How do I get to Whistler?

Hayley Bosch

The closest things you’ll find to an airport in Whistler are seaports and heliports. You can’t very well land a seaplane in the middle of winter, when the lakes are frozen over, but helicopters are a good option year-round. If you fly into Vancouver International Airport, you’ll take a quick transfer shuttle to either the seaport or heliport to begin your journey.
 
Air travel isn’t the only way to get to Whistler; in fact, driving along the aptly named Sea-to-Sky Highway is absolutely beautiful. You can fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport or Vancouver and hit the road. Whistler is about four-and-a-half hours from Seattle, while Vancouver is about two hours. Keep in mind that winter and spring can be tricky for the roads; so be sure to check the driving conditions before you leave.
 
When all else fails, or you simply don’t feel like driving, hop aboard the Rocky Mountaineer Whistler Sea to Sky Climb train for a scenic ride along the oceanfront, through canyons and over mountains. The trip is about three and a half hours from Vancouver to Whistler, and is a great alternative to driving or flying.

  • On March 12, 2013
    Stéphane Mouttet answered the question: Stéphane Mouttet

    What is the best way to see Whistler in one day?

    Pacific Coachline provides a scheduled bus service which departs from many of the local hotels downtown.  The closest departure point for our hotel is within a 5 minute walk from us.  The cost for a one way transfer is $35.00 plus tax per adult.  This coachline will drop you at many of the main hotels and condos in Whistler Village if requested at the time booking.  www.pacificcoach.com for more information and departure times. 

    Landsea Tours www.vancouvertours.com. This a scheduled bus tour which departs daily for a full-day excursion to Whistler. It will stop along the sea-to-sky highway to explore many of the gorgeous sights along the highway and then leave you at your leisure in Whistler Village for approximately 3 hours before the return departure.

    In the summer months,  I would recommend Whistler Air www.whistlerair.ca which is a scheduled seaplane service departing twice per day from downtown Vancouver.  The cost is $169.00 plus tax per person.

    My number one recommendation on getting to Whistler is taking a journey on the Whistler/Rocky Mountaineer! Enjoy the breathtaking scenery on this Canadian train travel route between Vancouver and Whistler. During your comfortable and stress free three-hour train trip you’ll journey from the coastal city of Vancouver, through scenic Howe Sound and the spectacular Cheakamus Canyon, across a trestle bridge, past the jagged snow-capped peaks of the Tantalus Mountains and by an old extinct volcano, before finally arriving in the mountain landscape of world-renowned Whistler Village. www.rockymountaineer.com
  • On March 12, 2013
    Stéphane Mouttet answered the question: Stéphane Mouttet

    What is the best way to see Whistler in one day?

    Pacific Coachline provides a scheduled bus service which departs from many of the local hotels downtown.  The closest departure point for our hotel is within a 5 minute walk from us.  The cost for a one way transfer is $35.00 plus tax per adult.  This coachline will drop you at many of the main hotels and condos in Whistler Village if requested at the time booking.  www.pacificcoach.com for more information and departure times. 

    Landsea Tours www.vancouvertours.com– This is a scheduled bus tour which departs daily for a full-day excursion to Whistler. It will stop along the sea-to-sky highway to explore many of the gorgeous sights along the highway and then leave you at your leisure in Whistler Village for approximately 3 hours before the return departure.

    In the summer months,  I would recommend Whistler Air www.whistlerair.ca which is a scheduled seaplane service departing twice per day from downtown Vancouver.  The cost is $169.00 plus tax per person.

    My number one recommendation on getting to Whistler is taking a journey on the Whistler/Rocky Mountaineer! Enjoy the breathtaking scenery on this Canadian train travel route between Vancouver and Whistler. During your comfortable and stress free three-hour train trip you’ll journey from the coastal city of Vancouver, through scenic Howe Sound and the spectacular Cheakamus Canyon, across a trestle bridge, past the jagged snow-capped peaks of the Tantalus Mountains and by an old extinct volcano, before finally arriving in the mountain landscape of world-renowned Whistler Village. www.rockymountaineer.com
  • On March 12, 2013
    Stéphane Mouttet answered the question: Stéphane Mouttet

    What are the best places to eat in Whistler?

    My top recommendation for fine dining would be the Bearfoot Bistro (www.bearfootbistro.com) especially if it is a special occasion.  If you purchase a bottle of sparkling or champagne, the sommelier will take you down to the wine cellar to "saber" the bottle (with an actual saber or sword) and talk about the history and tradition of sobering.  The chef, Melissa Craig was crowned ‘Canada’s best chef’ at the Canadian Culinary Championship in 2008.  Her menu is best described as Modern Canadian Cuisine with a blend of the West Coast ingredients.  When dining here, you have the option of choosing from a set 3 or 5 course menu. 

    Another famous and well-known restaurant in Whistler is Araxi – the name may be familiar to you as it was the feature restaurant on Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen 2009 Season.  Araxi enjoys a long-held international reputation for excellence in food, wine and hospitality, including the award for ‘Best Restaurant at Whistler’ from Vancouver magazine for an unprecedented nine consecutive years.  The Executive Chef, James Walt collaborates with local farmers to provide a seasonally rotating menu which also features the freshest seafood catches from the Pacific Ocean.   Lively ambiance with adjoining bar that is the known gathering place for drinks and the summer patio is people watching and mountain scenery.
    Rim Rock Cafe (www.rimrockwhistler.com) seems to be the most popular restaurant in Whistler as they book up quite far in advance, the Chef features Pacific Northwest Cuisine focusing mainly on finest fish and game.  My two favourite items on the menu would be the lobster mashed potatoes and baked oysters. 

    For Italian, I would certainly say Quattro! (www.quattrorestaurants.com) The pasta is amazing and prepared fresh daily by the Chef in the traditional North Italian style, and if you like Italian wine and grappa they have a very large selection on their wine list.

    La Rua (www.larua-restaurante.com) is a magnifique French Restaurant featuring fish, seafood, steak and game with plenty of wonderful French wines to choose from. 

    Enjoy your dinning experience in this beautiful resort!
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  • On March 12, 2013
    Stéphane Mouttet answered the question: Stéphane Mouttet

    What are the best things to see and do in Whistler?

    Whistler is a Canadian resort town in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in the province of British Columbia, Canada, approximately 125 kilometres (78 mi) north of Vancouver. It has a permanent population of approximately 9,965, plus a larger but rotating "transient" population of workers, typically younger people from beyond BC, notably from Australia and Europe. Over two million people visit Whistler annually, primarily for alpine skiing and mountain biking during the summer at Whistler-Blackcomb. Its pedestrian village has won numerous design awards and Whistler has been voted among the top destinations in North America by major ski magazines since the mid-1990s. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler hosted most of the alpine, nordic, luge, skeleton, and bobsled events, though freestyle skiing and all snowboarding events were hosted at Cypress Mountain near Vancouver.  Below are a few suggestions on whistler activities you can explore while in Whistler:

    - Peak to Peak Gondola This record breaking Gondola trip which connects Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. This journey is 4.4 kilometer Gondola trip in 11 minutes. www.whistlerblackcomb.com/todo/summer/p2padventure/index.htm
     
    - Ziptrek This is an adventure based eco-tourism activities offered year-round.  This 2.5 hour adventure is a combination of suspension bridges, treetop observation platforms, ground based trails and ziplines. Ziplines are suspended steel cables - some of which are over 15 stories high and 2000 feet long - that you ride from platform to platform. www.ziptrek.com

    - Outdoor Adventure Whistler - If you are looking to experience the scenic back-country to Whistler, this is a leading outdoor adventure company offering atv, hummer, canoe, and rafting excursions.  This company provides complete outerwear clothing to prepare you for all adventures.




  • On March 12, 2013
    Stéphane Mouttet answered the question: Stéphane Mouttet

    What are the best things to see and do in Whistler?

    below are a few suggestions on whistler activities you can explore while in Whistler:

    - Peak to Peak Gondola This record breaking Gondola trip which connects Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. This journey is 4.4 kilometer Gondola trip in 11 minutes. www.whistlerblackcomb.com/todo/summer/p2padventure/index.htm
     
    - Ziptrek This is an adventure based eco-tourism activities offered year-round.  This 2.5 hour adventure is a combination of suspension bridges, treetop observation platforms, ground based trails and ziplines. Ziplines are suspended steel cables - some of which are over 15 stories high and 2000 feet long - that you ride from platform to platform. www.ziptrek.com

    - Outdoor Adventure Whistler - If you are looking to experience the scenic back-country to Whistler, this is a leading outdoor adventure company offering atv, hummer, canoe, and rafting excursions.  This company provides complete outerwear clothing to prepare you for all adventures. www.adventureswhistler.com




  • On July 5, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    How do I get to Whistler?

    The closest things you’ll find to an airport in Whistler are seaports and heliports. You can’t very well land a seaplane in the middle of winter, when the lakes are frozen over, but helicopters are a good option year-round. If you fly into Vancouver International Airport, you’ll take a quick transfer shuttle to either the seaport or heliport to begin your journey.
     
    Air travel isn’t the only way to get to Whistler; in fact, driving along the aptly named Sea-to-Sky Highway is absolutely beautiful. You can fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport or Vancouver and hit the road. Whistler is about four-and-a-half hours from Seattle, while Vancouver is about two hours. Keep in mind that winter and spring can be tricky for the roads; so be sure to check the driving conditions before you leave.
     
