If you’re looking for the ultimate skier’s guide to Whistler, you’ve found the right place. As local Whistler mountain enthusiasts, we know the best gems around town, must-dos on the mountain, and where to stay. This mountain town is a dream for any skier, and we want to make sure you get the most out of it when you visit.
Tips & Tricks Around the Mountain
Whistler is an endless playground in the Winter with unlimited options to keep your days jam packed. It’s best to have a game plan for your ski holiday, ensuring you don’t miss a beat. So, we’ve come up with some of our favourite tips and tricks to help you make the most of your Whistler stay.
A bit of planning can go a long way. By following a few simple tips and tricks you can spend more time making turns, and less waiting in line ups.
- Wake up early! The lineups can get pretty long if you sleep in, so we recommend getting to the base 30 minutes before the lifts and gondolas open. Sometimes, they will open a bit early, so you don’t want to miss the opportunity for fresh tracks!
- Get your gear ready the night before. A little bit of leg work in the evening will go a long way when you’re trying to get out the door in the morning. Lay out your gear, pre-make lunches and snacks for the next day, and have your gameplan for breakfast and coffee dialed.
- Properly dry your gear. At the end of the day, make sure the first thing you do when you get back to your condo is start drying out your gear. The last thing you want is to wake up, ready to ski, and your gear is still damp from the day before!
Where to Ski: Whistler or Blackcomb?
First of all, you can’t go wrong with either mountain, and with the Peak to Peak Express, you’ll be able to go back and forth easily.
- Generally speaking, Whistler offers more gentle terrain for beginners and intermediates, while Blackcomb has steeper pitches. Don’t be fooled though, if you’re looking for advanced terrain, both mountains have plenty for you to get your thrills.
- Snowboarders typically prefer Blackcomb due to the slightly higher grades. It makes for getting around a bit easier and not getting stuck on cat tracks and flats.
- For Beginners, the Olympic Zone on Whistler Mountain has the best terrain and facilities to work on the basics. It’s directly off the Whistler Gondola, so accessing it is simple as well. You can then try out the long green runs coming off the Emerald Chair.
Both mountains are filled with exciting runs, incredible vistas, and plenty of lifts to carry you all over the mountains. There are a few must-dos you won’t want to miss.
- Fresh Tracks! Trust us, don’t miss the opportunity to do Fresh Tracks. This early morning breakfast on top of Whistler Mountain requires an extra ticket, and it’s definitely worth it. You’ll load the Whistler Village Gondola early, before everyone else, and enjoy a large breakfast at the Roundhouse Lodge to fuel your morning. Not to mention, you will literally get first tracks down the mountain. You won’t regret getting out of bed early for this experience.
- The Peak Chair. See Whistler’s high alpine on the Peak Express Chair this winter. You’ll be able to access incredible terrain from the top of Whistler Mountain. Even if you’re an intermediate skier, there are several blue options to get down from the Peak.
- 7th Heaven. Located on Blackcomb Mountain, you’ll want to make sure you get over to 7th Heaven for a few laps. You’ll be able to take in incredible views of Whistler Mountain, and rip fast and fun groomers on the way down.
- Peak to Creek. This epic run takes you from the top of Whistler Mountain to the base of Creekside Village. While there are a few different ways to get down, you can take blue runs all the way, descending a total of 1,443 vertical meters. This one is a leg burner, so make sure you’ve been doing your squats before you come!
As the largest ski resort in North America, boasting of 8,171 acres of skiable terrain, you’re going to need to fuel up for your adventures.
- Crystal Hut. Known for its decadent waffles and cozy atmosphere, this hut is a local’s favourite on Blackcomb Mountain. You’ll want to make sure you get there early, as the hut can pack out quickly.
- Raven’s Nest. Conveniently situated at the top of the Creekside Gondola and base of the Red Chair, Raven’s Nest offers delicious vegetarian and vegan options. Even if you aren’t vegan, you’ll love their creative menu!
- Roundhouse Lodge and Umbrella Bar. If you want a taste of the classic Whistler experience, enjoy food, drinks, sunny patios, and views from Roundhouse Lodge. The Umbrella Bar, located on the lodge’s patio, is an enclosed and heated glass bar, offering the best views and cocktails on the mountain.
- Peak to Peak. If you’d rather make the most of every second of the day, pack your lunch and enjoy it on the 15 minute ride between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain.
Where to Stay
Let’s be honest, there’s no wrong place to stay in Whistler, but there’s definitely more ideal locations that’ll help you get the most out of your vacation. With so many sub-neighborhoods, it’s good to have an understanding of what area suits you. For even more information on this, check out our previous blog, Where to Stay in Whistler.
The area surrounding the Upper Village, known as the Benchlands, is ideal for those wanting easy access to Blackcomb Mountain. Whether you are able to ski out your door to the Blackcomb Gondola, or take advantage of the free local transit, you’ll be on the slopes in no time.
- Powderhorn 309 is located in the heart of the Upper Village, this unit has a common area roof-top hot tub, ski-in/ski-out access, 2 parking spaces, and sleeps 8 people. You’ll also enjoy the storage lockers for skis, full laundry, and a deck with a barbecue.
