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Whistler is one of the most popular places to visit in Canada, it’s notorious for being one of the best ski resorts in the world, so as you can imagine winter is a very busy time in Whistler. But, summer in Whistler is my personal favorite season!
Firstly, the weather is great, averaging about 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) plus, there are heaps more activities available in the summer than in any other season. For one, there’s the famous Whistler Bike Park home to 70 bike trails, numerous stunning lakes to swim in, as well as the fact the best hiking is available here from May to August!
Here, I will share with you all the best summer activities in Whistler as well as the best outdoor patios, stores, and hotels. This is your complete guide to visiting Whistler in the summer months!
About Visiting Whistler in Summer
Whistler is one of the best summer destinations in BC! The weather is warm averaging 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) during the day, with August being the hottest month – temperatures then average 24 Celsius (75 Fahrenheit).
Thanks to the cool mountain air, it’s never too humid in Whistler! And with less than 16 days of rainfall across the 3 months of summer (June, July, and August) there really is no better season to visit this mountain village. Of course, the days are longer in the summer too, with 16 hours of daylight – the sun rises at 5 am and doesn’t set until 9:30 pm! This means you have a lot more daylight to explore.
Despite Whistler being a renowned ski destination, most tourists actually visit Whistler in the summer. Would you believe approximately 1.7 million tourists visit Whistler every summer?! That’s because there’s a phenomenal range of activities on offer during the warmer months like mountain biking, white water rafting, and ATV’ing. Not forgetting that the best and most scenic hiking is on offer at this time too. Therefore, I recommend spending at least a full weekend here in the summer.
In this blog, I list a whopping 34 things to do in Whistler in the summer, there’s something for everyone on this list!
34 Things to Do in Whistler in Summer
1. Explore the Whistler Bike Park
One of the biggest attractions in Whistler during the summer is the epic Whistler Bike Park – which is the top lift-accessed bike park in the world. There are over 70 trails spread out over 4 zones – Fitzsimmons, Garbanzo, Creekside, and Peak. And thanks to this variation across zones, Whistler Bike Park has the biggest rideable terrain of any bike park in North America!
The great thing too is that there’s a trail for every ability here. If your new start with EZ Does It, ride up Fitzsimmons Express lift and take this easy trail all the way down into the village. Other easy tracks include Crabapple Turns and Del Boca Vista. For the more experienced blue trails like B-Line and Ninja Cougar are great options. There are Expert and Pro trails but these are typically very steep and technical and only recommended for confident bikers.
It costs $84 CAD for a one-day ticket to Whistler Bike Park.
If you don’t fancy riding the bike park there are some awesome trails over at Lost Lake, just outside the Upper Village. In fact, there are 34 kilometers (21 miles) of trails here to be exact – most of the 55 trails are suitable for beginner to intermediate bikers. Another good option is the Cheakamus Lake Trail, 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the village. This trail is shared with hikers and will take between 2 – 6 hours to complete depending on your skill level.
If you’d like to tackle Whistler’s bike trails with a pro, why not consider this half-day mountain bike tour! It is suitable for all levels, so even if you’re a beginner, you’ll have a fun time! You can also customize the tour to your group’s liking or change the location due to the conditions. It costs from $227 CAD per person.
2. Shop at the Farmer’s Market
Every Sunday between July and October all of the locals and tourists come together at the awesome Whistler Farmers Market. It operates between 11 am and 4 pm and there are fresh fruit stalls, craft stalls, clothing stalls, and not forgetting a variety of food trucks (my fav!).
Would you believe there are over 50 stalls here? It’s a great way to taste the best that Whistler has to offer and mingle with the locals.
Last year the Farmers Market was held at Whistler Racket Club, but the location changes yearly so be sure to check out their website for the latest information on the location and vendors.
3. Enjoy a beach day at Lost Lake
For me, a day at the lake is one of the best things to do in British Columbia. Lost Lake is a great choice for this as it’s one of the largest lakes in the area at 167 meters squared, and it’s the most beautiful if you ask me! The water is clear and ideal for swimming, but, beware it’s cold at 12 Celsius (54 Fahrenheit) during the summer months. There’s even a pontoon to jump off in the middle of the lake!
