Recently, we took our first flight since COVID hit for a Whistler weekend. It was great to escape and explore somewhere we had never been before.
In case you aren’t familiar with Whistler, it is situated in the Fitzsimmons range of Coast Mountain range in BC, Canada. As part of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Whistler was home to many of the venues.
Early Friday morning, we flew into the Vancouver airport, rented a car and drove to Whistler. The drive from Vancouver to Whistler, without traffic is about 90 minutes. It’s a very scenic 120 KM (75 miles) on the Sea to Sky Highway. If you have time, there are plenty of potential stops along the way. Since we wanted to maximize our time in Whistler, we didn’t make any stops.
There are plenty of great accommodation options in Whistler, but we opted to stay at the Westin Resort & Spa. We arrived in town a bit early but luckily we were able to check in around 11:30 am.
A few days prior to our trip, we booked tickets for the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola allows you to travel from the top of the Whistler Mountain to the top of the Blackcomb Mountain. Spanning a distance of more than two kilometers between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, the Peak 2 Peak rises a mind-boggling 436 meters above the valley floor.
During the summer months, the mountains are very popular with downhill bikers and hikers.
We opted to go up on the Blackcomb Gondola since there was no wait. The ride up offers great views of the surrounding areas.
Once at the top, there are plenty of hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult. We opted to for an easier trail since we didn’t have any hiking gear or enough water to tackle anything overly difficult.
It was a gorgeous summer day and the views were incredible. And, an added bonus was that there were wildflowers everywhere. We could have spent many hours exploring.
We then gondola-ed (I probably just made that up) over to Whistler Mountain. The ride is a bit scary if you are afraid of heights, but so worth it. And, if you aren’t into hiking or biking, I would still recommend the ride up.
For dinner, we decided to check out Hunter Gatherer since we had read some great reviews. We ordered the Platter for 2 and it was huge. It was probably enough food for 4 people.
For a quick breakfast and some coffee, we headed to Moguls Coffee House. We had an early pick up for a canoe trip.
Before heading to Whistler we booked the River of Golden Dreams Tour with Whistler Eco Tours. Journey across Alta Lake, through the Whistler Wetlands and down the scenic glacial river aptly-named ‘The River of Golden Dreams’. There are both kayak and canoe options but we opted for the canoe.
The adventure starts with a paddle across Alta Lake before heading down the river. The river is quite low and so there are mandatory portage at points along the river. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the term portage, it means carrying your watercraft on land to avoid obstacles in the water. In this case, the obstacles were the beaver dams.
The whole adventure was about 3 hours in total. It was a wonderful experience. To be honest, probably one of my favorite vacation activities ever. It was great to be outdoors surrounded by nature’s beauty. So, it’s probably worth its own post. Stay tuned.
After working up an appetite, with all the paddling we did, we were definitely down for a treat from Purebread. Everything looked so good, it was difficult to decide what to have. We opted for sandwich cookies, one carrot cake flavored and the other chocolate with a salted caramel filling. Both were delicious.
Walking around Whistler Village, there are remnants of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games around. Whistler Blackcomb did serve as host to some of the competitive events.
For dinner we had reservations to the Fairmont’s Chateau Whistler Woodlands Rooftop for family-style dining. The whole experience was great! The food was excellent and portions really large for the price. In normal times, this space is utilized for wedding receptions but due to COVID the space was unused. So, they tried this concept to create work for their catering staff. This is a great idea and we are happy to support the cause.
First thing, on Sunday morning we opted to tackle the Train Wreck Hike. The weather was great, maybe a little too warm so we were looking to do something out of the sun. It’s an easy hike, great for the whole family. The highlights are definitely the a handful of mangled railway boxcars and the suspension bridge across the Cheakamus river. And why are the boxcars there? They are there due to a 1956 train derailment that was never fully cleaned up.
After the hike, we headed for brunch at Wildwood Cafe. It’s off the beaten path and quite popular with the locals. If you do decide to check it out, I would highly recommend one of their Benny Samplers.
And, we spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon at Green Lake. It was such a beautiful summer day and the people watching was off the charts.
When researching where to go for dinner, we stumbled upon a pizza place with a great Happy Hour. Pizzeria Antico has all craft beers for $4 and margherita pizzas for $8 between 3 and 5 pm daily.
For the wine lovers, they have wine flights where you can sample four BC wines. Perfect for the indecisives out there.
Monday morning came way too early. We really had a great Whistler weekend and were sad to have to head home. This was our first trip to Whistler but it will definitely not be our last.
Finally, if you are going to spend some time in Vancouver either on the way to or from Whistler, below are a few links that might interest you.