In addition to being a famous ski destination, Whistler, Canada offers vacationers a choice of great activities, unique museums and restaurants. Best things to do in Whistler, Canada, for adventure enthusiasts include zip lining, mountain biking, zooming down the world’s fastest ice track and eco tours.
1.Peak 2 Peak Gondola
© Courtesy of Robert Cocquyt - Fotolia.com
The only better way to see the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains than from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is to fly like a bird. The three-cable gondola connects the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain with the Rendezvous Restaurant on Blackcomb Mountain. At 1.88 miles, it is the world’s longest span between the two ropeway towers. It is also the highest gondola that operates above ground at 1,430 feet.
The gondola services skiers going to the mountain during the winter, as well as tourists who are excited to see the mountains from a completely new angle. Peak to Peak Gondola tours include a visit to the machine room of the gondola, a special presentation on the gondola and the sights it offers, and other activities on either mountain. It is the first gondola in the world to connect two mountains standing next to each other.
4010 Whistler Way, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 800-944-7853
2.Whistler Sliding Centre
© Whistler Sliding Centre
While watching bobsleigh or luge competitions on TV, did you ever wonder how it feels to zip down the narrow ice tube at the speed of a racecar? Now you can experience it for yourself at the Whistler Sliding Centre, the world’s fastest ice track. When athletes are not using the Centre to prepare for various international competitions, visitors are invited to check out this amazing facility or even experience the high-speed action first-hand.
Jump into a four-person bobsleigh guided by a bobsleigh pilot for an adrenaline-loaded ride at speeds of more than 125 kilometers per hour. If that is not enough adventure for you, throw yourself headfirst on a skeleton from the starting point at Maple Leaf and fly through six corners at speeds of up to 100 km per hour.
4910 Glacier Lane, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-964-0040
© Whistler Museum
Founded in 1986 by Florence Petersen to preserve the history of Whistler, the Whistler Museum and Archives preserves and presents the history and stories of Whistler Valley. Located on Main Street behind the Whistler Public Library, the museum offers activities and programs for children such as interactive exhibits, activity books, a “tickle trunk,” and much more.
Education programs can be conducted in classrooms, and the museum often serves as a destination for field trips. For adults, the museum has programs and special events like the Peterson Film Collection, the Valley of Dreams Walking Tour, Crafts in the Park, and Feeding the Spirit. The museum is open every day.
4333 Main Street, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-932-2019
© Courtesy of Galyna Andrushko - Fotolia.com
Whistler is all about breathtaking vistas and heart-pounding experiences, and Ziptreck Ecotours offer the best possible combination of both: flying 50 miles per hour over the treetops, crossing deep gorges 180 feet above ground, and dropping down hundreds of feet – Ziptrek tours are the ultimate in ziplining experience.
The tours cover more than 33 acres of ancient rain forest, steep cliff faces, and lush, soft forest floor between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, crossing the Fitzsimmons Creek. They have a range of tours available, and you are guaranteed to find one to suit your adrenaline craving. One of the most popular is Bear Tour, a three-hour, five ziplines, and four treetop bridges tour suitable for all experience levels and ages. This is an adventure to bring your kids on. Phone: 604-935-0001
5.Whistler Brewing Company
© Courtesy of darezare - Fotolia.com
No Whistler adventure would be complete without checking out the Whistler Brewing Company. Established in 1989, they spearheaded the craft brewing movement in British Columbia with the firm belief that there is more to beer than what the big companies were offering. Take a tour of their brewery in Function Junction to see how it all works or join the crowds at their popular taproom to taste their latest, or most popular, beers.
Tours are organized twice a day and include tasting of their products. The Tap Room has live music once a week. They believe that each of their bottles has a bit of Whistler in it, and the names of their beers are inspired by the wilderness around the village; Lost Lake Unfiltered IPA, Powder Mountain Lager, and Whiskey Jack Ale are just a few of the varieties you will find.
