Adventure Deeper in Whistler This Summer
Just in time for summer, Whistler is welcoming back visitors to experience the magic of the mountains — where life slows down but the world opens up into majestic vistas, lush forests and alpine meadows.
The mountain town is putting health and safety first, so that everyone can play confidently, mindfully and sensibly in the great outdoors. It’s a summer experience that encourages planning ahead, slowing down and exploring responsibly, making for a more meaningful connection to nature and the community.
Summer is a season to discover and rejuvenate, and your options are endless: You can bask in sunshine and stare up at the two mighty mountains or you can go conquer them. Whistler is one massive outdoor playground, as exhilarating for high-adrenaline pursuits (downhill biking, ziplining, whitewater rafting) as it is for pressing pause to enjoy the little pleasures, like dining al fresco, immersing in arts and culture or watching a dramatic sunset melt away in Technicolor.
Keep your passion for the mountains alive as you discover Whistler’s new pace. Here’s how to maximize your fun, benefit from enhanced safety measures and adventure deeper this summer.
Plan ahead, stay safe
While things may look a little different this summer, everything you know and love about Whistler is still the same.
Local businesses have worked hard to reopen responsibly and are committed to upholding the highest standards in health and safety for everyone.
Before visiting, it’s best to plan ahead and confirm hotel, activity bookings and restaurant reservations, as well as opening hours and other logistics, to make for an easy experience.
Whistler’s Doors Open Directory is a great resource for this type of information. It’s a one-stop shop with up-to-date details on what is open, plus what local businesses are doing to make things safe. Safety has been top of mind for the local community; Whistler underwent a mass vaccination effort in April.
This summer, aim to avoid the weekend rush in Whistler. Visiting midweek and during off-peak periods can offer a better overall experience with a quieter resort, more choices and the best deals on accommodations.
While you’re visiting, practice patience and soak in the mountain environment and tight-knit community culture. By slowing your roll, you’ll experience life in Whistler like a local and probably discover something new, whether it’s your first time visiting or your second home.
Know before you go
The lazy days of summer offer the perfect excuse to linger longer, giving you plenty of time to explore without rushing to squeeze it all in. And this summer, Whistler’s making it easy to book an extended getaway.
Save up to 30% on weeklong stays, with accommodations from $109 per night, plus a free $100 adventure voucher. Four-night stays also provide great value from $127 per night and include a $50 adventure voucher. Just use promo code SUMMER2021 when you book to get the free voucher.
If you’re coming from out of province, this is the summer to book some of the best airfare prices we’ve seen in years. Take advantage of deep discounts on flights to Vancouver and enjoy a scenic drive up the Sea to Sky. (At time of publication, we were seeing nonstop flights this summer in the $200s-$300s roundtrip from Toronto and in the $100s-$200s roundtrip from Calgary.)
If your plans change, many of Whistler’s hotels and local businesses offer flexibility on date changes, with future credits or full refunds. Be sure to review the individual policies outlined by each business before you book.
Knowing what you want to get out of your trip will maximize the fun so be sure to check out the Whistler Insider blog, a great resource with helpful information to start planning your summer adventures.
Every activity under the sun
Up on the mountains, summer is prime time for hiking. Grab a sightseeing ticket at Whistler Blackcomb to access over 50 kilometres of trails meandering to gorgeous viewpoints.
Located at the top of Whistler, the Summit Interpretive Walk is a 60-minute family friendly route that winds around the mountain’s highest point and includes informational storyboards. For a world-class alpine hiking experience, the signature High Note Trail offers stunning views of Black Tusk, Garibaldi Provincial Park and the turquoise-coloured Cheakamus Lake.
Prefer to test your strength? Take a deep breath and try out Via Ferrata, where you can experience the thrill of rock climbing with a guide by your side. Once you’ve completed the ascent, you’ll be treated to spectacular views.
Whistler is also a mountain biking mecca and features a world-class bike park with over 200 kilometres of lift-serviced trails. Those with full-suspension bikes and up-to-date safety equipment can explore 70 trails spread throughout four distinct mountain zones. You can also rent gear and sharpen your downhill skills with a lesson from an experienced coach.
Casual cyclists can keep it cruisy on the Valley Trail, a paved network that stretches more than 45 kilometres, connecting neighbourhoods, lakes, viewpoints and picnic areas.
For something mellower, spend a morning canoeing on Alta Lake or strolling the Whistler Farmers’ Market if you’re around on a Sunday.
In the afternoon, invigorate your body and mind in a cycle of hot baths, refreshing rinses and relaxation at the Scandinave Spa. Take in some arts and culture programming at the Audain Art Museum and Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, where visitors can learn about the history and culture of local First Nations.
Stay longer, go deeper
Whistler’s legend as a nonstop, do-it-all destination is one of the reasons it’s famous, and it certainly hasn’t gone away. Yet there’s more to it than checking off boxes, and the longer you stay the more you find.
Explore beyond the Village and into the valley to uncover Whistler’s lesser-known sides and the places the locals call home.
Creekside Village was the original base of Whistler Mountain and is a quieter alternative to Whistler Village. Ramble among the shops and sit down for lunch at Dusty’s, one of Whistler’s original watering holes with a spacious, sunny patio.
From there, venture even further afield to Function Junction, once known as the industrial part of town, now home to some of the best hidden gems for food and drinks (Purebread and Whistler Brewing, to name a few). It’s also the starting point for the Train Wreck hike, which leads to a forested art gallery of railway boxcars scattered among towering cedars lining the Cheakamus River.
Get the lay of the land through the lens of a local with a Whistler Sightseeing Tour. Join knowledgeable guides on a journey to Whistler’s most picturesque locations, including Olympic venues, historic sites and shopping districts around Whistler. Travel in a clean and comfortable shuttle bus or sign up for the Great Whistler Walking Tour for a mix of scenery, arts, culture, fresh air and exercise.
A patio with a view
If you don’t find yourself on a sunny patio this summer, you’re not doing Whistler right. Not only do local patios offer superb food and drink, but most feature dramatic views of the surrounding mountain landscape or pedestrian-only Village Stroll.
Located at the top of Whistler Mountain, The Roundhouse boasts three large patios with panoramic vistas of surrounding mountains and valleys, and it’s a great place to grab a beer and fuel up after a hiking adventure.
Down at the base, the Garibaldi Lift Company, or as the locals call it, the GLC, offers superb sightlines of the bike park. Check out Araxi in the heart of the Village for shucked oysters and the best people watching in Whistler, grab a craft cocktail at The Raven Room or bite into a Neapolitan slice at Pizzeria Antico.
In the quieter Upper Village, Merlin’s Bar and Grill looks up Blackcomb Mountain from its large sunny patio. In Creekside, Cure Lounge at Nita Lake Lodge is perfect for enjoying an afternoon refreshment in a serene lakeside setting.