Don’t think that Whistler in winter is just for skiers and snowboarders. If a few lessons on the mountain aren’t tempting enough, don’t stress. There are plenty of things to do in Whistler that are not skiing to keep you busy. These alternate activities are sure to make your trip extra memorable whether you decide to try your luck on the slopes or not.
Before you head out you’ll want to know where to stay, so check out my complete guide to Whistler in winter for some of my favourite accommodations and places to eat in the village.
I highly recommend an afternoon spent with The Adventure Group. I had never handled a snowmobile before, but I assumed it was similar to a Sea-Doo. We got geared up, and I was ready to roll! I’m a need for speed person, so riding through the towering pine trees and fresh powder was right up my alley.
Suited for all skill levels, snowmobiling with TAG is definitely a memorable way to experience the magic of Whistler, especially if your legs need a break from skiing.
Unwind at Spa Scandinave
One of the best ways to relax from a day on the slopes is a spa day. This spa is completely surrounded by a forest of spruce and cedar trees. It’s the perfect place to unwind and treat yourself to some peace and quiet. Multiple hot baths and cold plunge pools, steam rooms and available onsite treatments, allow for the perfected relaxation.
There’s no wifi at the Scandinave Spa Whistler, but they promise you a better connection. Get a complete list of the best spas in Canada in winter here.
Enjoy the Views on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola
The Peak 2 Peak Gondola joins Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain so that you can ski on both without having to ski to the bottom and get a gondola up. However, you don’t have to be on skis to experience it. It’s actually a frequented attraction in Whistler for non skiers.
If you want complete views of the mountains, I’d recommend grabbing a visitors pass to experience the longest lift of its kind. The Whistler Blackcomb mountains Peak 2 Peak Gondola is a 4.4-kilometre/2.7mile. The gondola ride is an 11-minute journey.
Lift Tickets are around $150/ day for adults. If you aren’t planning on skiing you can still want the experience, it’s $65/ adult.
The Audain Art Museum
You don’t usually think of ski resorts as having art galleries but Whistler has more than one art gallery and a museum, all of which make great places to visit in Whistler.
The building is nestled within the peaceful surroundings of the forest. The museum is a pedestrian link, beginning from the ‘Village Stroll’ (the pedestrian zone of Whistler Village) across Blackcomb Way, leading to and through the Museum and then across the site to Fitzsimmons Creek.
In addition to their permanent collection, the museum rotates temporary exhibits of Canadian and international art so be sure to check their site before you go.
Get Your Caffeine Fix
There are so many cafes to discover in Whistler, take your pick! If you’re looking for some recommendations, I suggest checking out Purebread, Mount Currie, and Camp Lifestyle and Coffee Co for some great cafes.
Now by now I’m sure most of you know I’m a huge sucker for croissantsm so Purebread is a must on my list! Purebread has an outstanding smorgasbord of brownies, sweet loaves, cakes, scones, breads, and several lunch sandwiches and pies. There is plenty for vegans too.
While summer hiking season offers endless trails and a beautiful landscape, snowshoeing in Whistler offers something different.
Snowshoeing is a fun winter activity that needs no special skills and can be enjoyed at any pace. If you can walk, then you will be able to strap on a pair of snowshoes and head out to into a winter wonderland.
Try the Bobsleigh at the Whistler Sliding Centre
“Feel the rhythm, feel the ride, come on now it’s bobsled time!” – Cool Runnings
Whistler Sliding Centre’s popular program allows the public to experience two adrenalin-fueled Olympic sports that are usually not accessible for non-athletes – on the fastest sliding track in the world!
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like, now’s your chance. Rides are available for $189 plus tax (for one bobsleigh ride with pilot or two solo skeleton rides/person, minimum age is 16). *Prices vary if you are 2 persons + in the bobsled.
No previous experience is required as you hop into a 4 person bobsled (led by a trained pilot) and ride down the track. You’ll go through 10 twists and turns at speeds of over 125km! It’s the only place in Canada you can try the bobsleigh like this!
Watch the Ski Jumping
Make your way to Whistler Olympic Park and watch the ski jumping. These brave competitors (or should I say daredevils?) aim to achieve the longest jump after speeding down a ramp on their skis going as fast as 95 km/ hr!
Have you seen Eddie the Eagle? The official world record for the longest ski jump is held by Norway. Stefan Kraft successfully landed a distance of 253.5 m (832 ft).
Seeing this sport live would be next level! I think my heart would stop!
Go Ice Skating in Whistler
Ice skating is something we Canadians are all taught at a young age and something you need to try when visiting Canada or Whistler in winter. Whether you’re figure skating or playing hockey, ice skating is a Canadian past time that will surely make you smile.
If you’re looking for a man-made rink to skate on in Whistler, check out Whistler Olympic Plaza where you can skate under the twinkle lights. Located in the village you’ll find views of the Olympic Rings and mountains.
The benefit of a made-made rink is smoother ice, so if it’s your first time I would recommend practicing here. Alternatively, if you want a more Canadian experience you can try skating on some of the local lakes provided the weather conditions allow and the ice is strong enough.
Join the Après-Ski
As the skiers come down from the mountains, the bars and restaurants by the gondolas start playing the music. With mulled wine and spiked apple cider, whether you’ve been skiing or not, everyone can join in with a little après.
Go Tubing in Whistler
If you’re looking for what to do in Whistler with kids then check out the Whistler Tube Park. This park is packed with fun in the snow for the kids, just grab a tube and slide down the hill. There’s even a conveyor belt to take them back to the top, so they can spend hours sliding down the hill & not get too exhausted by running back up the hill.
Plus, it’s one of the best cheap things to do in Whistler.
If you’re looking for another awesome winter activity and a uniquely Canadian way to explore the forests and trails surrounding Whistler, consider dogsledding. I’ve actually never actually done it myself, but it’s definitely something I’ve always wanted to try.
Dogsledding is a great activity in Whistler for non skiers. On a dog sledging tour in Whistler you’ll be pulled through the forest with your professional musher. You’ll get a chance to meet the dogs and help harness and stage them.
It’s a great activity for families in Whistler, as well as couples.
If you love shopping, you’ll have a great time wandering Whistler Village. Whistler has A LOT of shops ranging from boutique stores to Whistler ski shops and high-end fashion. Canadian brands such as Roots and lululemon have exclusive Whistler specific clothing which makes great souvenirs.
For the first time this year, Vallea Lumina is open year round. Usually it runs only through the summer, but this year they’re keeping their forest storytelling adventure open through the winter.
One of Whistler’s newest attractions is the Vallea Lumina Night Light Show, an interactive nighttime forest walk that takes you on an unforgettable adventure! It’s a place that’s filled with unexpected enchantment.
Imagine walking through a forest with lights beams, unexpected sounds and 3D technology while nature is the stage to telling the story of two missing hikers and the wondrous things that happen near Whistler.
Borrow a Dog for a Day
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler has a great program for dog lovers where you can borrow their dog ambassador for a day. You can choose to bring them on an adventure and hike or just walk around the village.
Either way, it’s a great option for animal lovers who are missing their furry friends at home. Lending my time to play with a dog always brings me to much joy and fills my heart, especially when traveling, I’m always missing my pup, Nala.
After hearing about all the adventure there are to be had in Whistler, has this post got you hungry? Whistler is full of great food spots suitable for any diet, so check out my guide for where to eat and drink in Whistler.
I hope this helped you see that Whistler is so much more than just a spot for top skiers and that there are plenty of things to do in Whistler without skiing. There is so much fun to be had no matter how you like to enjoy the snow!
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Great guide to visit Whistler I went there some years ago as I used to live in Seattle and I was kind of close to it but I really appreciate more to add to it.
Yes Whistler has so much to offer!