The Getaway
Things to Do in Whistler That Don't Involve Snow

Whistler, British Columbia, is home to Whistler Blackcomb, North America's largest ski resort. The town is just an hour and a half away from Van City and draws an interesting mix of glamorous and laidback individuals. Many celebrities own homes in the area, so it's not unusual for local businesses to sign NDAs. Folks come to Whistler for its astonishing beauty and a wide array of recreational activities like snowboarding and tobogganing in winter and golfing and ATVing during the warmer months. The biggest question is, what can't you do in this neck of the woods?

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01 Peak 2 Peak Gondola Experience

The longest free span of 3.03 km and highest point of 436 m above the ground - in the world, has lift gondola in Whistler. Gondola is in service since 2008. B.C. Canada TRphotos / Shutterstock.com

This iconic attraction has become a must-do for visitors seeking panoramic vistas of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Opened in 2008, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola made skiing on both mountains on the same day much easier than before. The ride time is 11 minutes, and 28 cabins can transport up to 4,100 people per hour. The gondola travels 2.73 miles at 16.8 miles per hour. The Discovery Channel and History Channel aired documentaries about the record-breaking gondola's innovative construction. For example, it's the world's highest lift of its kind, rising 1,427ft above the valley.

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02 Scandinave Spa Whistler

For some, a vacation isn't complete without spa time. But you don't have to be a massage connoisseur to appreciate a few hours at the famous Scandinave. This wellness retreat amidst the rainforest embodies serenity. The no-phone policy encourages patrons to disconnect and truly relax. Set aside at least a few hours to get the full experience and go on a thermal journey between hot pools, saunas, and cold plunges. During winter, heated hammocks keep you feeling toasty, and the staff are equally warm. Inhale the eucalyptus scent in the steam room and exhale your worries. The traditional Scandinavian bath process has numerous benefits for the mind and body. Let the tension release begin...

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03 Vallea Lumina

Looking for something wholesome to do in the evening? Go for a magical night walk at Vallea Lumina. The forest comes alive with multimedia storytelling, including moving lights, visuals, and gorgeous calming music. With stars in the sky and enchanting illuminations at your feet, you'll feel like you're in the middle of a moment to remember, especially if you go with a date or your favorite travel buddies. The trail takes about an hour if you stroll at a leisurely pace. Wear comfy shoes and complete the experience by roasting marshmallows at the fire pits.

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04 Whistler Sliding Centre

If you've got a need for speed, Whistler Sliding Centre welcomes you with open arms. Here, you'll find the fastest track in the world, which was used for the Winter Olympics. You don't need training to feel the thrill of descending swiftly—there are options for both beginners and those seeking an adrenaline rush, and safety is a top priority. Watch world-class athletes do what they do best, and feel some satisfaction knowing that all proceeds go towards supporting professionals as they reach for their dreams.

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05 Axe throwing at Forged Axe Throwing

Have you ever tried axe throwing? It's the top-rated group activity in Whistler. Wear your favorite plaid flannel lumberjack shirt and get ready to learn some trick shots and tailored pointers. Axe throwing combines skill and friendly competition, and don't worry—you won't be in harm's way with all the protocols in place. Challenges keep the activity fun, and by the end of the hour, you'll be looking forward to your next rip-roaring session.

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06 Ziplining adventures

One of the best things about ziplining is that it requires no experience. You can just show up and whizz over Whistler's creeks and between its magnificent evergreens. Ziptrek Ecotours comes highly recommended, and their Eagle Tour is a 3-hour experience featuring a 30-storey descent. The Sasquatch Tour is one of the longest ziplines in North America, spanning 7,000 feet. Each tour has a little hiking and education thrown in for good measure. Zipling could be one of the highlights of your Whistler vacation, especially if you're scared of heights and want to face your fears.

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07 Ice skating at Whistler Olympic Plaza

Outdoor ice rinks have an inimitable charm. Whether you're one of the folks showing off their ice skating skills or stumbling every few minutes, you're bound to enjoy the festive experience and storybook setting in the heart of Whistler Village. Enjoy the fresh air at Whistler Olympic Plaza, and giggle as you lose your balance or watch others find their footing. Skates are available for rental at a small fee, and the rink closes for an hour of maintenance between the afternoon and evening sessions.

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08 Art and culture

Entrance to the fabulous Audain Art Museum. Carolyne Parent / Shutterstock.com

Whistler's vibrant art scene can truly enrich visitors' time in the town. Audain Art Museum should be high on your to-do list. It opened in 2016 and is one of Whistler's best attractions. The 56,000-square-foot private museum is as modern and splendid as you might expect from such a new establishment. Be sure to visit the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre too. It's a really impressive facility with fascinating artifacts and insights to share about the First Nations peoples who are native to these parts. The Whistler Museum and Maury Arts Center are two more potential places for your itinerary.

