Keep reading to discover how to have a great and effortless day trip to Whistler from Vancouver.
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’m kind of an expert now, right?
GETTING TO WHISTLER FROM VANCOUVER
BUS TO WHISTLER WITH 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’s $35 for a return trip, and I decided to leave Vancouver at 10am and return at 9pm, which gave me 7 hours in Whistler. When I visited Whistler over Christmas a few years ago, I also used Greyhound.
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.
FOOD AND DRINK IN WHISTLER
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
The Warehouse Group operates in Vancouver as well, and everything on the menu at El Furniture is $4.95. But don’t think the cheap prices mean they skimp on quality. I have enjoyed a burger and pasta there, and both dishes were good.
We had our Christmas lunch at The Brewhouse, which is great for burgers and beers.
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.
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
PICK UP A MAP
You can find maps at the Whistler Visitor Centre, or at one of their stands around the Village. They have a Village map, as well as maps of the surrounding area, which are perfect for people looking to hike.
WALK AROUND THE VILLAGE WITH YOUR MAP 😉
This is the town’s heart, so there are plenty of shops to keep you busy. I’m 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.
RIDE THE PEAK2PEAK GONDOLA
I was sad to miss out on the Peak2Peak Gondola 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.
WALK OVER TO REBAGLIATI PARK
This is where your map will be handy, as Rebagliati Park is located just east of the Village and it’s 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.
TAKE TO THE MOUNTAINS
I mean, Whistler is a ski village, so this makes sense. But it’s also a popular spot for mountain bikers in summer.
GET A PHOTO IN FRONT OF THE OLYMPIC RINGS
You know you want to.
Six weeks later…
CHECK OUT A TRAIN WRECK
It kind of sounds like I’m talking about a person! But I actually read about this trail before I visited the first time this fall. However, I 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.
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.
VISIT AUDAIN ART MUSEUM
Audain Art Museum is British Columbia’s newest museum. It’s dedicated to showcasing the province’s best art.
Whistler is an adventure capital for sure. There is bungee jumping, zip lining, hiking and even bobsledding awaiting you.
WARM UP WITH SOME HOT CHOCOLATE
If visiting in winter, you’re 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.
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.
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.
VISIT THE FARMERS MARKET
The Farmers Market happens at the base of Blackcomb Mountain every Sunday between June and October. The market also opens on Wednesday afternoons in July and August.
STAY AT A FAIRMONT CHATEAU
Fairmont Chateaus are located all over Canada, and the Chateau in Whistler is quite beautiful.
RELAX AT SCANDINAVE SPA
Just looking at the images of Scandinave Spa make me relax. If the spa treatments fit into your budget, I say go for it.
VISIT THE SQUAMISH LIL’WAT CULTURAL CENTRE
ENJOY YOUR WHISTLER DAY TRIP FROM VANCOUVER
Whistler is such a fun place to escape to from Vancouver. It’s 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!
P.S. Here’s my entire Vancouver archive, if you’re looking for advice on things to do and where to stay.
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