28 Epic Things to Do in Whistler

The picturesque village of Whistler is home to stunning mountain peaks, scenic lakes and old cedar trees. It has a range of upscale hotels, a diversity of shops and an outstanding selection of restaurants and spas.

During the winter, you can experience world-class skiing and snowboarding. The summer offers incredible hikes to turquoise lakes and glaciers. Whistler’s culture is all about having fun and exploring the great outdoors.

Whistler sits 675 meters above sea level and is found directly at the base of two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb. It has the highest accessible lift run at over 2,000 meters, and the average snowfall is over 11 meters per year!

Enjoying a sunset while cross-country skiing at the Lost Lake Park

During the winter holidays, the town creates a winter wonderland complete with festive decorations and entertainment. Although predominantly known as a ski town with the best skiing in North America, there is so much more to do in Whistler besides skiing. 

With the myriad of options, the biggest problem visitors often face is choosing which activity to try first. Make sure your camera has sufficient space to capture the countless memories you will make! 

How to Get To Whistler 

Whistler is located 120km north of Vancouver and is easily reached from downtown Vancouver or Vancouver International Airport by car or bus. The scenic two-hour drive along the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler will be the start of your adventure. 

Beautiful view of the ski slope and snow-covered peaks from the Whistler Mountain

There can be a lot of snow on the highway during the winter months, so be prepared. Winter tires are required on the Sea to Sky Highway from October 1 to March 31. 

  • Getting to Whistler by Car: The best way to experience Whistler is by car. It will give you the flexibility to explore the areas outside of Whistler Village. If you need to rent a car, Vancouver has a few pick-up locations. >>Book your Car Rental here
  • Getting to Whistler by Bus: You can catch affordable shuttle buses from downtown Vancouver and Vancouver airport straight to the heart of Whistler. Once you arrive at the village, everything you need is within a short distance, and there are plenty of free shuttles to take you around. >>Book your Bus to Whistler here
  • Book a Day Trip to Whistler: You can book a full-day trip to Whistler from Vancouver. The tour includes a ride on the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, a stop at Shannon Falls (the third-highest waterfall in British Columbia) and a visit to Whistler Village. >>Book your Whistler Day Trip from Vancouver here

Best Things to Do in Whistler

Whistler’s impressive variety of activities will ensure everyone has a taste of something they enjoy. You can combine both outdoor and indoor pursuits to find a balance between adventure and relaxation. 

Peak 2 Peak Gondola on the Blackcomb Mountain

Gravity-fed sports that will get your heart pumping include skiing, snowboarding, ziplining, snowmobiling, bungee jumping, heli-skiing and cat-skiing.

Whistler boasts the largest skiable terrain of any resort in North America at 8,171 acres, with more than 200 marked runs and 1170 centimetres (461 inches) of average annual snowfall.

Host to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Whistler is also home to Olympic-grade venues where you can try out sports such as biathlon, bobsledding, and even skeleton.

Whistler Village has a diversity of shops and restaurants

Other exciting activities to experience in Whistler are snowshoeing, dog sledding, whitewater rafting and canoeing.

You can hop on a helicopter or a seaplane for a scenic flight tour, wander through ancient ice caves, or ride on the Guinness World record-holding Peak 2 Peak Gondola. The possibilities are endless.

In this list of 28 things to do in Whistler, we got something for everyone, ensuring you make the most of your adventure. It was hard to fit all the activities into one post, so if you are looking for more things to do during summer, check out our post on Best Things to Do in Whistler in Summer.

Ski and Snowboard Whistler Blackcomb Mountains

Skiing or snowboarding at the world-renowned Whistler Blackcomb resort is a must-do during your trip to Whistler. The postcard-perfect views and endless stretches of ski runs will keep you fulfilled. 

Skiing down the Whisler Mountain

The ski season in Whistler is the longest in North America, running from late November to late May or early June. There are over two hundred marked runs, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers and lots of terrain for beginners and experienced skiers. To view a map, click here.

