There are few destinations on this wonderful planet of ours that are as naturally stunning as Whistler. One of North America’s premier winter sports resorts, Whistler provides the ideal vacation for those looking for either rest and relaxation, or adrenaline-fuelled fun. With plentiful Whistler house rentals on offer too, a vacation truly can be a home away from home type of affair. Of course, there are many hotels on offer too, or you could go all out and rent a bungalow for your time on the mountain – the choice is yours!
Whistler is located in British Columbia, and is around 2 and a half hours by road away from Vancouver. It is easy to enjoy a twin centre break in this region, and Vancouver is certainly worth a city break exploration in its own right. You can either drive from Vancouver yourself, take the bus, or fly there from a number of different locations, but the Whistler Mountaineer train is one of the most scenic ways to make the journey. Enjoy the passing scenery in total luxury, before arriving right in the heart of Whistler itself. Of course, prices can be high for this journey, but if you shop around, you might be able to find a deal to suit your budget.
If you choose to drive, you’ll be pleased to hear that the formerly rather perilous Sea to Sky Highway is now infinitely safer than it ever used to be. Whilst this is a winding road (and may require some travel sickness medication if you are prone to that kind of thing), it certainly is one of the most beautiful roads you will ever travel on in your life. Ensure that your vehicle is geared up for winter travel and you shouldn’t have any issues.
Things to do in Whistler
What can you do in Whistler? Well, this is obviously a winter sports destination, so there are many skiing and snowboarding opportunities, but that’s not all this beautiful location is good for. During the summer months, when the snow melts, walking is a wonderful activity, but if you are visiting during the winter, you should certainly bring your camera. In terms of photography opportunities you won’t beat Whistler, with the sun setting against the snow offering a truly magical view.
Snowboarding fans should certainly head to Whistler Blackcomb. This boarding area is one for the thrill seekers out there, and spans over two huge mountains. There are 37 lifts which service the area, and over 200 different runs, with several different ability levels catered for. There are also backcountry skiing and cross country opportunities for the more experienced skiers out there too.
Of course, behinners can take advantage of the several ski schools in the town, as well as having a dedicated section for children learning. Overall, Whistler can be a family orientated outdoor break, and with ski hire available for a great price, beginners don’t need to worry about investing in heavy and expensive equipment, if trying the sport out for the first time.
There are many shopping and nightlife activities to enjoy in Whistler Village, and this can range from drinking ‘til dawn, to sipping hot chocolate – this is partly what makes Whistler such a fantastic winter break, because you can make it whatever you want to make it, and tailor it to your budget.
If you are combining your time in Whistler with a few days in Vancouver, you don’t have to break the bank either, as there are many free and low cost activities to enjoy in the city.
With all this in mind however, what if you don’t want to ski or snowboard? Well, you don’t have to! Just because this is a ski resort, it doesn’t mean you have to don a pair of skis, though it would be a great adventure to at least have a go. There are many activities on site to enjoy that don’t involve sports, so perhaps shopping, photography, nature spotting, and generally chilling out. There are spa facilities, so this could be a truly relaxing retreat for those who want to chill the hell out in natural surroundings.
So, when is the best time to visit Whistler? The Christmas and New Year period is predictably busy, but it is also a wonderful time to enjoy the region. Snow sparkling on every surface and a whole array of entertainment options really make this a seasonal break to remember. From the middle of November until late December generally is a good time to visit, and whilst there is the most of the snow at this time, it is also a quieter time, before the build up to Christmas. If you love snowboarding, then April to May showcases the best of the best at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival. Check out the competition as you learn to become a pro yourself! Alternatively, just watch and enjoy!
Ski and snowboard breaks as much more affordable than they ever were before, and this makes a break of this nature a fantastic option for those who have never tried winter sports before. Alternatively, fro those who want to try out the ski runs in one of the biggest resorts in the world, it has to be the wonderful of Whistler. Whether you drive yourself from Vancouver or try the scenery of the Whistler Mountaineer, be sure to shop around for the best deals on your accommodation, travel, and your ski gear. There are also many ski schools to try, as we mentioned before, so find the best one for your ability level and price level too.