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If you want me to define the beauty of winter in one word, I’ll say “Whistler.” This magical place is a winter wonderland that’s beyond your imagination. It’s home to tall mountain peaks, stunning alpine lakes, old cedar trees, and spectacular wildlife.
And the best part? There are a ton of awesome winter activities in Whistler!
It doesn’t matter whether you are a skier or not; there are many fun things you can do in Whistler while enjoying the glory of nature. In fact, the first time I visited Whistler in winter I’d never skied before and instead kept myself busy with all of the other winter activities in Whistler.
From short hikes to scenic drives, here are the 40 best things to do in Whistler this winter including other important info for visiting this popular Canadian winter destination!
40 Best Things to do in Whistler in the Winter
1.Hit the slopes
Whistler Blackcomb is one of the largest ski resorts in North America. With over 4,757 acres / 1,925 hectares of skiable terrain, 36 lifts, and over 200 runs, Whistler Blackcomb is suited to the novice skier all the way up to the pro. I love this ski resort and I’m pretty certain you will too!
You can plan your visit to Whistler Blackcomb anytime between December and March, however, in January and February, the powder is at its best! When it comes to lift passes, Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most expensive ski resorts I have visited – which to me was a little off-putting. However, once I was out there skiing you begin to see just how cool this resort is. It’s like visiting Canmore in winter and skiing all the resorts in the area in one day!
Lift passes for adults start at $190 CAD, kids ages 7 to 12 at $95, and teenagers 12 to 18 at $160. These prices do not include any early bird discount so if you know you’re skiing Whistler Blackcomb, book in advance to save money!
If you have kids that are learning to ski, then you can opt for daily group ski/snowboard lessons at Blackcomb at a price of:
- $279 per day (ski only) for kids (5-6 years old).
- $245 per day (ski/snow lessons) for kids (7-14 years old)
Another thing that’s important to remember is that you have to book these lessons online. So make sure you book it three days before visiting Whistler, and if you go ahead with the private lessons, you have to plan it five days before your trip.
Skiing is a popular winter activity anywhere in Canada, and with Whistler Blackcomb’s, huge mountain to explore, this is easily the most popular thing to do in Whistler in winter!
Hot Tip: There are some great ski-in ski-out hotels in Whistler. When choosing where to stay in Whistler for skiing, be sure to pick a hotel close to the chairlifts!
Related Read: Another popular ski town is Golden, BC – read all about the best things to do in Golden in winter!
2. Go snow tubing
If you’re feeling tired after long days skiing then it’s time to have a little fun that doesn’t involve so much effort. I’m talking about snow tubing. Do you know what the best part is? You don’t need to take classes, rent any equipment, or go the extra mile!
This fun activity is one of the best, especially for those who haven’t quite mastered skiing or snowboarding but still want to go down a hill fast!
The Bubly Tube Park is located on Whistler Blackcomb and even has its own magic carpet. You need to buy tickets from the tube park hut, and it’s best to go on weekdays. On weekends, the lineup can be huge and in all honesty, not worth the wait!
Tickets are sold in one-hour passes and a family of 4 can go for around $100 CAD, however, prices change yearly so be sure to check before you go.
There are some requirements for kids. Your child has to be three years old or a height of 36-inch (91 cm). If your child’s height is between 36-inch (91 cm) and 41-inch (103 cm), then only the mini kids’ lane will be open for them.
The Tube Park is on Blackcomb Mountain near parking lot 8, and there is free parking! You can also use the Excalibar Gondola to reach lot 8, but you have to walk if you don’t mind stairs.
Related Read: There is also a snow tube park in Banff. If you;e headed that way, read about all of the other fun things to do in Banff in winter!
3.Hit the backcountry slopes
For those that want to get away from the crowds and explore the backcountry, Whistler is the perfect place for you.
One of the most popular places is in the Duffy Lake Area just northeast of Pemberton, BC around 1 hour and 20 minutes from Whistler. There are four main backcountry ski areas called Cerise Creek, Joffre Lakes, Marriott basin/Rohr, and Cayoosh. You can read more about them here but be aware experience is required to use these backcountry ski areas safely!