If you do not have your skis or a snowboard, rental facilities are available. Whistler is a very busy town during the winter, and if you wish to skip the queues and avoid the long wait, you can reserve your equipment in advance.

The ski and snowboard rental package includes delivery and in-house fitting at your accommodation. >>Book your Ski and Snowboard Rental here

Go Ziplining and Soar Through the Air 

No matter what time of the year you visit, you can soar through the sky and see Whistler’s magic from the zipline. British Columbia offers some of the best ziplining in the world!

There are several options to choose from; the zipline adventure lasts approximately 1.5 or 2.5 hours. If you plan to visit during winter, bundle up because it can get very chilly. The longest zipline is over a kilometre long and 200 meters high.

You will reach speeds up to 100 km/hour as you cruise above rivers and the alpine forests. Enjoy the spectacular scenery along the way, and you might even see some wildlife. >>Book your Zipline Adventure here

Snowmobile in Whistler’s Backcountry

Treat yourself and your family to an ultimate snowmobile adventure, enjoy the unforgettable mountain views and experience the excitement and freedom of the Canadian backcountry.

Snowmobile Tour in Whistler. Photo Credit: Canadian Wilderness Adventures

Local guide tours range from two to seven hours over various terrain. Do not worry if you have never ridden a snowmobile before; your guide will teach you all the tricks of the trade! All drivers must possess a valid driver’s license.

The tours are suitable for all levels, from gentle family cruising along groomed scenic trails to backcountry ventures in the alpine. Learn how to manoeuvre your snowmobile through the deepest snow or choose to ride on groomed trails. 

Snowmobile adventure

The most popular snowmobile tour is the Whistler Wilderness Run. During this adventure, you will journey through the winding trails of the Callaghan Valley and ride across forested hillsides and frozen lakes. You will also visit the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics events. >>Book your Snowmobile Adventure Tour here

Snowshoe Through a Winter Wonderland

Snowshoeing has been around for thousands of years and is rooted in Canada’s history. Many First Nations people and settlers used snowshoes for winter travel, which enabled them to walk over knee-deep snow. 

Snowshoeing in the Callaghan Valley

Callaghan Valley

One of the best places to go snowshoeing in Whistler is Whistler Olympic Park, the Nordic venue of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. There are more than 30 kilometres of maintained snowshoe trails, 15 of which are dog-friendly, so bring your pup along! 

The daily admission will provide you with access to the combined trail system of Whistler Olympic Park and Callaghan Country. Our favourite adventure inside the park was discovering the frozen Alexander Falls.

Callaghan Valley has beautiful old-growth forests

The most popular tour inside the Callaghan Valley is The Medicine Trail, which goes deep into a special old Growth forest. This guided tour will introduce you to some Eastern and Western philosophies of tree medicine.

You will learn the area’s history and sample healing teas brewed from the plants that grow along the Medicine Trail. >>Book your Medicine Trail Snowshoe Tour here

Lost Lake Park

Another popular place for snowshoeing in Whistler is Lost Lake Park, located only steps away from Whistler’s Village. The park has multiple trails ranging from beginner to advanced. We suggest the Nature Trail Loop, which weaves in and out of the forest and leads to Lost Lake. >>Book your Lost Lake Snowshoeing Tour here

Go Cross-Country Skiing

Whistler is a cross-country skiing paradise with stunning mountain views, majestic old-growth forests and Olympic-rate trails. Bring your skis or hop on a pair of rentals and experience a variety of courses at your own pace. 

Cross-country skiing inside the Lost Lake Park

An extensive network of cross-country ski trails includes novice trails, scenic lookouts, picnic shelters, and heart-pumping climbs deep into the coastal forest.

Lost Lake Park

Lost Lake Park is located steps from Whistler Village. It features more than 25 kilometres of groomed cross-country ski trails with incredible views of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains and surrounding vistas. You can experience the magic of night in the evenings while skiing 4-kilometre loops around the Lost Lake Trail.

