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Whistler

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Whistler [1] is in the province of British Columbia in Canada. Whistler is a popular winter snow-skiing destination near Vancouver. The official name for the Municipality is The Resort Municipality of Whistler

The Coastal Mountains during ski season in Whistler

Get in

Inukshuk watching over Whistler village.

Getting to Whistler generally involves coming from Vancouver. Greyhound Canada offers coach service from the Vancouver Bus Depot for less than $20 each way. Perimeter Bus offers Coach service direct from the airport for $65 each way. Greyhound allows bicycles unboxed on this route. They charge $10 for a bicycle.

Whistler Resort Cabs provides taxi service from Vancouver and Vancouver International Airport to Whistler for $230.

If a number of people are travelling together it is possible to go by Limo for $350-400 with room for between 6 and 10 people.

Helijet offers helicopter service from the airport for around $200 per person each way.

Another good option for travellers is to rent a car and drive up to Whistler using the Sea to Sky highway. Along the route, you may want to stop off at Squamish or one of the parks or waterfalls along the route. The view across the bay is particularly beautiful on the drive back to Vancouver. Renting a car also allows you to explore the wider Whistler region, including Pemberton as well as giving you access to a number of outdoor activities. It should be noted, however, that the Sea to Sky highway is quite windy and may be dangerous to drive, especially in Winter conditions. At the current time the Sea to Sky Highway is undergoing major upgrades, particularly between Squamish and Vancouver. Make time for construction delays...2 1/2 hours should be ample.

Get around

Whistler is a very pedestrian friendly village, and small enough that you can walk anywhere, including adjacent Blackcomb Village. The main village is all pedestrian walkways. Cars only have very limited access into this area.

However, if you have to leave the main village there are free shuttle buses connecting some parts of the Resort. Whistler also has a very good public transit system for a city of its size. In the winter all of the buses have ski racks.

Understand

Whistler has nurtured Olympic hopes since 1960.

Whistler will host most of the ski events for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Many of the other events will be in and around Vancouver, the formal host for the games.

  • Whistler Public Library, 4329 Main Street, +1-604-932-5564 (, fax: +1-604-932-0664), [2]. Monday through Saturday 11am - 7pm, Sunday 11am - 4pm, closed holidays. Offers free internet access, in addition to the usual library services. Located on the opposite side of Village Gate Blvd from the plaza at the base of Whistler mountain.


  • Whistler Accommodations International + 800.9447.8537, All others 1-604-932-0606, [3] - Your guide to all of Whistlers finest accommodation and rentals options. Whistler.com provides free information by phone, email, and through their website about anything you want to know about Whistler.

See

The Whistler Gondola runs all year round. The views from the top are quite spectacular.

If you take a car to Whistler from Vancouver, don't forget to pull over at one of the many viewpoints along the route.

Do

Alpine hiking delights
Excellent skiing


  • Skiing Whistler Blackcomb operates the Alpine ski hills, which have lift service right out of town up both Blackcomb mountain and Whistler Mountain. Whistler is consistently ranked as one of the top 3 ski destinations in North America. With more than 5,000 feet of vertical drop and 8,000 skiable acres, it is by far the largest ski resort in North America. Whistler Blackcomb offers a steeply discounted "4BUY4" season pass to university students aged 17-25 studying in BC and Washington who buy before the season. They also offer adults from BC and Washington an "EDGE Card" that gives worthwhile discounts and convenience for even a few days of usage.
  • Hiking There are a number of hiking trail in and around Whistler. For the casual walker looking for a pleasant walk through an ancient grove of cedar trees, Cougar Mountain provides an easy hour loop. More aggressive day hikers might head to Brandywine Meadows, a six hour trip up much steeper terrain. And multi-day backpackers also have a variety of options including the Helm Creek trail to Garibaldi Creek and the Black Tusk. Of course, the ski lifts and gondolas of Whistler Blackcomb operate in the summer to offer hikers a relaxing short cut into back country.
  • Biking/Downhill During the summer time the skiing paradise turns into a biker's paradise. Single trails and fast race tracks with spectacular jumps can be reached comfortably by the chair lift carrying both biker and bike. Some Northshore elements have also been built and the number of tracks is enough to keep even the advanced riders busy.
  • Rock Climbing Whistler also offers some excellent sport and trad/gear climbing. Within the city limits there are several small, single pitch crags collectively known as Nordic Rock. The area offers 23 vertical routes, most of them sport, up to 20m long ranging in difficulty from 5.8 - 5.13a (French: 5 - 7c+). For more information on the routes in Whistler and area, there is no shortage of quality guide books describing the climbing in the Sea to Sky corridor.
  • Outdoor Adventures There are a number of companies that specialize in outdoor adventure travel such as whitewater rafting on the Green or Elaho Rivers with companies such as Canadian Outback and ATV (all terrain vehicle) tours (to name a few examples). Depending on your particular tastes, some or all of these can be extremely entertaining and are generally professionally run.
  • Back country Skiing and Cross Country Skiing are popular in Whistler as well. There is cross country skiing around Lost Lake, including night skiing if the conditions are right, and Back country Skiing throughout the valley, particularly off of the tops of Whistler and Blackcomb. The Callaghan Valley is just south of Whistler (turn left before Function Junction)and will host the Nordic Skiing events for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Callaghan Country hosts guided ski touring, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing tours in this region.
  • Whistler Backcountry Adventure [4] tel. 1.888.297.2222 &mdas; offers a variety of outdoor activities ranging from dog sledding and snowmobiling to fishing and ATV (all terrain vehicle) rides.
  • Whistler Tennis Club [5] — Rates start at $32/hour for indoor courts to $16/hour for outdoor courts.

