Whistler is about 2 hours north of Vancouver. My husband and I have visited Whistler twice, and both times we flew into Vancouver, rented a jeep, and then started our journey north. Our first visit was during the summer, which was BEAUTIFUL, so we decided we HAD to come back in the winter, which was just as beautiful. Both times we were lucky enough to be upgraded to first class, which is always an added bonus to start off your trip! Whistler, BC is an absolutely brilliant and fun little ski resort town with lots of shops and restaurants in walking distance.
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort
As someone who loves to snowboard, Whistler is the perfect destination! The mountains that hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics contain over over 8,100 acres of snow-covered slopes, 16 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers, world-class terrain parks and half pipes, and 200+ marked trails for all levels. My favorite part of the resort was the Peak 2 Peak Gondola for moving between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains at the top. There are many restaurants throughout the mountain. One of my favorites was called the Crystal Hut, where people line up to eat waffles at 6,500 feet (1980 meters) elevation.
Whistler Mountain Inukshuk
The iconic Whistler Mountain Inukshuk Statue was created for Whistler as a Symbol of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. An inukshuk is a stone landmark created by the Inuit and other peoples of the North American arctic regions. It is believed that they were created as a reference point and navigation marker for travel routes. There are at least 5 of these statues located throughout Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler
The beautiful Fairmont Chateau Whistler hotel is a luxury ski in and ski out hotel at the base of Whistler Blackcomb mountain. Guests walk around in their robes while they enjoy the headed pool. Mike and I had a delicious meal there one night with fun drinks, and we went back one day after snowboarding for a little Après ski, and we enjoyed a German Glühwein (mulled wine with spices), and a chocolate flight. I would recommend visiting here for anyone that loves a luxury resort.
I do not know about you, but after a cold day on the slopes, a hot bowl of ramen seems to be the perfect meal. Definitely hits the spot. The pork belly is soft and very tasty, and they have different types or broth that you are able to choose from. If you like ramen, it is worth coming to check out this cute little Japanese restaurant.
Longhorn Saloon & Grill
Longhorn Saloon & Grill is very deceiving; it looks like it should be an old country bar, but we went here for Après ski one night, and it got ROWDY! The DJ was playing great music from current as well as the 90’s, and everyone was having a great time at the outdoor firepits, and snuggling up warm inside the building as well. There were parents dancing on tables, people doing shot-skis, people spraying champagne bottles at each other; it was a wild time. Mike and I ordered a gigantic plate of Nachos, which were delicious. I would highly recommend coming here for a fun time.
Fire and Ice Show
Every Sunday in January, Whistler puts on a show with professional athletes (snowboarders and skiers), that flip and twist through a burning ring of fire, and then the night is finished off with a firework show. It is fun to watch for all ages.
Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel
We stayed at the Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel, and it was such a cute hotel, right in the middle of Whistler Village. We were able to walk everywhere. The hotel had very clean and newly updated rooms. The pool looked really nice as well, however, it was closed. We really enjoyed our stay, and we would stay there again in a heartbeat.
Whistler Olympic Plaza
Since we visited Whistler on July 3rd, it was Canada Day. This was a pleasant surprise to us, so there was so much to do in the city. They had a band playing a free concert, and people were all over the plaza. It was very fun and cute to walk around. We had a great time walking around the village where the 2010 Winter Olympics were held.
Joffre Lakes Provincial Park Trail is located an hour north of Whistler, and it is a beautiful hiking trail that has three bright blue glacier lakes that you get to see. We packed a backpack and headed out first thing in the morning, which we were so happy we did. On our way back down, the trail was packed, so make sure to go early if you decide to do this hike. We parked right at the trailhead parking lot, but many people had to park in the street miles from the trailhead.
We packed snacks for the day, layers of clothing, and then headed off on our 4 hour hike, which was 6.2 miles round trip. It was the furthest hike I’ve ever done, and the most elevation gain, and at times, I definitely struggled, but it was totally worth the beautiful experience. Since we went to early in the morning, the trail was relatively quiet, and it was just us and the beautiful surreal nature. The forest smelled amazing, there were multiple areas of waterfalls and running water, and of course the glacial lakes were amazing. The hike started off very cool in the morning, but near the end, we were definitely sweating. The glacial water was freezing as well. Once we reached the final lake and glacier, Mike was eating a snack and a bird landed in his head. Those birds definitely knew what they were doing. I loved being able to look at the glacier and see the frozen blue water in it.
Overall, the hike was so much fun and SO beautiful. I would highly recommend this hike!
Scandinave Spa Whistler
After our hike, Mike and I got day passes to the Scandinave Spa Whistler. The Spa was a hydro therapy spa, where you were supposed to rotate between hot areas, cold areas, and then relaxing. The spa included different hot baths, cold baths, steam rooms with essential oils, saunas, fire pits, and relaxation areas. I learned that I really do not care for Sauna’s because I cannot breathe in them. I mostly enjoyed laying out near the fire in my bathing suit. Mike took advantage of all of the different options the spa had to offer. This was very nice to do after our hike, and we were able to take showers after as well.
Squamish Sea to Sky Gondola
On our drive back down to Vancouver, we stopped at the Squamish Sea to Sky Gondola. The gondola climbs gondola climbs 2,800 feet in 10 minutes. The ride overlooks the Squamish River and the Howe Sound. Once we got to the top, there are multiple hiking trail heads to explore. We were hiked out for the day, so we enjoyed a drink on their beautiful 360 patio. There is also a suspension bridge, which is actually very scary. Since we visited on a Saturday, we were lucky enough to witness a wedding at the top as well. It was a beautiful and fun scene, and we would definitely recommend checking it out.
We only stayed in Vancouver for one night and then part of the next day. It was a very large industrial city. It reminded me a lot of San Francisco, but more flat. When I told people that we were going to Vancouver, multiple people recommended to me that we eat dinner at a restaurant called Miku. Miku is a high end japanese restaurant right on the water. We enjoyed our food, and then walked around the city a little after.
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
In the morning, we visited the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge in Lynn Canyon park. The park is located in North Vancouver, and there were many people on their morning jogs or walking their dogs. This suspension bridge was not as scary as the Squamish bridge, probably because this was not as long. This was also surrounded by trees, and had a waterfall and river below us. It was a beautiful and peaceful site. I really enjoyed visiting this park.
Stanley Park is located on the northwestern side of downtown Vancouver, and it is a very large public park that borders is almost entirely surrounded by waters of the Vancouver Harbour and the English Bay. We originally planned to rent bikes and ride around the island, but I was sore from the hike the previous day, so we drove around the island to see the many attractions. We saw the Coal Harbour, Totem poles, Brockton Point Lighthouse, Prospect Point, and Siwash Rock. We had a very enjoyable time in the park, and I can see why so many people from Vancouver would come here on the weekends.
One of my coworkers was from Vancouver, and told me to check out Gastown. It was a very cute and chic little area of the town with a lot of shops and restaurants. There is also a famous whistling Steam Clock there. I think this is a pretty touristy area, but I enjoyed it a lot.