Who am I? Oh, I’m just the girl that has visited Whistler twice this fall. But in my defence, both visits were completely different. Trip #1 it was sunny and I went by myself. Trip #2 was freezing cold and I was with my aunt and uncle. So I thought it was time to share my top tips for a Whistler day trip from Vancouver. I think I am kind of an expert now, right?
Bus to Whistler: Epic Rides
I have to thank my friend for this tip, but Epic Rides was a great way to get to and from Whistler in a day. It is $35 for a return trip, and I decided to leave Vancouver at 10am and return at 9pm, which gave me 7 hours in Whistler.
Drive to Whistler
For my second visit, my uncle drove along the Sea to Sky Highway. This drive is usually beautiful, but on this day the rain didn’t stop. However, I recommend stopping at Shannon Falls, which is just outside Squamish. Thanks to the rain, the waterfall was powering down the cliff. I have seen many waterfalls in my day, but none that monstrous. Once you get to Whistler, there are many parking lots around the Village.
My view from a patio lunch at El Furniture
Food & Drink
As Whistler is a tourist town, there are many pubs, restaurants and cafes to choose from. Here are my tried and tested favourites:
El Furniture Warehouse for a cheap feed
The Warehouse Group operates in Vancouver as well, and everything on the menu at El Furniture is $4.95. But just because it is cheap, doesn’t mean they skimp on quality. I have enjoyed a burger and pasta there, and both dishes were good.
Cow’s for ice-cream!
I love Cow’s Ice Cream. I am such a dedicated supporter I even ate the ice-cream in the snow on Christmas Day. But it was much more appreciated after an afternoon walk in the fall.
The Brewhouse for beer
We had our Christmas lunch at The Brewhouse, which is great for burgers and beers.
La Bocca for the bar
Although their food looks good, I can only say that La Bocca is a great place for drinks. Their wine list is extensive, and they have an actual heated bar. Ah-mazing.
La Brasserie for the patio
With a patio made for summertime eating and drinking, La Brasserie is definitely a restaurant to check out in Whistler. Although we enjoyed the cosy interior in winter, the food was delicious. They even have a poutine bar if that’s your sort of thing.
Things to do in Whistler
1. Pick up a map at the Whistler Visitor Centre, or one of their stands around the Village. They have a Village map, as well as maps of the surrounding area. Perfect for people looking to hike.
2. Walk around the Village with your map! This is the town’s heart, so there are plenty of shops to keep you busy. I am a sucker for a souvenir shop, so definitely check out Cool as a Moose. It’s my favourite, and where I may have picked up a certain stuffed moose named Caesar (after the shockingly awful national drink). He is sitting above my desk as I type this.
3. Ride the Peak2Peak Gondola. I was sad to miss out on this when I visited at the end of September. But apparently it closes for a few weeks between summer and Thanksgiving. Next time, I will be checking out the view.
4. Walk over to Rebagliata Park. This is where your map will be handy. But just east of the Village is this park, which is a must for photographers. From the flowing rapids to the mountain backdrops and the cute bridge, it’s a great place to chill in fall. In winter, it is the spot to build a snowman close to the Village.
5. Take to the Mountains. I mean, Whistler is a ski village, so this makes sense. But it is also a popular spot for mountain bikers in summer.
6. Get a photo in front of the Olympic Rings. You know you want to.
Six weeks later…
7. Check out a train wreck. I read about this trail before I visited the first time this fall, but opted to walk to Alta Lake instead. It not only looks like a nice hike through the woods, but a fun place to photograph too.
Read more: 9 other Vancouver day trips
8. Take a walk to a lake. There are three lakes within walking distance from the Village. Green Lake is the furthest, Lost Lake is the smallest and Alta Lake is the one I visited. You can kayak at Alta Lake, but I followed the signs to Lakeside Park and just enjoyed the afternoon sun for a little while. It was only about 20 minutes each way from the Village.
9. For the art lovers, check out Audain Art Museum. It is British Columbia’s newest museum, which is dedicated to showcasing the province’s best art.
10. Be adventurous. Whistler is an adventure capital for sure. There is bungee jumping, ziplining, hiking and even bobsledding awaiting you.
11. If visiting in winter, then you are going to need to stop for hot chocolate and warm up during the day. I recommend Blenz, because their hot chocolate is delicious. But if tea is more your thing, then a visit to David’s Tea might be preferred.
12. Pick up a postcard. I still love to send my parents and grandad back home postcards to display on the fridge. I wrote my postcards by the lake and posted them before getting on the bus home.
13. Play golf. This has got to be one of the more picturesque golf courses in the world. I walked past it on my way to Alta Lake and kind of couldn’t get over the views.
14. Visit the Farmers Market in summer. It happens at the base of Blackcomb Mountain every Sunday between June and October. The market also opens on Wednesday afternoons in July and August.
15. Stay at a Fairmont Chateau. They are all over Canada, and the Chateau in Whistler is quite beautiful.
16. Spend a relaxing day at the Scandinave Spa. Just looking at their images make me relax. If the spa treatments fit into your budget, I say go for it!
Whistler is such a fun place to escape to from Vancouver. It is now my mission to visit in summer and get to all of these attractions I missed in autumn and winter. Say hi to all of my fellow countrymen for me 😉 Just like Banff, really!