It’s an easy 20-minute walk into Lost Lake from Whistler’s Upper Village via the Valley Trail. But you can also catch the free shuttle bus here from Whistler Village, it’s Route 8 and is only in operation from June to September.
The lake is surrounded by Blackcomb Mountain, so it’s a great photo spot especially at sunset when its peaks are illuminated in shades of pink and orange.
There are BBQ facilities where you can cook food with friends, as well as some food trucks parked up in the summer. In fact, this is where most of the locals come to hang out on their days off!
Did you know that Whistler is home to the longest Zipline in North America – The Sasquatch! At over 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) long, this zipline is seriously impressive. So it should come as not surprising that ziplining is one of the most popular summer activities in Whistler.
Ziplining tours in Whistler start at $147 CAD and this specific Sasquatch Zipline tour lasts for 1.5 hours. On the tour, you’ll soar through the sky at speeds of over 100 kilometers (62 miles) an hour and enjoy 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!
The last time we were in Whistler we actually did the Sasquatch ourselves, and let me tell you, it was a blast! We’ve done countless ziplines before all over the world and this one was the most thrilling. We went super fast, plus, the views from up there are unmatched!
There are some requirements for the tour, such as your weight shouldn’t be more than 113 kg (249 lbs) and less than 27 kg (60 lbs). This activity is for seven years old and up. It’s open year-round, so dress accordingly.
If the super-long Sasquatch sounds a little too adrenaline-filled for you, Ziptrek also offers another zipline tour that includes 5 ziplines. None of them go quite as far or as fast as the Sasquatch, so it’s the perfect tour for those who are a little nervous or families with kids.
It is a little more expensive at $158 CAD but you do get an extra hour longer than the Sasquatch because there are more lines to do!
5. Attend a summer event
Summer is events season in Whistler, with one of the biggest events – the Whistler Half Marathon happening at the start of June (the exact date changes yearly). In 2023, it takes place on the Lost Lakes Trail. Entrants can choose from the half-marathon option (30 kilometers) as well as the shorter 10-kilometer (6.2 mi) or 5-kilometer (3.1 mi) options, there’s also a kids race. So, everyone can get involved!
Then, the month of July kicks off with some epic Canada Day celebrations, held on July 1st there’s a free outdoor concert at Olympic Plaza, a parade through the main village stroll, as well as lots of mini-events throughout the village like local art demonstrations, music acts, and a first nations welcome and drum circle. Lots of the bars and restaurants too will host their own events, typically with awesome live bands.
Whistler Children’s Festival is a well-established family event with arts and crafts, and storytelling sessions. As well as dance parties, art adventure tours, and a kid’s art showcase. It’s typically held at the Maury Young Arts Center. Keep an eye on their website for updates for the 2023 events, this year it takes place the last couple of weekends in May.
Typically held around the middle of July the Red Bull 400 World Championships is known as the steepest race in the world! It involves a grueling 400-meter (1,312 feet) climb up the ski jump at Whistler Olympic Park. Contestants can take on this challenge alone or as part of a 4-person relay.
Between July 21st and 30th 2023, the world-famous Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival comes to town! It celebrates everything mountain biking with some of the best riders in the world in Whistler to take on its challenging trails! There’s also Kidsworx for the little ones.
6. 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 forests and basalt cliffs, not forgetting the Gatorade-blue waters below you.
Whistler Bungee has an office in Whistler, however, the 49 meters (160 ft) 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.
It costs $130 CAD to jump here and you can opt for a tandem jump (where you jump with another person) that is also $130 per person, but there’s a combined weight limit of 300 lbs. This bucket-list experience tends to book out weeks in advance, especially in summer, so be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.
7. Try Via Ferrata
One of the best rock climbing experiences in BC is available right here in Whistler. This Via Ferrata Tour is suitable for beginners and involves climbing across a mountain peak (right next to a glacier!) and with the help of safety cables. At the end, you’ll have climbed up the 2160-meter (7,087 feet) summit of Whistler Mountain.
So you might be wondering, what is Via Ferrata exactly? It is essentially assisted rock climbing. But instead of having to use our fingertips and feet to find edges to hang on to, there are iron ladder rungs and poles to make it more like a jungle gym climbing experience.
That’s right, no experience is required!
