Although famous for being one of the world’s best places to ski, Whistler is an attractive destination to visit all year round with its beautiful mountains, a charming village, and outdoor activities for everyone. During my most recent trip, I spent 24 hours in Whistler exploring, hiking, eating and shopping all around this resort town. A scenic drive from Vancouver, Whistler is a great option for a short trip for anyone visiting the Pacific Northwest.
♦♦♦ The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler. For our one-night stay, we booked a one-bedroom mountain view suite. The room was furnished with everything we could possibly need, from glasses for the champagne we bought along the way to Starbucks coffee to brew in the morning. We had a nice balcony that overlooked the pool and driving range and provided beautiful views of the mountains. The resort itself was quite large, with shops and restaurants in the lobby. Although located on the edge of the village, the entrance of the Whistler Village Gondola was right next to us, which was convenient as we planned to go hiking early the next morning.
Although it wasn’t ski season, we still enjoyed late afternoon drinks at the many après ski bars around Whistler. Here were a few of my favorites.
♦♦ La Bocca. Located in Whistler Village Square, La Bocca offers prime patio seating for people watching and enjoying the live music being performed right in front of the restaurant.
♦♦ The Longhorn Saloon. Right at the base of Whistler Mountain is the iconic après ski bar, Longhorn Saloon. The evenings in Whistler can be chilly, even in the summer, so I loved that in the center of many of the tables were fireplaces to keep us warm.
Walking around Whistler Village is one of my favorite things to do when I am in town. The pedestrian walkways are lined with quaint shops and eateries to explore, and the snow-capped mountains provide a magical, breathtaking backdrop for it all. Be sure to visit the Whistler Olympic Plaza and Rings, where often you’ll find outdoor concerts or movies in the summer.
♦♦♦ 21 Steps. Serving up delicious modern comfort food, 21 Steps was a perfect spot for dinner. We tried the tomato and fresh mozzarella and braised boneless short rib pappardelle for starters and the ribeye and pork chop for the main course – all delicious.
♦♦♦ Peak 2 Peak Gondola. Although I had visited Whistler many times before, I never explored the top of the mountains until this trip. In the morning, we purchased our Peak 2 Peak gondola tickets from the concierge and began our 30-minute ascent up Whistler Mountain. From there, visitors can explore over 25 miles of hiking and biking trails. I would budget at least three hours for getting up and down the mountain and for walking around the top.
Whistler Farmers’ Market
♦ Whistler Farmers’ Market. From May through October, the Upper Village hosts a farmers’ market every Sunday where local vendors sell everything from baked goods to fresh fruit. Try some samples and remember to bring cash if there happens to be anything you’d like to buy!
From the Upper Village, it is a quick 5-minute walk back to the main Whistler Village area, and of course the pathway was as clean and beautiful as the rest of the town. Along the walking trail, we passed Fitzsimmons Creek before heading over to the Brewhouse for lunch.
Thoughts for Next Time…
Whistler’s close proximity to Vancouver and Seattle make it a great option for a weekend trip from these locations. However, 24 hours in Whistler never feels like enough! To be able to fit everything in, it was definitely helpful and necessary for late checkout at our hotel, which we were able to get with our SPG status. For the next visit, I hope to try white-water rafting or even maybe the ziplining. Overall, Whistler has everything you need for an adventurous, rejuvenating trip any time of the year.