5 Awesome Things to do in and Around Whistler

I first went to Vancouver and Whistler in October 2002 during my first British Columbia trip right after I quit my job for the first time. I basically fell in love with the lifestyle in Whistler and I don’t even ski. I basically just hung around, hiked, mountain biked and wasted a few weeks chilling out before an even bigger trip to Australia. That had been the only other time I made it up to Whistler and I’ve visited Vancouver several times: including the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Whistler Mountain Summit
That said, my amazing memories of Whistler were rekindled during my recent trip and I had a better experience than I could have imagined. Whistler and the surrounding area offers so much to see and do that it would take weeks to see and do it all! In my recent four day stay in the Whistler area I did a ton of cool stuff; which is probably worthy of multiple blog posts. However, for simplicity’s sake, here are 5 awesome things to do in and around Whistler, British Columbia.
Lee Abbamonte, floatplane, DB, Tyax Resort
Via Ferrata
view from Via Ferrata Whistler
You may recall I wrote about a Via Ferrata I did in Wales earlier this year called Via Ferrata Cumbria. I loved it so much that given any chance to do another I would jump at the opportunity. Atop Whistler Mountain, there is a really cool Via Ferrata course with some amazing views and some harrowing moments.
Whistler Mountain top view
This Via Ferrata was mostly about the views. There were some tough areas of the climb but for someone experienced like me, it was no big deal. It wasn’t scary at all, but it was a lot of fun.
Whistler Olympic rings
The main difference between the one I did in Wales and this one in Whistler was there was an element of glacier hiking using crampons. I must admit crampons are a pain in the ass to both carry and to get on and off. But it’s always fun walking on ice and not thinking about falling.
group on Via Ferrata Whistler
Our guide was awesome on Via Ferrata and that always makes things better and eases the minds of everyone who may not be as experienced. My only suggestions for those doing Via Ferrata for the first time is don’t be scared because you cannot get hurt and try to go in as small a group as possible.
Lee Abbamonte, Via ferrata Whistler
That’s always my issue with just about anything I do really that involves groups and athleticism. I am very athletic and I hate waiting so I like to do everything fast; which doesn’t always translate well into groups. Just be self-aware and realize there are always different levels of skill. Enjoy Via Ferrata!
via ferrata lineup
Gondolas
gondolas, whistler
Whistler, often referred to as Whistler/Blackcomb because of the two big mountains called Whistler and Blackcomb. These are the main ski and hiking/biking mountains that are accessible from the Village via gondola. A gondola is essentially a ski lift although some are enclosed.
Sea to Sky Gondola, Squamish
Gondolas are a great way to see the valley below or just get some amazing panoramic views from above. You can actually take a gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, which offers some seriously killer views like this one.
View from Whistler Blackcomb Gondola
Also, on the drive out to Whistler from Vancouver, you can now stop in Squamish. There is a new, really cool Sea to Sky Gondola that gives great views of the logging valley below.
view atop squamish
Even if you don’t ski or hike or don’t feel like doing anything; you can still just get a gondola ticket and ride them around all day and get some great views! It’s well worth the money.
sea to sky gondola walkway, squamish
The Village
whistler olympic village
Whistler is basically broken down into three areas in an around the village. I stayed at the Four Seasons Whistler (below); which was a nice hotel as you might expect but pretty inconvenient to get to the main part of Whistler Village. It was about a 15 minute walk each way and very easy to get lost.
Four Seasons Whistler
But once in the village, it’s a very cool place to hang out. You can shop til you drop at all the usual alpine outposts but of course they have some originals as well. My favorite restaurant I ate at was by far Araxi-just look at this seafood plate!
Araxi seafood plate
Just walk around, take in the energy and yes this is where the nightlife is as well. There is no shortage of things to do in the village. But if you’re not staying in town, you will almost definitely get lost getting out! Although it could be worse…just look for this changing color bridge to guide your way home!
Whistler bridge at night
Bobsled
Lee Abbamonte Bobsled, Whistler
I love doing the bobsled. I did it for the first time last summer in Calgary and it is such a thrill. The bobsled at the Whistler Sliding Center is the fastest in the world. Keep in mind there are only 4 bobsled runs in North America and only about 15 in the whole world. Only towns that have hosted modern Olympics will have them.
Whistler bobsled
After a safety briefing, you go and you go fast. You get up to some 80+ miles per hour and you catch a few G’s. It’s not quite Sky Combat Ace, but it’s still really fun and well worth doing.
Lee Abbamonte, Whistler Sliding Center, bobsled
The other thing that’s cool about doing the bobsled in Whistler or any Olympic venue is that you’re actually on the same track that the Olympians use. You’re literally doing the same runs. There’s something inherently cool about that and for someone like me who loves the Olympics-it’s quite special!
bobsled, whistler
Tyax Resort and the surrounding area
icebergs, british columbia
I could literally write 4-5 blog posts on the Tyax resort and associated activities I did there. I liked it that much. Sadly, I am behind on my posting so I will condense it as much as possible but want to make sure it’s clear how awesome it is.
Tyax Resort
Tyax resort is literally in the middle of nowhere on a small lake about a 30-minute float plane flight from Whistler. This was my first time flying in a floatplane and it was awesome. Tyax Adventures did a great job of showing us around the mountains and taking us to glaciers, gorgeous lakeside retreats and just sightseeing that you forget you’re even in the air.
floatplane
Tyax Resort is a gorgeous log cabin resort with good rooms, Wi-Fi and excellent food. It’s the perfect getaway from your getaway.
glacier
There is also some great hiking in the mountains around the Tyax Resort. You know it’s good when you get back, take off your shoes and your legs are covered in dirt!
dirty feet
Honestly. I loved Tyax Resort and the whole experience that went along with it. I wish everyone could experience this great part of the world in British Columbia and especially with a floatplane!
float plane on water
British Columbia is another amazing part of Canada and truthfully, an amazing part of the world. I really love Canada and it amazes me more and more each time I go. I can’t wait to be back again a few more times in the next few months. But make no mistake, the best part of Canada is Western Canada and I hope you enjoyed 5 awesome things to do in and around Whistler and I didn’t even mention golf!
Lee Abbamonte, glacier
Disclaimer: I was invited by and hosted on this trip by Destination British Columbia and Tourism Whistler. All my expenses were covered by my hosts. As always, everything I’ve written in this post is 100% accurate to my experience and has not been influenced in any way.
whistler, golf

Comments

  1. Scottish Moments says:

    it looks AMAZING!! I REALLY need to start saving for that Canada trip now… 🙂

    greetings from Scotland

  2. Nicolette says:

    I recently learned who you are and what awesome travels you do. I was in whistler for my birthday last year and also stayed at the four seasons. It was a great trip thank you for highlighting it. So many people have never heard of whistler!

  3. Jessica says:

    Wow its beautiful.i did not find this place before but now i am planning to make it after reading your blog.

    I have spent too much time to find European places and written about them.It will be great pleasure to visit whistler.

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