Are you going to Whistler, but don’t want to ski? Depending on the season, there’s plenty to do. Whistler is an outdoor activity haven with all the mountains and lakes around the area. I can’t even begin to list all the available activities, but here are a few I’ve done each year when I’ve gone.
Mountain biking is a very popular activity in the spring and summer. You can bring your own or rent from one of multiple bike shops in the village. This was on a trail around Lost Lake (a nearby lake) that was moderately challenging.
There are also many flatter trails that are paved, which are popular with families with young children. It’s a very scenic route. Alta Lake is another short drive from Whistler that provides a bigger lake and trail.
This is from a small mountain in Callaghan Country (about 15 minutes south of the village). The trails range from beginner to more advanced, with large rocks like these to navigate around. It provides for stunning views of the valley when you get to the top. While not usually a problem, this is bear country, so be on the look out. I’ve only seen one bear in the many years I’ve been to Whistler, and it was on the side of the road as we were driving. The only wildlife I saw here were deer and a coyote.
This is a man-made lake on the flatter part of the trail, which is very popular with kids in the summer for swimming and rafting.
This isn’t really an activity, but Whistler is one of the most dog-friendly towns I’ve ever been to. There are constantly dogs walking around in the village with their owners, sitting outside at the cafes when it’s nice, and hiking. This is a very cute dog named Tundra that I met who had just come in for a swim.
This isn’t for the faint of heart, but for those who crave adventure, you must rent a quad with a tour group. You can go to the heart of the village where they sell multiple outdoor excursions and go on a 3-hour ATV tour. We had a group of about 6 and about 45 minutes of practice using them, and then we were off. We went fast on small flat areas, slow on some very steep (and scary) hills, and even up to the snow line. Unfortunately this is the only picture I have, as I was busy driving the ATV.
This is such a fun way to see Whistler besides hiking or skiing. The same place that sells the ATV tours has a desk that sells the ziplining tours. There are a few different options depending on how many lines and how long you want to be gone for. You get to literally go over the river and through the woods on the zipline. There’s a little bit of hiking involved from each line, and then with the guide’s help you’re off zooming through the trees.
There are multiple lakes around the area. This is Lost Lake during a break from riding my bike. As you can see, it’s quite low due to the lack of snow this winter. It’s still popular for swimming, rafting, or kayaking (on a bigger lake).
Shopping & Dining
There’s a wide variety of restaurants, from cheaper chains like the Old Spaghetti Factory to fine dining steakhouses. There’s a variety of cafes and bars as well. Shops range from specialty stores like bike and ski shops, bath product stores like Lush, or clothing stores such as The Gap. They even have a 7-11 and a grocery store, so you will be sure to find almost anything you’re looking for in town.
This is located in the Bearfoot Bistro restaurant in Whistler Village, and is a really fun experience. You get a parka to wear, as it’s the world’s coldest vodka tasting room at -35 degrees F. Even if you don’t like vodka, there will be plenty of people on hand willing to take your samples.
We got 4 samples, with the hostess picking the first one and allowing suggestions from the many bottles they have (in the frozen walls!) for the last three samples. The blue lighting makes for a fun picture with everyone wearing their parkas. It was a neat experience, but we were glad to be back in the warmth of the restaurant after 15 minutes!
It seems there are always activities going on year-round in Whistler that guarantees you won’t get bored. Some big ones are the World Ski and Snowboard Festival in April, and Crankworx (mountain bike competition) in August. Find what season fits you best and go explore Whistler!
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