An unforgettable highlight of any Whistler experience, Scandinave Spa offers a variety of relaxing Nordic-inspired spa treatments in spectacular surroundings. Enjoy the Scandinavian Spa baths experience, beginning with the eucalyptus steam room, Finnish sauna and thermal waterfall and moving on to a cold bath/waterfall and then final relaxation on the terrace in a hammock, in the solarium or with a variety of massages. The phyto-chemical composition of the spa water is verified six times daily to ensure optimal quality and the spa adheres to stringent ecological standards. After it’s over, enjoy a light lunch in the Scandinave Café overlooking swathes of cedar forests in the Whistler and Blackcomb valleys.
Price: Contact Spa
Watch out for: The mountain views
Opening hours: Daily 10am – 9pm
Scandinave Spa Whistler, 8010 Mons Road, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, +1 604 935 2424, +1 888 935 2423
Self-described as the ‘leader in zipline-based, adventure ecotourism’, Ziptrek Ecotours offers visitors a three-hour experience exploring the environmental marvels of Whistler’s ancient rain forest. The journey uses a combination of different methods such as suspension bridges, treetop platforms, ground trails and ziplines, which are suspended steel cables ridden across a series of platforms. In addition to providing an exhilarating adventure, Ziptrek is underpinned by ethical principles, promoting the cause of environmental education and creating its own renewable energy.
Price: Varies by tour, see website
Watch out for: The great forest scenery
Opening hours: Daily 8am – 7pm
Whistler Sliding Centre
Operated by Whistler Sport Legacies, a non-profit organization responsible for the legacy of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Whistler Sliding Centre was the site of the 2010 bobsleigh, skeleton and luge competitions and currently houses the world’s fastest ice-track reaching nearly 1.5 km in length. Visitors can tour the site and the more adventurous can try out their skills riding the bobsleigh and skeleton, reaching speeds of up to 125 km/hr. There’s even a summer version, the bobsleigh on wheels which runs from June to September. Advance reservation is recommended due to high levels of popularity.
Price: $169 + tax per person
Watch out for: A massive adrenaline rush and G-Forces
Opening hours: Winter, December 4, 2015 – March 27, 2016; Summer, late June – early September
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
The Whistler mountain resort may be relatively new, but it sits on the ancient ancestral lands of the Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations peoples, who together conceived the idea of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in the early 2000s to preserve and share their culture and traditions with the wider world while respecting the natural environment. Visitors to the centre can learn about the art, history and culture of the two First Nations with a local Ambassador guide in a series of visual exhibits and interactive events, including meeting artists, traditional craft-making and learning about legends and ceremonies. The centre itself is inspired by the architecture of the First Nations longhouse/traditional earthen pit house.
Price: $18 for adults. See website for concessions.
Watch out for: The artists in residence and the Thunderbird Café for lunch
Opening hours: Daily 9:30am – 5pm
Peak 2 Peak Gondola
It’ll feel like you’re on the ‘stairway to heaven’ as you ride between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains on the Peak 2 Peak gondola, the world’s longest and highest lift. It’s equally thrilling for skiers and snowboarders who want to move seamlessly between mountains, as it is for pure sight-seeing pleasure. Take in the vast mountain and valley panorama on this 11-minute journey through the clouds or opt for a special glass-bottomed gondola for even greater views.
Price: From $46.95.
Watch out for: Natural splendour
Opening hours: Winter operations reopen November 26. See website for details.
Whistler Film Festival
Known as Whistler’s best arts and cultural events and one of Canada’s premier film events, the Whistler Film Festival celebrates its fifteenth anniversary this year. In 2015 the Festival will feature 80 films with a particular focus on Canadian independent film, in addition to events such as the Music Café, for aspiring film musicians, and a Celebrity Challenge Ski Race. With over 12 000 attendees expected and the delights of Whistler on the doorstep, this event is sure to be a highlight of Whistler’s cultural calendar.
Price: A range of individual tickets and packages available starting at $13 for adults
Watch out for: Your favourite film genres
Opening hours: 2 – 6 Dec 2015
Various theatres and venues, +1 877 838 3456
Whistler Tasting Tours
The brainchild of friends and gastronomic enthusiasts Skai Dalziel and Joe Facciolo, Whistler Tasting Tours was founded in 2008 as a way for visitors to experience the best of local dining and was recently designated a Canadian ‘Signature Experience’ by the national tourism commission. The tours take visitors around the best local dining establishments and cover a wide variety of options such as dinner, lunch and specialized dessert tours. The dining experience also features local beers and Okanagan wines. Diners have the chance to sample different courses at different venues and also to meet the restaurant owners and chefs at each venue, adding a personal touch to the experience.
Price: Budget to fine dining
Watch out for: The ‘hidden gems’
Opening hours: Office hours 10am – 6pm. Tour timings vary.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park
A perfect Whistler summer activity, Whistler Mountain Bike Park is one of the world’s best downhill bike parks and gives riders access to 1.5 km of descending bike trails and 80 km of trail overall in four different zones, ranging from beginner-friendly rides through the forest to flying leaps and precipitous rock faces for the more expert riders. The Peak Zone in particular will thrill the experts with its trails soaring over the peak of Whistler Mountain. The Bike Park hosts numerous special events and competitions throughout the summer in addition to a bike school for adults and children alike.
Price: Starting at $29 for adults
Watch out for: The occasional bear
Opening hours: May – October 10am – 7pm according to the zone
Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, +1 604 967 8950
Whistler boasts a great variety of activities to enjoy after the ski runs close. Even if you haven’t been pounding the trails all day, you can still join in the dining and merriment at favourite local watering-holes such as Dusty’s, Whistler’s first apres-ski bar founded in 1965, or Merlin’s Bar and Grill in the Upper Village. Or better yet, sit back and enjoy a sparkling beverage of your choice in a hot tub – practically every resort and accommodation in Whistler features one – while watching the snow fall over the pine-clad mountains. Simply incomparable.
Watch out for: Giddy skiers galore
Opening hours: Daily,from 3 pm until you retire
And do pretty much anything else on snow and ice. (Well, it had to be mentioned in the end.) In addition to the world-class ski and snowboard runs, you can also try cross-country skiing, heli-skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, ice climbing, dog-sledding, sleigh rides or snow-tubing for those who are less fond of extreme exertion. So choose your activity and get going!
More information on these activities available here.