Snow-capped peaks and powdered steeps; sparkling lakes and emerald green golf courses; challenging hiking trails and inviting restaurants — Whistler’s offerings suit every season. However, its most popular attraction remains as Whistler Blackcomb Mountain, and why wouldn’t it? The massive resort spans more than 8,100 acres of land, sees nearly 40 feet of snowfall annually and boasts some of the most active après-ski spots in North America. The entire town, which sits about 80 miles north of Vancouver, embodies the ski-chic atmosphere, hosting dozens of ski and snowboard competitions and festivals annually. Whistler continues to buzz through the warmer months, when more outdoor enthusiasts come out to play. Visitors can try bungee jumping, or hiking and biking up the mountains. And those who come to town looking for photo-ops will find plenty. The Coast Mountains offer a picture-perfect setting: You’ll find the best views on a ride on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which spans Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
While Whistler is an ideal vacation spot for the active types, more mellow travelers will enjoy the area’s museums and art galleries that are filled with informative exhibits. Plus, the town boasts family-friendly activities and attractions like ice skating, summer concerts and Olympic Park exploring, along with plenty of shopping options and a deluge of dining venues. With pristine ski spots and plenty of outdoor pursuits, you’ll see why so many just want to grab their gear and get to Whistler.
How To Save Money in Whistler
- WalkIf you plan to do a lot of skiing or hiking, you won’t need to rent a car to get around since everything you’ll want to do is within walking or shuttle distance of Whistler Village.
- Spring for springSpringtime brings fewer crowds than wintertime, but that doesn’t mean there are fewer things to do. Whistler Blackcomb Mountain stays open for skiing through late April. Plus, there are plenty of trails for hiking and biking.
- Book in advanceYou can get discounts on both lodging and lift tickets if you book in advance, so plan ahead and save some coin.
Whistler Culture & Customs
You’ll find Whistler to be similar to most other North American ski towns, embracing an outdoorsy spirit. Hordes of visitors descend on the mountains annually to take advantage of prime skiing conditions and hiking and biking trails. Whistlerites speak English and dress casually — in the winter expect to see plenty of people walking around in ski and snowboard gear.
Whistler also has ties to the First Nations (the native people of Canada). The Squamish and Lil’wat tribes settled here thousands of years ago because of the area’s rich wildlife and resources, making it an ideal home base for trading. You can learn more about the customs and heritage of the two groups at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
The currency used in Whistler is the Canadian dollar (CAD), which is roughly equivalent to the U.S. dollar (USD), but the U.S. dollar is also widely accepted throughout Whistler Resort. All major credit cards are accepted as well. Tipping policies are similar with those in the U.S.: typically around 15 to 20 percent at bars and restaurants, 10 to 20 percent for taxi service and a few dollars for a hotel valet or bellhop. Canada also follows the metric system, so you’ll like see signs in kilometers, liquid units (like gasoline) in liters and temperatures in Celsius.
Dining in Whistler is all about the après-ski experience — grab some friends and head to the bars and restaurants near Whistler Blackcomb Resort to enjoy brews and pub food. At many of the venues, you’ll have the option of outdoor seating to admire the mountains or indoor seating to cozy up to the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub and Citta’s Bistro are two spots that recent visitors said they enjoyed. Many of the restaurants feature local ingredients like fresh game and hand-picked vegetables in their menus, and some showcase local bands with live music. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more sophisticated and willing to go for a drive, the Rim Rock Cafe & Oyster Bar just 2 miles south of Whistler Village receives glowing reviews for its ambiance and meat and seafood dishes.