We actually did the Via Ferrata tour in Whistler ourselves, and we would highly recommend it to anybody who is up for a bit of a challenge. You’ll first ride the gondola up to the top of Whistler Peak (take the Whistler Village gondola or the Peak 2 Peak) this is where the tour starts. Your guide will get you geared up in safety gear before beginning a bit of a hike to the beginning of the Via Ferrata route. Then, it’s time to climb up!
I’m not going to lie, it is a little nerve-wracking looking down from way up high on a cliff face, but it was also so much fun, too! And once we got to the top, the scenery was indescribable!
This particular tour is 4 hours in duration and costs from $177 CAD per person and you can book your experience here online in advance.
Note: You will need a Peak 2 Peak gondola sightseeing pass to get yourself to the starting point of the tour. This pass can be bought when you purchase your Via Ferrata tour or separately. For this reason, it’s a great add-on activity for those already planning on checking out the Peak 2 Peak Gondola (a total of $258 CAD).
8. Explore Whistler by floatplane
Whistler is stunning, and there’s no better way to explore Whistler than from the sky. From this vantage point, you get a birds-eye view of the many mountains and lakes in the region, it’s a dream tour option for photography lovers because the photos you can capture are epic!
A floatplane is a special experience because the lake is your runway! Here in Whistler, there is a unique floatplane tour you can book that takes you to see glaciers! It can seem pretty scary taking off from the water, but it’s definitely one of the most memorable experiences we’ve had to date in Canada.
You can also book on an incredible floatplane tour from Vancouver to Whistler, which is a full-day experience taking between 8 to 10 hours total. Fly over Garibaldi Lake, Howe Sound before landing on Green Lake (just outside of Whistler).
From here a shuttle bus will take you into Whistler Village where you have a few hours to explore the area on your own. As you can imagine such a tour is not cheap with prices starting at $199 CAD per person, but it is among the best Whistler tours from Vancouver if you’re short on time.
9. Wander the Whistler Stroll
One of the best free things to do in Whistler in the summer is simply to wander the main walking street in the village, simply known as the “Whistler Stroll”. It’s a great way to people-watch, ideally with a coffee in hand (we recommend Mount Currie on Main Street). Dotted along the street are boutique stores, and restaurants – lots have large outdoor patios for an alfresco drink and small cafes.
Some of my must-visit stops along the “Whistler Stroll” include Longhorn Saloon which is located at the base of Whistler Mountain and attracts a fun, young crowd. In the winter, it’s filled with skiers and snowboarders and in the summer, the mountain bikers take over the large patio. There’s typically live music most days in the summer.
For food, you have to check out a firm favorite with locals El Furniture Warehouse or “Furnies” where a meal costs as little as $8 CAD. For delicious homemade sweet treats, further along, the stroll towards the Olympic Plaza is PureBread, I always buy several cakes from here! They are just delicious (more on that further down the blog post!)
Often in the summer too you will come across street performers and live music acts performing on the stroll, some can attract pretty big crowds.
10. Enjoy the views from a patio in town
On a warm summer evening, there’s no better place to be in Whistler than relaxing on an outdoor patio with your favorite drink in hand. There are loads of bars with outdoor patios in Whistler Village, and some of the best include Dubh Linn Gate, Basalt, La Brasserie, and The Living Room.
Dubh Linn Gate, as you can probably guess by the name, is an Irish bar, it has a huge patio facing Whistler Mountain as well as a large outdoor fire pit. There’s often live music on offer here too, but it does get pretty busy so aim to get here early in the evening to nab a seat (ideally by the fire pit!)
Basalt has a smaller patio but it’s one of my favorites because it’s cozy and it’s where a lot of locals hang out. A little further down the stroll, La Brasserie has a large corner patio and seems to be busiest in the early evening, it’s a great spot to people watch and they also do awesome food here if you’re hungry.
11. Ride an ATV
If you’re ready for an adventure, then you need to sign up for this ATV tour in Whistler! Not only is it one of the most highly-rated tours in all of Whistler, but it is a fun way to explore some of the most scenic areas around town too. Enjoy stunning views of Blacktusk and Blackcomb as you speed around an ATV.
Although there are a few different ATV tours available in Whistler, I recommend this particular one. It’s the one run by Whistler ATV and the reviews for the tour are superb and mention professionalism so you can’t go wrong.
This ATV tour is a good length of time at 2 hours long. Expect to pay around $169 CAD for the tour, and there are a few different departure times throughout the day.