In front of a Patrol Hut at the Lost Lake Park

Callaghan Valley

Callaghan Valley is a short drive south of Whistler, and it consists of two separate cross-country ski areas: Whistler Olympic Park and Ski Callaghan. Your daily admission will provide access to both locations with over 120km of trails, of which 30 kilometres are dog-friendly. 

With each visit, you will be able to travel through new terrain and experience the diverse, stunning scenery, the natural beauty of the Callaghan Valley and the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia. 

If you are up for a challenge, you can ski out to an authentic high-elevation backcountry lodge for lunch and then return. You can also stay overnight and enjoy a Finnish-style sauna.

READ MORE: Cross-Country Skiing in Whistler – The Nordic Paradise

Explore Whistler Village

The Whistler Village is beautiful all year round but becomes truly magical during the winter when the snow descends, and thousands of twinkling lights decorate its streets.

Whistler Village in the evening

Whistler is home to a range of upscale hotels and an outstanding selection of restaurants. When you get cold, you can warm up next to one of the outdoor firepits located in the village.

If you enjoy shopping, there are tons of outdoor stores, ski shops and boutiques. Many of them are along the Village Stroll between the Olympic Plaza and Whistler Gondola. There are also two supermarkets that carry fresh produce. 

Strolling through the Whistler Village

The Village Stroll is a pedestrian-only walkway located in Whistler Village. Along the stroll, you will come across Whistler Olympic Plaza, where many concerts and performances are organized in the summertime. During wintertime, it is transformed into an outdoor ice skating rink. 

You can take a Fine Dining Tour and taste local cuisine from award-winning chefs in the evening. The excursion includes four food courses as well as a wine-tasting lesson. You will learn the centuries-old French tradition of sabrage, where a sword is used to open a champagne bottle. >>Book your Fine Dining Dinner Tour here

Go Hiking

The Whistler region is a hiker’s paradise with snow-capped mountains, glacier-fed lakes and lush west coast rainforest. The hiking season is from June to September, but many trails are accessible 12 months of the year.

Stunning view of Garibaldi Lake from the Panorama Ridge Trail

In the winter, that means snowshoes! Make sure to check the trail conditions before you go and know where the avalanche areas are. 

Alpine Trails

The Alpine Trails on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains are accessible from July. They range from easy to difficult. You will need to take the gondola unless you want to hike up the mountain. Our favourite hike in the alpine is The High Note Trail, which offers spectacular views of Cheakamus Lake.

Garibaldi Provincial Park

The Garibaldi Provincial Park is a 25-minute drive from Whistler and has numerous amazing hikes. One of the most popular is the Panorama Ridge Trail, which is 28.3 km long and offers stunning views of Garibaldi Lake and snow-capped mountains. 

Garibaldi Lake in August

If you enjoy multi-day trips, you can hike to the Garibaldi Lake campground and spend a night or two. From the lake, you can visit the Panorama Ridge one day and the Black Tusk the next day.

Wedgemount Lake is another fantastic hike inside Garibaldi Park. It is steep and challenging but worth all the effort! You will be rewarded with unbelievable views of Wedgemount Lake and the massive Wedgemount Glacier.

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

Joffre Lakes hike is located north of Whistler, past Pemberton. It is a 10.9-kilometre hike and is easier than Panorama Ridge and Wedgemount Lake. The trail passes three beautiful lakes, and the third offers stunning views of the magnificent Matier Glacier. 

Easy Hikes Around Whistler

If you are looking for an easy hike, the Lost Lake trail is a short distance from Whistler Village and has minimal elevation. Another easy trail we recommend is a hike to Brandywine Falls.

Brandywine Falls

The Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is located along the Sea to Sky Highway, just 17km south of Whistler. The main attraction inside the park is the Brandywine Falls, which tumbles 70 m straight down into a massive canyon.