    When all else fails, or you simply don’t feel like driving, hop aboard the Rocky Mountaineer Whistler Sea to Sky Climb train for a scenic ride along the oceanfront, through canyons and over mountains. The trip is about three and a half hours from Vancouver to Whistler, and is a great alternative to driving or flying.
  • On July 5, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What is the best thing to bring home from Whistler?

    As the largest mountain resort in North America, Whistler has plenty of shopping to go along with its top-notch skiing. Venture into Whistler Village and you’ll be greeted with more than 200 stores. Besides bragging rights that go along with skiing some of the best terrain in the world, you’ll want a little something to remember your trip.
     
    While it may be a bit tough to carry home a new snowboard or pair of skis, you can find unique souvenirs. If you aren’t from Canada, investing in clothes by local brands Roots or Lululemon is a good bet, and both have Whistler boutiques. The town also has plenty of art galleries selling local photography and artwork; stop by the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Center to see crafts made by local First Nations artists.
  • On July 5, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What are the best Whistler food experiences?

    Whistler is home to some great restaurants, which range from casual to fine dining. No matter what time of year you are in this mountain village, there are plenty of food experiences to be had. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the five best Whistler food experiences:

    1. Whistler Farmer’s Market. Sundays and Wednesdays mean fresh food and local produce all summer long. Strolling through the farmer’s market in Whistler Village is a feast for your eyes and taste buds — there’s also live entertainment on most days.

    2. Cornucopia. Each fall, this wine and food festival celebrates Whistler’s top restaurants. You can attend everything from wine seminars to chef luncheons. There are also cooking demonstrations and plenty of parties.

    3. On-mountain dining. There’s nothing better than a hearty meal when you’re on the slopes. Whistler and Blackcomb are brimming with restaurants and they aren’t just cafeteria-style, either. Take Crystal Hut for example — this log cabin serves up Belgian waffles all-day long. When you’re done with lunch, grab your skis and continue to explore the mountain.

    4. Garibaldi Lift Co. At the base of Whistler Mountain is the alpine resort’s best après-ski scene. In the summer, you can watch bikers flip tricks on the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Order up a burger and a beer, and sit back and enjoy the live music.

    5. Canadian National BBQ Championships. When you think of Whistler, barbecue probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but this is one of the best food experiences in town. Each summer’s event comes with live entertainment, demos and piles of barbecue.
  • On July 5, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    Where is the best nightlife in Whistler?

    The minute you step off the mountain at the end of the day, Whistler’s nightlife begins. This western ski resort’s legendary après-ski scene comes in the form of live music and pitchers of beer (try the microbrews made by Whistler Brewing Company) served at bars located close to the lifts and trail ends. The nightlife carries on deeper into Whistler Village at venues like Garfinkel’s, Maxx’s and Moe Joe’s. These are the places where you can burn off that extra energy by dancing the night away. Garfinkel’s attracts a young hipster crowd with its top hits soundtrack, and Maxx’s is where you’ll find some of Canada’s top DJs in residence. For a more intimate scene, shimmy over to Moe Joe’s — the crowd is similar to Garfinkel’s, but has a more laidback vibe.
  • On July 5, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What is the best way to see Whistler in one day?

    Depending on what time of year you visit Whistler, your one-day, jam-packed itinerary will differ. Being the largest mountain resort in North America, much of the activities throughout the year are nature-oriented.
     
    During a winter visit, start off your day with a stop at the charming Crepe Montagne in Whistler Village. You’ll find options like the “Slalom”, which includes one egg, ham or Canadian bacon, three cheeses, fresh tomato and green onions.
     
    Fortified for the day, plan to hit the slopes next. You can go back and forth via catwalks or traverses between Whistler and Blackcomb, but you’ll likely stay on one mountain for the day. Skiing and snowboarding can get exhausting, which is why you’ll want to take a midday break for lunch on the mountain. There are several restaurants scattered throughout both Whistler and Blackcomb, so there are plenty to choose from.
     
    After wearing yourself out on the mountain, make your way down to the base to take in the après-ski scene. Locals and visitors alike gather at the restaurants and pubs to chow down on some snacks and throwback a few beers (try one by local microbrewery Whistler Brewing Company).
     
    Your summer itinerary will be similar, minus the snow sports. Begin by hiking up the mountain for lunch and snap some great pictures from the top. If you’d rather bike, Whistler has some fantastic mountain biking — one of our favorite routes is the trail to Rainbow Lake, which is a lighter version of mountain biking. If you make it to the lake, you can take a dip to cool off.
     
    At the end of the day, all year long, you’ll want to head to dinner at Araxi. It’s one of the best restaurants in Whistler — the West Coast-cuisine is fresh and local.
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