The biggest argument Canadians have between each other is: is West Coast really the best coast? I’ve lived in both and while I love my hometown of Montreal and the Euro feel it offers, you can’t deny the epic adventures that await you on the West Coast. If you’re an outdoorsy person, this is where you want to be!
Whistler in winter has the kind of magic that makes British Columbia a truly special place. The second you get a peak of the snowcapped mountains sparkling, it’s hard to hold back your excitement. Even as a Canadian that has experienced snow her entire life and calls herself the worst Canadian (because I can’t handle the cold), it’s still pretty epic!
I’ve been to Whistler a few times before between when I lived in Vancouver and traveling for fun. Let me tell you, there is no better feeling than skiing on fresh powder all day and coming off the slopes in the afternoon only to cozy up by the fireplace with a hearty soup & good glass of wine.
Whistler is actually made up of 2 mountains (Whistler and Blackcomb) and has claimed the title of North America’s largest ski resort for years. It has the greatest uphill lift capacity with the Peak2Peak gondola moving between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains at the top. With all this capacity it the busiest ski resort, often surpassing 2 million visitors a year.
You can spend the day exploring endless trails. It feels as though you’re living in a snow globe! Have I left you dreaming of Narnia yet? Here is everything you need to know to plan your winter wonderland adventure!
Whistler feels magical and yet somehow untouched despite the millions of tourists that visit each year. It feels like a small town and at the same time offers a vibrant ski village that has plenty of restaurants, bars and shopping. Which means that your time off the mountain will always be well spent. 😉
Where To Stay In Whistler in Winter
Depending on your budget, there are plenty of hotels to choose from offering a cozy place to retreat after a long day outside. I’ve only stayed at these two, and I would highly recommend but again there is something for every budget.
Nita Lake Lodge
The Nita Lake Lodge is a serene place to unwind, it’s incredible lakeside location is also surrounded by mountain views. This hotel is located just outside of the village but only 500m from the Creekside Gondola, and Whistler Village is just a short walk or shuttle ride away. I personally love the spacious suites at Nita Lake Lodge and didn’t feel like I was missing anything not staying right in the village.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is the perfect choice for those wanting to be in the heart of the village. Walking distance to most things, it’s comfortable rooms and onsite amenities are suitable for all ages. Fairmont is always one of my favourite hotels to stay with.
AirBnBs in Whistler
Airbnb is always a top choice of mine when traveling if you’re looking to have more amenities and flexibility than a hotel. If you’re staying more than a few days, I personally love the idea of having my own kitchen to cook meals. It’s also often much cheaper than a hotel as you aren’t paying for all the services. There are some amazing Airbnb’s in Whistler including entire townhouses and condos!
Pangea Pod Hotel
This is the best hotel in Whistler on a budget which doesn’t sacrifice style either. Pangea Pod Hotel occupies prime real estate right in the middle of the village and offers both single and double pods.
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either of them!
Things To Do In Whistler in Winter
Ski both mountains at Whistler Blackcomb: Being the largest resort in North America, it often feels like you are the only one on the mountain. It’s so big if that “crowding” is rarely an issue. You can ski two different mountains, and explore endless trails with incredible snow.
Hot tip: If you’re looking for more seclusion, Blackcomb is often less busy than the Whistler mountain.
Snowmobile with The Adventure Group (TAG) Whistler: I highly recommend an afternoon spent with The Adventure Group. I had never handled a snow mobile 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.
Scandinave Spa: One of the best ways to relax from a day on the slopes is a spa day. The 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.
Peak 2 Peak Gondola: If you want the view 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, 11-minute journey to infinite possibilities.
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.
Where To Eat & Drink In Whistler
Whisky Jack’s Umbrella Bar: If you ever loose your friends while skiing/ snowboarding, it’s nice to have a meet up spot. For us that was always The Umbrella Bar for a mid day drink and light snack. If you’re coming up the mountain for a drink, ride the Whistler gondola to the roundhouse lodge.