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09 Shopping in Whistler Village

Scenic street view with many tourists in Whistler Village. Whistler is a canadian resort town visited by over 2 million people annually. Nick Fox / Shutterstock.com

Creekside Village is a favorite among shopaholics. If we're considering individual stores, check out Ecologyst. It's an eco-friendly clothing shoppers' paradise. The clothes here are made from natural fibers and come with a lifetime guarantee. Now that's what we call sustainability! The Beach sells athleisure sets and exclusive accessories—they've been voted Whistler's best clothing store for many years. Whistler Clearance Center is one for the budget-conscious. You'll find massive price cuts on snow gear and activewear. Get the Good sells novel items for souvenirs or gifts.

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10 Spa and wellness

Scandinave aside, where can you go for facials, scrubs, and other relaxing beauty services? The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge has a sizable fan base. After a week on the slopes, an RMT's expert techniques can be just the thing to get your body back on track. Check out Aviva Wellness Spa, too, for relatively affordable 90-minute massages. If you're looking for a place to downward dog, Yogacara Whistler should do the trick.

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11 Culinary experiences

Whistler is a major ski resort with a suitably ambitious food scene. You'll find hearty meals that give winter sports enthusiasts the energy to conquer the peaks. Expect top-quality ingredients from the region and Vancouver chefs who bring their big-city flair to dishes. Dining options cater to all tastes and budgets. On the high-end side of the spectrum, you have Araxi. Try their gruyere fondue. There's also romantic Wild Blue, specializing in French and Italian coastal cuisine. Their seafood towers are glorious. La Cantina serves casual, delicious Mexican food, and Sushi Village will not disappoint aficionados. Hunter Gather serves a mouthwatering brunch, and Purebread will satisfy when sugar cravings strike.

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12 Brewery and distillery tours

Ski resort towns must have après-ski spots. The Mallard Lounge in the Fairmont Chateau has all the upscale vibes you could wish for. Handlebar sells craft beers and tasty New York-style pizza. The Fitzsimmons is supposedly Whistler's coziest pub, and it's hard to disagree with that moniker. It's also worth noting that Araxi serves an impressive list of liquor-free cocktails for those who don't consume alcohol. Check out Canadian Craft Tours for brewery tours.

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13 Cultural tours and workshops

The Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre offers tours and workshops for residents and visitors to learn more about the history and traditions of the local First Nations. Kids can join to make dreamcatchers, cedar paddle necklaces, buckskin medicine bags, rattles, and hand drum ornaments. You can also download the Go Whistler Tours app for a self-paced exploration of nine locations significant to the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations.

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14 Ride in a 4WD Buggy

For those who crave a bit of adventure with their scenic views, a 4WD buggy tour through the backcountry offers an exhilarating way to explore Whistler's rugged terrain. Strap in and feel the rush of adrenaline as you navigate through dense forests, across trickling streams, and over rocky paths. These tours cater to all levels of thrill-seekers, from families looking for a fun day out to adrenaline junkies chasing their next high. It's a unique way to witness the untouched beauty of Whistler's landscape, all while having the time of your life.

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15 Tree Top Adventures, Great for Kids

Nestled within the lush canopy of Whistler's ancient forests, the Tree Top Adventures offer a magical experience for the young and the young at heart. This aerial obstacle course is a safe and exciting way to enjoy the great outdoors, with bridges, zip lines, and platforms that allow you to hop from tree to tree like a squirrel. It's not just fun; it's a way to build confidence and enjoy nature from a new perspective. Suitable for kids and adults alike, this adventure promises laughter and thrilling memories.

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16 Disc Golf with Friends

Disc golf in Whistler is more than just a game; it's an experience. With courses that meander through stunning landscapes, from dense forests to open meadows, players are treated to breathtaking views at every hole. It's a casual sport that combines skill and leisure, making it perfect for a group of friends looking for a laid-back afternoon activity. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a curious newcomer, the friendly competition and serene setting make for an unforgettable day out in Whistler.

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17 Visit the Iconic Whistler Train Wreck

 Abandoned train crash in Whistler, British Columbia

A hike to the Whistler Train Wreck is a journey through time and art. After a train derailment in the 1950s, several boxcars were left scattered in a dense forest near the Cheakamus River. Over the years, these cars have become canvases for vibrant graffiti, transforming the site into an open-air gallery set against the backdrop of Whistler's natural beauty. The trail to the wreck is an easy trek, making it accessible for adventurers of all ages. It's a place where history and creativity collide, offering a unique experience that's as thought-provoking as it is picturesque.

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