Any adrenaline junkie really needs to get on an ATV in Whistler- it’s a must!
12. Go whitewater rafting
For an afternoon of adrenaline spend it whitewater rafting on the Green River. The cool glacier rapids will feel wonderful when they splash you on a summer’s day!
Even if you have never gone whitewater rafting before this would be an opportune time to do so because the rapids on Green River are either a class II or class III so it won’t be too intense. Plus, you will have the guidance of an expert who will go over safety tips and learn whitewater rafting techniques. They will also provide you with all the necessary equipment like helmets, paddles, life jackets, etc.
The company that runs this particular tour is called The Adventure Group and they have been in business for over two decades so they are clearly reputable! For a 2-hour ride, you can expect to pay $180 CAD per person.
It departs from the Cougar Mountain basecamp which is just a 10-minute drive from Whistler Village.
13. Ride in a 4wd buggy
One of the best tours I’ve done in Whistler was this 4×4 Off-Road Buggy Tour through the Callaghan Valley! It’s a fun alternative to the ATV tour for a couple because we would sit side by side (as opposed to an ATV where one rider has to sit in the back.) On this tour, you get to drive this fast-paced buggy through forests and up steep, narrow backcountry roads. It’s two to a buggy, so you will likely want to take turns driving with your passenger.
It’s worth noting too, that the buggy can go up to 60 mph, which is pretty fast!
One of my favorite parts of the tour was when we got to drive the off-road buggy through creeks and small rivers. We got soaked – but that was mostly due to the fact that Daniel chose to drive at full speed into a huge puddle! Along the way through the forest, keep your eyes peeled for deer and grouse, and maybe even a black bear if you’re lucky!
We even stopped at a viewpoint to get photos. Our guide played the role of the photographer and we will keep these memories to last a lifetime.
Important information – drivers must be at least 19 years of age with a full, valid driver’s license.
This particular tour is 3 hours in duration and costs from $325 CAD per person. You can see available dates and book in advance here!
14. Go fishing
Some of the best fishing in B.C. can be found in the lakes surrounding Whistler, with rainbow trout, bull trout, and salmon being the most common fish found in these cold waters.
This guided fishing trip is a great way to experience fishing in Whistler, and your experienced guide will take you to a secret spot, popular with locals. You can opt for spin or fly fishing, and you will also be provided with waders and boots so that you can walk through rivers and creeks in search of your catch.
Worth noting that depending on the month, the fishing location may change as your guide wants to guarantee you the best chance of success. The tour is 3 hours in length and costs from $189 CAD per person.
If you want to go on your own, you can fish in the lakes near Whistler, namely Alta Lake, Green Lake, and Nita Lake. In these lakes, you can catch some trout. You can rent fishing gear from Spud Valley in Pemberton or Pemberton Fish Finders who will deliver the equipment to you for an additional fee, they do require two days’ notice, however.
In addition, you’ll also need a fishing license which you can buy online here for $21.98 CAD.
15. Hike to Cheakamus Lake
You can hike this family-friendly hike in the summer months only, and sometimes up until October depending on the weather conditions. Cheakamus Lake is a stunning opal color and it sits at 915 meters (3,002 feet) above sea level. It’s a rewarding hike with scenic views and the best thing about it is that it’s suitable for the whole family!
The hike there is rated as easy, it’s just 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) from the parking lot into the lake and will take most people about an hour to reach it. However, the entire trail is 16 kilometers (10 miles) and will take 5 hours total to complete. Once you reach the lake, you will walk along its shoreline for 4 kilometers (6.4 miles) taking in the scenery as you walk, before your reach Singing Creek Campground. From here, there’s a lovely photo op of the lake. Follow the same trail back from here to your finishing point at the car park.
Cheakamus Lake is known for having its own unique microclimate, which means that the weather can be different here from what it was in Whistler Village!
This trail starts from the car park about 7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles) down Cheakamus Lake Forest Road, in the neighborhood of Cheakamus Crossing.
16. Visit Joffre Lakes
If you know me then you would know that I love stunning alpine lakes (almost more than traveling itself!) Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to visit many blue lakes situated high up in the mountains. With that said, Joffre Lakes just outside of Whistler is one of the best I’ve ever seen!
