- Best of Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Island: High Tea to Low Tide
- Vancouver’s Totem Poles
- Vancouver’s Best Hiking
- Family Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
- Focus on Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Weekend Getaway
- Victoria Weekend Getaway
- A Tour Through Time
- Inside Passage Cruises
- Outdoor Adventures
- Winter Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
As co-host of the Olympic Winter Games, the world’s eyes were on Whistler in February 2010—not that this bustling resort town (population 10,000), 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Vancouver, needed any extra attention. Magnificent snowcapped peaks, dense green forests, transparent lakes, sparkling rivers, and an upscale, cosmopolitan village right in the middle of it all make Whistler one of Canada’s best known and most popular four-season resort towns.
Known intimately among skiers and snowboarders, the town is built around the base of one of North America’s finest resorts, Whistler Blackcomb, which comprises almost 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) on two mountains accessed by an ultramodern lift system.
A season stretching from November to May doesn’t leave much time for summer recreation, but the “off season” is almost equally busy. Among the abundant summertime recreation opportunities are lift-served hiking and glacier skiing and snowboarding; biking through the valley and mountains; water activities on five lakes; horseback riding; golfing on some of the world’s best resort courses; and fishing, rafting, and jet-boating on the rivers.
The more sedentary summer visitor can simply stay in bustling Whistler Village and enjoy a plethora of outdoor cafés and restaurants.
The Whistler Visitor Info Centre is centrally located at 4230 Gateway Drive (604/935-3357, daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.).
Getting to Whistler
The most enjoyable way to reach the resort is aboard the Whistler Mountaineer (604/606-8460 or 888/687-7245, www.whistlermountaineer.com), which departs North Vancouver daily May–mid-October for the three-hour trip along Howe Sound. Rates for adult $199, child $109 round-trip, include Vancouver hotel pickups and three hours in the village.
You can also fly in from Vancouver on a floatplane with Whistler Air (604/932-6615 or 888/806-2299, www.whistlerair.ca, mid-May–mid-Oct., $169 each way), or catch a Pacific Coach Lines (604/662-8074 or 800/661-1725, www.pacificcoach.com) bus from Vancouver International Airport for $52.
Once you’re in Whistler, getting around is pretty easy—if you’re staying in Whistler Village, everything you need is within easy walking distance. WAVE (Whistler and Valley Express, 604/932-4020) operates extensive bus routes throughout the valley daily 6 a.m.–midnight, adult $2, senior and child $1.50.
For a cab call Sea to Sky Taxi (604/932-3333) or Whistler Taxi (604/938-3333). Rental car agencies in Whistler include Budget (604/932-1236) and Thrifty (604/938-0302).
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition