8 Reasons Why Whistler is the Ultimate Winter Destination

Jan 8, 2017

Whistler is synonymous with skiing, but that only scratches the surface. Travelers from all over the world have been flocking to this award-winning resort on Canada's western coast for more than just the slopes -- though they are a very good reason.

We identified the top eight reasons why Whistler should be your winter (or spring) hot spot this year.

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1. The ski season is really long.

Whistler's ski season spans nearly six months from November to May, and is one of the longest in North America. March can often be the snowiest month in Whistler, allowing visitors to combine great powder with longer ski days. April trips come with softer snow, warmer patio sessions and special events, like the World Ski and Snowboard Festival. An added benefit to this big span of time to visit is that the cost to go late in the season can be far more wallet friendly: a big experience on a smaller budget.

Photo: Mike Crane

2. Excellent snow conditions.

In Whistler, it snows – a lot. With an average of more than 38 feet a year of the white stuff (about the length of a school bus on its end), Whistler is a must-visit destination whether you love powder days or pristine groomers. With above-average snowfall so far this winter, conditions are epic – the perfect excuse to plan a trip this season.

Photo: Eric Berger

3. The terrain is epic.

Two mountains. More than 200 trails with 37 lifts. Five terrain parks. More than 8100 acres of skiable area. In short: Whistler is big, but it’s also varied. Adrenaline junkies can flex their muscles on some of the most challenging double black diamond runs in the world. If you are still a little wobbly in the knees, an afternoon taking a lesson to find your ski legs is probably more appropriate. Those who prefer to spend more time in the air than on the ground can test out their tricks on more than 150 features and 40 jumps in the terrain parks. Whatever your skill level, Whistler has something your speed.

Photo: David McColm

4. Skiing is just the start.

Not everyone can or likes to ski, but Whistler is not just a ski resort. It’s a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. You can go snowboarding, ice skating, tubing, snowmobiling or try winter zip-lining. Looking for something a bit more serene? Try ice fishing or snowshoeing. Even the short stroll from the spa to a village boutique could be considered an outdoor activity. In Whistler, they believe in après-anything -- you've always earned the right to kick back and refuel with your friends and family over hot cocoa, a cocktail or a bite to eat.

Photo: Mike Crane

5. It is easy to get to.

While you can charter a helicopter right into Whistler, most people choose to fly into Vancouver and make the two-hour trip by land. Vancouver International Airport is serviced by almost all major U.S. airlines from most major U.S. cities. You will need a passport, but we know most of you already have one. Whether you decide to take the convenient Whistler shuttle right from the airport or rent a car and make it on your own, the views out your window on the Sea to Sky Highway will be breathtaking.

Photo: Mike Crane

6. The pedestrian-only village is its own attraction.

So you’ve made your way down the mountain and are in search of a little rest and relaxation. Jump off the gondolas and you're in the village: Whistler’s central neighborhood. Many hotels sit right in this area, surrounded by spas, art galleries, small boutiques, big-name shops, casual eateries and fine-dining spots. Performance venues, bars and nightclubs are peppered in for good measure. It is also the hub for free family-friendly activities and entertainment. There are no cars on these stone walkways so getting around on foot is a breeze – just like the vibe. Whistler might be big in size, but it still feels like a relaxed, mountain town.

Photo: Mike Crane

7. Whistler has a world record-holding gondola.

Linking Blackcomb and Whistler mountains is the PEAK 2 PEAK gondola. It boasts the longest unsupported lift span in the world and is the highest of its kind. Imagine being at the top of a 14-story building and riding in a glass-enclosed car with 360-degree views of snowy peaks to another 14-story building waiting nearly two miles away. Added bonus: Skiing is not a requirement to ride this ride. Bring your best camera because you'll definitely take some photos worth sharing. The only other way to capture these images would be if you could fly.

Photo: Mike Crane

8. There are deals to be found.

You might think you need to have deep pockets to afford this trip, but Whistler is offering stay and ski packages at a savings of up to 30%, depending on how long you stay. These deals are available for the entire season and include accommodations and lift tickets. On top of that, the U.S. dollar continues to hold strong against the Canadian dollar, so you'll already be saving up to 30% just by choosing Whistler over U.S. ski destinations.

Photo: Mike Crane

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