Just picture stunning mountain peaks, a glacier, turquoise lakes, and a beautiful pine forest. Yep, I know what you’re thinking… where do I sign up?!
It’s easily one of the most popular hiking trails in all of British Columbia and the main trail leads to not one, but three lakes – the lower, middle, and upper lake. They’re all stunning, but my personal favorite is the middle lake.
The hike is about 10 kilometers (6 miles) long in total and goes uphill as you work your way to Upper Joffre Lake. Along the way, you’ll see the three amazing lakes, creek crossings, great views of the mountain range, a waterfall, and the Matier Glacier at the top overlooking Upper Joffre Lake. To get back, simply retrace your steps and enjoy the easier hike down and a second look at these stunning lakes.
Honestly, I can’t recommend the Joffre Lakes hike enough. The trail is one of the best things to do in Whistler. If you do only one hike in Whistler, make it Joffre Lakes!
Note: In the summer, this is a super popular destination and parking can be a problem. The parking lot often fills up and you’re not allowed to park on the road. Sometimes they run shuttle buses from a nearby overflow parking lot, but this isn’t always true.
17. Spend at night at Garibaldi Lake
I told you there was a lot of awesome hiking in this area, and Garibaldi Lake is another example of one! This hike is rated intermediate, but at 820 meters (2,690 feet) of elevation gain, it’s definitely quite a challenge for a lot of people! The hike is about 18 km (11.2 mi) long and will take approximately five hours to complete.
The hike is accessible from the Rubble Creek parking lot, which is just south of Whistler, and begins at the wooden steps at the top of the lot. You’ll follow the trail until you get to the stunning turquoise-colored Garibaldi Lake. This, plus the picturesque meadows with alpine flowers along the way, make the effort so worth it!
The last time we visited, we spent the night at the lake. This is great because it breaks up the hike and allows you to enjoy “golden hour” at one of the most beautiful places in BC!
18. Explore Brandywine Falls
Not to be outdone by the nearby and famous Shannon Falls in Squamish, is the stunning 70-meter (230 feet) Brandywine Falls. It can be seen from a viewpoint that is just a quick 1 km (0.62 mi) walk away from the parking area. It’s about a 15-minute drive from Whistler to the car park here, just off of Highway 99.
If you’re feeling brave and have a good level of fitness, you can copy the locals and hike to the base of the falls. To do this, head towards the fence on the far left side of the viewing platform – this is the point from where you’ll start your descent. There’s a short section at the start through the forest but after this, the way to the waterfall isn’t a trail at all, but more of a scramble over large rocks.
There is a man-made set of steps towards the end that you must use a rope to climb down, and then what follows is another forested section into the base of the falls. As I mentioned, the track to the base of the falls is only advised for those with a reasonable level of fitness but the views from the base are truly astounding. If you make it, be sure to take lots of photos!
19. Check out the “Train Graveyard”
Located just outside of Whistler is the quirky and wonderful attraction that is the Whistler Train Wreck. It’s a spot in the middle of the forest with a handful of de-railed old train boxcars that have now been transformed into graffiti artwork. The boxcars ended up there when a train derailed in 1956 after going too quickly. The odd part, though, is that they were just left there!
Today, the train graveyard is accessible by various trails, but the quickest one is actually from a pullover bay right off the highway. If you check the train wreck location on Google Maps you can see this trail. Alternatively, there are other trails from Whistler that you can take to visit the Wreck.
This is a must-see spot and is a really cool place to explore and get some unique photos.
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 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 are plenty of after-dark options in this 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 like 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.
21. Kayak the River of Golden Dreams
Kayaking the River of Golden Dreams during your summer vacation to Whistler sounds idyllic, am I right?! This pretty glacier-fed river starts in Alta Lake and ends at Green Lake, it’s 5 kilometers (3 miles) in length and you can choose to paddle the river in a kayak or canoe. The water can be pretty fast-moving especially in early summer so it’s not too much of a workout, but during these warmer months, you will need to watch out for beaver dams which are often floating in the river.
You will likely come across some other wildlife on your paddle too, such as geese, otters, eagles, and osprey!
You can book a guided kayaking tour down the River of Golden Dreams in advance online, which is about 3 hours in length. It costs about $139 CAD and includes a guide and transport as well as all of the gear and safety equipment.
