Having Whistler in your backyard renders you slightly spoiled in the outdoor department. I grew up visiting Whistler most winter weekends and spending many summer days hiking and swimming in the glacier lakes. This guide in no way will exhaust all of your options but I am going to try my best to include mostly off the beaten track suggestions.
In terms of outdoor offerings, I can hardly scratch the surface in a single post. Whistler is world famous for its mountain beauty so be sure to take full advantage in enjoying it.
Lost Lake Lagoon is perfect for a casual meander when you just want a little fresh air. During the summer it has a great beach as well as several swimming docks. There is a sandy area for kids to play. If you are feeling a bit more outdoorsy there are an (almost) infinite number of hiking trails. This site really has the best lists for all skill levels. My top three recommendations for someone visiting are: Black Tusk (probably the most iconic), Rainbow Lake (my favourite), and Joffre Lakes (think incredibly blue glacier water).
Several years ago, a train flew of the tracks and landed a few kilometers into the surrounding forest near Function Junction, resulting in a Train Wreck. In true Whistler fashion, locals have transformed the overturned cars into bike ramps and jumps while graffiti artists from around the world have covered the train cars with colourful renderings. The wreck is maybe a 30-minute walk into the bush. Before you set off, grab a pastry and coffee from the nearby Purebread.
Of course, if you are visiting in the Winter you do not want to miss the opportunity of taking some turns on the peaks. Whistler has continuously landed on the top 10 ski resorts in the world and it's for very good reason. The sheer amount of terrain to explore alone is hard to wrap your head around. The ski resort is comprised (not surprisingly) of two mountains: Whistler and Blackcomb. Both sides have their own merits and now that the Peak 2 Peak can take you back and forth in the time it takes to eat a granola bar, you can easily explore both!
If you are an avid skier and want to capitalize on your time in the mountains, you will want to check out Extremely Canadian. Their steeps clinics are a great way to gain access to some of the more unexplored terrain.
If you are game for something different but want some guidance then the Canadian Wilderness Adventure Company is for you. They organize everything from dog sledding, snowmobile/fondue trips, canoe tours, and off roading.
Whistler Village is an interesting mix of Whistlerites walking around in snowboard/ski boots, high-end travelers wrapped tight in furs, and everyone in-between. With young people from all over the globe flooding into Whistler wanting to ski all winter and work all summer, it is guaranteed you'll hear a wide array of accents. The village boasts big box stores and a few (mostly hidden away) boutique stores. My personal favourite to visit is the Three Singing Birds. Stocked with amazing linens, locally sourced hand lotions, pottery, clothing, and everything to make a home truly homey. It is almost guaranteed that I bring something back with me from this sweet shop. Back in Funtion Junction, Camp is a combination of rustic home goods and coffee! In the summer, they have a cozy back patio to enjoy a beverage. Also in Function Junction is Whistler Brewing. They produce some great brews and it’s a fun spot to sit with friends and discuss the days snowy adventures.
Ready to eat? I've already mentioned Purebread and they do have two locations - one in Function Junction the other in the Village. They carry some of the best baked goods and their displays are almost dizzying. If you want something a little more filling, go for one of their grilled cheese sandwiches.
Bar Oso continues to produce some of the best cocktails in the village. The food prices are steep for the quantity you are getting but it is tasty. This bar has a fun atmosphere to kick back with a drink in hand. Be sure to try the Oso Sour, it's topped with candied bacon!
Araxi is always a go to for us and it should not be missed if you are looking to celebrate a special occasion. Every meal I have had there has been delicious and interesting and is always accompanied by excellent service.
Our absolute favourite destination for a good meal is a relative newcomer to the Whistler neighbourhood. Il Caminetto is one of those restaurants that you never want to leave. Aim to grab a bar seat and peruse their excellent cocktail lists (including a Negroni menu) as you sample the wonderful food offerings.
The Bearfoot Bistro Vodka Room Experience located within the Bearfoot Bistro restaurant. This tasting room is the coldest on the planet!! Sitting at -32 degrees C, it is a fun experience if you like Vodka. The actual restaurant is also great (albeit quite expensive). It continues to land on the top best places to eat in Whistler. It is a sure bet that you will get a wonderful meal in their dining room. The real draw here (for me anyway) is their wine cellar. When we booked our last reservation, we had asked if the sommelier had time to take us into the cellar and he politely obliged. The cellar, with about 20,000 bottles, is the largest in Western Canada.
My husband and I did this last year and we had so much fun (more fun than I though we would have). It’s a great activity for groups or rainy days.
The Scandinavian Spa in Whistler is a magical place (especially in winter). Just do a quick google search and look at the photos. The idea is to rotate between the hot pools, cold plunges, and solariums. A few hours here and it is near impossible to still feel stressed.
If you are interested in BC artwork, then this is definitely a place for you to check out. They have an amazing collection of First Nations masks and carvings that are beautiful.