If you’re going, be sure to pop into the Whistler visitor center where you can find backcountry maps and guides as well as up-to-date avalanche information and tips.
If you’re not a pro but still want to experience something a little more adventurous then be sure to go back join a backcountry skiing and split-boarding tour. On this specific tour, you’ll head out with a professional guide with no lift tickets just your skis and a thirst for adventure. The tour, which lasts for 6 to 8 hours, gives people a great introduction to backcountry skiing as well as a ton of safety information. There’s fresh powder, steep terrain, and no chairlifts or lift lines.
Prices start from $239 and that doesn’t include ski rentals either, however, if you want to get away from the crowd, this tour is best for you!
4. Fresh Tracks Mountain Top Breakfast
What if I tell you it’s possible to cross the mountains, walk over clouds, and do your favorite thing? “Eat, eat, and eat a little more!”
If you enjoy breakfast with a view, you need to visit Roundhouse Lodge for their famous Fresh Tracks Mountain Top Breakfast. Located on Whistler Mountain at the height of 6069 feet/1850 meters it overlooks the entire valley and the views are out of this world. They serve an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast that includes bacon, eggs, potatoes, pastries, yogurt, muffins, and even fruit. The experience is open from mid-December to early April.
The best part is if you already have ski lift tickets you can listen for the first tracks bell and jump on the fresh powder before anyone else. Talk about a great way to start the day!
To enjoy the Fresh Tracks Mountain Top Breakfast you need to start your day early, as you have to catch the Whistler Village Gondola between 7:15 am and 8:00 am. Lift tickets to the restaurant cost $25.95 for adults and $18 for children. Once there, grab a seat and enjoy breakfast with the best seat in the house.
5. Go snowshoeing
Immerse yourself in the glory of the winter wonderland that is Whistler by snowshoeing on some of the beautiful trails nearby. The best part is that snowshoeing is a winter activity for all ages, so it will be fun even if you have small kids. I myself love snowshoeing simply because I am an avid hiker and when winter comes around, snowshoeing makes winter hiking easier (and in some cases, possible.)
One of the best places to go snowshoeing in Whistler is at Whistler Olympics Park. There are over 30 kilometers of marked trails, 15 of which are dog-friendly (yay for the pups!) You can choose to go self-guided or take a private tour depending on what experience you’re looking for. Rentals are also available for $16 (adults) and $10 (children).
Other places you can snowshoe around Whistler include Lost Lake Park and Ski Callaghan. These areas offer lots of snowshoeing trails to explore but there is an entrance fee at both places (rentals are also available). With that though, comes well-marked trails and even maps.
For more “backcountry” snowshoeing routes head to the Sea to Sky Trail, Train Wreck Trail, and even the Cheakamus Trails. Simply rent your snowshoes and pop into the Whistler Visitor Centre for maps of the trails as well as safety information.
If you still don’t feel comfortable hitting the trails on your own or just want to learn more from an expert guide then join this Medicine Trail snowshoe tour starting at $113. This guided hike lasts for 2.5 hours and will take you on a journey to the mysterious forest through Medicine Trail. See tall cedar trees, explore Trapper’s Cabin, and even Totem Pole Lake.
Snowshoeing in Whistler is easily one of the best winter activities simply because it’s cheap, suited to most visitors, and the views are spectacular!
6. Cross-country skiing
During winter in Canada, it’s easy to find yourself indoors a lot. That’s why I started to cross country ski. It’s cheap, fun, and you get a great workout!
In Whistler, cross country skiing is very popular and I myself just had to try out the trails at Whistler Olympic Park. The park is home to 90 km of trails marked as easy (green), intermediate (blue), and advanced (hard). Enjoy the breathtaking viewpoints and get a workout while you’re at it.
Rentals are available at Whistler Olympic Park for $32.50 CAD for adults, $18 for youths, and $10 for children and on top of that, you’ll need to pay the entrance fee to use the trails which is $16.50 (subject to changes) for the day.