Brandywine Falls in December
  • Distance: 1.3 km
  • Estimated Time: 25 minutes
  • Elevation Gain: 56 m

Reaching the waterfall is an easy 10-15 minute walk on flat terrain. There are a couple of viewing platforms. The second lookout offers marvellous views of Daisy Lake and the surrounding mountains.

The park gates are closed during the winter; however, some people park at the entrance. Just be aware that you might get towed away. Alternatively, you can drive to Whistler Bungee and hike from there. 

Relax at the Scandinave Spa

Do you need a serene escape this holiday season? The Scandinave Spa offers traditional Scandinavian baths and massages and will help you find peace of mind and body. It is an excellent place for relaxing tired muscles after a strenuous outdoor adventure or workout. 

Scandinave Spa in Whistler

Scandinave Spa is located just a few minutes north of Whistler Village, on the edge of the spruce-cedar forest next to Lost Lake Park. It is home to hot baths, stimulating cold features, saunas, steam rooms and multiple relaxation areas.

We spent an afternoon inside the spa on a rainy, cold winter day, and it was heavenly. Our plan was to go snowshoeing, but the weather was awful that day.

The Scandinave Spa provides the benefits of hydrotherapy, with a three-part cycle of hot, cold, relax, and repeat that increases blood circulation, detoxifies, and releases endorphins.

Try Ice Fishing

You can go fishing any month of the year in Whistler, but ice fishing during winter is a unique experience to remember. 

Ice fishing is one of the unique activities to try in Whistler

Your local guide will meet you at your accommodation and take you to one of three lakes in the Whistler area; they are a short drive from the main Whistler Village. He will provide you with insulated winter boots and a fishing rod and tackle. 

Watch as your guide drills into the ice, then cast your line and try your luck at catching a rainbow trout. Listen to stories, learn about ice fishing and admire the scenery. >>Book your Ice Fishing Adventure here

Visit Alexander Falls

The impressive Alexander Falls is located in the Callaghan Valley, near the Whistler Olympic Park, where the 2010 Olympic Nordic events took place. The waterfall drops 53 meters (173 feet) down a cliff in three steps.

Partially frozen Alexander Falls in December
  • Distance: 3 km
  • Estimated Time: 1.5-2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 120 m

Winter is the only time you can get right to the base of the falls. There is a lovely snowshoe trail that will take you deep inside a beautiful Western Hemlock forest and ultimately lead you down to the bottom of Alexander Falls.

During the rest of the year, you can view the waterfall from a viewing platform located right next to the parking lot. You can also enjoy a picnic in the area and listen to the crashing sound of the falls while you eat.

READ MORE: Alexander Falls – A Hidden Gem Inside the Callaghan Valley

Heli-Skiing and Snowboarding

If you want to experience the backcountry powder skiing and snowboarding you have seen in those wintertime adventure films, Whistler is the perfect place. Ninety percent of heli-skiing in the world happens in British Columbia. 

Whistler Heli-Skiing consists of 432,000 acres of classic, big mountain terrain that every skier or snowboarder must experience at least once in a lifetime! The heli-skiing area is more than 50 times the size of the Whistler Blackcomb ski area and includes 475 runs and 173 glaciers.

The most popular months to heli-ski in Whistler are February and March because the snow and weather conditions are generally the most reliable at this time of the year. December and January often see frequent snowstorms.

During your venture, you will enjoy a thrilling helicopter ride with stunning mountain views and ski on the many glaciers in the area. The tours include avalanche safety equipment and a certified guide. >>Book your Heli-Skiing Adventure here

Ice Climb a Frozen Waterfall

Whistler is one of the best places in Canada to go ice climbing. Explore areas you never knew existed and experience the thrill of ice climbing as you move up a frozen waterfall using ice axes and crampons. 

The climbing site is located on Blackcomb Mountain, and you must be at least an intermediate skier or snowboarder to access it. December to February are usually the best months for ice climbing in Whistler. 