Sushi Village: A local staple in Whistler for its eccentric ambiance, fresh sushi and wild dinner parties. Make sure to make a reservation in advance, I’ve never seen this place without a lineup!
I highly recommend the fried tofu cubes!! I have never tasted a tofu as delicious as their Spicy Agedashi Tofu!! Their rolls are also extremely fresh and large portions. If you’re up for trying something different, IU’d recommend getting a pitcher of Strawberry Sake Margaritas.
Purebread: Now by now I’m sure most of you know I’m a huge sucker for croissants so this place came highly recommended by you! And it did not disappoint! Purebread can get a bit overwhelming because there are so many baked good options! Luckily the staff was so patient as I carefully chose my treats one by one.
Purebread has an outstanding smorgasbord of brownies, sweet loaves, cakes, scones, breads, and several lunch sandwiches and pies. There is plenty for vegans too. We ended up here on our last morning before our flight and I ended up getting an almond croissant, a cookie and a latte and my friend got a brownie and a scone. With one bite we understood why people say urged us so much to go here, especially for breakfast.
The Green Moustache: The whole food menu is both vegan and gluten-free. The menu ranges from hearty veggie chilli and to raw dishes and superfood salads. They also have a wide selection of fresh juices and smoothies and yummy vegan desserts!
The Naked Sprout: A juice bar/ cafe with a lot of veggie and gluten-free options. They are located right in the centre of the Village so they are perfect to pop into if you need something quick and healthy on the go. The Naked Sprout menu has grilled sandwiches, ramen, quinoa bowls, desserts and a variety of fresh smoothies and juices.
Tandoori Grill: I swear Indian food is one of my love languages. I’m a huge fan of curry on a cold day and this place, located on the second floor, feels like a hidden gem. They have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu ranging from chickpea chana masala to my personal favourite, Aloo Ghobi, with a choice of spiciness from 1 – 5.
Functional Pie is apparently amazing pizza which even has a vegan option, ‘Mos Def’. Compelte with beyond meat sausage, mushroom, onions and dairy-free cheese. With a crust that is super soft and doughy on the inside and crispy on the outside. I need to try this place on my next visit!
Ohyama Ramen: Another spot I have yet to taste but apparently their creamy vegan ramen bowl is unreal! I’m not a huge fan of Ramen, maybe I just haven’t found a good vegan one so I’m curious to see if it’s a worthy cheap eat in Whistler.
Christine’s: Enjoy jaw dropping panoramic views of the mountains. Christine’s is located at the top of the Blackcomb Gondola in the Rendezvous Restaurant, 1,860 meters up (6,102 feet). Reservations are recommended if you want a seat by the window.
Rimrock Cafe: Known for seafood, this quaint restaurant is set in a charming chalet. Just reading the reviews on this place has made me want to make a reservation asap. “One of the best meals I have ever had!”, “Definitely a “must do” when you visiting Whistler”.
Peaked Pies: An Aussie girl falls in love with a Canadin boy, this place is a labour of love! A peaked pie is a traditional Australian meat pie (not to be confused with a Pot Pie) topped with mushy peas and mashed potatoes covered in mouth watering gravy. Of course, you can order them anyway you like – including veggie and vegan options available as well as dessert pies!
This place is a must eat while in Whistler and is super affordable!
Other restaurants that I have yet to try but have heard great things about include:
Whistler Brewing Company: Checkout a local brewery, and taste a variety of beers here.
Crepe Montage: If you are a cheese lover head here for all things French, like crepes, fondue, or raclette.
Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar: From the land to sea, Araxi focuses on bringing local ingredients together for a fine dining experience in a lively space. Reservations are a must as this is a very popular restaurant.
I hope this blog post helps you plan your next trip to the slopes!! If you liked it please let me know what you think in the comments!
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Thank you so much Ravi, that’s really sweet of you to say 🙂