You can also book lessons if you’re a novice, 7 days a week. Kids private lessons are $50/child per hour. There are even introductory group lessons that you can try. For example, introduction to classic skiing and skate skiing is only $60, but with a rental, you can get it for $75. The minimum age requirement is 13 years old, and you have to take it between 11 am to 12:30 pm.
If you have never cross country skied before and don’t want to do lessons then simply stick to the groomed tracks. These are grooves on the ground that make the sport much easier even for first-timers. I still only use these!
7. Attend a winter event in Whistler
Whistler is one of the best winter destinations in the world and every winter it is home to a varied list of fabulous and inspiring events. At the start of the winter season is Cornucopia Whistler, a festival of food and drinks (my kind of festival!) It is held most weekends in November and there are hundreds of events to choose from, from small events at the town’s restaurants to a huge wine show held in the Conference Centre.
The Whistler Pride Ski Festival is a week-long celebration held at the end of January, there are fun events held both on and off the mountain and the entire town immerses itself in a sea of rainbow colors for the celebrations.
One of my favorite winter events in Whistler is the Fire and Ice Show held every Sunday evening at Skiers Plaza (at the base of Whistler Mountain). The main drawcards are the fire spinners and fireworks. And for the finale, some of Whistler’s best skiers and riders hit a big air jump through a blazing ring of fire. This is a free event and draws a huge crowd each week!
8. Go Snowmobiling
Snowmobiling is the perfect winter activity in Whistler for those who love an adrenaline rush – not to mention you can let the snowmobile do the work!
In Whistler, it’s best to join a snowmobiling tour as it’s very unlikely you’re arriving with you’re own snowmobile (if you are then congrats!) The Callaghan Cruiser Snowmobile Tour is a great option that takes you through the Callaghan Valley and to the abandoned NorthAir gold mine. You’ll also visit an open area known as a play area that’s perfect for seeing just what a snowmobile can do.
In total, the tour is 3 hours long and is filled with interesting information, breathtaking views, and of course a ton of excitement. The best part is that kids as young as 5 can join the tour, however, you need to be 19+ with a full, valid driver’s license to drive the snowmobiles.
9. Visit The Meadows Park Sports Centre
The Meadows Park Sports Centre complex in Whistler is open every day from 6 am to 8:30 pm. It’s a great recreational facility in Whistler that everyone can enjoy.
You can warm up in the hot tub or take the family for a swim if you want to do something relaxing while escaping the cold. However, there is also a fitness center, so you can hit the gym if you’ve been eating a lot during the holiday as well as squash courts (my favorite), an indoor skating rink, and basketball courts! When I was last in Whistler I headed here to soak in the hot tub after a long day of skiing.
The drop-in admissions are usually around $9 CAD for an adult, $5.50 for youth (13-18 years old), and $4.50 for children (4-12 years old). You can also get a family pass for $18 CAD. You can purchase the passes in person from the center on arrival.
Overall, it’s one of the cheapest winter activities in Whistler!
10. Enjoy breakfast and coffee at Purebread
I first found Purebread while in Vancouver and instantly fell in love. You wouldn’t believe my joy when I found out there was one in Whistler too!
If your day starts with good coffee at home it should also start that way on holiday. The cappuccino at Purebread has to be one of the best especially if you like them made how they’re supposed to be. On top of that, the food is delicious and I guarantee your eyes will light up when you see the selection of savory and sweet baked goods.
My favorite? Well, it has to be the spinach and feta muffins, raspberry white chocolate scones, and bacon and egg brioche (oh, you thought I’d only have one favorite!?)
Be sure to pop in here at the beginning of your trip. That way, if you love it as much as me you can have it every day!
Purebread is easily one of the best cafes in Whistler – trust me, you’ll love it!
11. Go hiking
Winter hiking can be done in Whistler especially with its well-trodden trails and warmer weather.
If you want to go hiking without snowshoes, Train Wreck Trail is an exciting place to visit. Although also a snowshoeing route, the trail receives a fair amount of traffic so the snow is usually compact enough to do it in a good pair of hiking boots. The Train Wreck Trail visits some abandoned train carriages left there in the 50s. It’s a unique spot and the trail is only 2 kilometers return.