If you are a beginner or a first-time climber, your tour guide will introduce you to ice climbing at a smaller, easier wall. If you are more experienced, he will guide you to some epic climbs matching your ability.

You will be provided with Ice climbing equipment. Locations and date availabilities depend on weather and temperatures. >>Book your Ice Climbing Experience here

Glacier Sightseeing by Floatplane

Hop into a seaplane and enjoy breathtaking views over Canada’s rugged mountainscape, glaciers, waterfalls and shimmering lakes. British Columbia is world-renowned for its awe-inspiring natural beauty, and there is no better way to experience it than by seeing it from high above. 

Aerial panoramic view of the British Columbia mountainscape from a seaplane

You will board a floatplane at Green Lake, located just a 5-min drive from downtown Whistler.

Get a bird’s-eye view of massive glaciers, soaring mountains and volcanic formations from the air. Marvel at the turquoise glacial waters of Garibaldi Lake and the incredible landscapes beneath you. >>Book your Glacier Sightseeing Experience by Floatplane here

Ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola

Experience B.C’s stunning mountain landscapes via the Guinness World Record-Breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola. The gondola broke a world record for the longest unsupported lift span at 3,024 kilometres (1.88 miles) and an elevation of 436 metres (1,430 feet).

Peak 2 Peak Gondola on the Blackcomb Mountain

Ascend either the Whistler or Blackcomb gondola, cross over on the 4.4 kilometres long Peak 2 Peak Gondola and descend back to the valley without riding the same journey twice. 

Once in the alpine, you can dine in one of the many full-service, mountain-top restaurants featuring west coast cuisine while enjoying splendid views.

Peak 2 Peak Gondola on the Whistler Mountain

In the winter, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is mostly used by skiers and snowboarders. During the summer, the gondola provides easy access to more than 50 kilometres of spectacular hiking trails and countless scenic vistas and viewpoints. 

Go Snow Tubing

If you feel tired after days of skiing, it is time for some amusement. Whistler Blackcomb’s Tube Park has been operating since 2005, and it offers the perfect snow tubing adventure for all ages. 

Whistler Blackcomb’s Tube Park in the evening

We managed to fit in four rides in one hour, and it was so much fun! The outside temperature was minus 15 Celsius, so one hour was enough for us. 

The Bubly Tube Park includes seven sliding lanes, six of which are around 300 meters (1000 feet) long. First, you will slide down the curving lanes, then ride on the magic- carpet lift back to the top. 

The lanes are rated green, blue and black based on the run’s steepness. You can slide on your own or join tubes together, and for extra fun, you can ask the staff to give you a spin. 

Directions and Parking

To access the Tube Park by vehicle, drive up to Parking Lot 8; there is free parking. You can also access the park via a ride on the Excalibur Gondola from Whistler Village to the mid-station.

The best time to visit Tube Park is on weekdays; the lineups can be very long on weekends. In the evenings, the park is lit for night tubing. You can purchase your tickets at the tube park or online; they are available in 1 and 2-hour formats.

Dog Sledding

Let the team of eager, specially-bred Arctic sled dogs pull you across the snow-covered landscape. Undoubtedly, this is a truly Canadian experience.  

Beautiful husky dogs

The dog sled became the primary means of transportation and communication in subarctic communities around the world centuries ago. Dogs helped deliver everything from mail, food, firewood, and equipment to gold and other required supplies to and from remote towns and camps.

Dog-sledding tours last 2 to 2.5 hours and are not inexpensive but are exciting and memorable. First, you will learn how to harness the dogs and the basics of handling a sled. There will be plenty of time to get to know the dogs before you head out on a ride through the old-growth forest of the Callaghan Valley.

Then settle into the cozy sled and watch these amazing dogs do what they love, which is running. Make sure to book in advance because the rides book up quickly, especially over the Christmas holidays.

Backcountry Skiing

Are you looking to get away from the crowds and immerse yourself into Whistler’s backcountry? There are no lifts and lines, only bowls, glaciers, forests and wide-open powder runs.

Whistler is a backcountry skiing paradise

You can take a tour, and a local guide will show you all the most thrilling descents and spectacular views of the coastal mountains that most skiers never see. Dress warmly for a long day outside.

Some tours do not require a backcountry experience, but you will need your gear and avalanche safety equipment. If you do not have your own, you can rent in Whistler. >>Book your Backcountry Skiing Adventure here

Relax Inside the Keyhole Hot Springs

The Keyhole (also known as Pebble Creek) Hot Springs are located around 100 kilometres from Whistler. They sit near Mount Meager and about a kilometre downstream from the beautiful Keyhole Falls.

  • Distance: 3.9 km
  • Estimated Time: 70 minutes
  • Elevation Gain: 146 m

The springs emerge from the ground next to the Lillooet River, which is fed by various glaciers. The colour changes with the seasons, but it is mostly deep milky turquoise.

Try to get there early to avoid crowds. The hot springs consist of three small pools built out of rocks and mortar. The top pool is the hottest, and the lower pool sometimes mixes with the cold river, depending on the water levels.

Keep in mind the Keyhole Hot Springs are closed annually from April 1st to November 15th to support the recovery of the local Grizzly bear population. To reach the hot springs in the winter, be prepared to drive on some serious snowy roads because the Lillooet River FSR is not plowed daily.

Wander Through Ancient Ice Caves in the Depths of a Glacier

If you are looking for an adventure of a lifetime, this tour should be on your list. You will explore 12,000 – 20,000 old ice caves in the depths of an ancient glacier and be transported on a journey through the ice ages. 

Inside thousands of years old ice cave

On this 4.5-5 hour adventure trip, you will take a scenic helicopter flight into the Coast Mountains to an ancient volcano. You will discover cavernous steam vents deep in the glacier and experience a world unlike any other. 

Your highly-trained guide will lead you through aqua-blue ice chambers, multiple tunnels of crystalline formations and impressive vaulted ceilings of ancient ice caves. You will see icicles stretching from floor to ceiling like columns. 

The glaciologists monitor the ice to ensure the caves are safe to access. Some of the tours offer a luxurious five-course meal in the heart of the ice cave. 

Go Bobsledding or Try Skeleton at Whistler Sliding Centre

Do you want to feel like an Olympian? Hop into a four-person bobsled steered by a trained pilot and take a ride down the world’s fastest ice track reaching a speed of 125 km/hr. Or, if you are brave, try the skeleton and fly head-first down the track on your own, clocking speeds of up to 100 km/hr.

Bobsled speeding in an ice channel

The Bobsleigh and Skeleton are among the most unique activities you can try in Whistler. And you do not need any previous experience. 

Your guide will provide you with helmets and will assist you. The control tower will announce your name on the big speakers and give your sled the green light. And you are off! In the end, you will receive a diploma with a photo. 

The Whistler Sliding Centre was constructed for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and is the only sliding place in Canada open to the public. It is situated on the side of Blackcomb Mountain. >>Book your Winter Bobsleigh Experience here

During summer, the bobsleigh is equipped with wheels and operates rain or shine.  >>Book your Summer Bobsleigh Experience here

Vallea Lumina

The Vallea Lumina is located 10 minutes north of Whistler Village inside a dense forest of Cougar Mountain. It is a magical multi-media night walk through old-growth trees under the stars. You will be surrounded by coloured lights, enchanting sounds and brilliant projections. 

Vallea Lumina is open during both winter and summer months, and it operates even when it rains and snows. Be sure to dress for the weather with warm waterproof layers if necessary.

Before entering the enchanted forest, you can treat yourself to some tasty marshmallows and hot chocolates at the base. There is complimentary parking. 

