Ten Things to do in Whistler Without Snow
Throughout the Olympics, the world got to see how beautiful Whistler was in the winter. Luckily for us, Whistler is stunning year round and has heaps of great activities to entertain us in the summer months too. Here are ten awesome things to do t this world-class resort when there’s not a speck of snow on the ground.
1) Go Biking
When the snow disappears, Whistler becomes one of the world’s most epic mountain biking parks. There are over 200km of lift-serviced trails to get your adrenalin pumping, as well as camps and tours for those who are not quite ready to hit the trails solo. You can rent bikes at various locations, and there are lots of relaxing lakeside bike paths as well as downhill trails.
2) Take the Slow Train
The Rocky Mountaineer Sea to Sky Climb train meanders its way up to Whistler in pure luxury. This three hour trip gives unparalleled views of the Howe Sound, canyons, falls and of course mountains of this beautiful area. Service is deluxe, with a leisurely champagne breakfast served in the morning and high tea in the afternoon.
3) Hit the Shops
Whistler Village is full of interesting shops, boutiques and galleries that stay open all year round. There is of course an abundance of ski and snowboarding stores, which can be great for picking up bargains for next winter during the summer months.
4) Zipline Through the Trees
If you aspire to be an adrenaline junkie, but don’t have the nerve to do anything too crazy, then ziplining may be for you. Ziptrekâ Ecotours has 2.3 km of lines running between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains that whizz you across creeks and forests at speeds of up to 80km an hour. The tours have an educational component that lets your adrenaline levels drop between rides, but your heart will race as gravity takes you away down ziplines that are as much as 60m above the rushing waters of Fitzsimmons Creek.
5) Paddle Away
Long before Whistler became a ski resort in the late 60’s, its lakes and rivers were used for recreational purposes. Today, there are a number of companies offering kayak tours and rentals at the resort. You can take a lazy self-guided paddle down the River of Golden Dreams (yes, it is really called that) or join a guided tour to learn exactly what you are paddling past (some tours combine paddling with wildlife observation, so you may get to beaver or bear spot as you go.)(Photo credit Steve Rogers)
6) Enjoy Incredible Dining
Prepare to have your taste buds indulged because Whistler has some incredible restaurants. The Bearfoot Bistro, for example, offers a five-star dining experience that manages to be fun and playful instead of fussy. The food is superb, and if you ask the sommelier he will teach you how to saber your bottle of champagne (chop the head off the bottle with a really big knife). You must also order the Nitro Ice Cream, which is created tableside with liquid nitrogen and fresh cream.
7) Play a Round or Two
Whistler has four championship golf courses and was voted Canada’s number one golf destination by Golf Digest. With courses designed by masters such as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, all nestled into some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, teeing off at this resort is going to be a real treat.
8) Go on an Alpine Hike
There are hundreds of trails all over Whistler, catering for every level of hiking ability. You can set out on a hike from Whistler Village, or take one of the chairlifts up to a higher elevation and start from there. With the new Peak 2 Peak Gondola, you can easily access Blackcomb Mountain for even more trails.
9) Watch the Bears
There are an estimated 50 black bears living on Whistler and Blackcomb, and researcher Michael Allen knows where to find them. During the summer months, you can go with Allen on a tour of the bear’s feeding sites, active bear dens and places they are known to hang out. You’ll travel through the beautiful, lush forests in a 4×4, observing the bears from a safe distance. You may also get to see other Whistler wildlife up close, including coyotes, Western Horny marmots, Barred and Great Horned owls, and Red Tailed Hawks.
10) Hit the Spas
Spas at this resort are plentiful and top notch. For an European experience, head to Scandinave Spa, which has Finnish wood-burning saunas, eucalyptus steam baths, thermal and Nordic waterfalls and outdoor fireplaces. The Taman Sari Spa offers an authentic Javanese experience, and includes a truly indulgent four hand massage. The Spa at the Four Seasons offers a number of locally inspired treatments, such as the Sea to Sky Massage (which uses ingredients that are indigenous to the west coast).
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