If you don’t mind driving a little out of town on the Sea to Sky Highway you can also visit Brandy Wine Falls. This short 1-kilometer return trail leads to a stunning waterfall that in winter is even more spectacular.
Last is The Valley Trail. This vast network of trails is almost always free from snow due to its elevation and the fact it’s a paved trail. There are 45 kilometers of trails here that wind their way around Whistler town and the lakes in the area.
12. Join a Snowcat tour
Have you ever wondered what an igloo is like? Well if you join the Blackcomb family apres snowcat tour you’ll be able to find out. This 19 passenger snowcat is heated, comfortable, and takes you out into the snowy mountain to see a real-life igloo. On top of that, you’ll get to enjoy warm beverages in the igloo just to make the experience all the more memorable.
This tour starts at $129 CAD and departs at 4:30 pm in the winter months only.
If that doesn’t sound like enough to you then there’s also a dinner tour. On the same snowcat, you’ll be taken to the crystal hut to enjoy dinner under the stars. This tour was awarded the Canadian Signature Experience and departs at 7:15 pm and starts at $229.
13. Go ziplining
Did you know that you can go zip lining in Whistler in winter!? Neither did I before I arrived, but after seeing a group get ready in town I was shocked! Needless to say, this really is one of the coolest winter activities in Whistler and it’s not even a typical winter activity!
Ziplining tours in Whistler start at $146.59 CAD and this specific tour lasts for 2.5 hours. On the tour, you’ll soar through the sky at speeds of up to 100 kilometers an hour and enjoy one of the longest zipline trips in Canada. You’ll also be with an expert guide who will provide you with safety details as this fun activity is a source of adrenaline!
There are some requirements for the tour such as your weight shouldn’t be more than 113 kg and less than 27 kg. This activity is for seven years and up. It’s open year-round, so dress accordingly.
14. Ride in a helicopter
A helicopter ride over glaciers, bright blue lakes, and the all-around stunning mountain scenery of Whistler is an activity that should be added to everyone’s Whistler winter bucket list! And this bucket-list activity doesn’t have to break the bank.
In fact, the Whistler Explorer Tour which lasts 25 to 45 minutes is priced from just $749 CAD (plus GST) for up to 6 people (yep, just over $100 per person!) The tour even includes an alpine landing. In summer, the tour is double the price so enjoy those January and February discounts!
There are various other helicopter tours available all ranging in price and length for you to see Whistler from high up above. One of my favorite helicopter tours available in Whistler is the heli-skiing option! If you’re obsessed with skiing then this one’s for you!
There are 432,000 acres of ski terrain available to explore on a heli-skiing tour and obviously, you can’t do it all in one day so you may just need to book a couple of heli-skiing tours to see it all. There are 173 glaciers and 474 runs within this terrain. This tour includes 30+ minutes of flying, an experienced guide, safety gear, and lunch. This is not suitable for beginners though and prices start from $2,895 CAD + GST for 4 people.
15. Go dog sledding (in Squamish)
Would you believe that the activity of dog-sledding is over 4000 years old?! Back then it was a necessary aspect of life in Northern Canada. Nowadays, it is a memorable experience that’s not-to-be-missed when visiting Whistler in the winter months.
Squamish Dog Sledding is a true Canadian experience and your sleds are pulled by either Siberian or Alaskan huskies through incredible mountain scenery. Would you believe you will reach speeds of up to 35 km per hour! The tours are run in the Callaghan Valley (between Squamish and Whistler) and there are free shuttles available from Whistler.
You can choose to sit back and relax in your cozy sled or stand on the back of the sled and drive the dog team!
I myself did dog sledding in the winter in Canmore, Alberta, and loved it. What an adventure that involved lots of time playing with the dogs (my favorite part!)
16. Visit the Audain Art Museum
The Audain Art Museum is equally as beautiful from the outside as it is inside – it almost sinks into the surrounding forest. This is a private museum (not government-owned) and houses Michael Audain’s personal art collection.
