First of all, if you’re headed to Whistler in winter for a ski trip, congratulations! We’re just a little jealous. Whistler is an incredible destination for any skier or snowboarder. But we all know that you can’t spend every waking minute of your trip skiing or riding, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead for some off-mountain attractions.
Whether you’re just taking a down day to rest, or you just want something to do after you drop your gear off at the ski shop for some ski tuning, Whistler in winter has plenty of attractions that don’t require strapping on your ski or snowboard boots.
The Whistler Village
The most obvious place to start is the Whistler Village. There’s a whole town built around the base area of the ski resort, with all the attractions you’d expect. Go for a walk through the village, duck into a snowboard shop to grab some fresh socks or some new ski pants.
Check out all the restaurants and bars throughout the village, and generally just enjoy exploring a new town. The Whistler Village is designed to be very walkable, and everything is within a small radius, so it’s easy to enjoy an afternoon in the village without worrying at all about logistics.
The Peak 2 Peak Gondola
If you’re looking to explore the mountains without skiing or riding, check out the Peak 2 Peak Gondola experience. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola lets guests travel between the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, no ski rental required. Just dress warmly and bring your camera or binoculars, the views up there are incredible!
After your gondola ride, you can dine at one of the several mountain top restaurants at either peak. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola is the ultimate way to experience these beautiful mountains while still taking a break from skiing or riding.
Experience the Arts
Whistler has a thriving fine art scene, and the community continues to work to make art experiences more accessible to everyone. There are plenty of galleries and installations throughout the village, and recently they’ve created a new Cultural Connector walking path that winds from galleries to cultural centers and beyond. It’s designed to provide a flexible self-guided art experience in the village, and it allows patrons to view an incredible range of art in a very convenient timeframe.
And if you don’t mind a quick ten-minute drive, check out Vallea Lumina at Cougar Mountain. This interactive light and art show takes place every evening and offers a wild experience as you walk through the wooded path, experiencing new sensations at every turn.
Get Your Foody On
Some mountain towns feature great alpine views but come up short when it comes to interesting culinary options. Whistler manages to do both very well. The Whistler Village is host a huge range of dining options, with a diverse international menu. And it’s located so close to the ocean that it has some of the best sushi and seafood in North America.
There is a plethora of tastings and events happening in the village all the time, so you can sign up for one and experience a wide range of food and drink, or put together your own self-guided tour. The same goes for wine and spirits, whether you’re looking for exotic vodka or the best wine pairings for local ingredients, the Whistler Village is a foodie’s paradise.
Find Your New Favorite Whistler Band
Like any hotbed for the arts and entertainment, Whistler has a strong music scene with something for just about everyone. There are plenty of live music venues throughout the village, with everything from house DJs to country-western bands playing most weekends.
And there are several bigger community shows every year. So plan ahead to catch a set during your apres session. Nothing’s better after a big day skiing than dancing to great music.
Learn a New Sport
Finally, if you want to take a day off from riding lifts but still want to explore the mountains, take this opportunity to try something new. There are plenty of places in Whistler that offer Nordic ski rentals, along with fat bike and snowshoe rentals and lessons.
Slow down and try something new, and explore a whole new side of the mountains. It’s great to give your legs some rest from hammering out runs all day and take a moment to experience new trails in this beautiful area. And Nordic skiing or snowshoeing can be fun for the whole family. It’s a great opportunity to spend quality time together outdoors.
We get it, most people head to Whistler in the wintertime to ski or snowboard. It’s one of the greatest ski resorts on earth. But there’s so much more to be done here than making turns. So plan ahead to take some time to explore everything else Whistler has to offer, it will make your time on the hill that much more special.