Whichever season you decide to visit the beautiful Western Canadian province of British Columbia, you simply need to add some of the best things to do in Whistler into your itinerary.
The quaint municipality of Whistler lies in the southern part of British Columbia, roughly 125 kilometres (78 miles) north of Vancouver along the beautiful Sea-to-Sky Highway. More than two million people visit the top tourist attractions in Whistler every year, hitting up its world-class snowboarding & alpine skiing pistes in the winter and hiking & mountain biking trails in the summer.
If you’re in need of a vacation—and aren’t we all?—and you absolute love outdoor adventure, pad your ultimate British Columbia itinerary with some these best places to visit in Whistler, Canada…
Top places to visit in Whistler
Whistler Mountain & Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort
At the heart of this beautiful area of British Columbia, Whistler Mountain sits in the Coast Mountains and on the northwestern side of Garibaldi Provincial Park. Its main attraction, however, is Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort.
Thanks to an annual snowfall hitting around 1181 centimetres (465 inches), Whistler Blackcomb is one of Canada’s top ski resorts. Straddling the double peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb, there’s more than enough at this ski resort to satisfy your desire to hit the slopes every day.
At 2284 meters (7494 feet), the elevation is high enough to make sure that all skiers get to enjoy lots of skiing day after day. There’s a total of 16 lifts to ensure that everyone’s accommodated.
If you get tired of skiing on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains and would like to try something else for a while, look into the 100+ trails, the three parks, or one of the nine restaurants in the area. They offer any equally fun way to spend the day in Whistler—especially if skiing & snowboarding isn’t your thing.
Garibaldi Provincial Park
If you love the great outdoors and feeling a lot closer to nature, Garibaldi Provincial Park is one of the coolest places to see in Whistler.
Garibaldi Provincial Park covers more than 2600 square meters and truly offers something for everyone, from its numerous campgrounds to its lakes filled with several types of fish.
Throughout your time here, you’ll enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery you’ve ever seen. You can even get to the park via the Parkbus service, which is both environmentally friendly and low in cost.
And while you’re visiting Garibaldi, don’t forget to visit Singing Pass, offering spectacular views of the Fitzsimmons and Spearhead mountain ranges, Cheakamus River, and the Cheakamus Glacier.
If you intend to camp overnight at the park, make sure that you make a reservation.
Whistler Snowmobile Tours
If you love snowmobiling more than skiing, you’re in luck: Whistler has some amazing trails that allow you to speed along forested trails, across frozen lakes, and up powdery slopes.
With gorgeous views and just about any terrain you can think of, these tours offer something for everyone, including people of all skill levels. Most of the excursions last around two or two and a half hours but you can go on your own and do some individual exploring yourself.
If you’ve never driven a snowmobile before, you might want to consider taking a tour so that you can get some assistance getting started. Otherwise, feel free to rent a snowmobile and take off so that you can discover new beauty you never knew existed.
Peak 2 Peak Gondola
At Whistler Blackcomb Resort you’ll find a tri-cable gondola, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. This famous gondola has the distinction of being the first lift in the world to connect two side-by-side mountains.
At one point, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola held the world record for the longest free span between ropeway towers at 3.08 kilometres. (The record was finally broken in 2017.)
Still, the gondola boasts being a full 436 metres above ground. It’s an incredible thing to look forward to seeing (unless you’re afraid of heights, of course!).
If you’re going to visit the gondola, you should know that the hours of operation are affected by the weather. If a sudden downpour hits, you might want to give them a call before heading over.
If you’re visiting Whistler in the summer months, you still have a lot to look forward to. At the centre of the Whistler area is a municipal park system, cross-country skiing trails, and, of course, lots of sparkling blue water including the gorgeous Lost Lake.
With the mountains in the background and lots of trees as well, one of the best things to do in Whistler is to check out Lost Lake, a beautiful lake where you can tack to the trails to bike, hike, or simply enjoy the beach.
Lost Lake has 25 kilometres of trails to discover. You can get to the majestic lake easily using the free shuttle service from nearby Whistler Village.
Included on the premises are picnic tables, barbecue stands, swim docks, and amenities such as washrooms, outdoor showers, and concessions stands to keep you full so that you can enjoy all of these things even more.
Shannon Falls Provincial Park
Containing the third-highest waterfall in British Columbia, Shannon Falls Provincial Park is the one of the best places to visit in Whistler if you love waterfalls and beautiful scenery.
The Shannon Falls waterfall has a height of 335 meters, making it an extraordinary sight to see regardless of how many waterfalls you’ve seen in your lifetime.
Included on site at Shannon Falls Provincial Park are toilets, a concession stand, and an information centre; if you don’t know what to do to get started, they can help with that.
You take trails to get to the waterfalls, which are quite the sight to behold. The park is open from mid-March to mid-October every year for you to enjoy.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park
With more than 80 kilometres of trails for bikers to enjoy, the best thing about taking to the trails at Whistler Mountain Bike Park is that during every break, you can stand in awe of the many extraordinary views of the area. The breathtaking vistas here will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.
Throughout the trails at Whistler Mountain Bike Park, you can experience nearly 1700 vertical meters of downhill trails, making this park the perfect place for people who are addicted to adrenaline.
Of course, it can accommodate riders of all experience levels but it’s especially a rush for those who love a lot of speed on their bike rides.
Whistler Museum & Archives
If you need a break from all the exciting outdoor activities in Whistler, carve out a little time to visit the Whistler Museum & Archives.
Located in the heart of Whistler Village, the Whistler Museum walks visitors through the town’s distinctive alpine culture through a series of interactive exhibits that are fun for the entire family. The museum covers everything from Whistler’s natural environment to its development as a world-class alpine resort town and venue during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Where to stay in Whistler for sightseeing
Although its fairly compact, choosing where to stay in Whistler isn’t always a cinch. Whistler is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations, especially during peak skiing season in winter. Be sure to book your Whistler accommodations well ahead of time to secure your spot.
- Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel Whistler: Located just 10 minutes from the Blackcomb Excalibur Gondola, this hip & stylish boutique hotel is a great choice for skiers looking to take on the slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain.
- Nita Lake Lodge: For the perfect stay outside of Whistler Village, pop over to the shores of Lake Nita to stay in this lovely lakeside lodge. Whatever season you decide to visit, there’s an array of outdoor activities here including kayaking, biking, and cross-country skiing.
- Four Seasons Resort Whistler: To get your luxury fix, there’s no better choice than this perfect 5-star hotel in the Upper Village. Aside from its mountain views and luxurious rooms, the resort will charm you with its heated outdoor pool, three hot tubs, and a complementary shuttle to Whistler Village and Whistler Mountain in ski season.