The beautiful art within starts with late 18th Century British Columbia art up to the present day. The museum is home to one of the best collections of First Nations’ masks in the world and works from some of Canada’s best artists including Jack Shadbolt and Gordon Smith as well as international artists like Jeff Wall and Rodney Graham.
The Audain Art Museum is located across from Whisler Olympic Plaza and costs $20 CAD for adults, $10 for 19 to 25s, and is free for kids under 18.
17. Relax at a spa
Scandinave Spa is located just a few minutes’ drive from Whistler Village in a Nordic-inspired outdoor spa that’s surrounded by native forest. It’s huge at 20,000 square feet and is the best way to relax after a long day of adventuring around Whistler in winter.
The outdoor baths are mirrored on old Finnish traditions and have the added benefit of being surrounded by Whistler’s incredible natural beauty. You can also get a traditional Scandinavian massage to truly relax after having all the fun in Whistler.
Whistler’s most unique spa is open from 10 am – 9 pm daily. Access to the baths starts at $75 CAD per adult.
18. Try axe throwing
Axe-throwing is sure to get people at home talking – and once you try it you won’t believe how much fun it is! It’s an hour-long session and to be honest, you’ll probably spend most of the hour trying to get the hang of throwing an axe. However, your experienced coach will also encourage you to get involved in some fun axe-throwing games. I actually got the hang of it after 30 minutes and even hit some bullseyes!
They sell craft beer as well as other alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) beverages for you to enjoy after your session – I don’t recommend drinking too much while you’re axe-throwing though!
Forged Axe Throwing is located in Function Junction, a 15-minute drive from Whistler Village and you can book your tickets in advance online. The experience costs $45 CAD for an hour-long session.
19. Drink lots of craft beer
Whilst on the topic of alcohol, why not consider a 4-hour brewery crawl through some of Whistler’s best breweries? Whistler’s craft brewery scene is exploding and every year new places are opening up.
On this specific tour, you’ll get to try tons of beer tastings at 2 different breweries over 2.5 hours all while your local guide shares interesting facts about Whistler and answers any questions you have. Transport is included which will come in handy if you want to drink a few beers. You’ll also be given some tasty appetizers along the way.
20. Join a distillery tour
This tour is held in the neighborhood of Function Junction – 15 minutes from Whistler. It’s a 2-hour tour and includes a guided tour of Montis Distilling where you’ll get to taste all of their liquor and get a free charcuterie box by Picnic Whistler. I recommended trying everything but especially the Alpenglow Gin!
Pick up and drop off from Whistler Village is provided and the tour only costs $70 CAD. After, when you get dropped back in Whistler you’ll get exclusive deals at The Raven Room (Whistler’s best cocktail bar!)
21. Walk through Whistler Village
Walk through the pedestrianized Whistler Lower Village starting at Mountain Square (next to the Pan Pacific Hotel) and ending at Village Square. The path is wide and paved and cleared regularly of snow.
Stop at the many stores along the way and see apres-ski in full swing at Longhorns, Brasserie, and other pubs. Grab a coffee at Purebread, you have to try one of their baked goods too – you won’t be able to resist when you see them all laid out.
This is a great way to see Whistler and get a real feel for this fun town! At night, Christmas lights are everywhere making it a truly beautiful scene.
22. Stay at Four Seasons Resort Whistler
Staying at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Whistler is an experience all of its own. This grand building nestled in Whistler’s Upper Village looks like something from a fairytale. It has a whopping 219 luxury rooms, a gym, 3 hot tubs, an outdoor heated pool, top reviewed steak and seafood restaurant, a bar, and a spa and wellness center! You could spend a few days here trying out all their facilities and never get bored.
And of course, the rooms here are beyond gorgeous with spectacular mountain or village views. It’s the perfect place to stay in Whistler in winter because you can ski back to the hotel right from Blackcomb mountain. Ski-in, ski-out – how cool is that?!