Buy

As is common to tourist-centric villages and towns, Whistler village has a number of shops awaiting you. In general, the shopping is better and you'll find more variety in nearby Vancouver, so if you're on a budget, your money is likely to go farther in Vancouver. On the other hand, many of the stores in Whistler village are a pleasure to visit and the outdoor setting makes browsing (or shopping) more enjoyable than the large malls found in Vancouver.

Eat

Whistler village has a number of restaurants ranging from very cheap fast food to expensive, and very good meals in restaurants such as Araxi (Whistler) and Monk's Grill (Blackcomb). One of the true joys of Whistler Eating is to go to one of the many bars after a long day of skiing or outdoor activities. The bars are where many of the visitors gather and the atmosphere is laid back and easygoing. Some of the best choices for apres ski are Girabaldi Lift Co. and Longhorn Saloon (both at the base of Whistler), and Merlin's (base of Blackcomb).

Regardless of what type of food you're looking for, the best way to find good food in Whistler is to take a walk around the village. Surprisingly (it seems relatively random) the Greek food in whistler is quite good. The two main restaurants and Zeuski's and Kypriaki Norte. Zeuskis is more suited to children.

For a ski hill, the food available on the slopes is surprisingly good and varied. Though you'll pay a small premium for the high altitude service, you udon bowl ($10) or salmon steak ($12) is similarly priced to the village below and though the seating arrangements may be less comfortable than in Whistler, the dining views can't be beat. One special on-hill treat is enormous waffles topped with berries, cream, and chocolate at the Crystal Hut on Blackcomb Mountain.

  • Apres Restaurant and Intimate fine dining [6] Food lovers will delight in a changing seasonal menu that showcases regional delicacies such as freshly caught Queen Charlotte Island Sable Fish, Cowichan Bay pasture-raised duck, and world-famous Dungeness crab. The Pemberton Valley, just 30 kilometers north of Whistler, is a source of abundant fresh produce during the summer and extensive use is made of organic produce from local growers. après is a founding member of the Whistler Slow Food Convivium, an international organization established as a response to the standardizing effects of fast food. We subscribe to artisanal food production, small scale agriculture, and sustainable approaches to fishing and farming. après' fifty-six seat dining room in the core of Whistler Village is the resort's most intimate restaurant.

Drink

You'll find almost any type of drink at the many bars, restaurants, cafes and clubs in Whistler. If you like beer, try a local "micro-brewery" beer at one of the pubs in the village.

Sleep

Budget

  • Southside Lodge [7] - Located on Highway 99 and well situated about 300m from the Creekside gondola station (Whistler Mountain) and commercial area. While shops and restaurants (and ski lifts) are within walking distance, the main village area is a 40 minute walk which may feel far for those looking for more of the Whistler scene. A bed in a dormitory style room ranges from $30 - $40 / night, more during ski season.
  • Art's Hostel, 2113 Nordic Drive, Whistler, British Columbia V0N 1B2, +1 (604) 932-4660 (), [8]. In "Nordic Estates", about 4km from Whistler Village. Walking distance to a bus stop which goes to Whistler Village. Sanitary, but minimally maintained in proportion to the rock-bottom price. $15-25/night in dorm rooms.
  • Camping - Whistler is suprisingly short of organized places to camp. Most of those that exist are outside of town: Cal-Chek Forest Service Campground, Nairn Falls Provincial Campground and Brandywine Fall Provincial Campground.

Moderate

  • The Idylwood Inn Whistler Chalet [9] - The Idylwood Inn is a large chalet split up into two, three and five bedroom units. Fall rates for a two bedroom start at $185 CDN / night (plus taxes).

Splurge

  • Hilton Hotel 4050 Whistler Way. 604-932-1982. Located in Whistler Village, the Hilton is one long block from the Whistler gondola.
  • Pan Pacific Whistler Hotel Mountainside [10] 4320 Sundial Crescent. Toll Free +1 888 905 9995. Located in Whistler Village, the Pan Pacific right at the base of Whistler, a few steps from the Blackcomb gondola, and right in the middle of the apres ski action.
  • Whistler Luxury Condos [11] - Pricey luxury suites, many come with jaccuzis, fireplace(s) and multiple bedrooms or a loft. Minimum stay requirement with prices ranging from $290 / night (low season) to $790 / night high season for a one bedroom unit.
  • Whistler Mountain Accommodation +1-888-938-0707, [12] - Fully-furnished luxury ski-in, ski-out Whistler condos and townhome rentals, located in Taluswood development on the Whistler Creekside gondola. 2 to 4 bedrooms, prices vary based on date, from $330-495/night (2 bedroom) or $840-1550/night (4 bedroom), with minimum stay requirement.
  • Aloha Whistler Accommodations 1 (888) 938-9998 North America, 1 (800) 1-938-6263 UK, Hong Kong, Australia, [13] - Luxury Whistler condos, chalets and townhome rentals, located throughout Whistler Resort. 2 to 9 bedrooms, prices vary based by season, from $165/night (1 bedroom) or $2,000+/night for large luxury home rentals, with minimum stay requirement. Full concierge services available with bookings.
  • Whistler Accommodations International + 800.9447.8537, All others 1-604-932-0606, [14] - Your guide to all of Whistlers finest accommodation and rentals options. Whistler.com provides free information by phone, email, and through their website about anything you want to know about Whistler.

Get out

Most visitors to Whistler don't stop on the trip from Vancouver to Whistler, and many never even spend any time in Vancouver. It is worth it to try and make time for a visit to Squamish either when coming or going.

  • Sea to Sky - the corridor that runs from Vancouver to Whistler holds many sightseeing and recreation possibilities.
  • Heliskiing - Whistler offers great heliskiing, with miles of backcountry terrain available to such visitors.




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