THE SUMMER SIDE OF WHISTLER
A summer vacation in Whistler is an entirely different experience from a winter’s holiday. The long, sunny days provide many more hours to indulge in outdoor activities. There’s time to take a deep breath. Pause on the mountain trail. Linger at the lakeside. And spread out a picnic for family and friends. The “five-minute warning” given to the kids playing in the sand and catching minnows stretches into another hour while your to-do list fades away. Ironically, having more time allows you to enjoy doing less.
When the valley emerges from its hibernation under snow and ice, expanses of terrain and water are exposed for you to explore. The essential winter schedule of fuel-up, strap on your skis or board and race to the mountains is replaced by a much more casual itinerary. You have the entire day to pursue the activities of your choice, at the parks, on the hiking and biking trails, on freshwater lakes and rivers, and on mountain peaks. Sleep in. Dine when you desire. Book your activities for a time that suits you. Stay up late to do some stargazing. Get carried away. There’s no rush.
Many of Whistler’s summer activities are accessible for the whole family — from youth to seniors — which means you can combine quality family time with adventures that are fun for everyone. Consider a breathtaking ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola; an educational tour to view Whistler’s bears; a thrilling zipline adventure; or an excursion on one of the area’s waterways via kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard or whitewater raft. The valley’s extensive trail network offers hiking and mountain biking possibilities for all abilities.
While you’re here, stop and enjoy the sights and activities of our neighbouring communities in the Sea to Sky Corridor — Pemberton to the north and Squamish to the south. For incredible sweeping coastal views of Howe Sound, Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief, ride the Sea to Sky Gondola. Spend the day hiking, taking in the spectacular views from the three viewing platforms or enjoy a snack and freshly brewed tea at the Summit Tea House.
If you’re a golf aficionado, sign up for 18 holes at one of Whistler’s four local courses, and enjoy the views of pristine lakes and the towering peaks of Whistler’s “other mountains”: Armchair, Wedge, Rainbow and Sproatt. The four championship courses were designed by international players Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Arnold Palmer and Robert Cupp, respectively, to challenge your abilities against Whistler’s natural water features and terrain.
Whistler also has a full calendar of highenergy activities and sporting events. Downhill mountain biking on Whistler Mountain is summer’s gravity-fed answer to winter’s needfor-speed. The latest technology in downhill bikes, protective armour, and starter-level trails make it possible for everyone to give it a try. And you don’t have to be able to ride a bike to enjoy Crankworx, a 10-day mountain bike festival with some of the most extreme fat-tire riding on the planet. Throughout the summer Whistler hosts a variety of popular events that embrace its mountainous terrain, such as the rolling North Face Whistler Half Marathon, wet and wild Tough Mudder and Mudderella, phenomenally challenging Subaru Ironman Canada, and the uphill climb of the RBC Gran-Fondo Whistler cycling race.
Warm summer days provide the perfect setting for outdoor music and arts festivals. The growth of the Squamish Valley Music Festival has definitively launched the feel-good party vibe of the Sea to Sky Corridor into orbit. The all-ages, camp-out music festival celebrates the best of local B.C. musicians and some of the biggest names in the industry. At the north end of the corridor is the Pemberton Music Festival. Internationally renowned headliners rock out under the striking vertical face of Mount Currie by day and the stars by night. The festival showcases eclectic musical styles including indie, rock, hip hop and electronic dance music.
When planning your visit to Whistler, be sure your stay includes a weekend when the Whistler Presents Concert Series showcases live bands and orchestral music at the Whistler Olympic Plaza. Pack a picnic and lounge on the lush lawn of the plaza. For an exceptional weekend for the whole family, don’t miss the Whistler Children’s Festival, packed with hands-on art workshops, music, theatre and dance.
Summer’s balmy days and nights are ideal for dining al fresco on one of the Village’s plentiful patios. Many of Whistler’s chefs pride themselves on sourcing produce and meat from local farms, and seafood from Pacific coastal waters. At the summer market in the Upper Village, you’ll find a cornucopia of fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods and tasty treats to try.
It’s not too early to start thinking about summer. With a bit of research and organization in advance, you’ll be able to create the perfect vacation and combine your outdoor adventures with a balanced dose of downtime. So start your planning now and come back for a taste of summertime in Whistler.