23. Attend the Whistler Film Festival
The Whistler Film Festival is another annual event that attracts large crowds. It is held the first weekend in December (one of the many reasons to visit Whistler in December) every year and attracts a lot of visitors. This event showcases up to 100 films – most local and indie productions.
There will be 100+ speakers offering interactive sessions. It’s all about tapping into the local filmmaking industry.
24. Eat at Bearfoot Bistro
The Bearfoot Bistro is one of the best restaurants in Whistler, if not all of BC. Try their 4-course tasting menu for a cute date night (guys you hear that!) From the main menu the Wagyu beef, Perigord truffles, and Berkshire pork are outstanding!
Be sure to check out their daily happy hour from 3:30 pm – 5 pm for their oysters and drinks specials.
Head to the restaurant’s underground wine cellar and try to saber the top of a champagne bottle off, a tradition that dates back to the Napoleonic era. In the cellar, you will be surrounded by over 20,0000 bottles of wine, so take your pick of the bottles and see if you can successfully saber it!
25. Day trip to Squamish
Just under an hour’s drive from Whistler, Squamish is quickly becoming a tourist destination in its own right. Recently its popularity has surged thanks to the Netflix series Virgin River, which was filmed here. The drive from Whistler to Squamish is incredibly scenic and worth the journey alone (more on that below). But once you get to Squamish you are spoiled with things to do.
In my opinion, the quickest way to fall in love with Squamish’s beauty is to get the Sea to Sky Gondola to the top of Mount Habrich and admire the views of the Howe Sound. The gondola rises 885 meters above sea level in just 10 minutes- so be warned if you’re afraid of heights.
One of the best and most challenging hikes in the Whistler area is located in Squamish – the Stawamus Chief is a favorite amongst locals. There are two ways to climb “the Chief” as it’s also known. You can rock climb it (only if you’re experienced) or hike up but beware there are leg-burning stairs at the beginning of the hike.
In Squamish, there are lots of great restaurants, cafes, and shops too.
26. Go ice skating
For a family-friendly activity in Whistler this winter why not try the outdoor ice-skating rink in Olympic Plaza. It is a beautiful place to ice skate outdoors and the rink is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, twinkling festive lights, and the iconic Olympic rings.
Hours of operation during winter are 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m, 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m, and 6 to 8:30 p.m. It costs $2 if you bring your own skates or $8 with skate rental.
You can also try indoor ice skating at Meadow Park Sports Centre a few minutes drive from town, this is available year-round.
27. Drive the Sea to Sky Highway
The Sea to Sky Highway (Hwy 99) is a beautiful stretch of road that connects Whistler with Vancouver. You’ll pass Squamish at the halfway point. It takes about 2 hours to drive the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler without stops, but there are some cool attractions that you really should check out along the way.
Some of the best stops along this route include Porteau Cove for views of Howe Sound, the impressive 335-meter-tall Shannon Falls, Alexander Falls, the town of Squamish, Alice Lake, and Brandywine Falls – a lovely hike and waterfall just outside Whistler.
Be sure to read up on the drive before you go so you can make a list of your favorite stops and turn this road trip into one amazing adventure! Then, once you’ve arrived in Vancouver plan to spend a few nights too – there are plenty of fun things to do in Vancouver in the winter too!
28. Sit by a fire at an outdoor patio
The locals know that the best patio in Whistler is located at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel in the Upper Village. The patio is part of the Braidwood Bar in the hotel and it is a large heated patio with fabulous views onto Blackcomb Mountain. Go here for apres-ski and watch the sunset, or during the day for drinks and some delicious food.
Another extremely popular patio is the one at Irish bar Dubh Linn Gate in Mountain Square in the main village. There’s an outdoor firepit (get here early to nab a seat next to it), over 25 beers on tap, and live music most evenings. You can’t miss the lively Dubh Linn when walking through Whistler Village!
29. Go on a sightseeing tour
This sightseeing tour is a great way to visit the lesser-explored parts of Whistler and learn some unique facts about this mountain town from your experienced guide.
