You can feel it the moment your vehicle rounds the corner and approaches Whistler Village. The road opens up to display majestic mountains and panoramic views. The energy is palpable. Your spirits lift with the promise of adventure and the rush of possibility.
There are many reasons why Whistler, British Columbia, is repeatedly rated the top skiing destination in the world. One to make special note of is its generously long and temperate season. Planning a trip well into the spring still guarantees world-class snow, jaw-dropping vistas, a variety of outdoorsy activities and a vibrant après scene. Bonus points for warmer, sunnier weather this time of year too.
Here are some ways to get the most out of your Whistler experience this spring:
1. Find a Spring Skiing Powder Stash
Image Credit: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler
Finding your happy place when it comes to mountain sports is highly personal. For instance, Whistler Mountain’s iconic Symphony and Harmony Zones offer wide-open bowls, while local favorite Peak Chair has postcard-worthy views. The Symphony Express chair overlooks the turquoise-colored Cheakamus Lake and drops you only a 15-minute hike from Flute Bowl’s fantastic runs. Powder hounds will also appreciate the opportunity to go heli-skiing, which involves being transported via helicopter into the midst of glorious, untouched snow.
Take advantage of the dual mountain experience and plan a visit to Blackcomb Glacier as well. Hop on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which joins Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, and experience a breathtaking 2.7-mile journey with views of the ski slopes and towering peaks. We recommend riding in the glass-bottom gondola if you’re up for a truly iconic experience.
2. Re-Invent Your Itinerary
Store the skis for a bit and try out some of the other exhilarating outdoor offerings. Give Nordic skiing or even a biathlon a whirl at Whistler Olympic Park and Callaghan Valley. And at the Sliding Centre, you can experience the g-forces of bobsledding or luge.
Need to relax a bit and shelve the sports equipment? Indulge in a “me day” like no other at Scandinave Spa. Plunging into hot and cold pools and saunas in an outdoor atmosphere is as close as you can get to hitting the reset button on your stress.
3. Choose a Signature Cultural Experience
Image Credit: Justa Jeskova/Tourism Whistler
Need another way to rest your aching legs after a morning on the hill? Get your culture on at Audain Art Museum or the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Learning about the rich history of the First Nations of the Whistler area will give your visit a strong sense of place. You’ll get to appreciate the craftsmanship and culture embedded in the walls of the outdoor Lil'wat Istken and Squamish Longhouse before tasting traditional First Nations food at the indigenous-inspired café. The spring is the perfect time to experience an interpretive forest walk, too, for those eager to explore the majesty of the surrounding old growth cedars and glacier-fed rivers.
4. Appreciate the Après
Locals like to mix it up. They still hang at their go-to outdoor patios—the Longhorn Saloon, Garibaldi Lift Co., Dubh Linn Gate and Merlin’s Bar, to name a few—and share the sunshine with tourists. But new spots like Hunter Gather and HandleBar have made the list too. Brewing companies Coast Mountain and Whistler are both located in Function Junction and host special cask-cracking events. The Upper Village and Creekside have their share of watering holes as well, and due to the number of bike and hiking trails, making the rounds on two wheels or your own two feet in the spring is a no-brainer.
If you plan on staying on the mountain for your après snack, Whiskey Jack’s Umbrella Bar just opened last December at the Roundhouse Lodge. This outdoor heated patio has a collapsible roof, making it the best place to soak in views of the Coast Mountain Range and the iconic Inuksuk statue symbol of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Expect to find both locals and travelers sharing space, and stories from the slopes, right here.
5. Break Bread with the Locals
Image Credit: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler
Just like any other town, finding and sharing the secrets of where to go is a fun part of being a local in Whistler. Mainstay restaurants like Araxi and Sushi Village are town favorites and well worth the visit. Since the rewards for stepping out of the village and exploring other restaurants are vast, locals can also be spotted at Red Door Bistro and the never disappointing Rimrock Café.
Living like a local, Whistler-style, requires one simple thing: energy. People live large here, taking advantage of all that this exciting mountain resort has to offer. Visit this spring, it’s truly spectacular.