Scenic Sleigh Ride

When your legs are tired after a long day of skiing or snowshoeing, take a break and enjoy some quiet time on your vacation. 

Horse-drawn sleigh ride through a winter wonderland

Snuggle under a cozy blanket and listen to the sound of jingle bells as you glide smoothly across the snow on a traditional horse-drawn sleight. During the evening, you will discover the magic of Blackcomb Mountain and view the amazing night lights of Whistler Village. 

Sleights move on metal bottom runners and are pulled by a team of strong, beautiful horses. Private tours also include a short stop at a cozy rustic cabin where you can warm up by a wood fire and sip on hot chocolate. 

Sleigh season starts at the end of November and runs until the end of March, depending on snow conditions.

Watch the Alpenglow

Alpenglow is an atmospheric optical phenomenon which makes mountains appear to glow in a light pink or red hue. It occurs just before sunset or just after sunrise and is most visible at higher elevations and peaks opposite the sun. 

Aerial landscape view of Garibaldi Lake

Mountains are a requirement to see the Alpenglow, and that is why Whistler is a great place to observe this magical display of nature. It is best seen on a clear day when the clouds are minimal. 

Winter and early spring are good times when the mountains are still covered in snow. It is worth getting up early or staying outside late enough to witness the beautiful light and take some stunning photos.

The word Alpenglow is originally derived from the German word Alpenglühen to describe this extraordinary occurrence seen in the Alps.

Go Ice Skating

What could be more magical than ice skating outdoors? Check out the skating rink at the Whistler Olympic Plaza, or try skating on one of the local lakes. If you do not have your skates, rentals are available. 

Skating rink at the Whistler Olympic Plaza

Skating in the heart of Whistler Village with stunning mountain views will be great fun for the whole family. Each winter, part of the Whistler Olympic Plaza is transformed into an outdoor ice rink. The ice ring is especially charming at night when the nearby trees are lit up with thousands of twinkling, festive lights.

When the conditions are right, you can go skating on one of the local lakes. While many people in Canada love skating on frozen lakes, you should take precautions. The recommended ice thickness is 15 cm for walking or skating alone and 20 cm for group skating or games.

Watch the Fire and Ice Show

Whistler’s Fire and Ice show is a free event held every Sunday night in Skier’s Plaza in the main village. You will witness the best skiers and snowboarders spinning and jumping through a blazing fire ring while fireworks light up the sky. The atmosphere is electric. 

Fire and Ice show on Sunday night

You can also watch the show while you dine on the outdoor patio at the Garibaldi Lift Company, which has outdoor heaters and blankets to keep you warm.

Go Bungee Jumping

Whistler Bungee is the most extreme activity you can experience in the area, and it is not for the faint of heart. You will be jumping 50 metres (160 feet) off a bridge over the glacial-fed Cheakamus River in the Whistler Valley. 

Bunjee-jumping in Whistler. Photo Credit: Whistler Bunjee

The bungee bridge is located in a natural canyon surrounded by old-growth forests and offers scenic views of the Black Tusk Mountain in the distance. In the winter, the river freezes and the surrounding cliffs are covered in ice and snow.

Catch a Glimpse of the Northern Lights

The closer you are to the North Magnetic Pole, the better your chances of being able to admire the northern lights. Generally, the aurora appears a few hours after sunset, when the sky is clear and usually becomes more intense around midnight.

The magic of the Northern Lights

The best time of year to see the northern lights is between October and March, you can admire them on most clear nights. Avoid nights with a full moon, overcast skies and locations with light pollution. Be sure to bundle up because it gets cold at night!

Northern Lights in Southern BC

That said, during periods of intense solar activity, the northern lights can be seen in more southerly parts of Canada, such as the Sea to Sky Highway near Squamish and Whistler and the Sunshine Coast around Sechelt. Keep an eye on the Astronomy North and Aurora Forecast websites.

You can check the position of the auroral oval in real-time here. The size of a visible Aurora will be bigger than what is shown on this map because the map gives the overhead location of the aurora.

Northern Lights Live Streaming

If you want to see the aurora borealis from the comfort of your home, you can! Go to the AuroraMax observatory page. The camera turns on automatically as soon as the Sun sets in Yellowknife during the aurora season, from August to May. You can also follow AuroraMax on Twitter or Facebook to receive aurora alerts.

Where to Stay in Whistler

Whistler is home to hotels in all sizes, styles, and budgets to suit everyone’s needs. The prices in winter are typically lower than in summer, but Whistler is an expensive town so expect to pay a little more.

Four Seasons Resort Whistler. Photo Credit: Four Seasons Resort

It is best to book your accommodation as far in advance as possible. This will not just guarantee availability, but it may save you some of your hard-earned money too. 

Luxury Hotels

Mid-Range Hotels

Budget-Friendly Hotels

Where to Eat in Whistler

There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy Whistler’s culinary offerings. The region has taken up a reputation for its farm-to-table dining, owing to the surrounding farmland with its fresh produce. Following is our pick of the best places to eat in Whistler.

Wood-fired oven pizza

Fine Dining

  • Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar: One of Whistler’s best fine dining spots with creative flavours, aromas and textures.
  • Il Caminetto: High-end Italian restaurant with generous servings of pasta, risotto, and other Italian classics. All of their pasta is freshly made daily.
  • Alta Bistro: Classic French cuisine with a seasonal alpine influence. One of the best fine dining experiences in Whistler Village.
  • Bearfoot Bistro: Known for its mouth-watering cuisine, extensive 20,000-bottle underground wine cellar and the world’s coldest vodka tasting room.
  • Red Door Bistro: Hidden gem nestled away in Creekside neighbourhood. The food is rich and comforting, made with local ingredients.
  • Rimrock Cafe: Known for their fresh Pacific Northwest seafood dishes. Chalet-style interiors with elegant ambiance. 


  • Creek Bread: Delicious thin-crust pizzas loaded with local and seasonal ingredients, cooked in a wood-fired hand-built clay oven.
  • Crepe Montagne: You will love this place whether you are into sweet or savoury crepes. It is one of the best breakfast spots around.
  • Caramba: Pizza and Mediterranean dishes. Caramba’s two sourdough starters are from a 100-year-old grape leaf from “somewhere in Europe.”
  • Elements: Located in the Summit Lodge Hotel. The best brunch spot in town with many vegetarian options. Their food is fresh and locally sourced.
  • Pizzeria Antico: Artisan wood-fired pizzas, pasta, salads and other Italian fares. The setting is open and rustic, and they have a small outdoor patio. 

Fast Casual

  • Purebread: One of the most popular spots in Whistler for savoury and sweet baked goods. You will never want to leave this place. 
  • Peaked Pies: Their authentic Australian pies are incredibly delicious. You can choose from a variety of sweet and savoury options.
  • La Cantina: Authentic Mexican fares. Made-to-order tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Fast and friendly service.
Stunning views from Whistler Mountain in December

Plan Your Trip to Whistler

  • Travel Insurance: Protect yourself from possible injury, theft or a cancelled trip. World Nomads offers excellent coverage and competitive rates.
  • Accommodation: Our favourite hotel search engine is Booking.com. Discover savings on hotels, apartments, resorts and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide.  
  • Experiences: Make your trip extra special and memorable. Get Your Guide and Viator offer fantastic tours and activities.
  • Car Rentals: Discover Cars is an excellent site for comparing car prices and finding great deals. Book online for the best rates. 
  • Flights: Our favourite search engine for airline tickets is Skyscanner. Compare millions of flights and discover the best fares for standard and budget flights.

Read More Travel Guides

We hope you enjoyed our guide on Best Things to Do in Whistler. Let us know in the comments below. Here are a few of our favourite articles to inspire your travels around the Sea to Sky Corridor.

Stunning views from Whistler Mountain in December

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