- Treeline 7 is a multi-story unit located in the secluded complex of Treeline. Situated in a cul de sac off Blackcomb Way, it has its own ski-in trail to get you home easily at the end of a big day. You can catch the free shuttle, taking you to the Blackcomb or Whistler Mountain base.
The original home of Whistler Village, Creekside is just south of the Main Village and has its own Gondola to take you up Whistler Mountain. There’s plenty of dining, bars, and a grocery store to keep you fueled for you stay. However, if you’re so inclined, the Main Village is just a short 7 minute drive away.
- The Bluffs at Taluswood is an exclusive development located directly off Dave Murray Downhill where you can ski straight down to the Creekside Gondola. Spectacular views, a gas barbecue on the deck, and a common area hot tub makes this unit ideal for relaxing after a big day on the slopes.
- Kadenwood 5 is a dream if you’re looking for a multi-family vacation rental. It’s the epitome of a spacious, modern, and luxury Whistler home, sleeping 13 people.
The Main Village
Whistler’s main village is the perfect location for those not wanting to miss a beat of Whistler. We have numerous options for those wanting to stay in the Main Village, but here’s a couple that’ll leave you daydreaming of the perfect Whistler vacation:
- Telemark 25 is ideal for a larger family or group wanting to take advantage of all the Village and lifts have to offer. Telemark Place is one of the most convenient locations in Whistler, located right next to the Westin Hotel, and offering both its own ski-in trail right back to the complex and a 2-3 min walk to the lifts.
- Cedar Hollow 11 is the ultimate slope-side experience we can’t get enough of. Situated under the Excalibur Gondola, you’ll be able to take a 2 minute walk to the slopes and ski back home at the end of the day. A private hot tub and plenty of space to spread out and relax, this is truly a dream location in Whistler.
Where to Eat & Après
Looking for the best options to fuel your skiing holiday? We’ve come up with our top list to keep your energy levels up. Whether you’re wanting to cook at home and food prep, looking to grab food on the go, or want dining out options, we’ve got you covered. For an even more extensive guide, check out our blog dedicated to dining here.
Love home cooked meals with the family? Or want to pack your lunch to not waste a second on the mountain? Don’t worry, there are plenty of grocery stores located around Whistler to help you stock up for your ski holiday.
- Fresh St. Market – Located in the Marketplace Shopping center, this is a central location for Whistler Village accommodations and has everything you need to cook big dinners and packed lunches.
- Creekside Market – The Creekside Market is in the center of Creekside Village and has all you’ll need to pack healthy lunches and snacks for going bell to bell.
- Nesters – Just north of the Main Village, Nesters is a BC grocery store that includes a pharmacy and wellness center. If you’re looking for local brands, health food, and supplements, this is your spot.
Food on the Go
Sometimes you just need someone else to do the cooking for you. Whether you’ve run out of time or you simply need a quick bite to eat on the gondola, we have a few options you’ll love.
- Lift Coffee – Located next to the Whistler Village Gondola, Lift Coffee is one of our favourite coffee shops in Whistler. It also has tasty handhelds, gluten free options, and snacks to take on the go.
- Gone Eatery – Gone is a locals favourite for meals on the go or dining in. More substantial options than Lift, it’s ideal for those needing to refuel depleted energy levels after a big day of carving turns.
- Fix Cafe – We love this cafe for those staying in Creekside. Offering gourmet coffees, pastries, sandwiches, and gluten free options, it’s perfect for those on the go.
Whistler is know for its variety of delicious restaurants, offering international fare in the cozy vibe of a ski town.
- Earls Kitchen – For an urban chic meets mountain lodge vibe, Earls in the Main Village is great for dinner, après, or appetizers. They also have a large patio overlooking the Village Stroll with heaters in the winter, ideal for sipping a hot toddy after a day of playing in the snow.
- Portobellos – Craving a hearty, family style dinner after a big day on the mountain? Check out Portobellos in the Upper Village (attached to the Fairmont) for delicious cuts of meat, hearty vegetables, or sandwiches big enough to share.
- Dubh Linn Gate – We love Dubh Linn Gate for it’s Irish fare and large patio that faces the bottom of the Whistler Village lifts and gondolas. Have dinner and a few pints after a big day on the hill, cozied up to roaring fire on the patio. It’s also a great spot for live, local music at night.
Whistler has one of the best après scenes in the world for ski towns, creating an electric vibe throughout the winter season. Here’s a few of our favourites:
- The GLC – A staple for locals, the GLC is the prime viewing spot for the base of Whistler Mountain ski runs. Situated hillside above the Whistler Gondola, you’ll love the good vibes, drinks, and food the GLC has to offer.
- Longhorn Saloon & Grill – With DJs during après and live music at night, this is the perfect spot to keep the good vibes going after the lifts have closed. Its large patio at the base of Whistler Mountain can’t be missed.
- Handlebar – Located in the Upper Village, this local’s hangout is a smaller venue with a chill vibe. Serving German inspired comfort food and tasty craft beer, it’s one of our favourites.
Let us help you plan your Whistler vacation by booking with us today at www.holidaywhistler.com and take advantage of our concierge services. We can help you secure your perfect vacation rental, as well as set up any activities for your stay. Specific questions or want to book over the phone? Call us at 1-877-697-7776.