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The Top 10  Things to See and Do in Whistler
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The Top 10 Things to See and Do in Whistler

Picture of Savka Andic
Updated: 9 February 2017
For aficionados of the great outdoors, the question is really what can you not do in Whistler rather than what can you do. The city and its surroundings offer an astounding variety of activities which befit its reputation as one of the world’s greatest mountain resorts. Those of the less athletic and adrenaline-surge persuasion will equally find plenty to keep them busy while their friends and family spend their days soaring over the peaks and trails. Check out our list of Whistler’s top ten experiences to suit all tastes and preferences.
Scandinave Spa summer | Courtesy of Scandinave Spa
Scandinave Spa summer | Courtesy of Scandinave Spa

Scandinave Spa

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

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Ziptrek Ecotours

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

Ziptrek Ecotours Office, 4282 Mountain Square, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, +1 604 935 0001

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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

Whistler Sliding Centre, 4910 Glacier Lane, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, +1 604 964 0040

Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre © Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre | © Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler
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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

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, 4584 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, +1 866 441 7522

Peak 2 Peak Gondola © Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler
Peak 2 Peak Gondola | © Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler
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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.

Peak 2 Peak Gondola, 4545 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, +1 800 944 7853

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

Stonesedge Resturant | Courtesy of Whistler Tasting Tours
Stonesedge Resturant | Courtesy of Whistler Tasting Tours
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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 Tasting Tours, 201-4111 Golfers Approach, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, + 1 604 902 8687

Cross country biking © Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler
Cross country biking | © Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler
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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

Apres ski at Merlin's © Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler
Apres ski at Merlin’s | © Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler
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Après-ski

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.

Price: Mid-range

Watch out for: Giddy skiers galore

Opening hours: Daily,from 3 pm until you retire

Upper Village, Whistler Mountain, Whistler Creekside

Back country skiing © Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler
Back country skiing | © Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler

….Ski

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.