On the tour, you will see Green Lake Lookout, Rainbow Park as well as more popular stops like Whistler Blackcomb and Olympic Park and there’s an optional stop at Whistler Brewing Company. It’s the perfect tour for first-timers to Whistler. It feels very personal as it’s capped at just 14 people and only costs $90 CAd lasting 3 hours.
30. Visit the Whistler Museum
Learn about Whistler’s unique history at this small museum. The Whistler Museum tells the story of Whistler’s beginnings as complete wilderness to the ski resort it is today and of course, its role in history as a host of the Winter Olympics. You can also join a Valley of Dreams Walking Tour and uncover the early history of Alta Lake.
A very cool exhibition is the “pop up” museum at Lost Lake, a nice, short walk from town. It explores Whistler’s unique natural history and includes visual displays and on-site interpreters.
Whistler Museum is located at 4333 Main Street and the entrance is by a suggested donation of $5 CAD.
31. Go bungee jumping
For the adventurous traveler why not consider bungee jumping at arguably the most scenic bungee in the world?! Whistler Bungee is surrounded by old-growth forest and basalt cliffs, not forgetting the Gatorade-blue waters below you. Plus, in winter all that beautiful scenery is covered with a dusting of snow, making it even prettier!
Whistler Bungee has an office in Whistler, however, the 160ft jump over the Cheakamus River is located around an hour from town along the Sea to Sky Highway. Unfortunately, they don’t offer transport so you’ll need to drive yourself there.
This is an experience in Whistler not-to-be-missed at any time of the year!
32. Party the night away
Nicknamed the Vegas of the North, Whistler is a town that loves to party. “Work hard, ski hard, play hard” is the local motto! There are three nightclubs in Whistler as well as the many late-night bars. So, whether you want to participate in karaoke, relax with live music on an outdoor patio, or party the night away with a well-known DJ in one of the nightclubs there’s plenty of after-dark options in this ski resort town.
The nightclub Garfinkels (or Garfs as the locals know it) has hosted some top acts including Avicii and Afroman, Tommys and Maxx Fish
A great way to party as a tourist in Whistler is to join the Bar Hop guided tour on Friday and Saturday nights. This tour takes you to four epic bars/nightclubs and includes VIP access, 5 drinks of your choice, and pizza.
33. Go ice fishing
Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in Canada, and of course in Whistler. With so many lakes around, all you have to do is pick one, find a hole (or crate your own) and you’re ready to fish! In Whistler, you can fish for bull trout, rainbow trout, kokanee, and more.
On this half-day ice fishing tour, you will be accompanied by an experienced guide who will help you and give you lots of fishing tips. The tour includes all fishing equipment, plus pickup and drop-off at your hotel.
34. Take some epic photos
Team up with a local professional photographer and capture some stunning shots at some of Whistler’s most beautiful spots as a memento of your time there. This is an hour-long tour and your guide will send you your high-quality photos after your tour.
This is perfect for couples on a romantic getaway (or honeymoon in Whistler) or families wanting to get some photos together to remember their trip. These memories are priceless so capturing them is important!
35. Ice climbing
You don’t need to have any ice-climbing experience for this awesome activity. If you’re a beginner you will be given an introduction to the sport with a smaller and easier wall. If you have experience then you can take on some epic climbs under the guidance of a professional guide. It’s a surprisingly easy activity! In fact, Whistler is one of the best places in Canada to go ice climbing.
This ice climbing tour is 6 to 8 hours long and includes all your equipment and a professional guide for $349 CAD. Although not cheap, the tour involves a lot of training and is a full-day adventure!
36. Try Escape Whistler
Escape rooms are becoming more and more popular these days. I myself have done a few over the years and love them.
In Whistler, Escape Whistler has 6 escape rooms ranging in difficulty. Try and figure your way out of a themed room by solving puzzles, riddles, and clues. You have only 45 minutes to get out so be sure to put your thinking cap on. Try to escape from a Pirate Ship, Buried Cabin, or a Pinball Machine. This is a great activity for families or groups of friends looking for an indoor winter activity.
