-round out of its main base in Whistler. Tour options range from short flights in the skies above Whistler to glacier landing experiences and sightseeing above some of British Columbia’s beautiful provincial parks. The firm also offers heli-biking - dropping mountain bikers off at the top of a 5000-foot (1,500-meter) vertical downhill route - and heli-hiking.
Address: 9960 Heliport Road, Whistler, BC — V0N 1B0
Price: Varies depending on tour
Opening Hours: Office open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Contact: +1 604-938-1700
Website: Blackcomb Helicopters
7. Garibaldi Provincial Park
Those who crave the wilderness will find the delights of Garibaldi Provincial Park have much to offer. A rich array of wildlife inhabits the park, including golden and bald eagles, brown bears and mountain goats, and there are numerous campsites where a fan of the outdoors can while away the hours. The park is also home to several beautiful lakes, including the popular Elfin Lakes.
Garibaldi Provincial Park
Website: Garibaldi Provincial Park
8. Audain Art Museum
Of course, while Whistler is an adrenaline junkie’s dream holiday destination, high octane activities are by no means the only attractions which appeal to visitors. The town is home to plenty of cultural attractions too, including the striking design of the Audain Art Museum. This museum opened to the public as recently as March 2016 and features a wide array of art from across British Columbia, including works by present-day masters and traditional pieces by the area’s first peoples.
Audain Art Museum
Address: 4350 Blackcomb Way, V0N 1B4 Whistler, BC, Canada
Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except Tuesday)
Contact: +1 604-962-0413 or [email protected]
Website: Audain Art Museum
9. Outdoor and snowsports festivals
Whistler is also home to some hugely popular festivals that prove a massive draw for visitors. These include GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, which runs over four days every May. It features a range of sports, art, culture, and music. Among the attractions at the 2017 festival were free outdoor concerts featuring the likes of iconic Canadian rockers 54•40. Another top event is the World Ski and Snowboard Festival, a massive 10-day celebration of winter sports, culture and art which takes place every April.
GO Fest: Whistler's Great Outdoor Festival
Website: GO Fest
10. Whistler Sliding Centre
Follow in the footsteps of real Olympians at the Whistler Sliding Centre, which housed the 2010 Winter Games’ luge, bobsleigh, and skeleton events and boasts the fastest ice track on the planet. It continues to attract major competitions and elite athletes year after year. As well as enjoying the show, visitors can actually experience the thrill of hurtling down the track for themselves thanks to passenger bobsleigh and skeleton experiences along part of the route.
Whistler Sliding Centre
Address: 4910 Glacier Lane, V0N 1B4 Whistler, BC
Price: Free (public areas for sightseeing)
Opening Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact: +1 604-964-0040
Website: Whistler Sliding Centre
Something for everyone in Whistler
So whether you’re a snowsports enthusiast, an art lover, or a fan of the great outdoors or would like to enjoy music at a festival or two, Whistler has much to offer, whatever the time of year.