22. Wine and dine 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 romantic and special dining experience. From the main menu the Wagyu beef, Perigord truffles, and Berkshire pork are outstanding!
They do offer specials during their daily happy hour from 3:30 pm – 4:30 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 20,000 bottles of wine, so take your pick of the bottles and watch your server sabor off the top with a sword!
For real foodies, join this highly-rated fine-dining tour that visits the Bearfoot Bistro for a 3.5-hour-long dinner with plenty of dishes to sample. At the end of the night, you’ll head over to Roger’s Chocolates for some more samples and confections! This tour begins at $185 CAD per person but you can also upgrade to include wine pairings. You are guaranteed to be stuffed after this!
23. Spoil yourself with a stay at the Four Seasons
Four Seasons Resort Whistler, the only AAA Five-Diamond property in Canada, offers you nothing but the highest-quality service in town. It comes complete with an outdoor heated pool, three hot tubs, and mountainside dining – perfect for couples honeymooning in Whistler!
This is definitely one of the most luxurious hotels in Whistler, and if you have the budget, it is an absolute dreamy accommodation for your romantic getaway.
If skiing is on the agenda they have a free shuttle available during ski season to take you to the Whistler Village and Whistler Mountain. If you think that’s the best part, wait until I tell you that Four Seasons Resort Whistler also provides a highly customized 24-hour service! The concierge can organize personalized activities for you, creating a honeymoon tailored to your specific needs.
You can choose between 273 modern-rustic rooms and suites, all fitted with a flat-screen cable TV and a fireplace in the seating area. Your rooms also have views of the mountains, the forest, or the courtyard.
If you’re worried that there won’t be anything to see outside the hotel, you’ll be relieved to know that the Whistler Blackcomb ski lifts are only an eight-minute walk away. The Nicklaus North Golf Course is also about a seven-minute drive away.
The Deluxe King Room for two here costs about $510 CAD a night if you reserve months in advance!
24. Wake up with fresh coffee and pastries
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! In fact, I love this bakery so much I’ve mentioned it twice in this blog post!
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!
25. Ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola
Spanning a whopping 4.4 kilometers (2.7 miles), the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is not only the longest gondola in the world but it’s also the highest and longest unsupported span of any lift, anywhere else! The Gondola connects Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, and honestly, the views from this 11-minute ride are incomparable – think coastal rainforests, snow-covered mountain peaks, and even glaciers. There really is no better activity to do in Whistler in the summer than this!
But the gondola ride is just one part of the experience, at the end of the ride, you can head off and explore the summit. Some of the best things to do at the top are:
1. Walk the Skybridge – the main attraction up here is the Skybridge and thankfully entry is included in your ticket price. If you’re afraid of heights, you may want to give this one a miss, but if heights aren’t an issue for you – walk the Skybridge out to a stunning viewpoint.
2. Walk the snow walls – these famous snow walls can reach up to 12 meters (40 feet) in height, and it’s a short walk from the top of Blackcomb Mountain to reach them. In fact, this is a must-do summer in Whistler experience so I’ve included it on this list below.
3. Lakeside Loop – This 9.5-kilometer (6 miles) loop track leads to Blackcomb Lake. Start the trail from near the Solar Coast Chairlift, once you reach the lake enjoy a picnic and the stunning color of the lake!
4. The Skywalk – walk along cliffs and across steep bridges while connected to a safety harness on this awesome guided tour! This is a popular option with families who are after a bit of an adrenalin rush on Whistler Mountain and of course the sights you’ll be shown by your guide are phenomenal. It costs $125 CAD or $206 CAD if you add on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola tickets (which you will need to reach the starting point for the Skywalk).
26. Explore the snow walls on Blackcomb Mountain
One of the coolest and most unique things to do in Whistler during the summer is to walk through the giant snow walls at the top of Blackcomb Mountain. Yep, you will feel teeny-tiny as you walk the path surrounded by huge snow walls on both sides. Some of the walls here are close to 40 feet (12 meters) tall! Would you believe during the winter months in Whistler you would be skiing on top of the snow wall, that’s how much snow this ski resort receives in the winter!
As the weather gets warmer the walls will melt, so it’s best to walk the snow walls in May or June!
As mentioned above, you’ll need to take the gondola up Blackcomb Mountain to reach the snow walls but thankfully it’s only a short hike from here to the snow walls!
27. Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola
Another gondola worth riding near Whistler is the Sea to Sky Gondola! This gondola is located near Squamish about an hour drive from Whistler along the famously scenic Sea to Sky Highway (more on that below on #34).
Visiting the Sea to Sky Gondola will take you up the mountain, with great views of the Howe Sound from every direction. Once at the top, you can go on walks, check out the suspension bridge, have a drink or snack, take in the views, or even join the Via Ferrata climbing tour up there. There is actually a tour that includes Via Ferrata Climbing and Gondola pass!
A day pass for the gondola is $69.95 CAD/adult. There is also the option to hike up to the top but be warned, it’s pretty intense (almost 1,000 m/3,281 ft elevation gain!). Hikers can pay a one-way fare to go back down on the gondola.
Related Read: This gondola and hike is also only about an hour’s drive from Vancouver. This makes it one of the best things to do in Vancouver in summer too!
28. Visit the local breweries
For beer lovers (like me) you can’t pass up the opportunity to drink local craft beer in Whistler. I mean, what’s better than an ice-cold beer on a hot summer day?
Whistler Brewing Co. is my personal favorite brewery in the area. They always have a good selection of beers on tap, and the food is good too. A 20-ounce beer costs around $7 CAD and there is a huge range to choose from. You can also get takeaway growlers or six packs of beer to take with you.
For the real beer lover, 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.
29. Join a distillery tour
While on the topic of alcohol, cocktail and spirit lovers can also enjoy a distillery tour in Whistler this summer. 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 $88 CAD. After, when you get dropped back in Whistler you’ll get exclusive deals at The Raven Room (Whistler’s best cocktail bar!)
30. Go horseback riding in Pemberton
One of the best summer-only activities in Whistler is joining a horseback riding adventure through the Pemberton Valley range, about a 25-minute drive from Whistler. In fact, did you know the small town of Pemberton has the most horses per capita of anywhere else in BC?!
This particular guided tour is the exact tour that we did. With your guide leading the way, you’ll ride your horse through wildflower meadows and across two rivers – the Ryan and Lillooet Rivers. You may even see some wildlife from horseback with deer, elk, and brown bears abundant in this area. On our tour, we actually saw three back bear cubs!
One of the things I love most about these horseback riding tours is that they will tailor the ride to your ability level and match you up with the perfect horse. Never ridden before? No problem! This company has a horse perfect for you.
The highlight for us, though, was the views. Along the way, we had unobstructed views of Mount Currie, and it was breathtaking – we couldn’t stop taking photos!
You can choose between a 1-hour and 2-hour tour for either $93 CAD or $188 CAD with the exact company we did by booking here. Personally, we recommend the 2-hour tour as it was the perfect amount of time for us to get comfortable on the horses and enjoy the ride.
31. Visit the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
One of the best cultural activities in Whistler is to learn about the native indigenous people at the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre. Uncover little-known facts about their culture and history on a guided tour with a Lil’Wat ambassador. The tour starts with a hand drum welcome song, which is really emotional! These guided tours happen every hour from 10 am – 4 pm.
Either before or after your guided tour, ensure you take the time to walk around the permanent and temporary exhibitions on display here. All of the exhibitions highlight the unique relationship between the two nations – Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation.
There’s also an on-site cafe which has delicious food and coffee and is really light and airy, ideal for relaxing on summer’s day. As well as that, be sure to browse their gift shop for a unique First Nations souvenir to take home!
The center is located at 4584 Blackcomb Way in Whistler. Admission to the Centre is $20 CAD per adult. It is open from Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm.
32. Scandinave 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.
Here, you’ll find a silent retreat with luxurious thermal and cool baths, massages, and areas to lounge and rest. They have a eucalyptus sauna (pure bliss) and a cedar and Finnish sauna. The rest areas have hammocks, lounge chairs, solariums, and even a yoga studio!
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 $105 CAD per adult.
33. Go shopping
Shopping may not be top of every tourist’s list when visiting Whistler, but for me personally, I just love shopping in Whistler! In fact, for a small town known for its love of the great outdoors, there’s a large number of great clothing and jewelry stores, so be sure to schedule some shopping time during your Whistler itinerary.