37. Fat biking
Fat biking in Whistler is best experienced on the trails of the Callaghan Valley or at the Whistler Olympic Park. It is a great way to explore the trails of Whistler safely during the winter months. You can explore some of the local trails if you feel confident and the team at Spicy Sports can help you with the best tips and you can rent your bike and other gear from them too!
Cut Yer Bars and Emerald Forest are two firm favorite trails that I love!
38. Whistler Sliding Centre
Have you watched the famous old-school movie Cool Runnings? Well, at the Whistler Sliding Centre you can be a passenger in a bobsleigh!
Their Bobsleigh Experience is one of Whistler’s most unique activities! You will slide in a real bobsleigh, driven by a trained pilot. Hold onto your skin as you race through numerous twists and turns at speeds of 125+ km/hr. On the bobsleigh, you will feel the acceleration of up to 4 g-forces. Now that’s fast!
No previous experience is required.
39. Go shopping
For a small town where the main focus is the outdoors, there’s a surprising amount of great shopping options. Some of my favorites include Aritzia for stylish women’s clothes, The Oracle for unique jewelry, Cool as a Moose for quirky Canadian souvenirs, and Amos and Andes Sweater Shop for beautiful handmade sweaters.
There are also two supermarkets in Whistler Village – Fresh Street and the Whistler Grocery Store.
If you want to bring some food and drink inspired gifts home – check out Davids Tea in Olympic Plaza, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and Cow’s to try their yummy ice cream and buy some cow-inspired merchandise. Cows are an institution in Whistler and you’re likely to be queuing to get in.
40. Visit the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
At the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre you’ll discover all aspects of Lil’wat culture and history as well as their unique traditions and practices from ancient times up to the present day. Also, be sure to do one of the guided tours on offer by the Ambassadors from both the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations. It features a hand drum welcome song which is really moving. These guided tours happen every hour from 10 am – 4 pm.
After your tour, take your time to view the permanent and temporary exhibitions which showcase the relationship between two unique Nations – Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation.
There’s also a great gift shop selling unique First Nations merchandise as well as a lovely Cafe – I’ve visited this cafe numerous times and it’s one of my favorites!
Admission to the Centre is $20 CAD per adult. It is open from Wednesday – Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm.
Where to Stay in Whistler in Winter
As you can imagine, Whistler is a mountain town filled with great hotels. Better yet, the prices in winter are typically cheaper than in summer in Whistler, so you can get yourself some great deals by booking in advance. Still, Whistler is an expensive town so expect to pay a little more.
For budget travelers, Pangea Pod Hotel is a great option. It’s a basic hotel with pod-style rooms with clean, well looked after facilities. The location is also really good and you are within walking distance to the ski lifts in Whistler Upper Village. One thing to note is this is not your typical hotel and it does lack privacy due to the style of rooms. However, for location and price, it’s the best low-cost option.
If you can spend a little more (my typical category) then you can certainly get privacy in a good location. The Pinnacle Hotel Whistler is my personal choice when I visit Whistler (unless there’s a crazy deal somewhere else.) The hotel is located in the heart of Whistler Upper Village, features a fitness center, hot tub, pool, and restaurant. On top of that, it’s only 500 meters from the chairlifts.
For luxury travelers, I obviously love the Four Seasons Resort Whistler, but another option slightly cheaper is the Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre. Its location is perfect for luxury skiers because it’s only 250 meters from the closest gondola. On top of that, it has all the luxury facilities you’d expect such as a heated, outdoor pool and 2 hot tubs with mountain views, a fitness center, a spa and wellness center, as well as an included breakfast. Oh, and all suites have a full kitchen!
Those are just a few of the many amazing places to stay in Whistler – read our blog for more info!
Renting a Car in British Columbia
If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.
Car rental in Canada is relatively cheap, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $70 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Rental Cars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Rental Cars.com all over the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.
Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic, you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!
Thanks for reading!
Whistler truly is a winter wonderland and you’re sure to enjoy a holiday there at this time of year. With plenty of fun things to do in Whistler in winter, it’s going to be a trip to remember!
For more great blogs, be sure to browse around this site a little more. I absolutely love writing about travel and have tons of information to share with travelers like myself!