In the summer, explore mountaintops on the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, play a round of golf (or four), hike, mountain bike or spend a lazy afternoon on the beach. In winter, naturally, ski and snowboard on the slopes or zip trek, tour around with a snowmobile or ride on a sleigh.
There’s always a ton on offer in the open air, but both locals and visitors have found that Whistler has some fantastic attractions that aren’t to be missed at any time of year.
Here are the top 5 year-round activities to do in Whistler.
1. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola
Board the longest and highest lift in the world for an unparalleled perspective of British Columbia’s rooftop. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, a 4.4-kilometre long crossing that connects Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, is a marvel of alpine engineering—at the highest point, the gondola lines pass at a height of 435 metres over Fitzsimmons Creek. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola has created one continuous lift system at Whistler Blackcomb—whether it’s summer or winter, both mountains are available to explore. The gondola is stroller and wheelchair accessible, so it’s a Whistler attraction that’s open to anyone.
There are few things more satisfying than a long day on the mountains or the links. Except, of course, finishing it off with a few drinks and a hearty meal. Whistler is famous for its après life, with a wide range of options from the raucous to the refined; here, guests will find options that range from tasting menus of locally sourced ingredients to kid-friendly pizzas baked in wood-fired ovens. As for beverages, there’s everything from vintage bottles of Dom Pérignon to pints of craft-brewed amber ale. Whistler has some storied après experiences that are absolute musts: sushi in tatami rooms, patios for afternoon people watching, chairs set beside crackling fires. Popular après hotspots include the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC), Dusty’s Bar & Grill or Merlin’s Bar & Grill and the Longhorn Saloon & Grill.
There are a multitude of reasons why Whistler has become a world-class resort, and among them is the fact that it has always protected its local spirit. That’s certainly the case with Whistler’s shopping and boutique scene, centred on numerous shops and galleries that travellers won’t find anywhere else. There are over 200 retail stores in Whistler, many of them in the heart of the pedestrian-only village. If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind native artwork, high fashion stores, jewellery or sport equipment and clothing, it’s a sure thing that one of Whistler’s friendly and locally-owned boutiques will have shoppers covered. For all snowboard gear visit Whistler’s original snowboard store Showcase, for Native arts and crafts visit the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural centre, for fine jewellery and accessories visit Keir, and for the perfect book to read by the fire visit Armchair Books.
4. Health and wellness
Even the most dedicated fresh-air fiends know they need to slow down sometimes. With all that time at elevation—whether racing along a bike trail or setting turns down a winter groomer— Whistler is a town that sees its share of sore muscles. Whatever the time of year, it’s essential that you take some time to explore Whistler’s health and wellness offerings. Some of the continent’s most sophisticated spas call the town home, with treatments ranging from deep tissue massages to relaxing hydrotherapy and beautifying clay wraps. If guests are looking to bring their mind and body into balance, there are numerous yoga and Pilates options for beginners and expert yogis alike.
The temperate forest between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains is a magical place—stands of evergreens, hanging mosses, glacial meltwaters rushing through stony creeks. If you’re looking for a truly spectacular way to experience Whistler’s ecology, a zipline adventure is the way to go. Accompanied by professional guides, guests strap into a climbing harness and swing through the canopy of the forest. It’s an unforgettable feeling—after stepping off the cedar launch platforms, they’ll reach speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour. The ziplines, suspension bridges and boardwalks fit seamlessly into the forest ecosystem, and for those looking for a gentler pace there are walking tours available as well. Zip through the trees with either Ziptrek Ecotours or Superfly.