Would you believe there are about 50 stores here! Some of my favorites include Aritzia one of the most stylish women’s clothing stores in Canada, The Beach for casual, surf-inspired attire, The Oracle for quirky jewelry gifts, Cool as a Moose for Canadian-inspired souvenirs, and Amos and Andes Sweater Shop for handmade sweaters. And if you’re a hat fan, be sure to check out The Whistler Hat Gallery, where you can buy pretty much every type of hat imaginable.
If you want to purchase some food-related souvenirs- there’s a surprising amount of options. For example, Davids Tea in Olympic Plaza has lots of different teas for sale and at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory they handmake 80% of the yummy chocolates they sell on-site. And finally, you can’t visit Whistler without trying Cow’s yummy ice cream. Cows is an institution in Whistler and you’re likely to have to queue for a scoop. They also sell some very unique cow-related gifts in-store.
To stock up on groceries, or simply to browse the aisles, and check out the prices (I just love doing this on vacation) there are two supermarkets in Whistler Village – Fresh Street and the Whistler Grocery Store.
34. Drive the Sea to Sky Highway
One of the best things to do in Whistler in the summer is the drive to get there from Vancouver. The highway that connects the two destinations is known as the Sea to Sky Highway (aka Highway 99) because it passes beautiful coastal scenery like Lions Bay Beach Park and Porteau Cove before entering the mountains closer to Whistler.
It takes about 2 hours to drive the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler without stops, but I recommend allowing at least half a day for this road trip – there really is just so much to see on this scenic drive. Some of the best stops along the 120 km (75 mi) route include Brittania Mine a former Copper Mine, the 335-meter-tall (1099 feet) Shannon Falls, the city of Squamish, Alice Lake, and Brandywine Falls which I’ve mentioned earlier.
The drive from Whistler to Vancouver is very well signposted and it’s an easy drive in the summer, as the weather conditions are ideal – no snow or ice to deal with unlike in winter. If you don’t want to do the driving, many great Whistler tours from Vancouver take this route!
Where to Stay in Whistler, BC
There are tons of choices when it comes to hotels in Whistler, below are some of my very favorites:
Adara Hotel – Our Top Choice
Our go-to hotel in Whistler is the Adara Hotel. For us, it is the perfect mix of luxury and affordability with everything you need for a comfortable stay. They offer underground parking and are only a one-minute walk from the Whistler Stroll, so you can park your car and leave it while you explore Whistler Village. They also have a beautiful outdoor pool and hot tub offering mountain views – perfect for relaxing in the evening. The loft rooms are our favorite, and most also offer mountain views from the upstairs patio.
You can check prices, availability, and book Adara Hotel on Booking.com here.
Hi Whistler – Budget-friendly Hostel
For those travelers on a budget, the Hi Whistler is one of the only budget options. Although a hostel, the place is very clean and comfortable and they also have private rooms. They also have Cheaky’s Café which serves coffee, snacks, meals, beer, cider, and wine. It’s a great place to meet travelers and enjoy your time in Whistler. A single bunk in a mixed dorm room averages $56 CAD.
The Listel Hotel Whistler – Mid-range Hotel
The Listel Hotel is a beautiful place to stay in the heart of Whistler. It has an almost unbeatable location close the village and to the gondolas which is convenient if you are planning to ski! I still consider it a budget option for Whistler but the hotel has lots of luxuries including a spa, restaurant, and bar. Rooms on average cost $300 CAD.
You can check availability on Booking.com
Delta Hotels by Marriott Whistler Village Suites – Luxury Hotel
For a luxury hotel in the heart of Whistler, the Whistler Village Suites is my top choice. For Whistler, it’s still a great value hotel and has a swimming pool, 3 hot tubs, a bar, a fitness center, and a restaurant. The rooms a very nice and for groups they have 2 bedroom apartments. Some of the suites even have balconies with mountain views!
You can check availability on Booking.com
Note: There are some great places to camp near Whistler, which is a good option in the summer if you have the gear!
Related Read: Heading to Whistler for a ski holiday? Check out our blog about the best hotels in Whistler for skiing!
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
There are so many awesome things to do in Whistler in the summer, and this list just scratches the surface. In fact, I could easily include 50 more amazing summer activities on this list. I hope this blog post has given you inspiration for your upcoming summer vacation to Whistler.
If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to browse the rest of our blogs about Whistler including a few favorites: