Is Whistler, BC Worth Going To?

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SnowPak, a notable ski travel agency, lists Whistler, Canada, as North America’s number two ski resort. The Whistler Blackcomb resort is massive, easily accessible, and has amenities for the whole family.

But what if you’re not into skiing? Is Whistler still worth visiting? We think so! Let’s look closer at this British Columbia city and all it offers young and old, adventurer and relaxer, snowboarder and shopper.

Where Is Whistler, Canada?

Whistler is about 80 miles north of Vancouver in southwestern British Columbia. The city sits in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains.

It’s easily accessible via Highway 99, also known as the Sea to Sky highway, which runs through the city south into Vancouver and north to the junction of Highway 97.

Aerial shot of the two lakes in Whistler Canada and the surrounding town.

How Big Is Whistler, Canada?

About 14,000 people live in Whistler, Canada, but about two million people visit annually. Alpine skiing and snowboarding are popular winter activities, while mountain biking and hiking offer year-round recreation.

The total area of Whistler, Canada, is approximately 93 square miles and sits at 2,200 feet in elevation.

Things To Do In Whistler, Canada, During the Winter

The spectacular natural environment in Whistler lures winter recreation adventurers year after year. The mountain landscape is ideal for snowmobilers, snowboarders, and skiers.

The Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains are highly sought-after destinations for alpine skiers. With 8,171 acres, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, and over 200 marked trails, winter adventurers can spend days enjoying the outdoors in Whistler.

Visitors can also book a heli-skiing tour to transport skiers to and from the Whistler base. It’s a prime opportunity for advanced and expert skiers to get into the backcountry of Whistler, Canada.

There are also opportunities for winter ziplining. The Ziptrek Winter Apres Tour will take you through the snow-covered magical forest.

Rae's legs in a helicopter with a mountain range and lake showing through the window.

Pro Tip: Why Does Canada Have Two Official Languages?

Things To Do In Whistler, Canada, During the Summer

Whistler, Canada, is well known for its winter activities. But there are fun recreational activities available year-round.

Golfing, biking, hiking, and paddling are ways to enjoy the outdoors during the summer. Visitors also enjoy basking in the sunshine at the mountain lakes and beaches of Whistler.

The Peak 2 Peak gondola operates during the summer and fall. This ride offers breathtaking 360-degree views of Whistler Village, mountain peaks, lakes, glaciers, and forests.

There are also rock climbing tours and the unique Via Ferrata climbing tour with metal rung ladders and fixed cables. These opportunities give visitors a spectacular view of Whister while enjoying physical activity during the summer.

Add a helicopter tour to your itinerary if you want to splurge on a memorable summer activity. We celebrated Rae’s 35th birthday in the sky, overlooking glaciers, alpine lakes, and downtown Whistler from above.

Ziplining adventures are also available year-round. The Sasquatch is the longest zipline in Canada and the U.S., with a distance of over two kilometers. It’s only open in the summer.

The Ziptrek Bear Tour is also only available in the summer and takes visitors on an eco-adventure through the rainforest along suspension bridges and boardwalks that connect four ziplines.

Lastly, you can take an off-roading tour during the summer. The same companies that do snowmobiling tours in the winter do side-by-side tours in the summer. We took a tour for Rae’s birthday and had a blast!

Rae and Jason wearing helmets sitting in a side by side ready to take off on the tour of the mountains in Whistler Canada.

Tips Before Visiting Whistler

If you’re looking to book a trip to Whistler, British Columbia, there are a few things to remember. First, Whistler’s main village area is at the bottom of Whistler Mountain. You cannot bring a car here.

The village is accessible for walking around before or after a day of skiing, but you’ll have to park outside its boundaries. You’ll find retail outlets, gift shops, restaurants, and more to complete your day here.

Second, the restaurants in Whistler are supportive of sustainable produce. You’ll find farm-to-table fresh meals prepared daily and plenty of fish. The dining options are fantastic but also pricey because of this focus.

Book your reservations early. Whistler is a touristy location with plenty to do year-round. If you have a specific campground, hotel, or bed and breakfast in mind, you’ll want to make those plans soon.

Finally, pack layers. Temperatures will be colder at night, even in summer. You’ll likely have a rainy day or two. So be prepared for all types of weather to enjoy the plentiful outdoor recreation in Whistler, Canada.

A red helicopter that landed next to a picnic table and an alpine lake.

Is It Expensive To Visit Whistler, Canada?

As mentioned above, dining out is expensive because you’re paying for farm fresh foods. But it’s not the only costly activity in Whistler.

The city is one of the most expensive ski resort destinations in Canada. Most people would say it’s worth the price but be prepared to pay more for lift tickets, attractions, and accommodations.

Pro Tip: Know before you go: What Is Money in Canada Called?

How Many Days Do You Need In Whistler?

Depending on how long you want to enjoy the natural scenery and recreation, you could spend just a few days in Whistler, Canada, or two weeks. We landed right in the middle and stayed four nights at Riverside Campground. It comes down to how much money you want to spend.

It’s a stunning destination, and the outdoor activities seem endless. You’ll definitely want to stay at least two days. If you can, book a vacation for a week to enjoy all Whistler has to offer.

The check in building for Riverside Campground in Whistler Canada.

Pro Tip: Here’s some Canadian Slang to Know Before You Cross the Border!

Is Visiting Whistler, BC Worth It?

Whistler, Canada, is a world-renowned skiing destination. But there’s also so much more to experience here. It’s a place where you can bring the whole family or travel solo.

You can relax amid breathtaking views or gear up for all-day recreation. Whistler, Canada, has something for everyone, no matter what vacation you desire.

Have you ever been to this city in British Columbia?

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