1045 Millar Creek Rd, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-962-8889
6.Whistler Mountain Bike Park
© Courtesy of sport point - Fotolia.com
Adrenaline junkies do not have to wait for white powder to cover the slopes in the wintertime to get their blood flowing. Whistler Mountain Bike Park has 70 fabulous trails that travel throughout three different mountain zones. It offers more terrain than any other North American bike park. Bikers can load their bikes onto the Creekside Gondola to access the Garbanzo Zone trails.
Whistler Bike Park is a gravity-fed downhill biking trail that offers the ultimate experience for intermediate and advanced bikers, and it draws bikers from all over the world. The park also organizes a mountain bike school with instructions on advanced biking, trails, and safety. Besides the three mountain zones, the park also has a few green trails, several technical double blacks, jump trails, and even indoor biking.
4545 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 800-766-0449
7.James Stewart Sculpture Gallery
© James Stewart Sculpture Gallery
James Stewart Sculpture Gallery is a small gallery with a big impact. Its current exhibition of large, life-like, and finely detailed sculptures of individuals the artist and gallery owner James Stewart met during his travels around the world is creating quite a stir in a town more accustomed to paintings of wild animals and spectacular landscapes.
After building a career in Hollywood by creating visual effects for movies such as The Chronicles of Narnia and Shrek 2, James decided to give it all up and devote his time to his art and to enjoying the wild adventures of Whistler. The current exhibition called Pangea has eight bronze sculptures that represent human dignity in various forms. Before being cast in bronze, the figures are meticulously carved by hand in clay.
112 – 4295 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 778-846-9959
© Courtesy of Mat Hayward - Fotolia.com
If you do not mind swimming in cold water, you can take a short hike from the Whistler Village down Valley Trail and find yourself on the coast of beautiful, blue, and tranquil Lost Lake where you can take a refreshing plunge. The lake has a nice sandy beach that actually used to be a nude beach before the hotel development changed the clothing policy. The nature trail around the lake is an easy one-hour loop offering a pleasant hike.
The park around the lake has picnic and barbecue facilities, a restroom, and a rental facility for bikes, skis, or snowshoes. During the summer, the park’s 25 kilometers of trails are especially popular among bikers while the cross-country skiers take over in the winter. The trail is also suitable for snowshoeing.
9.Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre
© Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre
The Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation have lived in the Whistler area as friendly neighbors for millennia. Their rich cultures are based on ancient traditions that continue to evolve in today’s contemporary world, and they have built the Centre to preserve their cultures and art and to share them with visitors. The Centre’s building is located on the edge of the forest and is designed to incorporate the Squamish longhouses,
Lil’wat traditional Istken (earthen pit house), and modern architecture. The Centre contains a number of permanent and temporary exhibitions, an outdoor Longhouse, a craft area, and a theatre, and it also offers a guided forest walk. The facility also has an archival museum, contemporary art gallery, a shop, and a restaurant.
4584 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 866-441-7522
10.Whistler Eco Tours
© Courtesy of bullsi photo - Fotolia.com
Located on Northlands Boulevard, Whistler Eco Tours has been offering guided tours in the Whistler area since 2011. Experienced interpretive guides lead visitors on bike, canoe, hiking, and kayak tours and share information about the local geology, history, and wildlife. Some of the wildlife you might see includes black bears, eagles, otters, and more.
Whistler Eco Tours offers a tour called the River of Golden Dreams, which starts at Alta Lake and continues across the Whistler Wetlands to a glacier river and finally to Green Lake. The three-hour tour can be done by canoe or by kayak, and it can be self-guided, staff-guided for groups, or privately self-guided.
4315 Northlands Boulevard, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-935-4900
Next read: Best Time to Visit Quebec City, Canada & Other Travel Tips
© Courtesy of David Alary - Fotolia.com
The Whistler Valley Trail is a boardwalk and trail in Whistler. Visitors can cycle, rollerblade, run, skate, or walk the 25-mile (40 km) trail. It is also popular for dog walking. Connecting several of Whistler’s neighborhoods such as Emerald and Function Junction, the trail is also used during the winter months for fat biking and cross country skiing.
There are a variety of routes for visitors to enjoy, from Whistler Village to Rainbow Park where there is a sandy beach and picnic tables. The Whistler Golf Club Loop begins and ends at the golf clubhouse while Creekside stops by the three lakes of Alpha, Nita, and Alta.
12.Whistler Blackcomb Snow School
© Courtesy of Robert Cocquyt - Fotolia.com
Located on Blackcomb Way, the Whistler Blackcomb Snow School is one of the best snow schools in North America. The school offers group and private ski and snowboard lessons for children and adults. Trained instructors conduct all classes and lessons, and children’s classes are limited to no more than six for more individualized training.
The school also offers backcountry adventures, camps, clinics, and much more. Ski or Ride with an Olympian is the school’s exclusive program that gives visitors the chance to spend time with an Olympic Gold Medalist, an Olympic Skier, or an Olympic Snowboarder. The School for Instructors also offers programs such as Alltracks Academy and Yes Improvement.
4545 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-967-8950
13.Whistler Golf Club
© Courtesy of schulz foto - Fotolia.com
The Whistler Golf Club is home to a course designed by Arnold Palmer and is located on Whistler Way in Whistler Village. This is the first golf course that Arnold Palmer designed in Canada, and it is known for its well-maintained greens, and scenic forest landscape, and its stunning snowcapped mountain views.
Visitors enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the club and the helpful and experienced staff: it is the most popular golf club in Whistler. Palmer’s Gallery Bar & Grill are located in the clubhouse: the decor reflects Palmer’s long and distinguished career. There is also a practice facility and two golf shops. Private lessons and group clinics are available.
4001 Whistler Way, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-932-3280
14.Brandywine Falls Provincial Park
© Courtesy of Michael Shake - Fotolia.com
Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is located between Garibaldi and Whistler in British Columbia. The park is the home of Brandywine Falls, a 230-foot (70 meter) high waterfall that is a part of Brandywine Creek, whose origin is located in the Powder Mountain Icefield.
Daisy Lake is downstream of the waterfall, and there is a platform that affords views of the water, the lake, and the surrounding mountains.
Visitors can participate in many activities in the park. For cyclists, there are two trails: the Sea to Sky trail and the Hydro Right of Way trail. In addition to these two trails, hikers can use the Brandywine Falls trail and the Swim Lake trail.
15.The Mexican Corner
© The Mexican Corner
Imagine hearing the sound of Mariachi in the middle of a snowstorm when the wind is sweeping down the mountain. In Whistler, everything is possible. Located on the second floor of the Sundial Hotel in downtown Whistler just minutes from the ski slopes is a cheerful, colorful Mexican oasis.
The Mexican Corner is warm and welcoming, and it features tasteful Mexican décor. The restaurant’s large communal tables encourage conversation and amongst guests. The food is a perfect mix of the popular street food we all crave from time to time and some interesting Aztec and Mayan dishes with spices not typically found on Mexican menus.
Try their Cochinita, which is braised Mayan style pork marinated in Axiote, or the sophisticated 1810 Revolution Salad with mixed greens, poblano peppers, dried cranberries, and pears with a dressing of sherry, Gorgonzola, and walnuts. They also have some creative versions of margaritas made with excellent tequilas. Read more
12-4340 Sundial Crescent, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-962-4450
16.Sea to Sky Waterfalls
© Courtesy of reelhawksstudio - Fotolia.com
The Sea to Sky Waterfalls is a group of waterfalls located along the Sea to Sky Route, which is located off Highway 99 out of Vancouver and just to the north of Whistler. Most of the waterfalls are near the highway, making them easy to visit. As you traveling north, you will reach Shannon Falls, the first waterfall: it is so close to the highway that you can’t miss it. Brandywine Falls comes next and includes an observation deck for an amazing view.
Alexander Falls is a tiered waterfall and is situated just a short distance from the highway. Rainbow Falls is not high, but the river and the surrounding terrain are beautiful. Reaching the dramatic Wedgemont Falls requires a strenuous hike, while Nairn Falls roars through a narrow canyon.
© Peaked Pies
Aussies love their meat pies, and when they cannot find them, they make them. That is the story of the Peaked Pies – an Aussie girl met a Canadian boy while skiing in Whistler, and some of the best pies in the northern hemisphere were born. Their warm pies with a buttery, flaky crust are stuffed with delicious mixes such as steak, cheese, and bacon, or chicken satay with peanut butter sauce. The results are heavenly.
Their sweet pies are rich and fruity and delicious. Try your meat pie with mashed potatoes, mushy peas and gravy – it is absolutely delicious. All of their pies go great with their excellent coffees. They serve pies in their cute little restaurant just off the main shopping street.
105-4369 Main Street, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-962-4115
© La Cantina
You will know that you are not in your average taqueria from the moment you enter this modern, industrial space where even the chairs and tables look like they are made of machine parts. La Cantina also has a dynamic menu that features items such as the tofu taco. You will also find tacos with pork belly in Kao paigu (Chinese) sauce with cabbage and pickled onion and the gluten-free Cochinita, which is Mayan style pulled pork loaded with pickled onion and cilantro pesto.
Their menu will make you completely rethink tacos, but you will enjoy them no less, especially when you’re eating in the cozy, friendly atmosphere where talking to total strangers is facilitated by large, shared tables. People tend to linger, especially over a few beers. They even have gluten-free beer. Read more
129-4340 Lorimer Rd, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-962-9950
More Places to visit in Canada
© Courtesy of alpegor - Fotolia.com
Located at Alta Lake in Whistler, Rainbow Park is a popular park with many amenities that locals and visitors both enjoy. There is a sandy beach and a large grassy area for relaxing and soaking up the sun or for playing volleyball. The lake is clear and clean and great for a refreshing swim, and you can relax on the floating dock after your invigorating swim.
This park was the original site of the historic Rainbow Lodge, and visitors have been enjoying the area since the early 1920s. In fact, a few of the original cabins still remain. From the park, you can take advantage of stunning views of Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler.
© Pasta Lupino
There are so many reasons why young skiers flock to this pleasant and inviting Italian restaurant at the edge of the Village. Every pasta dish comes with a soup, salad, and a basket of freshly baked focaccia. The restaurant’s fantastic pasta machine imported from Italy produces incredibly fresh pasta ready to be smothered with flavorful house-made sauces.
Wonderful open kitchen creates the atmosphere of being at home and eating with friends. Super affordable prices are one more reason the restaurant is so popular with the young budget-strapped travelers. And let’s not forget the rich Italian flavors reminiscent of summer fields and the gorgeous Italian countryside.
121 - 4368 Main Street, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-905-0400
21.Grill & Vine
© Grill & Vine
Located at the dreamy castle-like Westin hotel, Grill & Vine is an upscale, beautifully decorated bistro-style restaurant that serves American classics. And what could be more classical than grilled meat and good wine? Chef Brad Cumming puts a fresh and interesting take on favorite classics to delicious results. He works with local ingredients whenever possible and uses his considerable talents to allow their flavors to speak for themselves.
Absolutely anything that comes from their stone oven is fabulous, but the roasted pork glazed with apple dijon, and served with onion puree, green beans, and Madeira sauce is positively outstanding. They have 22 carefully selected wines you can order by the glass, and there are many more options by the bottle.
4090 Whistler Way, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-935-4344
22.Whistler Visitor Centre
© Whistler Visitor Centre
The Whistler Visitor Centre is an information center located on Gateway Drive. The helpful and professional staff helps visitors who are looking for things to see and do in the Whistler area. The centre offers useful information on sights, arts, and culture venues, directions, and current events in Whistler Valley.
The staff is also happy to offer suggestions for accommodations, nightlife, places to eat, shopping, spas, and other places related to health and wellness. The centre is open year round, so visitors are able to get information about summertime and wintertime activities for adults as well as fun things for children to do.
4230 Gateway Drive, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-935-3357
© Sachi Sushi
If you feel like getting sushi while in Whistler, go to Sachi Sushi in the Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel to see what all the fuss is about – Sachi Sushi is very popular. The restaurant is warm and spacious and features tasteful decorations that make the ambience very inviting. The open sushi bar is the heart of the dining room. While the restaurant has an extensive menu of typical Japanese dishes such as robato and udon noodles, most people come for the sushi.
Chef and owner Toshiyuki Kobayashi knows his craft well and will delight you with unique combinations of ingredients and superb presentation. Try their house specialty scallop roll seasoned with spicy mayo and rolled in salmon and avocado. It goes very well with warm sake, especially during the winter.
#106 4359 Main Street, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-935-5649
Spectacular views of the Blackcomb and Whistler mountains, a large open fireplace, sleek, modern furniture, and soft earth tones create the perfect setting for a very special evening. Located in the elegant Four Seasons Resort, Sidecut grill and bar serves excellent regional meats such as Alberta prime beef and British Columbia venison loin. They use their incredibly modern infrared grill to cook meats to perfection in their own juices.
They also serve fresh salmon and halibut from the Pacific and from the local mountain lakes. Their large wine selection of 30 wines by the glass and 200 vintages by the bottle has something for every taste and budget. In the summer, you can enjoy your meal on Sidecut’s large heated patio.
4591 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-966-5280
25.Whistler Bounce Acrobatic Academy
© Whistler Bounce Acrobatic Academy
Located on Millar Creek Road in Whistler, the Bounce Acrobatic Academy is a trampoline park that provides fun and exercise for children and parents. The facility contains 12 trampolines that are arranged in such a way that visitors are guaranteed to have an exciting and memorable adventure.
The academy offers trampoline skill classes and air awareness clinics for all levels of experience. Visitors learn to perform simple straight air jumps, tuck jumps, and much more. Trampoline lessons are limited to three students per class. Bounce 101 is a state-of-the art-program that features a Supertramp and Olympic string bed trampolines.
1055 Millar Creek Road #100, Whistler, Canada, Phone: 604-938-4567
More things to do: Cheakamus Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park which was featured in 26 Most Beautiful Romantic Places to Visit in Canada.
25 Best Things to Do in Whistler, Canada
- Peak 2 Peak Gondola, Photo: Courtesy of Robert Cocquyt - Fotolia.com
- Whistler Sliding Centre, Photo: Whistler Sliding Centre
- Whistler Museum, Photo: Whistler Museum
- Ziptrek Ecotours, Photo: Courtesy of Galyna Andrushko - Fotolia.com
- Whistler Brewing Company, Photo: Courtesy of darezare - Fotolia.com
- Whistler Mountain Bike Park, Photo: Courtesy of sport point - Fotolia.com
- James Stewart Sculpture Gallery, Photo: James Stewart Sculpture Gallery
- Lost Lake, Photo: Courtesy of Mat Hayward - Fotolia.com
- Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, Photo: Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre
- Whistler Eco Tours, Photo: Courtesy of bullsi photo - Fotolia.com
- Valley Trail, Photo: Courtesy of David Alary - Fotolia.com
- Whistler Blackcomb Snow School, Photo: Courtesy of Robert Cocquyt - Fotolia.com
- Whistler Golf Club, Photo: Courtesy of schulz foto - Fotolia.com
- Brandywine Falls Provincial Park, Photo: Courtesy of Michael Shake - Fotolia.com
- The Mexican Corner, Photo: The Mexican Corner
- Sea to Sky Waterfalls, Photo: Courtesy of reelhawksstudio - Fotolia.com
- Peaked Pies, Photo: Peaked Pies
- La Cantina, Photo: La Cantina
- Rainbow Park, Photo: Courtesy of alpegor - Fotolia.com
- Pasta Lupino, Photo: Pasta Lupino
- Grill & Vine, Photo: Grill & Vine
- Whistler Visitor Centre, Photo: Whistler Visitor Centre
- Sachi Sushi, Photo: Sachi Sushi
- Sidecut, Photo: Sidecut
- Whistler Bounce Acrobatic Academy, Photo: Whistler Bounce Acrobatic Academy
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of SStedman - Fotolia.com